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Argan the tree of life

 

 

 

Argan (argania spinosa) a Moroccan national heritage, a universal heritage.

 

Argan tree 

There is no other place in the whole world where argan trees (argania spinosa) grow, but in Morocco, particularly in  the Berber region between Essaouira and Agadir, on an area of 800 000 hectares.

Argan trees are very resistant and can live up to 200 years and are adapted to droughts and to the arid climate of the south west region of Morocco. They have roots that go deep into the soil to seek  water. They contribute to the stability of the soil and thus limit the spreading of desertification. Argan trees play an important role in maintaining ecological balance as well as in keeping the population in place and insuring a suitable income for them.

UNESCO  recognised The Argan tree as a universal heritage in 1999. It is known for its nutritive, cosmetic and medical virtues and an exotic smell and taste. It's God's indescribable gift.

 

goats feeding on argan tree leaves

 

Argan tree has a green fruit resembling an olive but  bigger. Inside, there is a nut with a solid shell. the nut can contain up to 3 tiny almonds. Argan oil is extracted out of the fruit that is collected when ripe and dry. The skin is taken out to serve as food for cattle, camels or goats, then the shell is broken and the nuts are taken out to be grilled then ground for a nutritive oil of exotic flavour and smell.

After extracting oil, remains a sort of brown dough that is fed to cattle whereas the broken shells are used to make fire. Nothing is left, nothing is lost, all is recycled. Argan oil production is not an easy procedure. It has always been done manually , though commercial constraints make it necessary to use machines that unfortunately have an impact on the entire activity and its traditional and cultural aspects.

 

 

camels feeding on argan tree leaves

 

 

 

The procedure of producing argan oil

Afiache

Berber girl from the Haha region separating argan dry fruit from the skin

argan oil artisanal extraction

Berber lady from the Haha region extracting argan oil

Moroccan ladies extracting argan oil

MOROCCAN BERBER WOMEN AT WORK, EXTRACTING ARGAN OIL IN THE TRADITIONAL WAY

argan nuts

argan nuts & almonds

argan oil extraction

argan nuts after grinding

argan oil ready for consuming

argan oil bottles

 

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