As a part of its ongoing effort to contribute its part to the environment, the Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa developed an onsite Bio-Garden to produce a range of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables for use within several dining outlets. Initiated in 2007, the garden was first planted with a selection of aromatic herbs over a small area of only 120 square metres. Presently, the garden comprises an area of over 1,000 square metres and the resort is proud to be self-sufficient for many of its herb and many vegetable requirements.
Situated on an elevated area between the horse riding stables and Palm Tree Court & Spa, the Bio-Garden presently generates 100% organic produce and everything used in the garden is recycled in one form or another. Although these are small steps, the Bio-Garden philosophy is to make realistic changes to help the environment and encourage everyone to participate to make an overall impact.
Guests can take an educational stroll around the garden and whilst enjoying the aroma of the fresh herbs and vegetables, learn about their natural health and beauty benefits from the plant descriptions. There is a secluded seating area with a watering pond in the middle of the garden to sit, relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. During the summer months the bio-garden is invigorated with new soil and nutrients, after which new saplings are planted.
At the outset, children have been involved as much as possible. When the Bio-Garden was opened on Good Friday in 2007, all the children at the resort were invited to help plant the first plots. When the garden was extended to include fruit trees, the children from the resort helped. Each child who participated in planting his/her own tree, has their name mentioned on a special plaque within the grounds of the Bio-Garden. During the winter months, a weekly garden session takes place as part of the activities arranged by the resort’s CoolZone Kids Club, to expose them to gardening and let them get their hands dirty!
‘I am delighted that we have developed the concept of the Bio-Garden at Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, not only as an environmental initiative, but also to allow guests to experience the taste of truly local, 100% organic herbs and vegetables. We are keen to further improve this facility as part of our ongoing green initiatives’.
Massimo Venturelli – Executive Chef at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa
How the Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa Bio-Garden is making a difference
- Reduce: The gardening team (with help from wonderful staff volunteers) make their own organic compost using trimmings from the resort’s several kitchens. This means creation of solid waste is reduced while producing great organic fertiliser for the garden.
- Reuse: The resort has developed a water recycling system that reuses water from the resort for irrigation in the garden. Even the irrigation system itself is recycled from the resort golf course. Using an irrigation system rather than watering by hand also saves water.
- Recycle: To fund the garden, the dirty oil from the resort’s kitchens is converted into diesel by an external company. The money generated is then used to buy tools, seeds and pay the wages of the gardener.
The Bio-Garden is dedicated to the memory of Mr Mark Bettsworth, the resort’s General Manager who passed away in 2007.