Abundance of Fruits in 18th Century Barbary (Morocco)

James Grey Jackson

Throughout the descriptions by James Grey Jackson of 18th Century Barbary (Morocco) in the above book, he gives a number of examples of the extensive gardens that existed in the region.

Presumably, seedlings for these fruits were brought from the Middle East – primarily by persons travelling for the hajj and perhaps also by merchants and by early Islamic conquers of North Africa.

Here is an example, amongst many of what Jackson describes by way of fruit gardens.  His description of grape cultivation being on the ground, ‘in the Arabian style’, reflects the influence of those having been on the Hajj – the great diffuser of actions and ideas in the Muslim world.:

The orange plantations of Rabat  are of incalculable extent; the trees are as large as a  middling-sized oak; the vineyards and cotton plantations are  likewise most abundant; and nothing can exceed the good  quality of the grapes, figs, oranges, citrons, apricots,  peaches, and water-melons; the quality of the latter is  peculiarly sweet, they are called Dilla Seed Billa; the seed of  which might be advantageously transported to our new  colony, the Cape of Good Hope.

The vineyards of Rabat are  very extensive; the vines are cultivated in the Arabian  system, on the ground, which is a light sandy soil…


An account of Timbuctoo and Housa: territories in the interior of Africa
Par James Grey Jackson

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-North, Agriculture, Colonialism, Explorers & exploration, Food. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Abundance of Fruits in 18th Century Barbary (Morocco)

  1. Moxtar says:

    There were vineyards in Morocco at least from the Roman era as attested in mosaics in Volubilis Roman ruins. I think that many crops would have more likely been introduced to Morocco from/through the neighbouring Mediterranean than directly from the Middle East, and enough time lapsed to become naturalised.


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