We had a lovely break out of the city at Sara’s Organic Farm, north of Cairo on the road to Alexandria (about 1 hr and 10 min north of Maadi, closer for people in Downtown). It is POMEGRANATE season now and they were hosting their first Pomegranate Festival! Tickets were snatched up, but we managed to get some along with 2 other families we knew with kids (and then we ran into 2 other families we also knew there). We caravanned up to the farm, which was handy b/c I didn’t have to pay as much attention to the directions and could focus on the road as I drove (and it was my furthest drive yet). It’s actually a fairly easy drive in terms of directions and being a Friday morning, it was fairly light on traffic as well. Win win! (Their location is accurate on googlemaps and the directions were correct).
Sara’s Organic Farm has, as its name implies, organic produce–including pomegranates, mangoes, greens, grapes, etc. They are also connected with Lara’s Premium Produce, which is not certified organic but is still high quality with responsible growers. They stock their produce throughout Cairo (and some in Alexandria and Hurghada) and also do CSA style baskets for weekly deliveries. They don’t open their farm on a regular basis and only host special events, so I was excited to get tickets!
We enjoyed the break from the city. The first hour was petting and feeding the horses, goats, and sheep and looking at chickens and ducks. The kids were thrilled to notice eggs lying around the chicken enclosure! They were equally thrilled to discover jars of pomegranate seeds on the tables for snacking. Boy do my kids love pomegranate seeds!
Then we took a tractor cart out to the orchard. This was a bit of a fail on the farm’s part as they had one small cart that held 15 people squeezed in but about 50 people were at the event. So the cart had to make multiple rounds. There was very little shade at the orchard and lots of waiting time for the tractor once you were done picking. We opted out of the farm tour via tractor and just went right back to the hang-out zone which was nicely shaded at the farm. DS was thrilled with the tractor ride, but it was rather uncomfortable for the adults as it was just squeezed in sitting on top of hay (not a hay bale).
Pomegranate picking was a new experience for all of us. Their stems are thick, so you need cutters to remove each one from the small trees (bushes?). Pomegranates are very prone to splitting on trees, so we had to find ones that weren’t split and were nicely red. DS quickly got bored but was happy with eating pomegranate seeds from a split pomegranate. DD loved finding pomegranates that were “just right” for an adult to cut.
Kids melted in the sun fairly quickly, so we were happy to get back in the shade of the main visitor area. It had a play area for kids with wooden structures to climb and a swing and a tire swing made to look like a horse. They also brought out a donkey for rides.
DS made best buddies with several other little toddler boys, including one he called “my new friend” and ran around with as partners in crime. At one point the two of them decided to go visit the horses–which were clear on the other side of the area past a gate. They take off running and pretty soon the boy’s mama and me go running after them. They were distracted by the appearance of the donkey and quickly clamored for rides.
One brilliant mom also brought about a dozen little cars and as soon as she got them out it was a homing beacon for all toddler boys–she was swarmed by 5 little kids all wanting to play with cars. She might as well have set up a loud speaker with “Cars here! Cars here!”
DD was happy playing with one of her best friends who came as well. They ran around looking for treasures in nature–until they ran back screaming they’d seen a scorpion. So the other mama goes to investigate. It was an ant. A large ant. A black ant. But an ant nevertheless. Clearly they know the word scorpion but not what it actually looks like!
Part of the entry ticket was a pomegranate themed lunch. It was delicious! It came out in shifts with lots of time between courses. The menu:
Potato Rosti–Topped with fried eggs & Pomegranate Molasses
Feteer–With Pomegranate Cheese, Honey, Pomegranate Jam & Cream
Mixed Green salad–With goat cheese and pomegranate
Pomegranate Glazed Meatloaf–With Biscuits, Gravy & Honey pomegranate glazed carrots
Eggplant Ma’aloba–With Pomegranate sauce & Garlic yogurt
Panna cotta–With Pomegranate Center & Glaze
Fruit Station–Pomegranate, Peach, Fig & Melon
Juices–Pomegranate and Pomegranate with Ginger
Overall a fun event and I can’t wait for their next open event (especially when the weather is a bit cooler).