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Meet the ‘Pumkin Man’ of Bahrain
By: dt news , Posted on 07-Mar-2017
Manama : A lush and vibrant stretch of pumpkins near Saar mosque is unbelievably hard to ignore. The owner of the farm, 17-year-old Hussain Alzeera, is a student of Al Raja School who has been an avid gardener for as long as he can remember. Hussain has been harvesting over 2000 kgs of organic and chemically fertilised pumpkins along with other green goodies since the age of 15.
Well, the pumpkins in his farm by nature are pretty hard to ignore.
During Western falls, you find them just about everywhere, from your local grocery store to your Starbucks latte. But to find a vast carpet of pumpkins laid out in a little corner of Bahrain seems to be something out of Cinderella’s fairy tale and magic.
Hussain disagrees. “It’s love”, says he. “You see these kids playing here?” he asks pointing to at a bunch of giggly children posing away on humpty pumpkins, “They are the ones who add warmth to the field and of course I look after it.
“So there are no specific tricks, gardening equipment or formulae. It is simply a result of heaps of hard-work, persistence and love.” And having met the ‘Pumpkin Man’ himself, one can vouch for his words as the bright and cheerful pumpkins and kids smile right back at you.
“This is something I do annually and it happens almost effortlessly. It takes two to three months to nurture the seeds and they start bearing vegetables around October, just in time for Halloween,” he smiles.
Apart from pumpkins, Hussain also cultivates cauliflowers, butternuts, tomatoes and other vegetables planted on his plot. In the summers, he transforms his patch of pumpkins into juicy watermelons.
While the young harvester constantly experiments with his green fingers, he also runs an import business in the Kingdom and manages his academics.
“People often ask me how I find the time? My answer to them is: everybody has time if you have the will to find time for things and people you love,” says Hussain with a smile.
“I am a simple person. I am blessed and I have never really wished for more but I do put my heart and soul into the little dreams I pursue. This is my final year of school and once I am done, I am going to travel the world.”
As he globetrots, the Pumpkin Man wishes to explore gardening and cultivation techniques in countries around the world so he can one day open a Bahraini nursery that holds products enabling the growth of every kind of plant in the Kingdom too.
“We often overlook agriculture here. We think the soil is not capable enough. But in all honesty, if you try hard, most things are possible. I love raspberries and I would really like to see them grow here at some point!” he says excitedly.
Although this may be the last year Hussain’s harvest spreads love and joy on the island, if all goes well, he is keen on hosting Bahrain’s very first ‘Pumpkin Picking’ event in October.
The world’s biggest pumpkin on record is worth 2624.6 pounds. While Hussain’s pumpkins may not compare in size, they definitely contain oodles more of the harvester’s special ingredient - love.
His once private pumpkin patch has now turned into a buzzing public attraction, a testimony to everything this beautiful island stands for. After all, the language of the Kingdom too is inclusivity and love.
You can meet the Pumpkin Man himself every Friday proudly showcasing and selling his harvest right next to his pumpkin plot.
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