It All Grows In Kuwait –
One Bloggers Green Fingered Journey Interviewed by Arwa Aburawa
A green fingered student from Kuwait is taking the blogosphere by storm with her ‘It All Grows’ blog. Filled to the rafters with gorgeous photos of lovely fruit and veg, recipes, and gardening tips, Alzainah wants to prove that “good fruits and vegetables don’t have to travel across the world to make it to your plate.” I caught up with her to find out how she got hooked on gardening and her insider tips for growers in the Middle East.
I’ve always been fascinated by nature and wildlife, but never by gardening and how food is produced because, just like most people in Kuwait, the idea of growing food was quite foreign. I used to think that it took large expensive greenhouses a hundred kilometres away in Wafra with countless staff and complicated fertilizers to produce vegetables in Kuwait, until one of my relatives mentioned her 10 year old grandson’s cherry tomatoes, I was baffled! He grew cherry tomatoes in a container – I followed with questions like “outdoors? In our weather?” “Is it possible?”
I was completely shocked, and thought to myself, if a 10 year old can do it, I can at least try. The next day I went and bought seeds of whatever I found. I planted them in my back yard, under some palm trees, and with skepticism, I checked on them every other day. Once the seeds sprouted I started taking beautiful Micro photos, to show to my family. In a short time with a lot of research, I managed to turn my entire indoor pool into a greenhouse of cherry tomatoes.
First, it was figuring out what grows when. All the research I was doing left me hungry to learn more, but I was having trouble relating general gardening principles to our desert conditions. Plant care is so different, and the seasons are the complete opposite. It took me a while to figure out the seasons here, its like this; a short warm season, a long cool season, then short warm again, and then summer during which gardeners take a break.
Another issue was organic pest control. There is so little offered in Kuwait when it comes to organic products, so it took me a while to find what I use now, which is organic insecticidal soap. I would go to plant nurseries and for any problem there was always a chemical solution, whether for fertilizing or pest control and I refused to use any of their recommendations on my plants. To me, it just didn’t make sense to spray something which you need to wear a gas mask to handle, on the plants I wanted to eat.
The full interview can be found here GreenProphet.com