|Chef Chapman and Takia|
The Vital Import /Export plant had only been in operation for one year at the time of our visit. It is primarily responsible for exporting up to 5,000 tons of produce each year. The company employs 350 people and processes approximately 30 tons of produce a day. They plan to expand their operation to process double that amount within a year. Currently, they export artichokes, peaches, figs, strawberries, apricots, rosemary, and blackberries.
|Fresh-leaf mint tea|
On the farm we learned about Moroccan agriculture. It was also interesting to learn that countries such as Spain, France, and America all grow produce in Morocco because of its warm climate and rich soil. America, in particular, grows the Salina variety of strawberries there. The sprouts are first cultivated in Spain and then shipped to Morocco every September at which time they are planted. The length of the strawberry growing season is three to four months.
Isn't this amazing!
Entrée: Chicken Mesfiou
Unfortutely, we did not capture pictures of the appetizers, but the entree and dessert are pictured below.
|Our gracious host (who is in charge of operations at the winery) thoroughly explained the process of wine making.|
|Unused wine barrels are sometimes made into furniture|
|This little fella is not camera shy!|
|Just call me the goat whisperer! (smile)|
|The assortment of cheeses and Moroccan breads were phenominal!|
|Abdul, our TOTALLY AWESOME tour guide!|
|Dean Williams adding beauty to the garden|
We ventured on to a local Argan Oil Cooperative. Moroccan Argan Oil has earned a world-wide reputation as a beneficial ingredient in skin and hair care products in addition to being a heart-healthy gourmet product.
|Traditional oil extraction process of grinding the kernels to extract the oil|
|Takia joined in on the action (far left)|
|Chef, Takia, & Sharon heading to our farewell dinner|