Farming and Food Culture

As a rural settlement in Northern Jordan, farming was the basis for the local economy and social organisation. The traditions of farming, it's impact on daily life and the food culture that developed in Umm Qais are important to understand local heritage but are intangible and easily lost.

 ‘My role was weeding, If I cant harvest, I helped collect the crops. We walked behind the donkeys in the trail, or helped load trolleys’. 

One the key themes of local community’s everyday life is the inter-dependnce in and exchange of food and supplies amongst the hawara fouqa’s households, in a way that respect the dignity of local families.

Everyday food was almost exclusively from the local produce such as dairy, meat and pigeons. we used to farm fruits and vegetables in the valley, such as tomatos, armenian cucumber, as well as Okra and Black-eyed Peas. Because tomatos are seasonal, they were dried by sprinkling salt on a straw dish for all year long. (Int1; A-19). 

Farming life is labour intensive and hard work. A normal day starts very early, with some of the interviewees stating they woke up at 1 or 2 Am in the morning, for early breakfast, before heading to the valley on Doneky backs. 'The donkey knew the way to get there and got us back without even knowing it our self’ (Int 2. A-19).

Everyone has a different role and work from before sunrise to sunset in the valley, whilst women cook lunch and ride to the valley and return with everyone. One Interviewee asserts: ‘My role was weeding, If I cant harvest, I helped collect the crops. We walked behind the donkeys in the trail, or helped load trolleys’. (Int 3. A-19) Yet, the work was also collaborative, ‘If my cousins would work for me in one day, I would work for my uncle in another, we did not get money, it was all about effort exchange.’ (Int 3. A-19). 

‘If my cousins would work for me in one day, I would work for my uncle in another, we did not get money, it was all about effort exchange'.

Interview with Firas Al-Rousan: Olive Harvesting and processing

Interview with Firas Al-Rousan: Local Olive trees, ancient origins

Interview with Talib al-Rousan: Farming economy and Community

Interview with Umm Hiba: Farming and crops

Interview with Firas Al-Rousan: Traditions of Farming and Food in UmmQais

Throughout the project we are processing more interview material collected by our project volunteers in Umm Qais so look out for new material uploaded here.