The Agrarian Society of Malta.

Subtitle

MITT SENA ILU.

Dr Joseph Borg. President, Socjeta’ Agrarja 

Is-Sena 1916, li kienet is-sena tan-nofs ta’ L-ewwel Gwerra dinjija [1914-1918], kellha effett qawwi fuq pajjizna, mhux biss ghal fatt li kellna diversi kampjijiet ta’prigunieri tal-gwerra, specjalment fil-Kottonera, u attivita’ kbira merkantili u militari izda anke t-temp zboxxla bl-ikreh matul dik is-sena. Il-biedja sofriet sew.

Fir-rapport [i] tas-segretarju tas-socjeta’ Agrarja ta’ dak iz-zmien, John Briffa li ghamel dwar l-andament tal-wirja tal-Imnarja ta’ dik is-sena, jaghti stampa cara tat-temp li kellhom ihabbtu wicchom il-bdiewa Maltin. Dan ghaliex it-temp ma kienx bhas-soltu izda tgerfex wahda sew.. Fil-harifa m’ghamlitx xita. Izda fix-xitwa x-xita kienet bnina. Fil-bidu tar-rebbiegha ghamel rih shun aktar mis-soltu, waqt li mbaghad f’April it-temperatura regghet nizlet sew. Veru li x-xita li ghamlet f’April kienet ta’ siwi ghal faxxina tal-qasbija, izda warajha gabet shana qawwija f’nofs Mejju. Biex tghaqad, rih shun f’Gunju kompla jkabbar il-problemi. Tant li z-zbul tal-qamgh wix-xghir kienu fqar. Is-sigar tal-frott inkluzi tac-citru batew sew. L-ucuh tal-patata wil-basal fil-baghli batew ukoll. Izda minn naha l-ohra l-arja niexfa u t-temperaturi gholjin ghinu biex ikun hemm anqas attakki ta’mard u moffa fil-patata mwahhra u fid-dwieli. Minkejja dawn l-izvantaggi, il-wirja tal-Imnarja kienet success. Dan ir-rapport juri kif il-biedja minn dejjem kellha tiffaccja l-isfidi tal-klima. Izda ,issa , disghin sena wara, qed naraw li l-isfida tal-bdil fil-klima zdiedet qatigh, mhux biss ghalina izda ghad-dinja kollha. F’dan id-dawl, kienet t’importanza kbira li pajjizna jiehu sehem hekk attiv fil-Konferenza Dinjija ghal-Bdil fil-Klima li saret f’Parigi f’Dicembru s-sena l-ohra. Dan ghaliex kull nazzjon ghandu l-obbligu li jiehu passi amministrattivi biex inaqqas l-emissjonijiet fl-arja li qed joholqu tant gharghar, nixfa,maltemp qalil u barra minn zmienu, biex ma nsemmux l-gholi fl-livell tal-bahar. Lilna, din ta’ l-ahhar mhux biss taffettwa x-xtut taghna biss, izda b’mod partikulari, lill-bdiewa li ghandhom ir-raba qrib il-bahar jew imsoqqija bi spieri tal-ilma tal-pjan. Dan ghaliex l-ilma mtellgha minn dawn l-ispieri jkun salmastru mhux biss ghal parti mis-sena izda ghal perijodi itwal. Ghalhekk hu dmir taghna lkoll li f’kull pass li naghmlu nqisuh sew u naraw li jaqbel mar-rakkomandazzjonjiet wil-mizuri tal-Awtoritajiet biex innaqqsu l-emissjonijiet.

.[i] Atti della Societa’ Economico Agraria del Gruppo di Malta pel 1916- Rapporto della cinquantesima-ottava Esposizione Agraria.- ARKIVJU SOCJETA’ AGRARJA

L-IMNARJA – Festa Folklorista. 


Joseph Borg, President, Socjeta’ Agrarja.


Missierijitna kienu jaghrfu x-xhur minn xi rit jew festa religjuza jew xi avveniment kulturali- marbutin maghhom. Hekk nghidu ahna ix-xahar ta’ Jannar kienu jsibuh bhala ‘Tal-Istrina’, dak ta’ Frar bhala ‘Ta’ San Pawl’ u jibqghu sejrin ghax-xhur kollha. Gunju kienu jsibuh bhala ‘tal-Imnarja’ .Ghal Maltin, specjalment il- bidwi wir-rahhal, l-Imnarja tal-imghoddi kienet tfisser harga ghall-Imdina ghall-festa ta’ San Pietru u San Pawl flimkien ma ftit mistrieh fil- Buskett qabel it-tigrijiet tal-bhejjem taht is-Saqqajja li kienu jithabbru minn qabel permess tal-Bandu.

Meta fl-1854 il-Gvernatur hareg permess lis-Socjeta’ Agrarja biex torganizza wirja agrikola fil-Buskett minflok fil-belt Valletta bhal ma kien qed isir, biex proprju tahbat mal-festa tal-Imnarja, il-popolarita’ ta’ din il-festa fost il-poplu kollu zdiedet sew.Il-wirja agrarja, mifruxa fuq lejlet u n-nofs ta’ nhar ta’ fil-ghodu nhar l-Imnarja, kienet tkun okkazzjoni mhux biss sabiex il-bdiewa u rahhala jikkompetu bl-isbah bhejjem, tjur u prodotti agrikoli, u biex jaraw x’hemm gdid fis-suq izda wkoll biex jiddevertu ftit bl-ghana u l-ikel msajjar fil-berah, specjalment il-fenek mixwi akkumpanjat minn xarba nbid. Kien isir ukoll negozju ta’ bejgh u ta’ xiri ta’ zrieragh, ta’ bhejjem u tjur ghat-tnissil, kif ukoll riklamar ta’ ghoddod godda fis-suq. Dan ghaliex mal-migja tal-Inglizi, u permess tal-wirja, bdew dehlin ukoll f’pajjizna ghodda tal-hadid ghall-biedja, bhar-rixtellu migbud minn bhima, mohriet kollu tal-hadid, gageg tal-metal ghat-tjur u ghodda ohra moderna ghal dak iz-zmien*.

Kien fl-Imnarja tal- 1875, meta fl-indirizz tal-Baruni Testaferrata Abela, president tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja, lil Sir Charles Van Straubenzee, li kien qed jippresedi l-ghoti tar-rigali lir-rebbieha tal-wirja, l-president tenna l-proposta lill- Eccellenza Tieghu ghad-dhul tal-ferrovija f’Malta [ l’inaugurazione d’una strada di ferro]* Dan biex jikber il-kummerc.

Hekk kif kienu jinghataw il-premjijiet, kulhadd kien jitlaq mill-Buskett u jerhilha ghar-Rabat biex jilhaq it-tigrijet tal-Imnarja taht is-Saqqajja li kienu jibdew kmieni wara nofs in-nhar, biex qabel jibda jidlam kulhadd kien jista jasal f’daru, la darba l-karozzin, il-kaless wil-karettun kienu l-uniku mezz ta’ transport ta’ dak iz-zmien.

Is-snin gerrbu gmielhom u wasalna sal-lum li qeghdin qrib l-Imnarja. Il-Bandu, il-wirja agrikola ghadhom isiru, u l-istess ix-xalar, l-ghana u l-ghoti tal-premjijiet mill-Kap tal-Istat. Il-parata bil-bhejjem armati li titlaq mis-Saqqajja lejn il-Busket lejlet l-Imnarja ghas-7.00 ta’ fl-ghaxija tfakkarna fis-serbut karettuni u karozzini li kienu jtellghu n-nies ghall festa tal-Imnarja. Il-lum hawn il-vannijiet, karozzi privati u trasport publiku li d-dlam ma jfixkilhomx. It-tlielaq tal-bhejjem taht is-Saqqajja,fl-istess post bhal darhi, issa qed isiru aktar tard wara nofs in-nhar biex tigi evitata l-qilla tax-xemx minn fuq il-bhejjem. Il-Gallarija tal-Paljijiet jew Tribuna, li nbiet fl-1696, issa qed tigi restawrata. Qatt innutajt li mhazzez fuqha hemm kliem bil –Latin li jfisser “ Lil Min Igerri l-Ahjar” u l-annu? Qatt innutajt li l-korsa tat-tlielaq tghaddi ezatt minn ma genb it-Tribuna u mbaghad tidjieq sew f’daqqa taht it-triq publika? Din tfasslet apposta biex jekk xi bhima tahrab, tintlaqa’ u tinqabad hawn bil-facilita’ kollha.L-ewwel darba li tkun tiela lejn is-Saqqajja, hekk kif tghaddi dahar it-Tribuna max-xellug aghtiha daqqa t’ghajn. Kemm ghandna mkejjen storici. * Arkivji tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja

Dan l-artiklu deher fil-harga tal-GWIDA ta’ Gunju 2106


L-IMNARJA- An old, popular Feast.


By Joseph Borg, President of Socjeta’ Agrarja.


The feast of St. Peter and St.Paul which falls on the 29th of June, has always been celebrated with great pomp at the Cathedral of the Old Capital, Mdina, long before the Knights came to Malta. The city walls and the roof of the Cathedral used to be lit up with beacons and torches, [ [ fjakkoli ] which gave the name to this feast as l-Imnarja, derived from the Italian word Luminarja, meaning light.

Falling in early summer when the harvesting season is practically over, the feast has long acquired popularity among the farming community and so farmers and their families from all over the island used to converge to Mdina’s Cathedral to attend the religious functions and procession , as a way of thanksgiving for the Year’s yields and as a short respite from their daily toils.

They used to spend the eve and the feast day, in Rabat and in the surrounding countryside, finding shelter from the scorching mid-day sun, under the trees,. Nearby Buskett, a woodland garden planted by the Knights, eventually became a popular resting place. Here and in the surrounding area, firewood for cooking a meal as well as leaves of the Laurel to savour the rabbit meat cooked in wine, were readily available. Our national dish found its origin here. Folk singing or Ghana, as well as equine races were also highlights of these gatherings.

The Bandu or announcement of the holding of the feast- related equine races and of the main rules of the races, used to be announced by the town crier in Mdina and Rabat. This custom was eventually entrusted to the Socjeta’ Agrarja after the Knights left Malta, and is still held to this day at Mdina and Rabat – and since the year 2000, also in Valletta- on the last Saturday before the 28th June.

The Imnarja took a larger dimension when in 1854, the British Governor, Sir William Reid authorized the Socjeta’ Agrarja , which was established in 1844 and pre dates the Department of Agriculture, to hold its annual agricultural show in Buskett to coincide with the popular feast of St Peter and St Paul, as hitherto its shows used to be held in Valletta or in Floriana. Such was the popularity of this feast and the rural gathering, that it was common for the groom to bind himself, in the matrimonial contract, to take his bride to this feast.

Thus the traditional agricultural Show at Buskett supported by stalls offering traditional food, including the national dish Fenkata –a rabbit meat based dish, as we know it today, came into being. In the evening equine races are held in Rabat, below Saqqajja hill. Palji or banners, very similar to the ones awarded in equine races in Siena, are awarded to winners of these races..Within living memory, it was a sight, seeing in the evening, streaming down in groups from Saqqajja towards the villages before sunset. the horse drawn carts, cabs [Karrozzini ] and carriages , decorated for the occasion and carrying whole families, many of whom proudly carrying the palji and trophies, while towing cattle and equines,

This article was written for the June 2016 issue of the in-Flight Magazine of Air Malta, ‘Il-Bizzilla’


HAL BALZAN WIS-SIGAR TAC-CITRU


Kitba ta’ Dr. Joseph Borg. President tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja.


Hal-Balzan, wiehed mit-tlitt irhula msemmijin ghall-gonna moghnija bis-sigar tac-citru, ghandu tifkira specjali ghaliex fi gnien f’dan ir-rahal tfaccat ghall-ewwel darba l-laringa tad-demm biz-zokra [Egg Blood Orange] lejn is-snin 1859 skond il-botanista u tabib Balzani l-professur Ganni Borg [1873-1945] [i].

Il-varjeta’tal-laringa Maltija tad-demm [Malta Blood Orange], skond il-publikazzjoni ta’ Rossi, ‘The Natural History of Orange trees’, mitbugh fl-1747, hija varjeta qadima lokali tal-laring u ghalhekk ma nistaghgbux meta naraw li minn dik il-varjeta’ , in-natura wehedha harget il-varjeta’ l-ohra [ li tissejjah sport] tal-laring tad-demm biz-zokra.

Dan il-fenonimu tan-natura, imsejjah ‘sport’ ghandu l-possibilta’ li aktar jista’ jigri meta jkun hemm diversi varjetajiet ta’ l-istess speci ta’sigar jew pjanti fi kwantitajiet mdaqqsa qrib xuilxin. Li fit-tlitt irhula ta’H’Attard, Hal-Balzan u Hal-Lija kien hemm bosta gonna bic-citru sa minn zmien l-Gharab huwa dokumentat, inkluz ukoll fil-kuntratti ta’ bejgh ta’ djar u proprjetajiet. Aktar tard fi zmien il-Kavallieri nafu wkoll li dawn gabu aktar varjetajiet ta’ laring specjalment mill-Portugall.

Qabel ma l-Kavallier Fra Antoine de Paule lahaq Gran Mastru, diga’ kellu villa mzejna bi gnien f’xifer H’Attard. Meta fl-1623 lahaq Gran Mastru, kabbarha fil-Palazz ta’ Sant’ Anton.[ii] Nafu wkoll li aktar tard l-Gran Mastru de Rohan, fl-1776, xtara aktar artijiet minn Hal-Balzan biex ghaqqadhom mal-gnien tal-Palazz u hawwilhom bic-citru [ii].

Il-fama tat-tjubija tal-laring Malti ma kienetx maghrufa biss f’pajjizna , izda wkoll barra minn xtutna. Infatti, fis-seklu tmintax il-kavallieri kienu jesportaw diversi prodotti inkluz il-laring lejn diversi pajjizi fl-Ewropa u lejn Tripli. F’sensiela ta’ ittri mill-Abbe’Louis Savoye lil zijuh f’Parigi , tissemma l- esportazzjoni regolari ta’ laring minn Malta lejn Parigi. F’Ittra ta’ Abbe’ L. Savoye bid-data tat -12 ta’ Lulju 1781, hu jikteb li l-laring ta’ kwalita’ li kien esporta, kien gej minn diversi gonna, fosthom minn gonna f’Hal- Balzan.[iii]. Terga, f’rendikont tieghu li jkopri l-perijodu bejn l-1 ta’ Lulju 1780 sat- 30 ta’ Mejju 1781, l’Abbe Savoye isemmi li gabar 40 tuzzana laring minn gnien ta’ Sinjura minn Hal-Balzan[iii] barra minn gonna ta’ rhula ohrajn. Dawn jinkludu, Birkirkara, H’Attard, Hal Lija, in-Naxxar, is-Siggiewi , Santa Venera, San Giljan, kif ukoll mill-gonna ta’ Sant’ Anton u mill -Buskett.

Din l-esportazzjoni tal-laring u lumi baqghet ghaddejja anke meta dahlu l-Inglizi. Infatti f’rapport li ghamel il-Kontrollur tad-Dwana F.V.Inglott fl-1875, lis-socjeta’ Agrarja, li dak iz-zmien kienet lunika ghaqda ufficcjali dwar l-agrikoltura, peress li d-dipartiment tal-Biedja kien ghadu ma twelidx, Malta esportat 27,812 tuzzana lumi ,71,9106 laring u 172 qantar qxur tal-laring fi xkejjer u btieti [iv].

F’Hal Balzan, matul iz-zmien nbnew djar, vilel u palazzi li kollha hasbu biex ikollhom gardina bis-sigar tac-citru maghhom. Ma nistghagbux li dan sehh ghax wara kollox ir-rahal huwa kenni bl-ogholjiet madwaru, specjalment minn naha tat-tramuntana wil-majjistral mnejn jonfoh l-aktar ir-rih f’pajjizna. Terga u tghid Hal-Balzan , bhaz-zewgt irhula l-ohra ta’ Hal-Lija u H’Attard, kellhom l-opportunita’ li jiehdu l-ilma mill-akkwedott ta’ Wignacourt li kellu fergha ghaddejja, f’kanali taht l-art, minn naha ta’ triq Durumblat, il-Mosta, lejn tal-Mirakli, f’Hal-Lija, ghall-gnien tal-Kmand.[ii] Minn gibjuni kbar f’Tal-Kmand, l-ilma kien jissewwaq f’kanali taht l-art, ghall- gibjun li hemm fil-kitchen garden tal-Palazz ta’ Sant’ Anton kif ukoll lejn toroq fil-partijiet il-qodma tat-tlitt irhula biex jaghti ilma fix-xitwa ghall-hazna f’ ghadd ta’ djar u gonna privati. Din is-sistema baqghet tintuza sas -snin bikrin tas-sittinijiet.[ii] B’Hekk il-gonna kellhom kenn mill-irjihat, raba tajjeb u ilma ghat-tisqija fis-sajf- kollha l-ingridjenti ghas-success tac-citru.

Barra minn hekk, peress li fil-palazz ta’ Sant’ Anton kien hemm il-kap tal-pajjiz, dan gibed lejh nies nobbli u setghana li kien jaqblilhom, ghal bosta ragunijiet, li jkunu vicin ic-cirku tal-amministrazzjoni tal-gzira. Dan jixhduh il-villel wil-palazzi ta’livell gholi arkitettoniku li nbnew minn nobbli u minn nies ghonja. Hawn dokumentazzjoni ta’ ghadd minn dawn il-binjiet storici fir-rahal li ghadhom jezistu fi-zmienna[iv].

Fir-rapport annwali tad-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura ghas-sena April 1937- Marzu 1938 gie dikjarat li fiz-zewgt irhula ta’ Hal Balzan u Hal-Lija kien hemm 30 acres [jew 108.6 tomna] imhawwlin bis-sigar tac-citru. Meta wiehed jara, li skond dan ir-rapport, t-total t’art mhawwla bis-sigar tac-citru f’ Malta kollha[barra f’Ghawdex] kien ta’ 180 acres. Ir-Rapport juri li fiz-zewgt irhula kien hawn l-aktar sigar tac-citru wara s-Siggiewi li kellu 40 acres [v]. Jien ghazilt dan ir-rapport li hareg fil-bidu tat-tieni gwerra dinjija, ghax minn wara l-gwerra ‘l hawn bdew jinfethu ghadd sew ta’ torq f’Hal Balzan li zgur kellhom effett negattiv fuq ir-raba wil-gonna [vi], ghax kif jinfethu t-toroq jibda tiela’ l-bini.

Sfortunatament il-lum m’ghadx fadal daqshekk art ddedikata ghas-sigar tac-citru fir-rahal. Ghalhekk huwa ta’ htiega kbira li dak li fadal nghozzuh u nahdmu biex ma jintilifx. Wara kollox il-motto ta’ Hal Bazan huwa “Mdawwar bil-gonna minn kullimkien.”

Referenzi.

[i]Cultivation and Diseases of Fruit Trees in the Maltese Islands- 1922 Gov. print. office-J.Borg, MA, MD.

Iii] The Public Gardens and Groves of the Maltese Islands- 200 Colour Image. Joseph Borg.

[iii] Le Commerce des oranges entre Malte et la France au XV111 Siecle- 2003-Editions Bouchene, -Alain Blondy.

[ iv] Rendiconto della Espozione Agraria del 1875. Societa’ Economica Agraria del Gruppo di Malta.

[v] Annual Report on the working of the Department of Agriculture during 1937-1938. Gov. Print. Office 1939

[vi] Hal-Balzan, Grajjietu sa l-1999-Kunsill Lokali Balzan 2004. Mons Dun Gwann Dimech.

Dan l-artiklu deher ghall-ewwel darba fil-harga tal-Programm tal-Kazin tal-Banda San Gabriel ta’ Hal-Balzan, ghal-Festa titulari ta’ Marija Annunzjata, 2016.


Tree Planting project in Comino.


By Dr. Joseph Borg- President, Socjeta’ Agrarja


Dan l-artiklu deher fil-programm tal-wirja ta' din is-sena ta' Santa Marija fir-Rabat Ghawdex


is-socjeta' taghna taghti l-appogg taghha lis-socjeta Agrikola, Industrijali u Kulturali Ghawdxija ghall-wirja ta' Santa Marija fil-Gnien Rundle.


During 1976, the Italian Government , on the request of the Maltese Authorities requesting help in greening Malta, commissioned a Research Centre of the University of Catania [CSR], to draw up a comprehensive report on the state of Agriculture and related afforestation projects in the Maltese Islands. The experts, including the author, submitted their report to Government the following year.

.

One of the proposals made in the report regarding the possibility of increasing public areas under tree cover, was by means of a relatively [ for Malta] new way of reclaiming land for afforestation purposes. This consisted of the ripping, by heavy machinery, of areas carrying shallow soils, and the incorporation therein of farm yard manure in order to speed up the soil forming process. The go-ahead was given and labour and material drawn from both Gozo and Malta,were made available for the projects.

In 1978 the local pig industry was drastically hit by the African Swine Fever which resulted in the total eradication [ through the decease or by slaughter] of all the swine in both Malta and Gozo. Malta was given a Lm2.5 million grant by the E.E.C [ the European Economic Community, now the E.U] to restructure from scratch the pig industry, which restructuring was estimated to cost Lm 5 million. The plan included the building of a pig breeding station in Comino, where no pigs were raised since the early sixties. The first breeding stock entered the newly built farm in December 1979. From this breeding station, the Maltese and Gozitan livestock breeders were given their quota of piglets for fattening and for breeding. By December 1980 a head count of pigs in the Comino Station resulted in a figure of 3000 heads. This meant a sizable amount of pig slurry was available to be utilized rather then be transported to mainland Malta, at a very prohibitive cost or be discharged into the sea until a slurry treatment plant was built. It was this factor which made the author, then a high official of the Department of Agriculture, choose Comino for the recommended new type of land reclamation as recommended by the CSR study. It is opportune to mention that the station was closed down by 2009, when the pig breeding operation, was transferred to main land Malta


the Australian  Government accepted to help in this pilot project, by donating a bulldozer [ with ripper], a tracked mechanical shovel, lorries and a road roller. This machinery was used for the building of access tracks to the pilot area, to the Station, to the landing quay as well as for land reclamation. All heavy machinery arrived in late 1980 and by the following summer was already operational in Comino and the project under way as directed by the author, who, amongst other duties, was enstrusted with this project Four sites on Comino carrying terraced fields but with a shallow soil profile, were identified. One was near the Forn [Bakery building, rehabilitated to cater as a working yard and emergency accommodation for the project staff whenever rough seas disrupted the boat transfer of workers to Malta ], another just below the road leading to the Wied Ernu landing quay, and another one close to the farm residence of the three Comino inhabitants. These sites were earmarked for afforestation purposes, while another area north to the Pig Farm, was detailed for vine and olive tree planting.

The system used here was to identify those fields carrying a low soil depth. The top soil was bulldozed aside to lay bare the bed rock. The bulldozer, armed with one ripper, ploughed furrows in the bed rock at a spacing of 2 metres and crisscrossed again at 2 metres. In this way the hardy, weathered crust of the rock was opened, and mostly pulverized by the heavy machinery. Moreover layers of softer rocks, as well as pockets of layers of soil, were unearthed considering that our rock formation is of the sedimentary type. Truck loads of slurry from the nearby pig station were deposited on the ploughed areas and, together with the soil previously found on site, were distributed on the ripped areas. Planting of forestry seedlings, raised in nurseries of the Department of Agriculture in Malta and Gozo, was carried out the following winters along the easily discernible furrows. The species used for the three afforestation sites were the Aleppo pine [Pinus halepensis], the Tamarisk [Tamarix africana, T. gallica, T. articulata],the evergreen, fast grower wattle tree [Acacia saligna] as a front liner in extreme areas, pomegranates [Punica granatum] , Olives [Olea europea], carobs[ Ceratonia siliqua] and figs [Ficus carica]. The wattle tree was used as a nursery tree to provide protection to other tree species from the saline winds, as well as to cope with the bark damages caused by the avaricious appetite of the wild rabbits.

A drip irrigation system for the plantations was installed, drawing water from the pig slurry treatment plant. This system was essential not only to use the available irrigation water sparingly but also to minimize the effects, on the soil, of the water’s high level of salinity. The conductivity level of the potable water supply to the pig farm, which eventually found its way into the sewage treatment plant, was already on the high side, so much so that even the calcium content of the pig feed- pellets had to be adjusted. Another problem we had to face was the control of the rodent population attracted to the island by the pig farm. Although rodent control measures were regularly undertaken, they initially caused us problems in summer, in their search for drinking water by gnawing the drip irrigation lines. Eventually we lowered these damages by placing small containers, at random, under a few drip nozzles, thus leaving drinking water readily available .These actions were successful because the Pines the Tamarisk and the Wattle seedlings, survived and to-day they stand more than 4 metres tall.

This was not an easy project considering the fact that all men and materials had to be transported by sea from Malta and from Gozo. Personnel commuted daily to Comino by using the Patrol Boats of AFM, while equipment, machinery, building materials etc were brought over by commissioning the flat-bottomed Melitaland ferry in between that ship’s ferry service schedule between Malta and Gozo.

In late 1984 the planting project was abandoned following the transfer to other duties of key personnel of the Department of Agriculture engaged on the project, which resulted in the high failure of the fruit seedlings which could not survive without irrigation and routine maintenance. Fortunately the hardy species of Pines, Tamarisk and the wattle tree, not only survived but to-day are providing oasis of green tree cover so noticeable in the dry summer months of windswept Comino.

References.

Afforestation Project- Report by Centro Studi Ricerche, Universita’ di Catania- 1977- Various authors

The Public Gardens and Groves of the Maltese Islands- Joseph Borg, 2005

Annual Reports of the Department of Agriculture -1976 to 1984


IT-TWELID TA’ WIRJIET AGRIKOLI F’MALTA U GHAWDEX.


Kitba ta’ Joseph Borg C.D.H.’ N.D.H.[Amenity],Ph.D. [Hort],Essex.

President tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja.


Dan l-artiklu deher fil-programm tal-wirja ta' din is-sena ta' Santa Marija fir-Rabat Ghawdex


is-socjeta' taghna taghti l-appogg taghha lis-socjeta Agrikola, Industrijali u Kulturali Ghawdxija ghall-wirja ta' Santa Marija fil-Gnien Rundle.


Fil-ktejjeb tal-Wirja tal-Biedja u Snajja tas-sena l-ohra deher artiklu nteressanti tas-Sur Anton Attard, B.A. dwar l-ewwel wirja agrikola f’Ghawdex. Dan hajjarni biex nikkonsulta l-arkivju tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja halli nitfa ftit dawl fuq kif bdew dawn il-wirijiet f’Malta u f’Ghawdex.

Hekk kif il-Francizi telqu minn Malta, il-gvern kolonjali Ingliz kellu jara kif jibni diversi strutturi biex iqanqlu u jtejbu l-ekonomija ta’ pajjizna. Settur wiehed importanti kien dak tal-biedja.

Fl-1844 il-gvern qabbad lis-socjeta’ tat-tobba, li kienet maghrufa bhala is-Societa’ Medica d’incorragimento di Malta biex tfassal statut ghall-holqien ta’ socjeta’ agrikola. Gie nominat segretarju li flimkien ma 40 membru tas-socjeta’ tat-tobba kellhom ifasslu statut ta’socjeta agrarja.

Fil-21 ta’ Marzu 1844, is-segretarju tal-gvern Sir Hugh Grant approva l-istatut u fit-12 t’April ta’ l-istess sena inhatar l-ewwel kumitat tas-socjeta’ l-gdida li hadet l-isem ta’ Societa’ Economica Agraria del Gruppo di Malta. Hadet dan l-isem biex tinkludi lil Malta, lil Ghawdex u lil Kemmuna. Dan l-isem baqa jintuza sal 1940 meta s-socjeta hadet l-isem ta’ Socjeta’ Agrarja , kif baqghet tissejjah sal-lum*.

Il-professur Stefana Zerafa inhatar bhala l-ewwel president tal-ghaqda l-gdida, b’21 vot minn 24 membri prezenti u bhala segretarju inhatar Antonio Schembri. Il-Professur Zerafa kien dak li sab ix-xitla Widnet il-bahar tikber f’xifer l-idumijiet taz-Zurrieq u li mbaghad saret ix-xitla nazzjonali ta’ Malta. Antonio Schembri kien neguzjant kbir , Konslu ghall-Belgju u ornitologista.

Il-ghan principali tas-socjeta’ l-gdida kienet li ggib il-quddiem lis-settur tal-biedja permess ta’ tixrid ta’ taghlim tekniku, ta’ provi ta’ prodotti agrikoli godda, inkluzi razzez t’annimali , tjur u fniek u l-imodernizzar ta’ ghoddet il-bidwi. Is-socjeta bdiet tikri ghelieqi f’diversi nhawi f’Malta biex taghmel il-provi taghha u xxerred qalb il-bdiewa ir-rizultati miksuba. Dawn l-ghelieqi li kienu jissejhu Campi modelli u kull wiehda kellha direttur, kienu jigu mhajjra izuruhom il-bdiewa wir-rahhala halli jaraw b’ghajnejhom il-progress li kien isir biex jitghallmu minnhom.Ta’ min jinnota li dak iz-zmien id dipartiment tal-Biedja ma kienx jezisti,

Dan it-taghrif agrikolu gdid beda jinxtered ukoll permess ta’wirjiet agrikoli li bdew isiru mis-socjeta’ fil-Belt Valletta.Ghal dawn il-wirjiet bdiewa minn Ghawdex u minn Kemmuna kienu jkunu mhegga jiehdu sehem fihom ukoll. Il-wirjiet bdew izidu fil-popolarita’ ghax il-bidwi wir-rahhal wera interess sew fil-prodotti u razzez ta’ bhejjem lib dew jidhru f’pajjizna. Bdew jindunaw ukoll li hemm possibilta’ ta’ ftuh ta’ swieq godda ghall-prodotti taghhom, sew loklament kif ukoll barra minn xtutna. Dan l-interess wassal biex fl-1854 saret l-ewwel wirja fil-Buskett nhar l-Imnarja fuq skala kbira biex festa popolari qadima tintrabat maghha il-wirja agrikola sabiex izzid fil-popolarita’ *.


Bhala thejjija ghal din il-wirja fuq skala nazzjonali, il-kumitat ifforma sotto kumitati ghal diversi rhula Maltin u wiehed ghal-Ghawdex. Dan t’Ghawdex kellu r-responsabbilta’ li jhajjar bdiewa u proprjetarji ta’ raba tar-Rabat, tan-Nadur u tal-Gharb jiehdu sehem fil-wirja tal-Buskett, Malta. Kull-kumitat kellu wkoll ihajjar lill-kappillani biex ihabbru il-wirja u jheggu lill-bdiewa jiehdu sehem. Kienu wkoll jilqghu donazzjoijiet ta’ flus biex ikun hemm fondi bizzejjed ghall-premjijiet. L-Inglizi malajr indunaw x’qawwa kellu kull kappillan fuq il-parruccani tieghu u ghalhekk avvizi important tal-gvern kienu jinqraw anke minn fuq l-artal. L-avviz tal-wirja Agrikola ghalhekk inghata din l-opportunita’ wkoll, b’success*.

Din l-ewwel wirja nazzjonali fil-Buskett taht id-dell tal-Palazz ta’ Verdala, kienet success. Fir-rapport li sar wara l-wirja hargu diversi punti nteressanti. Fost dawn kien hemm il-fatt li l-esebiti li ddahhlu mill-gzira ta’ Kemmuna, kienu kaxkru hafna premjijiet. Fost dawn l-esebiti rebbieha, ghax ta’ kwalita gholja, kien hemm il-gbejniet tan-naghag, ghasel, xema, sreidek, tigieg u Fagan[**] Dak iz-zmien f’Kemmuna kien hemm ghadd ta’ familji jahdmu r-raba u jirghaw il-bhejjem.

Kien f’dan l-isfond li s-socjeta hadet decizjoni li f’Ghawdex tibda tittella’ wirja ghaliha li giet ffissata mal-festa ta’ L-Assunta peress li dak in-nhar tithallas il-qbiela. Barra minn hekk wirja dak in-nhar ma kienetx ittellef dik ta’ Gunju fil-Buskett. Infatti nhatar il Comitato Mostra Agricola Industriale fi hdan l-istess Socjeta’ Agrarja biex jorganizza l-ewwel wirja f’Ghawdex. Fir-rapport li s-segretarju tas-Socjeta Agrarja ghamel dwar il-wirjiet fil-Buskett f’Malta u ghall-ewwel darba f’Ghawdex fil-festa ta’ Santa Marija. Huwa semma kif inholqu sotto kumitati ghall-Malta u ohra ghal Ghawdex, biex jirsistu ghall-wirjiet.

Is-sotto kumitat ghal-Ghawdex kien maghmul hekk-

Ghar-Rabato- Dr. A Garroni, Rev. Canonico Bondi u Dr. Felice Mercieca.

Ghall- Garbo [Gharb]- Dr. Luigi Bondi, Dr. Giuseppe Agius u Dr. Edwardo Sammut.

Ghan-Nadur – Rev.Dr. Demetrio Galea, Rev. Salvatore Vella u Signor Gius. Busuttil. Fid-19 ta’ Dicembru 1854 Rev. Alberto Mallia gie nominat flok Rev. Dr. Galea li rtira n-nominazzjoni tieghu *.

L-ewwel wirja fir-Rabat Ghawdex , li ghaliha hadmu u attendew fiha is-sur Giuseppe Gauci Azzopardi, President tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja u s-sur James Aspinall , segretarju, flimkien mas –sur Antonio Schembri, kienet success.***.

Hekk inzerghet iz-zerriegha li tatna is-Socjeta’ Agrikola, Industrijali u Kulturali Ghawdxija tal-lum.

Nawgurawlha ‘Ad multos annos’.

Referenzi;

Minuti tal-laqghat tas-SocIeta’ Economica Agraria del Gruppo dio Malta, ghas-snin 1844, 1854, 1855- Arkivju tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja [ASA].

** Rapporto presentato alla Societa’ Economica-Agraria del Comitato della Prima espozizione del Boschetto, tenuta nel giorno della’ Festivita’ dei Santo Pietro e Paolo dell’anno 1855, Appendice E [ASA].

*** Premi dati nell’Espozizione del Gozo, il 14 agosto 1855. [ ASA].


Nota Ir-ritratti li ma jidhrux fil website tistghaw tarawhom fil-Facebook, Zur il- Pagna tas Socjeta fuq The Agrarian Society of Malta.

Grazzi.

IL-WIRJA TAL-IMNARJA TIMXI MAZ-ZMIENIJIET.

   Kitba ta’ Dott. Joseph Borg, president tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja.


Mal- waqfa tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja fl-1844, dlonk bdiet torganizza wirjiet agrikoli, ghax il-mira tas-socjeta’ Agrarja dejjem kienet li thares xi progress kien qed isir, barra minn xtutna, fis-settur agrikolu. Meta fl-1854 il-wirja bdiet issir fil-Buskett bil-permess tal-Gvernatur  Sir William Reid u b’hekk intrabtet mal-festa ta’ San Pietru u San Pawl fl-Imdina, il-popolarita’ tal-wirja tal-Imnarja aktar issahhet. 

Varjetajiet godda ta’ zrieragh, hxejjex, u ta’ mghalef addattati ghall-ambjent taghna, bdew dehlin gmielhom. L-istess ghal razzez t’annimali tar-razzett [animali d’alta corte] u tjur u fniek [animali di bassa corte]. Wiehed ma jridx jinsa li dak iz-zmien l-Imperu Ingliz kellu flotta mxerrda mad-dinja kollha, u ghalhekk il-kuntatt ma pajjizi barranin aktar kotor, kif ukoll li l-gvernaturi Inglizi kellhom kull interess li l-produzzjoni lokali ta’ hxejjex tal-ikel, tal-mghalef, u tal-bhejjem, timxi l-quddiem. Fir-rapport tal-wirja tal-Imnarja tal-1867,mahrug mis-socjeta’ Agrarja u miktub bit-taljan, insibu li ghall-wirja ta’ dik is-sena , iddahhlu ghall-wirja razez godda- wahda Ingliza  u ohra  ta’ Castellomare, ta’ majjali tar-refa’ [verri e scrofe].*

L-istess issemmew il-varjetajiet godda tal-patata, li minkejja in-nixfa tax-xitwa, il-prodott kien sabih. L-esebiti tal-harir mtellghin minn certi Giuseppe Gauci u Lorenzo Zammit, li kienu jrabbu d-dudu tal-harir, gew imfahhra mill-imhallfin tant li qalu li jistghu jikkompetu ma prodott Taljan. Dak iz-zmien kien ghad hawn industrija ckejkna tad-dudu tal-harir, izda li ma tantx qabdet art, sa ma mietet mewta naturali. Ir-raguni ewlenija kienet li pajjizna ma jistghax ikollu sigar tac-cawsli bizzejjed biex imantni d-dudu tal-harir fi kwantita’ kummercjali, li jghix fuq il-weraq taghhom.

Maz-zmien bdew jidhru fil-wirja makkinarji tal-biedja, bhal mohriet tal-hadid, magni tad-dris, pompI tal-ilma u rdieden tar-rih, pompi tal-bexx  u tat-tghabbir impurtati minn barra, sakemm bdew jidhru wkoll il-muturi tal-hart ta’ kull qies u ditti differenti. In-neguzjanti mill-ewwel innutaw l-importanza tal-wirja, biex jirriklamawhom. Dan hu punt vantaggjus ghal kullhadd, minkejja li llum bil-computer issib li tird, ghax fil-wirja tara, tmiss b’idejk u tiddiskuti, dak li qed jigi offrut fis-suq lokali.

Fi zmienna, mhux biss isir riklamar ta’ varjetajiet  ta’ razzez godda u ta’ makkinarju efficjenti, izda, s-Socjeta’ Agrarja taghmel sforz biex il-bidwi wir-rahhal ikun aktar konxju mill-ambjent naturali, ghax wara kollox huma ghandhom jitqiesu wkoll bhala l-gwardjani tal-kampanja. Il-konsumatur qed dejjem isir aktar irid prodotti mkabbra b’metodi organici u laham gej minn  annimali tal-qatla mizmumin sew. Ghaldaqstant l-awgurju taghna huwa, li il-wirja tibqa’ tigbed l-interess tal-bidwi, tal-grower, tar-rahhal u anke tal-imputaturi tas-settur agrikolu tul is-snin li gejiin biex inzommu hajja din il-wirja tradizzjonali, li wara kollox ghandha wkoll valur turistiku. 

Arkivju Socjeta’ Agrarja

Dan l-artiklu deher fil-programm tal-wirja tas-sena 2017


L-IMNARJA- THE ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW 

    WHERE MALTESE AGRICULTURE IS ENRICHED    

BY TRADITION AND FOLKLORE.       

                      

By Dr. Joseph Borg, president of the ‘Socjeta’ Agrarja’


Every year the 28th and the 29th of June, the public woodland - garden of Buskett, once the hunting grounds of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, is the venue of an Agricultural Show, enriched over the years by traditional folklore.

What was already an old, popular, long established  tradition before the Knights’ arrival in Malta, the celebration of St. Peter and St. Paul  on the  28th and on the 29th of June,  in Mdina, the old capital, and in Rabat, kept its popularity to this day. The city walls of Mdina and the roof of its Cathedral, used to be lit up with torches, on both nights, for the feast of St Peter and St. Paul , offering a stunning view at night. This was called Luminaria meaning illumination, which was broken down to Imnarja.

This feast grew in status with the commencement, in 1854, of the holding of an Agricultural Show in the nearby woodland Garden of Buskett during both days. It was the British Governor Sir William Reid, who gave permission to the Socjeta’ Agrarja, to organize its Agricultural Show at Buskett. Before that year, the society, which was established in 1844, used to hold its agricultural shows only  in Valletta and in Floriana.  Governor Reid opened a section of Buskett, for the holding of this show, which until then,  formed part of the Verdala Palace private grounds. The Agrarian society was entrusted with the organization of agricultural shows and with the modernization of Maltese Agriculture, since the department of Agriculture was  instituted later in 1911.

The Agricultural show starts off on the eve of the feast, namely on the 28th June, when, during the morning, farmers and growers take their choice products, including poultry and rabbits to Buskett. The exhibition is opened at around 7.00pm after the judging process of the extensive range of  agricultural produce and cottage industry exhibits, is completed. 

Around that time a defile’ of decorated carriages and carts, starts off from near the shrine of St. Paul in Saqqajja square in Rabat, en route to Buskett. This  defile’ was recently  initiated in order to revive the old custom of travelling to Buskett, in animal driven carriages before the advent of the motor car. Even when the Malta Railway was operating between1883 and 1931, animal driven carriages were essential to bring people from villages not served by the railway service. The show which remains open till very late, is enriched with an entertainment programe of folk singing, brass - band music, crafts demonstrations and stalls selling local traditional snacks. 

Early in the morning of the 29th, livestock breeders, herdsmen and equine owners, converge to Buskett, with their prize animals enrolled as exhibits. The judging and the blessing of exhibits, commence at 8.00am. Sheep and goat milking competitions are held during the morning as well. The show culminates in the prize giving ceremony, held at noon and attended by the President of the Republic, Government officials and Agrarian Society members.

By 1867, the show had already shown that it contributed significantly towards the introduction of new breeds of better performing farm animals and of new crop varieties, especially potatoes. In fact it is recorded in that year’s after show report, that a new breed of English boar and sow were on show and attracted much interest from the 85 show registered livestock breeders. The new potato exhibits were reported as ‘remarkable’ despite the poor rainfall. Similarly the cereal exhibits which included new varieties imported during the previous years, for trial purposes,. Silk production was still undertaken locally at that time, in fact exhibits put up by a certain Giuseppe Gauci and Lorenzo Zammit , that year, were awarded the best in show. One must bear in mind that both during the time of the Knights and later during the early British period, attempts were made to embark on a local silkworm project, but which never really took off simply because not enough land could be earmarked for  mulberry planting, the leaves of which support the silk worm.

After the closing down of the show, the Imnarja rural festivities then move to nearby Rabat, where traditional equine races are held in the afternoon in an ascending country road, just below Saqqajja Hill, culminating in an evening musical programme, executed in front of the St. Paul’s Shrine. by one of the locality’s band club.


This article was written for the 2017 Mnarja Agricultural Show.

IL-BIEDJA F’KEMMUNA MATUL IZ-ZMIEN.

Kitba ta’ Joseph Borg, CDH, Dip. Hort. [Amenity], Ph.D [Hort.] Essex. 

President tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja.


Sa minn zmienijiet Preistorici il-bniedem ghamel uzu minn din il-gzira ckejkna, kif jixhed il-qabar Puniku li nstab  hemm [i]. Il-kappella ckejkna li nbniet fl-1667, hija ddedikata lir-Ritorn mill-Egittu tal-Vergni Marija u hadet post ohra aktar qadima li fi pjanti tat-12 il-seklu kienet tidher fil-post [ii]. il-hitan tas-sejjieh li jkennu il-ftit hamrija li tinsab fil-gzira,l-irziezet wil-kmamar jew griebeg primittivi mxerrda fil-gzira, huma kollha xoghol il-bniedem, li wara kollox kellu jaqla’ l-ghixien tieghu mill-biedja wis-sajd, ghalkemm kien hemm zmien li l-gzira giet abbundunata minhabba l-hallelin tal-bahar wil-furbani.

Ir-raba ma jinhadimx jekk il-bidwi  jkun bezghan li ser jinqabad ilsir. Dan narawh sew f’Malta u sew f’Ghawdex fejn matul iz-zmien, il-bidwi kien ikollu jingabar fil-kenn tas-sur, u fl-irhula mbeghda minn xifer il-bahar. F’Kemmuna zgur din is-sitwazzjoini kienet aktar perikoluza qabel ma nbena it-Torri. Dan ghaliex Kemmuna, kienet iffrekwentata wisq mill-hallelin tal-bahar, li zgur naffru lil min kellu hajra li jahdem ir-raba hemmhekk. Kemmuna kienet ta’ spiss ghajn ta’ periklu ukoll ghall-bahhara bejn Malta u Ghawdex, tant li fl-1419, il-Gurati Ghawdxin ghamlu petizzjoni lill-Vici Re ta’ Sqallija biex jibnilhom torri tal-ghassa halli jnaffar il-hallelin tal-bahar minn hemm. Izda kien kollu ghal xejn ghax kellhom jghaddu bosta snin sa kemm il-Gran Mastru Alof Wignacourt fl-ahhar laqgha t-talba tal-Ghawdxin u, minn butu fl-1618, bena t-Torri li naraw il-lum, fuq disinn ta’ Vittorio Cassar, iben il-famus arkitett Malti Glormu Cassar li ma Lapparelli bena s-swar tal-belt Valletta[iii].

Il-Gran Mastru ordna li d-dhul mill-hidma tal-art f’Kemmuna flimkien mal-bejgh ta’ l-ghollieq u huxlief li jinqata’ minn hemm ghal-forn jew ghal-kenur, imur ghaz-zamma tat-Torri u f’kaz li jkun hemm flus zejda jghaddu ghandu. Minn hemm Kemmuna hadet ir-ruh wir- raba beda jinhadem, biex flimkien mas-sajd  jsostni  lil dawk in-nies li bdew jahdmu u jghammru fuq il-gzira [iii].

Il-kacca ghat-tajr fil-passa u ghal-fenek salvagg jidher li minn dejjem kienet prattikata f’dil-gzira wkoll. Tant li fl-1746 il-Gran Mastru Pinto zamm Kemmuna ghall-kacca ghalih biss taht piena li min jinqabad jikser l-ordni tieghu jispicca ikkundannat jaqdef fuq ix-xwieni tal-Ordni ghal tlitt snin. [iv] Fl-istess waqt hareg ghall-qbiela bi prezz baxx ir-raba fil-gzira.

Kif il-Francizi hatfu Malta minn taht il-Kavallieri u ftit wara huma sfaw imkeccija wkoll minn Malta bl-ghajnuna tal-Inglizi, il-gvern kolonjali Ingliz  mill-ewwel hareg ir-raba ta’ Kemmuna ghall-qbiela u ghall-kacca. Kemm il-darba Kemmuna intuzat ukoll bhala stazzjon ta’ kwarantina mill-gvern kolonjali u anke fl-ewwel Gwerra Dinjija bhala post ta’ konvalexxenza tas-suldati feruti. Wiehed li kellu il-qbiela t’ghelieqi f’Kemmuna kien is-sur Antonio Schembri, neguzjant u  Konslu tal-Belgju li kien joqghod f’numru 56 Triq il-Merkanti il-belt Valletta. Huwa kien ukoll ornitologista u  l-ewwel segretarju tas-socjeta Economica Agraria del Gruppo di Malta [ li l-lum hija msejha is-Socjeta’ Agrarja]. Huwa kien ukoll strumentali, biex tibda tittella wirja agrikola fil-festa ta’ Santa Marija f’Ghawdex [ v].

F’rapport tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja dwar l-andament tal-wirja tal-Imnarja fil-Buskett, Malta, tas-sena 1854, insibu li ghadd sabih t’esebiti tas-sur Schembri li gab minn Kemmuna ghall-wirja, rebhu l-ahjar premjijiet. Dawn kienu gbejniet tan-naghag, xemgha tan-nahal, sriedak, tigieg u Fagan. L-imhallfin fahhru t-tomgha bnina tal-gbejniet tan-naghag ghax kellhom l-aroma tas-saghtar, waqt li l-esebiti tat-tjur kienu b’sahhithom u zvelti.[vi] Schembri kien izomm it-tjur wil-fagan jiggerrew fil-berah u mhux maghluqin f’gallinari.

Schembri kien ihobb jesperementa wkoll, tant li f’wahda mill-laqghat tas-socjeta’ Agrarja fejn kienu jigu ezaminati l-provi tal-biedja u l-andament ta’ zrieragh  u ghodda tal-biedja godda, f’diversi ‘Campi modelli’ tas-socjeta’, huwa semma prova ta’ success li ghamel f’Kemmuna. Din il-prova kienet fuq il-furrajna ghall-ahdar. Huwa stqarr li huwa zera’  ix-xghir fil-harifa u mbaghad fl-ahhar ta’ Frar, huwa hasdu ghall-ahdar sa m’ghola tlitt iswaba minn wicc il-hamrija. Sa tmiem Marzu hargu rimjiet godda u b’hekk zdiedet il-produzzjioni tal-furrajna. [vii]

Fis-snin 1921, 1922,meded t’art mhux mahduma twittew u ddawru ghall-biedja[viii].Ghadda z-zmien u fl-1926 twaqqfet il-Comino Farming Company li hadet il-qbiela ta’ Kemmuna u baqghet izzommha sal-bidu tat-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija. Kien matul dan iz-zmien li ghadd ta’ spejjer thaffru fil-gzira. Il-kmamar tal-pompi ta’ xi whud minnhom ghadhom jidhru sal-lum. It-trobbija tat-tjur kienet importanti fil-gzira, tant li fir-rapport ghas-sena 1937-38 tad-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura, insibu li f’Kemmuna tlaqqmu 145 ras [ tigieg, sriedek ecc] ghal kontra il-pesta tat-tjur. Id-dipartiment sellef lir-rahhala ta’ Kemmuna inkubatur tal-bajd ukoll [ix]]. 

Wara t-tieni Gwerra Dinjija bosta raba thalla jizdinga u l-aktar li Kemmuna kienet imfittxija kienet ghall-kacca fil-passa u ghas-sajd, barra ghall-mergha tan-naghag u tan-nahal u ftit attivita’ agrikola fil-widien. F’tarf is-snin sittin il-popolazzjoni naqset sew li tghoddhom fuq id wahda. Izda s-settur tat-turizmu gharaf l-opportunitajiet li toffri Kemmuna mir-rebbiegha sal-bidu tal-harifa ghax fis-sittinijiet  inbniet lukanda u ghadd ta’ bungalows ghat-turisti, hekk kif pajjizna beda jinvesti fit-turizmu.

 Il-garr minn Malta ta’ kaxxi tan-nahal tad-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura, fl-istagun tas-saghtar lejn Kemmuna, nbeda fil-bidu tas-snin sebghin u baqa sejjer s-snin ta’ wara. Xi kaxxi tan-nahal ta’ nies privati, minn Malta, bdew jittiehdu Kemmuna wkoll ghal dak l-istagun. 

Fl-1978 faqqghet il-marda tal-ilsien wid-dwiefer [Foot and Mouth Desease] li kkagunat il-waqfa totali tat-trobbija tal-majjal fil-gzejjer Maltin. Il-gvern, bl-ghajnuna finanzjarja tal- E.E.C [ European Economic Community-Il-Komunita’ Ewropea Economika- li l-lum hija l-Unjoni Ewropea], beda l-progett tal-bini mill-gdid tas-settur tal-majjal fuq linji moderni tat-trobbija, proprju f’Kemmuna, peress li wahda mill-kundizzjonijiet tal-E.E.C kienet li r-razzett il-gdid tal-majjali kellu jinbena f’inhawi fejn ilu ma jkun hemm imrobbija majjali. Intghazlet Kemmuna u sa sena wara parti sew mir-razzet inbena, tant li f’Dicembru tal-1979 dahlu fih l-ewwel majjali ta’ razzez maghzula ghall-kundizzjonijiet u ghas-suq lokali. F’Dicembru tal-1980 diga’ kien hemm mat- 3000 ras fir-razzett. Is-sena ta’ wara twaqqfet il-Koperattiva ta’min rabbi il-Majjali [KIM] li hadet f’idejha it-tmexxija tar-razzett sakemm l-operazzjoni fih waqfet fl-2009, ghax giet trasferita lejn l-Ghammieri F’Malta.

Ghal xi zmien recenti, il-lukanda kienet thajjar lir-residenti nteressati fil-gardinagg li, jekk iridu, jmiddu idejhom u jghinu ftit fix-xoghol tar-raba qrib il-lukanda bhala moghdija taz-zmien Izda il-lum l-attivita’ fir-raba f’Kemmuna hija zghira hafna ghax l-uniku xoghol fir- raba huwa taz-zewgt ahwa li jghixu fil-gzira, u li jahdmu ftit raba fil-kenn tal-wied ghal bzonnijiet taghhom. Kien pass ghaqli li fis-snin sebghin id-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura vara progett ta’ tahwil ta’ sigar f’Kemmuna-progett li dak iz-zmien kont responsabbli minnu jien bhala ufficcjal tad-dipartiment. Almenu illum wiehed jara rqajja ta’ msagar li qed joffru sbuhija tal-kampanja, jzommu l-hamrija milli titkaxkar lejn il-bahar u joffr kenn lil bosta hlejjaq.

 Il-lum Kemmuna hija aktar mfittxija mit-turisti barranin u lokali li jridu jgawdu ftit serhan il-mohh fil-hemda u f’ambjent naturali, jew biex igawdu il-bahar nadif li jdawwar din il-gzira ckejkna. Minhabba l-ambjent naturali taghha, Kemmuna hija mharsa mill-ligi ghax giet dikjarata Zona Specjali ta’ Konservazzjoni u Riserva Naturali peress li hija wahda mis- siti importanti tan-Natura 2000.

Referenzi

i Malta: An Archeological Guide-1993-D.H. Trump- Progress Press.

ii Gems of Gozo-An appreciation of twenty Chapels-1999-Joseph Bezzina- Gaulitana 19.

iii Ghawdex bil-Grajja Tieghu-migjub bil-Malti minn Mons. Dun Guzepp Farrugia- 1999-Fondazzjoni Belt Vittorja.

iv Storja ta’ Malta Vol.ii-Andrew P. Vella-1979-Klabb Kotba Maltin

v Wirja tal-Biedja u Snajja-160 Anniversarju,1855-2015.Programm

vi Rendiconto della espozisione agraria del 1854- Arkivju tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja.[ASA]

vii Rapport-Arkivju tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja[ASA].

Viii Report of the Office of Agriculture-John Borg-Index to Government Gazette, 1926.

ix Annual Report on the working of the Department of Agriculture during 1937-38, Gov. Print.office.


Nota

Dan l-artiklu inkiteb ghall-programm tal-wirja ta’ Santa Marija, imtella’ mis-Socjeta’ Agrikola, Industrijali u Kulturali, Ghawdxija, fil-Gnien Rundle, Victoria fl-14 u 15 t’Awwissu, 2017.

IS-SOCJETA’ AGRARJA WIR-RICERKA.


Kitba ta’ Joseph Borg, CDH, DIP.HORT[Amenity], Ph.D [Hort.[Essex]. - president tas-Socjeta’ Agrarja.


Is-Socjeta’ Agrarja, mwaqqfa mill-gvern kolonjali fl-1844, kienet immexxija minn kumitat li kien kompost minn nobbli, benestanti li kellhom meded ta’ raba, neguzjanti, membri tal-kleru, peress li l-knisja kellha r-raba ukoll, professjonisti li kellhom ghal-qalbhom il-biedja lokali u ufficjali tas-servizzi Inglizi. Il-minuti tal-laqghat tal-kumitat, flimkien ma l-organizazzjoni u rizultati ta’ provi tal-biedja f’ghadd t’ghelieqi mqabbla apposta f’diversi inhawi ta’ Malta [campi sperementali], u li kienu jinkitbu bit-Taljan sat-tieni Gwerra Dinjija, huma ghajn ta’ taghrif imprezzabbli.

Il-minuti, li kienu jinkitbu bl-idejn f’registri , huma dettaljati hafna. Per ezempju isemmu meta x-xita kienet tkun fqira u ghalhekk is-socjeta’ kienet taghmel rakkomandazzjonijiet lill- gvern dwar prezzijiet tal- ghalf, tal- hxejjex u anke suggerimenti biex l-ilma tal-kanali tal-Akwidott ta’ Wignacourt jigi mqassam skond il-htiega u b’mod gust. Is-socjeta’ harget ghadd ta’ rapporti dwar il-biedja matul is-snin li jaghtu dawl fuq il-hidma tas-socjeta’ b’risq il-bidwi wir-rahhal. 

Kull sena kien isir rendikont tal-provi kollha li kienu jsiru fil-campi sperementali u studju bir-reqqa tal-varjetajiet ta’ mghalef, hxejjex u frott li s-socjeta’ kienet timporta ghall-provi. Fejn ir-rizultati kienu pozittivi, dawn il-varjetajiet kienu jigu impurtati biex jitqassmu lil bdiewa. Fost dawn il-prodotti insibu varjetajiet ta’ qoton, xghir, qamgh, patata, varjetajiet ta’ frott irqieq u ta’ dwieli. Is-settur tat-tjur u tal-bhejjem ukoll kien jinghata mportanza, kif jixhdu l-listi ta’ tjur u annimali tar-razzett li kienu jigu mpurtati u l-andament taghhom ezaminat bir-reqqa fl-ambjent lokali. Il-wirja tal-Imnarja kienet tkun il-vetrina ta’ dawn il-provi u ta’ makkinarji agrikoli moderni. Ghalhekk il-kotba tal-wirjiet kollha tal-Imnarja li s-socjeta organizzat matul is-snin, jaghtu ritratt tal-biedja kif kienet qed tinbidel. Dan il-materjal kollu miktub, jaghmlu l-arkivju tas-socjeta Agrarja bhala ghajn ta’ taghrif ghar-ricerka. Infatti ghadd ta’ studenti sew mill-Universita’ ta’ Malta kif ukoll mill-MCAST, bhala parti mir-ricerka taghhom, jirrikorru ghand is-socjeta’ mhux biss ghal-taghrif fuq il-biedja izda wkoll ghal studji socjali u ambjentali. Ma ninsewx li matul iz-zmien ghadd ta’ varjetajiet lokali ta’ hxejjex, [bhat tewm], ta’ frott [bhal-frawli lokali], ta’ tjur [bhat-tigiega sewda lokali], t’annimali [ bhal moghza, wil-barri ta’ Malta] u ohrajn li intilfu jew kwazi intilfu, huma t’importanza kbira fid-dawl ta’ biodiversita kif ukoll fi programmi ta’ tnissil biex ir-razez lokali ma jintilfux.

Ahna naghmlu hilitna biex dan l-arkivju ma jisfaxxax, wit-tradizzjoni tal-wirja tal-Imnarja tibqa relevanti ghall-biedja lokali, minkejja li dan naghmluh b’mod volontarju . Ghalhekk ahna ninsistu, skond l-istatut tas-socjeta’, li min jiehu sehem fil- kompetizzjonijiet tal-wirja taI-Imnarja, ghandu jidhol membru mas-socjeta’. Wara kollox l-hlas tas-shubija huwa semplici 5 ewro. 

Is-socjeta’ Agrarja ghandha bzonn, bhal kull ghaqda ohra, li tkompli ddahhal membri, ghax , wara kollox, il-membri jaghmlu s-socjeta’. Ghaldaqstant nappellaw lill-esebituri biex ma jkunux xhah mas-socjeta’Agrarja li ghal dawn is-snin kollha offriet, permess tal-wirja tal-Imnarja, opportunita’ biex prodotti u bhejjem mkabbrin f’pajjizna jigu rriklamati. L-appell taghna jmur ukoll lejn l-Awtoritajiet biex jghinu lis-socjeta’ billi jkomplu jaghtuha l-ghajnuniet mehtiega .


L-INGINIER CHADWICK U H’ATTARD.


Kitba ta’ Joseph Borg C.D.H., DIP. Hort.[Amenity], Ph.D. [Hort], Essex. u President Onorarju tas-Socjeta’ La Stella Levantina, Banda Santa Marija.


Fi zmien il-Kavallieri l-ilma mehtieg ghall-htigijiet ta’ kull ghal kull min kien jghammar fil-gzejjer Maltin, kien gej minn ghejun, minn nixxieghat, mill-ilma gieri fil-widien specjalment fix-xitwa wir-rebbiegha, minn gibjuni li nbnew, mill-bjar, u minn hofor, jew spejjer baxxi, f’sisien tat-tafal. L-akwedott li nbena fi zmien il-Gran Mastru Alof Wignacourt [1610- 1615], kien igorr l-akbar kwantita’ t’ilma lejn il-Belt Valletta u lejn ghadd ta’ gibjuni li l-Kavallieri bnew f’palazzi, u nhawi ohra fi triqtu lejn il-belt bhal dak ta’Sant’ Anton, ta’ Dar L-iljuni f’Santa Venera, u taht il-binjiet li bnew qalb is-swar tal-Furjana wil-Belt Valletta.

Mal- wasla tal-Inglizi, l-popolazzjoni bdiet tizdied, mhux biss ghax attakki mill-furbani u ghedewwa ohra naqsu, izda wkoll ghax bdew gejjin aktar truppi Inglizi, sew ghad-difiza lokali kif ukoll ghall- harsien tal-interessi tal-Imperu Ingliz fil-Mediterran. L-imriekeb tal-bahar li kienu jieqfu f’pajjizna ghal-xi zmien fi triqthom minn u lejn ilvant Nofsani zdiedu sew. Id-domanda ghall-ilma bdiet tikber sew. Barra minn hekk it-talba ghall-ilma ghall-uzu sanitarju, jigifieri ghal sistema ta’dranagg flok l-uzu ta’ fosos, bdiet tizdied sew, minhabba l-progress li beda jsir fil-qasam tas-sahha.

Ghalhekk il-Gvern kolonjali Ingliz beda jahseb kif ser izid il-hazna tal-ilma. Fl-1883 gab lill-Inginier kapaci Ingliz, Osbert Chadwick, C.M.G., C.E. Dan issuggerixxa, ppjana u wettaq diversi progetti, bejn dik is-sena u l-1897, fosthom, ghadd ta’ lqugh tal-ilma f’Wied il-Qlejgha li llum nafuhom bhala Chadwick Lakes, mini taht l-art f’diversi nhawi f’pajjizna, biex jigbed l-ilma tal- hazna tat-tafal u dik tal-pjan u l-bini ta’ pumping stations jew kif konna nafhuhom ‘magni tal-ilma’. Wahda mill-Pumping Stations u fergha ta’ mini taht l-art ghall-irfiegh tal-ilma, huma dawk li ghandna fir-rahal taghna f’Wied Is-Sewda.

Infatti f’rapport tieghu tal-1894, Chadwick jsemmi, t-thaffir ta’ l-ewwel spiera f’Wied is-Sewda u sa tlitt snin wara, haffer xi erbgha ohra. Hu bena wkoll l-pumping station f’Wied is-Sewda f’H’Attard li hemm ftit l-isfel mill-pont li minn fuqu tghaddi Triq Zebbug, u li fl-1897 kellha pompa ta’ lis-steam. Fir-rapport tieghu Chadwick jghid li din il-pumping station kienet ittella’ 100,000 gallun ilma kuljum. Din il-binja ghadha hemm sal-lum u fortunatament hija mizmuma fi stat tajjeb. L-ewwel darba li wiehed jinzel f’Wied is-Sewda, ta’ min jaghtiha daqqa t’ghajn u jammira kif il-binja hija mibnija biex ma tingarrx mill-ilma tal-wied.

Fl-1884, fir-rapport tieghu, Chadwick isemmi li l-mina li haffer minn Wied is-sewda minn naha ta’ Hal-Qormi lejn H’Attard, kellha tieqaf sa qabel l-arkata li minn fuqha tghaddi t-triq li minn H’Attard tiehu ghal Haz-Zebbug. Dan ghaliex hu beza’ li l-ima jkun imnigges mit-tnixxija tad-dranagg mill-fossa ta’ l-isptar il-gdid ta’ Monte Carmeli li kien inawgurat fl-1861. Hemmhekk ir-residenti ta’ l-isptar, bhala parti mit-terapija taghhom, kienu jahdmu ghadd t’ghelieqi li hemm taht ir-rih ta’ l-isptar, fuq Wied Incita, biex ikabbru hxejjex u annimali zghar, bhal tjur u fniek. Infatti ghad hemm plier qrib razzet antik fil-konfini ta’ lis-sptar, li fuqu hemm imnaqqxa l-kelmiet ‘Agricultural Colony’. Ta’ min ifakkar Ii Wied Incita iferrgha f’Wied is-Sewda, fi Triq Haz-Zebbug.

Dawn l-ghelieqi tal-isptar, kif ukoll l-art fuq ix-xaqliba l-ohra ta’ Wied Incita, kienu mibdula f’mixtla tal-Gvern, mill-awtur bejn l-1964 u l-1976. Izda dik hi storja ohra.

Referenzi--Report on the Water Supply of Malta. Osbert Chadwick, 1894. Govt. printing press.

The River Valleys of the Maltese Islands-S.M.Haslam, and Joseph Borg, 1998-Islands and Small States Institute of F.I.S. Malta and CHEAM, Bari, Italy.

The Public Gardens and Groves of the Maltese Islands, 2005, Joseph Borg, Colour Image.

Ritratti tal-awtur. Captions ghar-ritratti.

Ritratt 155- Il-Plier bil-kliem ‘Agricultural Colony’ imnaqqxa fuqu.

150-L-arkata li minn fuqha tghaddi t-Triq ta’ Haz-Zebbug.

146- Il-magna tal-ilma ta’ Wied is-Sewda.

147-Binja soda li tiflah il-kurrent tal-ilma tax-xita li jghaddi mill-Wied.

Dan l-artiklu deher fil-ktejjeb tas-sena 2018 tas-Socjeta La Stella Levantina


THE MNARJA BANDU. 2019


The Agrarian Society is proud to announce that the Bandu or the traditional announcement by the town crier, heralding the traditional Mnarja Horse Races at Rabat, will be held in Mdina and Rabat on Saturday 22nd June 2019 .


The defile of re-enactors carrying the palji [coloured flags] to be awarded to the winners of the Equine races, will start off at 11.30am from near the Corte Capitinale [ Mdina Local Council Office].


The defile will move towards Misrah San Pawl, exiting Greek Gate, into St. Paul street, Rabat and briefly stopping in Misrah San Katald. From there it will proceed to Saqqajja Square, ending in front of the Shrine of St. Paul, where the palji will be blessed.

The Bandu will be read in various places along the way.


The public is invited to either accompany the Bandu or to follow its proceedings along the mentioned streets, thus giving support to this old local tradition kept alive by the Agrarian Society with the co-operation of the Authorities..



Dr. Joseph Borg

President , Socjeta’ Agrarja

.


L-EWWEL CENTRU TA’ TAHRIG AGRIKOLU F’GHAWDEX.


Kitba ta’ Joseph Borg, C.D.H., Dip. Hort.[Amenity],Ph.D. [Hort].Essex. President, Socjeta’ Agrarja


F’Ottubru tal-1972 is-Dipartiment tal-Edukazzjoni waqqaf l-ewwel zewg skejjel tal-Biedja li kienu jiffurmaw parti mill-ghadd ta’ skejjel tas-snajja [ Trade Schools]. Wahda fl-Ghammieri, Malta u l-ohra fix-Xewkija, fejn il-kors kien jiehu sentejn ta’ taghlim baziku fil-bieja.

ktar tard, il-gvern hass il-htiega li dan it-taghlim ikun aktar profond u li jkun ukoll muftuh ghall-studenti Libjani. Infatti fis-17 t’Awwissu tal-1978 gie iffirmat ftehim bejn Malta wil-Libja [SPLAJ] biex jinfethu zewg Centri ta’ tahrig Agrikolu, wiehed f’Malta u l-iehor f’Ghawdex. Il-kors imfassal kellu jiehu 3 snin, u kien jinkludi teorija u prattika. Iz-zewg centri kellhom jiehdu l-prattika, inkluz fil-manigg tal-bhejjem, fil-facilitajiet li joffru iz-zewg stazzjonijiet tad-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura fl-Ghammieri, Hal-Qormi u fix-Xewkija qrib l-iskola.. IL-Libja intrabtet li tghin b’makkinarju u finanzjarjament u anke b’xi ghalliema. Bhala uficcjal gholi fid-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura,Jien gejt inkarigat biex nipprepara x-xoghol mehtieg ghat-twaqqif ta’ dawn ic-centri, nfassal is-syllabus bl-ghajnuna tal- kollegi tieghi, u mmexxi iz-zewg Centri, barra x-xoghol li diga’ kelli ta’ maniggjar tal-mixtliet u ta’ tahwil ta’ sigar f’imkejjen pubblici f’Malta u f’Kemmuna.

Peress li l-hsieb kien li jattendu studenti Libjani, sa massimu ta’ 40 student, kellna nhejju pjan t’akkomodazzjoni ghalihom. Intaghzlet l-iskola primarja ta’ San Lawrenz, li dak iz-zmien kienet maghluqa, biex tinbidel f’hostel ghall-istudenti Libjani. Ghalkemm saru l-pjanti dan il-hostel ma sarx ghax studenti Libjani qatt ma tfaccaw. L-iskola primarja tax-Xewkija li kellha tmien klassijiet fil-pjan terran vojta nzerta kellha hdejha ghelieqi li kienu mfassla biex jittiehdu ghall-fabbriki. Izda I baqghu ma ttiehdux ghalhekk l-istudenti kellhom il-possibilta’ li juza dawn l-ghelieqi ghall-rpodotti li bdew ikabbru , fosthom patata ghas-safar. Kienu jrabbu l-fniek u l-broilers li kienu jinbighu lill-publiku. Wara li jinqatghu l-ispejjez, il-profitt kien jinqasam bejn l-istudenti. F’April 1979 id-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura hareg circkulari stedina lill-bdiewa, koperattivi u industrijalisti li ghandhom rabtiet mal-biedja, biex joffru li jiehdu studenti ghall-perijodi qosra ta’ tahrig prattiku. Fis-27 ta’ Gunju 1979 waslet Malta l-ewwel ghotja ta’ makkinarju mill-Libja, fosthom tractor u Toyota pick-up ghall-Ghawdex .Fl-1 t’Ottubru 1979, dawn iz-zewg centri ghaddew minn taht idejn id-dipartiment tal-Edukazzjoni, ghar-responsabbilta’ tad-dipartiment tal-Agrikoltura. L-ghalliema tad-dipartiment tal-Edukazzjoni eziztenti nzammu fic-centri, li flimkien m’ufficcjali tal-Agrikoltura, sew f’Malta sew f’Ghawdex bdew jaghtu l-lezzjonijiet u dimostrazzjonijiet prattici lill-istudenti. Flewwel sena f’Ghawdex,f’Ottubru 1979, dahlu 6 studenti, li zdiedu mas-36 student tat-tieni sena tat-Trade School l-antika.Kien ta’ sodisfazzjon ghalija u ghall-kollegi ufficcjali tal-Agrikoltura u tal-Edukazzjoni li dan il-progett baqa jopera ghal diversi snin u li kien strumentali biex zaghzagh Ghawdxin jiehdu tahrig ta’ livell aktar gholi.

Dan l-artiklu inkiteb ghall-ktejjeb tal-wirja Ta’ Santa Marija,li saret f’Ghawdex, fil-15.8.2019