Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert happens to be the site of Jordan’s largest mixed farm – Rum Farm. Rum was established in the year 1986, in the midst of the Wadi Rum desert on 2,000 hectares of land. While it seems like an odd choice of location, it begins to make sense when you learn that under the Wadi Rum desert, and stretching under the border mountains and well into Saudi Arabia, is a large aquifer. In fact, much of this desert nation’s water supply is dependent on this single water source.
Rum Farm specializes in the cultivation of open field vegetable products, grains and forage, including eggplants, cabbage, figs and pomegranates, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and other vegetables. The crops grown there by Rum Farm Organics are being grown by using special irrigation techniques and method of agriculture that is said to have been in use in ancient times by such peoples as the ancient Egyptians and Nabateans.
Water is drawn from subterranean aquifer, 30 to 400 meters deep, and irrigated on 78 hectares circular fields, by using a pivoting ramp with watering nozzles. Special plastic “poly tunnels” are also used to help conserve water and deal with extreme desert temperatures.
The company’s techniques are so successful that the farm now produces a large part of Jordan’s food supply, before being trucked north hundreds of kilometers through the desert to the capital of Amman and other locations.