A flourishing community farm in Ras Tanura
Home & Garden group helps bring back a diverse collection of vegetables and herbs — everything from cabbage, corn, and coriander, to moringa, mustard, mung beans, and more.
In a corner of Najmah, in Ras Tanura (RT), a quiet transformation is taking place — the green, nurturing, and sustaining kind. At the heart of it all is the RT Community Farm, run by members of a self-directed group called Home & Garden, transforming the way we view gardening, and making a positive impact on the lives of all involved.
The farm was revived in 2019 by a small group of women and their families who took over the tending of numerous plots. Membership has risen steadily over the four years since. Today, the farm boasts a record variety of vegetables and herbs.
This year, in particular, has seen an unprecedented range of crops and an increase in yields. But more than this, the farm is enjoyed as a calm and productive oasis, and stands as proof that with hard work and perseverance, beautiful and delicious things can be grown.
Planting the seed
The small band of home gardeners that started it all came from different backgrounds, many with little or no experience. With baby steps, the group took off, albeit haltingly. Over time, through trial and error, members gained a better understanding of the climate, the seasons, the planting cycle, and many other details.
Today, the RT Community Farm is flourishing with a diverse collection of vegetables and herbs — everything from cabbage, corn, and coriander, to moringa, mustard, mung beans, and more. The wide variety of plants is reflective of the growers: there are 22 households currently signed up for the 2023 to 2024 season, representing many different countries.
The farm occupies an area of approximately 500 square meters within the RT nursery and contains 34 plots of varying sizes. Aside from vegetables and herbs, members plant flowers to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and to maintain the ecological balance. Pesticides are avoided as part of a commitment to organic farming practices.
The abundance of tomatoes — consistent every season — has given rise to various preservation methods such as drying, pureeing, and freezing. Garlic and onions, when brought in and cured properly, can supply a family for a few months post season. Herbs can be dried or preserved and bottled in olive oil.
The farm, under the nurturing desert sky, has evolved to become an example of self-sufficiency and sustainability, and an inspiring story in organic farming, supplying its members not only with quality fresh organic vegetables, but also enough to share with friends, colleagues, and the wider community.
Caption for top photo: The Ras Tanura Community farm is a calm and productive oasis, standing as proof that with hard work and perseverance, beautiful and delicious things can be grown.