Just before Rosh Hashana and the upcoming olive harvest I decided to decompress and get myself some inspiration for a couple days. I drove up to Kadita, a very small community near Meron with some very interesting people, homes, and especially landscapes and permaculture gardens. Beautiful trees, including olives, although the grazing goats and cattle are constantly gnawing at them.
Today is the first day of the Jewish New Year. Here in Israel most things are closed, and everyone is eating, praying, hiking, visiting,and just hanging.
So how does this effect the olive grove? Part of being kosher is not picking olives from trees that are younger than 3 years old. This is called "Orlah". If a tree is planted a day after Rosh Hashana (New Years) then you need to wait an entire extra year before the fruit can be harvested. So this year we wanted to plant some new trees to finish of the new section of the grove with a new variety for Gezer- Picholine, a French variety. So I rushed to buy the trees and get them planted just before the holiday.
So now I'm resting, happy to know the trees are in the ground. Hopefully in 3 years we'll taste their oil for the first time.
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).
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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.