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Adventures in Growing

Articles: Adventures in Growing

Greenhouses and drip-irrigated beds make up the middle area of the farm overlooking the old quarry. Photo: Kate and Benjamin Frey

We arrived at the farm after midnight. The plane had come in low enough over Riyadh to display orderly rows of glittering lights and curving, palm-lined roads flowing with endless rivers of car headlights. Its darkness held complete mystery to us. An assistant to the Prince—dignified in a white robe and a scarlet and white checked gutra—met us, and our quickly planned trip to an unfamiliar place became reality.

We had come to Saudi Arabia for several weeks to consult for a Prince’s organic farm. At the farm, Saifel Islam, one of the workers from Bangladesh showed us our accommodations, a small trailer. He turned on some large outdoor lights and gave us an illuminated midnight tour of a field of cauliflower standing stiffly at attention below an overstory of date palms with the rounded contours of a limestone bluff behind. We shivered though our first night under insufficient covers as temperatures dipped to freezing.

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