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Festival features Abu Dhabi-grown food

Families from across the Emirates tried the nation’s finest veggies at the first edition of the ‘Mother of the Nation Festival’, which ran until April 2 alongside Abu Dhabi’s scenic Corniche Beach.

Families from across the Emirates tried the nation’s finest veggies at the first edition of the ‘Mother of the Nation Festival’, which ran until April 2 alongside Abu Dhabi’s scenic Corniche Beach.

Dishes made with fresh vegetables grown in Abu Dhabi were among the features of the festival, along with a series of exhibits, performances, and events across five outdoor activity zones.

In a press release, Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre communication manager Ahmed Al Suwaidi said the festival was an excellent opportunity to introduce Abu Dhabi families to the quality and freshness of locally grown products including vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, and local dates.

The ADFSC’s commercial brand, Local Harvest, introduced visitors to the festival to dishes made with fresh eggplants, tomatoes and more, “further increasing the appetite for information on local produce in the Emirate.”

The Local Harvest sales tent offered families attending the festival an opportunity to inspect the quality and freshness of locally grown produce throughout the festival.

Locals sample sweet potato

Al Suwaidi said the tasting sessions proved popular at the festival and kicked off last Friday with a sampling session for sweet potatoes.

“On top of tasting good, sweet potatoes are well suited to the sandy soils of the UAE, are water efficient, easy to grow and produce high yields. This root vegetable is also nutritious, packed full of energy and vitamin A, is excellent as part of a diabetic diet and rich in antioxidants which have the potential to fight cancers,” he said.

“The sweet potato is also ideal for small hold farmers in the Emirates looking take advantage of opportunities arising from the growing demand for healthy food.”

Alongside the delicious sampling at the festival, the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre also hosted a series of workshops aimed to bring an understanding of farming into the home, on topics such as the benefits of organic farming, hydroponics, and home gardening.

The festival was held to honour HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, with reflection on the hard work of the nation’s mothers and families to preserve “the authentic values and traditions of Emirati culture while embracing a multitude of others.”