Complex Made Simple

OAPGRC organizes Science Café 2015

Organic gardening – time to grow

Growing organic fruit and vegetables in the back garden will be the topic for discussion at the final Science Café of 2015 scheduled for 7:30pm, Wednesday 30 December at the Sultan Qaboos University Farm.

Organized by the Oman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC), staff from the University farm will be showing attendees how to grow their own fresh produce organically, no matter what skill level or how much space they have available.

“Organic Gardening: Time to Grow will be a 90 minute crash course covering the basics of how to grow organic edibles in your garden, patio, balcony or window-box. We’ll be focusing on what’s easy to grow, how to choose what to plant and how to keep crops alive and thriving,” remarked Dr. Nadiya Al Saady, OAPGRC’s Executive Director.

More and more people are interested in gardening organically. They recognise how important this approach is for the environment and that it produces safe and tasty food. However, many are unsure about how to go about it.

“We’ve had some excellent Science Cafés this year. The initiative is now supported by Oman LNG, attendance has shot up and the scientists we’ve had present have been marvellous. And we’re particularly excited about our partnership with Sultan Qaboos University Farm,” remarked Dr. Al Saady, adding: “Encouraging organic gardening is an important step toward building a more sustainable food system in Oman.”

Led Dr. Abdulrahim Al Ismaili, Assistant Professor, Department of Soils, Water & Agricultural Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Mr. Abdulbaqi Ahmed Al Raisi, Assistant Director (Plant Operation), College of Agriculture & Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University and Dr. Abdullah Al Ghafri, Director of the Aflaj Research Unit, Biological Sciences and Chemistry-Biology Section, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nizwa on the 30 December Science Café will demonstrate some of the main ideas that underpin organic gardening, including getting soil ready and choosing seed.

“Food grown at home is overall fresher, more nutritious and tastes better than store-bought food and you can’t beat the price,” pointed out OAPGRC’s Executive Director.

Organic urban gardens are also key to saving energy, protecting water quality and topsoil, promoting biodiversity, beautifying densely populated urban areas and reducing food kilometres, saving on the damaging greenhouse gas emissions associated with today’s modern food chains. All of this helps improve Oman’s environment.

“The 30 December Science Café has been designed specifically to encourage people to think more about diet, health, wellness and the environment. We hope to teach those attending how to grow their own fresh, organic, healthy food,” concluded Dr. Al Saady.