Back to nature amid Covid-19 crisis in Bahla

Amid the euphoria of coronavirus across the world, there are some quiet families in the Wilayat of Bahla who are into the harvesting of the wheat crop, the seeds of which were sown prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The families, the older generations of which were farmers, are continuing with the passion and rejoicing the wheat cultivation.

Mohammed Hamed al Shuraiqi, Talent Development Supervisor at Oxy from Bahla, and his children are all excited to see the wheat harvesting and their subsequent storage in the storerooms.

The family uses the vast land spread over many acres to grow wheat because the climate here is suitable for wheat farming and the soil is fertile for this crop.

“This year’s cultivation has been good and we are busy processing the wheat. This will later be distributed among relatives and friends for free. A small amount of wheat will be kept at my dad’s shops in Bahla souq,” Mohammed, who came all the way from his house to the ancestral house, said.

He added, “We sowed the seeds some six months ago and my father and we have been busy observing the seeds grow.”

The whole wheat grains contain the entire grain kernel, such as the bran, germ, and endosperm. The refined grain is milled through a traditional method, a process that removes the bran and germ. After doing this, the grains get a finer texture and improve their shelf life.

“Wheat kernels are fed into the milling machine where they pass through several roller mills from which the bran, endosperm, and germ are separated and removed from the kernel. After this process, the wheat is reduced to granular pieces free from bran and germ,” Fatma al Suraiqi detailed the process.

From the moment that the grain is harvested and transported to the ancestral processing facility, the intricate series of steps begin where the individual kernels are stored, separated, cleaned, ground, enriched and/or fortified before being stored for a longer period, for the rest of the year.

Apart from wheat cultivation, Al Shuraiqi family has a vast field of vegetables, fruits and you name it.

“We buy fish and any spices that we don’t cultivate, from the shops for an extensive lunch for the whole family most of the time in a year,” adds Mohammed.

At a time when is the whole world is worried about Covid-19, the earnest efforts of the family are to go back to nature.

Oman Observer

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