I already talked about gombo once and I just found that that in English it´s called okra or gumbo. Anyway, no matter how you call it, it still tastes very bad – sorry.
So, one day we took the car and drove outside of Jorf to visit a gombo farmer, Mr. Amsari. Now, look at the pictures and tell me if he doesn´t look like a character of an old movie. I could really see him side by side with Humphrey Bogart for example.
Mr Amsari is the owner of some sheep, goats, cows and of 700 hectares of land which he calls Sagyat Elouaed, meaning the pipe that brings water.
On this land he mainly grows palm trees and a little bit of gumbo.
At the end of January Mr Amsari prepares the ground for his gumbo plantations. On the 25th of February he adds the manure and plants the first seeds covering them up with a little bit of sand. The moment that they start growing, he waters them and then he leaves them without water for two months – it helps the development of the roots. Between May and August, when the plants have four leaves, Mr Amsari picks his gumbos and sells them at the local market: 7,5 dirham for half a kilo – consider that 7 dh are 0,65 euros.
Mr Amsari, and many others like him, are suffering from an unfair rivalry with those farmers coming from the other Moroccan regions and who sell early-gumbo. The population doens´t know the difference between local and early gumbo, reason why they buy the imported one.
But this doesn´t stop Mr Amsari: he is an artist, a poet, someone inspiring. He doesn´t give up and that´s what he told us: “Je vais guerir la terre” – “I´m going the heal the earth”.