Adopting a pet
First stop: Ks Path Animal Shelter. Last spring we went for an open day and while there decided to foster a dog. After several months, Belle has become a member of the family and so we needed to make the one hour drive back to the shelter to finalize the adoption and sort out her vaccines and paperwork. If you’ve not been for an open day, definitely add it to your list of things to do. Bring a few cans of dog food or some other donation (their website includes a list of needed items). I wouldn’t recommend it as an outing for young children but it’s great for older kids and a good excuse to spend a few hours in the Kuwait countryside.
After finishing with the paperwork and the vet, we wanted to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies and so decided to just roam around for a bit. Wafra is farm land though sadly most of the farms are surrounded by high walls. We found a farm with a large ‘Farmer’s Market’ sign at the entrance that turned out to be Yasmin Farms. It’s a beautiful place, the entrance laid with cobblestones, fields of flowers and corn banked on one side with a small shop and a farmer’s market on the other stocked with fresh veggies and herbs including my personal favorite, bunches of fresh coriander.
The shop sells Alban Dairy products including fresh milk, laban, cheeses, yogurts as well as honey, dried herbs and spices and the absolute cutest tin milk cans. Mr Jamil Al Sultan was kind enough to allow us to tour the farm and so we sauntered down the path to the cow shed, past fields of corn and squash. The hidden gem in the farm is a small manmade pond about the size of four swimming pools. Surrounded on all sides by palms and tucked in between a few small hills, the pond sits in front of the farm house. It was lovely to see the cool morning breeze rippling across the water – a rare site in arid Kuwait.
Established in 2005, Yasmin Farms employs ethical farming techniques, doesn't use pesticides and uses hydroponic techniques for its greenhouses. The farm produces a wide array of vegetables including tomatoes, cabbages, squash, and corn as well as fresh herbs. You can visit the farm or buy its fresh local products at the Sultan Center stores. Map
We had a quick picnic on the grass, the girls devoured a whole bottle of the cold, fresh Alban milk. They are open on the weekends – Thursday through Saturday – from 8am to 5pm but its best to go early as the produce sells out quick. (Update: I have now heard that the farm is charging KD 1 for walking tours and KD 2 for guided golf cart tours.)
Green to go
Back on the road, we found a small roadside stand selling potted plants, flowers and adolescent trees. The kiosk stood at the entrance to Washingtonia Farms and we were granted a quick peek inside this hidden oasis. Row after row of lovely green trees, plants, flowers and more. We bought several including two succulents, an aloe vera and a jade plant. The drive home passed quickly as we were all tired.
If you decide to go, pick out two or three farms or places you want to visit, plan to spend the day and be sure to pack a picnic lunch and water.
Editor's Note: Article and photos were originally published in the Kuwait Moms Guide Newsletter - Issue #1 on December 1, 2013.