Muscat: It is tough to become a farmer during a life spent in exile, but Mathew P George has proved that if one has determination, one can even convert a desert into an oasis of greenery.
Today, the Times of Oman (TOO) is featuring George, an Indian expat, who converted his home into a vegetable garden, in its #OmanPride campaign.
George works as an administrative assistant in a trading company but farming is his passion, for which he spends several hours taking care of his ‘MPG’ farm in Ghala. He donates all his crops to the people, who are in need and also gifts some to his friends.
“I don’t want to make any money from it, but the comments and prayers from the people and my friends, who come here, are my earnings,” George told TOO.
According to George, he had to sweat it out to make this land amenable for cultivation.
“When I came here (Ghala) in 2002, this was a waste dumping area and it was stony too; I have to put lot of effort to convert this land into an agricultural area,” George said.
“During the early days I had to plough the land until late at night to convert it into a quality piece of land for gardening,” he added.
George has been in Oman for the last 25 years and likes to spend his spare time after office hours in the field of agriculture. Today, he cultivates a mixture of vegetables and hands it over to the people, who need it free of cost and takes the rest for his personal use.
Cucumbers, bitter gourd, snake gourd, tendli, ladyfinger, spinach, various tomatoes etc. are grown at the farm now. George also cultivates cabbage, cauliflower and carrot on his farm. A coconut tree at the farm is the special attraction.
“I didn’t even know what farming is when I came to Oman, but now I am well aware of it,” he said.
“I use only organic fertilisers at my farm so that my products are better than what we get outside,” George asserted.
Every day, George waters the plants in the morning and he treats them like his own children.
“I wake up around 5:30 in the morning and water my plants,” the expat said.
“My family is my support, without their support it would not be possible to convert my passion into success,” he added.
His wife, Celine works as staff nurse at the Royal Hospital and also helps him in gardening.
George recommended that people who have a passion for farming should do it and produce vegetables for their daily use.