Thursday 20 October 2016

Grow your food at Zabeel Park and Social Enterprise

I visited Zabeel Park in Dubai on Friday evening, it costs £1 for entry and parking was plenty and free.

My purpose was to find out more about the Grow your own Campaign. There weren't many stalls, but I registered, picked up some organic seeds, cuddled a chicken, listened to a vision of the future with the focus on school gardening.

The Ripe Market starts this week and I'm very much looking forward to being a frequent visitor there.

The park is huge, I was only there for an hour and took a quick walk around as it was very humid.

There is plenty to do there, free public toilets that were lovely and clean, BBQ areas, cafeterias, Mega bowl, an exhibition centre currently featuring 'Reading is Positive Energy' a children's play area and a handy train at a small fee to help you get around.

As always when you're in Dubai, you can see the Burj Khalifa from everywhere. The grass was green, trees numerous and birds on almost every branch.

One of the stalls at the Grow your Own event were a Social Enterprise group called Enable. The aim of the project is to create entrepreneurial skills for people with special abilities, starting with product concept, manufacturing, merchandising and selling, to enable individuals to start their own retail units and achieve financial independence.
100% of Enable products are ploughed back into development with the individual receiving 15% of the sale.

I purchased a succulent in a beautiful wooden pot and on Saturday saw a wider variety of items for sale at the local garden centre.

Last week I blogged about Forcing Cut Roses to drink and went out to buy some to try it out.
Wow, it really worked. You can see from the pictures the difference after 5 days, between putting a spot of bleach in the water, just putting them in normal tap water and having plunged them in hot water first.

Day 1 v Day 5
Forced to drink (plunged in boiling water)

 Normal tap water

Bleach in water

I couldn't find any Hydrangeas to Hydrate, but today one of my students brought me this beautiful bouquet as I'd been off sick all week, so I've hydrated the one on the left and we'll see how it goes next week.

The school gardening club, nearly fell at the first hurdle. last week we made newspaper pots and planted tomato seeds, no one watered them all week, so we were really surprised to see how they had grown, this week we 'pricked' them out and then planted some peas in plastic bags with cotton wool, so we can see how the roots grow.

Next week I'll be in the UK, so the students will be designing plant labels and on my return we'll be planting sunflowers, lettuce and cress seeds.


  1. Oh that's lovely that your student thought to bring you flowers when you were ill!
    Your succulent looks smashing, the Enable group sounds like a good one to support.
    The weather over here is super changeable - hopefully it'll stay dry for you next week x

    1. lovely and dry and then wet, i really enjoyed the rain, boots, wellies, umbrella and a big coat