The Most Awesome Azba in Al Ain: innovation, sustainability and profit all in one!

Before the Falcon Azba we went to a farm - the farm of Abdullah's cousin - and it was a farm unlike any I had been too.... this will be a very photo intensive post as everywhere we turned there was another innovative idea or invention to absorb... above all it was CLEAN, and it didn't smell (although there were so many animals) and the animals were the healthiest and cleanest ones I think I have ever seen on any farm anywhere.

I am itching to have the time to do an academic case study... this farm is a model in sustainability and ingenuity... OK, enough gushing and let the photos tell our story :)

We left at the start of class time (no other classes were missed!)

On the road to Al Ain


Arriving at the azba, as always we are greeted with Emirati hospitality, which means water, gawa and dates

First day with my phone! I am now embedded in the phone culture here!

Yasser and Abdullah explaining the day and the vision, strategy, objectives and tactics of the farm... they had spent the previous Friday with Abdullah's cousins and had so many notes and information - super proud of them!
There are four parts to the farm - birds, animals, vegetables and "relaxing" - here are some newly hatched laying chickens

This is a newly hatched bird that are raised to sell as birds - Emiratis seem to love birds and every azba I have visited has a huge bird house...

Bird hospital where sick birds are taken care of

Bird breeding with "married" birds raising babies together! (there are some mixed breeding experiments going on too)
Mom and Dad protecting their egg!

Clean, happy and healthy chickens!

Super interesting... this mom and dad are "common" birds - and by switching eggs laid on the same day by "rare" birds, the common birds will raise the rare babies...
tons of birds, some common, some rare one third for sale :)

The water pump and filter he invented himself (Abdullah's cousin LOVES the internet) - he invented it because sooooo many people try to rip him off... and it cost him 1/4 what the sales people quoted and works 100x better!

There are 14 bought greenhouses...

300 plants per row - we saw tomatoes and hot peppers

Everyone was super impressed!

The Jordanian engineer who has been working at the farm for 11 years... he was respectful, informative and SMART (m'ashallah)

Irrigation system 
Abdullah answering one of my 100+ questions!

In the winter greenhouse designed and built by Abdullah's cousins and his farm workers

Pregnant camel!

Yes gentlemen, I am not just "book" smart :) I could survive in another occupation if I had to!

The fruits of my labour :)

Expensive sheep - still lots left after Eid to make babies for next year!

the daddy to a lot of the babies on the farm!
more lovely sheep!

The small desalinator... he desalinates his own water for the farm and uses the sweet water for the plants and animals and the salty water for the date trees (something I learned, date trees can use salty water!)

There are two desalinators

Bigger tomato plants, the smell was wonderful!

Showing Nawwaf that you need to trim the "suckers" so more plant energy goes to the fruit... yes, the engineer told Abdullah he was shocked I knew that :) 

Most of the class... yes, I look like a proud Mom I know!!!!

This was simply an amazing farm... and one of the greatest things I hears was when Abdullah told me about asking his cousin about the vision of his farm... 

"Cousin, will you ever reach your vision to have the most innovative farm using sustainable methods and growing and raising food for the UAE?"

"No, I will never attain my vision, but it is my greatest joy working to reach it"

Of course, I talk about this in class... but to hear it from someone living and see it in action is the greatest lesson my students can learn. Of course I did a little fist pump when I heard and might have said "I told you so".... but the lesson was learned by all.

A million thanks from me to all of you who planned, organised, kept us on schedule and made the day a truly memorable one!

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