The main road of Ourika is a bit of a come down: it feels a little like an American strip mall, with hotels, restaurants, shops and workshops all stretched unendingly along the road. It’s hard to see how a saffron growing center or an olive oil museum would fit in here.
In fact, the saffron center is about a kilometer down a side road, with another turning off that road. Suddenly we’re pulling up in front of a gate that seems to have no space for visitors. We park and open the gate and find ourselves in something like a secret garden.
James, resister of goats, is the first to spot this small herd on the other side of the path:
More permaculture! Multiple layers of productivity, with livestock integrated into the growing cycle: eating pruned tree branches, contributing manure to the fields.
Not much to look at now, but imagine this field in early fall, with the saffron in flower:
(web catch of a field in Taliouine, Morocco)
The owner of this land is a medical man based in Casablanca, who has managed to grow truffles on about ten acres outside Immouzer Kandahar, near Ifrane. Mohamed Amine manages this property for him, and has a part to play in the truffle farming as well. We hope to meet up with him in Ifrane or Immouzer sometime this winter.