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United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula

Think about experimenting with fruiting trees, such as citrus, figs and pomegranates, for longer-term food productivity.

My Arabian Almanakh
By: Laura Allais-Maré, founder of Slow Food Dubai and the now-defunct Balcony and Urban Gardening Group on Facebook; Cherida Fernandez, a fine artist; graphic designer Leilani Coughlan; and Prachiti Talathi Gandhi, who took on the responsibility of editing and coordinating the production of the book.

Review by: Melanie Hunt
The National
October 28, 2017


The leading voice of the work is Allais-Maré, who when she began working on her own garden in the UAE, realised that there was very little information documenting the “how to” of gardening in this climate – and absolutely nothing at all, at that time, on growing using chemical-free and regenerative principles.

The seeds of an idea for a book were planted, and came to fruition four years later in the shape of a beautiful, uniquely informative illustrated journal. The book’s writers are clear that none of them are “professors of botany or qualified horticulturalists”, but that the book is written from the perspective of “leaving the earth better than how we found it”.

Gardeners coming to this hot and arid climate will already know that nature has stacked the odds against them when it comes to recreating the horticultural aesthetic of their home countries. What Allas-Maré and her team have done is provide a helping hand in sharing and documenting their experiences, so that those gardening here can hopefully avoid rookie pitfalls and become more productive more quickly, avoiding plant casualties, while also gaining a better understanding of the natural world around them.

In addition, My Arabian Almanakh aims to support people in changing the way they garden and encourage spaces that are chemical-free. “Much is being said about sustainability, yet there is still an unsustainable amount of pesticides and chemical fertilisers [used in growing],” Allais-Maré says.

Read the complete article here.

The book.