Bashar Arouri's passion for agriculture began in his childhood as he watched his grandfather, who worked as a farming guide, while he took the family members with him to help in a land that was leased to him near Birzeit University. He used to sell his products on the main road. These days are engraved in Bashar’s memory. Bashar believes in the actual work on the ground and in people’s ability to bring about change as long as there is will and intention. For Bashar, change for the better starts with yourself and through the values of ouna (aid) and volunteerism. Therefore, you always find Bashar participating in various community activities in his town and in the neighbouring areas.
Bashar was convinced that the agroecological farming approach is the best way to produce healthy crops that are free of chemicals, using inputs from the land and natural resources in the area. As he perceived this approach to present a model for collective action, he joined the Palestinian Agroecological Forum. His reason for joining is to spread the message and volunteer in activities related to agroecological farming, natural water restoration, greening Palestine and preserving its biodiversity.
Bashar started his farm in May 2019, on an area of 3 dunums, half of which was planted in the first season. The production included vegetables and summer leaves and then legumes in the winter. Bashar relies on seasonal agroecological and clean traditional baladi farming. He produces and preserves seeds such as okra, zucchini, hawks, cowpeas, beans, and watermelon seeds. From the outset, Bashar's goal was not commercial, but rather to convert an available resource -the land- into a productive resource. He also aimed to produce and collect baladi seeds from the same area to plant them in the future. Therefore, marketing was not a hindrance to him, as he allocated one third of his products in the first season to his family’s own consumption, another third was used for seed multiplication, and the remaining third was marketed in town. Bashar was surprised with the growing demand for his products through the farm’s Facebook page and personal communication, reflecting the people’s interest and appreciation for clean seasonal baladi crops, and their need to revitalize the baladi agroecological farming in Aroura.
With the release of this guide in late 2020, Bashar will be engaged in winter agricultural season with his lively and optimistic spirit. By visiting him and his farm, you will immediately feel his warm hospitality and willingness to share his experience and knowledge of the area and agriculture.
Product Availability: Seasonal.
Product Selling Points: Aroura village.
Volunteering Opportunities: Donating seeds and seedlings to the farm, building water dams on the sides of the farm and helping in the work on raised beds.
Other services: Organizing tours around the village and nearby villages, hosting those concerned with farming and introducing them to agroecological farming.