Did you know that Oman has a certified organic farm tucked away in Barka? Pairidaeza Farm is owned by Narjes Mohamed Mirza, an Omani woman, who has taken it upon herself to start a project that will contribute to, as well as raise awareness about, the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Narjes is a self-taught organic farming guru, who overcame many obstacles, and educated herself about growing chemical-free vegetables. She was determined to introduce a healthier option for those seeking a better way of eating, and for medical patients who need to eat organic foods.
The farm that Narjes built from scratch holds American and European certifications, as professionals from international organisations test the land, soil, and overall status of the farm for authenticity.
Narjes adopted an organic lifestyle years earlier, recalling that when she was young, gardening was her favourite activity. She grew her own vegetables at home and inspired her children to have healthier lifestyles. In her household, organic eating has become a habit, where everything is pesticide-free, chemical-free, and containing no harmful hormone injections. “The whole concept is to go back to olden times where they used to be healthy and consumed chemical-free vegetables and livestock,” she said, adding “We are going back to nature.”
The farm in Barka has temperature-controlled green houses, massive lands cultivated and bedded with a variety of greens, as well as a barn that has a number of free-range livestock animals. Vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, asparagus, peas, bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, lemon, corn, and countless herbs, are grown at the farm.
Organic agriculture refers to products grown and processed in a well-balanced soil that is free from synthetic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilisers, or bio-engineered genes. It also refers to animals that are raised in open spaces and fed with grain and grass, without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones, offering healthy, chemical-free meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Today, Narjes is both the first and only woman in Oman who owns a certified organic farm that produces almost all its own vegetables and herbs, which is a great achievement for her and for Oman. She hopes to continue her mission of raising awareness about the benefits of an organic lifestyle. “If we all become friendly to our environment, we can succeed,” she noted. — [email protected]