Thursday, January 5, 2012

Italian for Dinner?

Few minutes into the journey back, our car smelled like a pizzeria.  I could recognize a delightful mix of appetizing Italian flavours and yet we were nowhere near a Pizza Hut, Papa Jones or Vapiano.  We had just been to a farm in the middle of the Arabian Desert.

A farm, none like what I’ve seen before – endless rows of Basil, Oregano, Dill, Ricotta and Parsley neatly spaced and stacked inside a greenhouse. Just like a new born, each bed of herbs are rocked, fed and cared at regular intervals. Staying with the baby analogy, each of the little herbs is kept warm with a string incandescent lights that hung just above their heads.

Let me assure you - this is not something out of a science-fiction movie, though occasionally I had to pinch myself into not thinking so. This is the magic of Hydroponics – method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. And the place that we had just been to is Emirates Hydroponics Farms in a place called Al Bahia midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

To a person like me who have grown up in a city, the farm certainly is industrial-scale and yet remarkably it maintains a small-farm-charm. And I would attribute part of that charm to the live tour given to us by the person who owns the place, Rudi Azzato.

Rudi gave us a walking tour of the farm, a crash-course in hydroponics, fielded about a hundred questions, gave us a bunch of fresh herbs (pictured above) and put up with our little one who did her best to wreck his workplace.  Thank you Rudi, you were a great host and made our day!

With my newly acquired collection of herbs, no prizes for guessing what’s for dinner at our place these days!

Post-script: If I managed to tickle your curiosity, you would be pleased to know that the Emirates Hydroponics Farms offers schools, families, & groups an educational and interesting field day trip. A fantastic learning opportunity and it is free!  You can find more details through the link below.


  1. Nice blog you have here. Keep up the good work.

  2. I love italian food .. i love also pizza you have real good blog !!!!!

    6 Crazy Diets That You Should Never Try

  3. Martin - thank you very much .. am really glad that you've enjoyed reading the blog ..

  4. Artistico - Thank you for stopping by .. Even I love italian food especially if my hubby's made it ..

    This time it was even better with the freshest and aromatic herbs we got from the farm ..

  5. Hi
    Welcome to my blog. My followers list is my major inspiration too.
    I see you have written on interesting topics. Gonna read them soon.


  6. Thank you for stopping by Sushma .. Do let me know what you think of the blog posts.

  7. basil pesto penne with garlic butter chicken :D

  8. Wow! Didn't know about this one!

    1. If you are around then you must surely visit the farm .. really inspiring!!

  9. Nice blog,good work done.Thankyou sharing the information.


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