When the Jewish New Year approaches, all across the Israeli (and Mediterranean) countryside the Hatzav, or Sea Squill, begins to bloom. They seem to appear out of nowhere, growing in earth that has been barren and dry for months. The tiny flowers first open at the lower part, and each day make their way up the stalk. Only after flowering does the greenery then appear down along the ground. Quite something. I took this photo in Jerusalem at UN hill ( the Hill of Evil Council).
Those little baby olives from May are all grown up. The Nabali olives (on the left) are big and round. The Shimlali olives, which are the first to ripen, are already beginning to turn color. Looks to be a very good yield, and we're already making preparations for the harvest. We'll need to keep things running smoothly to get all the olives picked on time.
I went to an olive workshop in Nazareth last week together with Benny, my trusty partner in olive growing. It was sponsored by NICCOD, the Japanese government organization for community development. They have been working for the past few years in the West Bank town of Tubas to improve the quality of the olive oil and help market the oil overseas. The workshop was attended by Palestinian and Israeli olive growers (actually Benny and I were the only Israeli growers there), together with Japanese sponsors and advisers, and experts from Israel, Palestine, Japan and Greece. We heard about olive pests, different varieties and farming methods, and the effect of harvest timing.
Most people come out to the olives in the fall and winter. And every year someone asks me if the figs or pomegranates are ripe now. So here are a few photos I took today of the ripe figs and just now ripening pomegranates. Those beautiful flowers are eucalyptus blossoms, buzzing with bees.
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I'm Dani Livney, a member of Kibbutz Gezer, and the manager of the Gezer olives. I love it! I also work as a lawyer, focusing on environmental projects and promoting environmental empowerment and education.