A TRIP TO THE NEAR EAST

3520 W. 12th Street, Indianapolis 22, Indiana

By an Eastern Indiana Farmer

Mr. and Mrs. C. Elmer Ziegler of Greensburg were recently in a
group of farm people who took a four-week tour of Spain, Portugal,
Greece and the Near East, including the Holy Land.

Thirty-two farm people in all made the trip, sponsored by the
Indiana Farm Bureau. The trip was made in September 1962, and when
they arrived in Spain wheat was being harvested threshing was done
by driving over it, and they saw farm women walking walking over
it, tramping out the grain. Majority of farmers, however, had
threshing floors, and spread the straw out and used donkeys to
tramp out the grain from the chaff. The temperature at that time
was 117 degrees.

In this heat the group drove from Seville to Cordoba. They
commented that the farmers need not worry about rain a very dry
climate. As the corn is gathered it is spread on the ground to
dry.

Fascinating to these Indiana farmers, Mrs. Ziegler said, were
the primitive methods. They saw a man plowing with two mules in
front of a pair of oxen. All four animals pulled to plow. As they
drove through small towns, they saw goats muzzled right on the
sidewalks.

Portugal was another story here it is wine, olive oil, and fish
in that order of importance. They also saw large piles of cork, and
were told it takes 12 years for the bark to grow back on the
trees.

In Lisbon the event they remember is one poor soul searching for
his passport a serious thing to lose one. But the man finally found
it underneath all his belongings.

Cairo, Egypt was interesting here they were served butter made
from milk of water buffalo and goats. It was not salted either.
Natives were seen everywhere washing dishes, clothes, and taking
baths in the muddy Nile. And the buffalo were dozing in it too. The
Nile flows north, and the mud in the water is washed up from the
south lands after the rains.

Largest acreage in any one farm in Egypt is 100 acres, and they
raise four rounds of crops per year. They saw a carload of camels
being shipped either to farmers in dryer lands, or to the
nomads.

Dining with the nomads in the midst of the desert was exciting,
and unusual. To get to the pyramids, they rode by camelback, and
saw all 22 pyramids, covering 12 acres. Built 450 feet high they
have stood there since 3,000 B. C.

The Holy Land depends on tourist trade for 70% if its income,
the Zieglers noted. Tourists always see the Sphinx, Jerico,
Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, and the experimental farms at the
American University of Lebanon. In many areas, the agriculture
methods are the same as in the life time of Christ though that is
hard to believe to some who have never seen the Holy Land. In some
spots though, they saw irrigation being practiced, and the water
was either pumped by human power or donkeys were used.

Israel, though, was the exception-it is a modern and up-to-date
farming country.

All along the way, U.S. officials were conferred with, and all
agriculture educators and researchers were contacted by the group
of farmers.

Farm Collector Magazine
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