Cultures in Context Series
EGYPT and the SAHARA
4.7 Crop Farming : 299 - 302
|.299. Though some Bedouin and a few Berbers have traditionally spent the whole year traveling, others were semi-nomadic and settled for several months each year close to the palm groves of an oasis. Many Bedouin also own gardens in oases like El Golea and Ouargla. (Garden at Hassi Messoud, north of Amenas)
|.300. In the Northern and Western Sahara it is actually possible to combine herding with the growing of wheat and barley in winter. This is most characteristic of those who herd sheep or goats, since they do not travel as far as camel herders, and are able to stay in one area for longer (and may even live in houses for part of the year). They grow grain for their own use and alfalfa for their livestock. (Sheep near Touggourt)
|.301. The soil is turned using a simple wooded plough, often drawn by a camel. Seed is sown only when there has been enough rain. It is broadcast over the damp soil and ploughed in. The actual location of the areas cropped varies from year to year depending on the distribution of the rainfall. In many cases these improvised fields will then be left till harvest time, when the men will return to cut, thresh, and winnow the crop. (Dry-land farming between Kairouan and Tozeur)
|.302. Water for animals can be carted in, if and when required: but combining the breeding of livestock with the cultivation of cereals is only possible on the moister margins of the desert. (Dry-land farming between Kairouan and Tozeur)
Text and photos by John Tyman unless otherwise indicated.
Intended for Educational Use Only.
Contact Dr. John Tyman at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information regarding licensing.
Photo processing, Web page layout, formatting and hosting by
William Hillman ~ Brandon, Manitoba ~ Canada