The Jabal Akhdar harvest festival is like no other
July 4, 2018 | 7:03 PM
by Times News Service
Fathers and sons set up fruit and vegetable bazaars for visitors to the Jabal.

#ReadersResponse: Although all of us in Oman (unless you’re in Salalah or in rest of the Dhofar region) are feeling the heat at the moment, that’s not quite the case up in the mountains of Jabal Akhdar.

Temperatures in Jabal are a good 15 to 20 degrees cooler than they are down here, and the local farmers have been busy tending to their farms and orchards to reap the annual harvest, which takes place at this time of the year.

Because of the soil composition, the availability of water and the cool climate, the soil in Jabal Akhdar and other such areas in the Hajar Mountains are very conducive for farming, producing crops that are unique to the mountain soil of Oman.

With the summer holiday leading to closure of schools, fathers and sons alike set up fruit and vegetable bazaars for visitors to the Jabal, with juicy peaches, succulent dates and flavourful plums as well as fresh bee honey, and date syrup on offer.

The annual summer harvest festival in Oman’s Jabal Akhdar also brings many tourists and visitors to the Green Mountain.

“This is really a nice place to come to with your family and have a picnic,” said Saiyyad Ahmad. “Driving here is a great adventure.”

Sohail Abbas Mirza added: “This is a beautiful trade being conducted by innocent traders,” as Vivek Chandra said: “I am fortunate to have visited this place. It is filled with good people because it is a good place.”

Andrew Hall and his wife Kansiree were very keen on making the trip up top to have a first-hand look at the farm-fresh produce on offer. “Plums and peaches? They look lovely, let’s go see them,” they said.

“This is a really nice concept,” said Kate Starr, another expat.

Trees with fruits in Jabal Akhdar.

“Bernadette de Asis, added: “I had visited this place the year before last. It is such a beautiful, cold and silent place, and one where you will definitely get plenty of rest.”

However, some people were confused as to why children were outdoors, selling fruit. Unbeknown to them, the summer holidays meant that schools in Oman were closed at this time.

“This age is the time for children to study, not to work,” said Abdul Muneeb Gujjar. Shahbaz Akhtar added: “Why are they not going to school? I praise their efforts but the government should pay attention to them.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Kelsey Bright. She said: “Nice place, but these children should be going to school for a sound education and should not be doing this.”

Other residents, though, were quick to assuage their doubts. “This is the time of holiday in Oman,” said Majid Nazir Usmani. Shorif Munna was also quick to respond, saying: “This is the time when the holidays begin in Oman. Schools are closed for two months, so we need our children to now listen to us so they can learn to work hard and earn good money.”

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news