Need to try something new and exciting? Build up some muscles? Get those kids out of the house? It's that time of year when we start putting together our all star team of wwoofers/volunteers to come live with us at Kibbutz Gezer and pick the olives from October 15 to December 6th. Here's the general description:
WWOOFING AT KIBBUTZ GEZER OLIVE GROVES
Here is a short description of olive harvesting and volunteering at Kibbutz Gezer:
Olive picking entails spreading tarps under the olive trees and raking the olives off at a steady pace. When all the olives are off, we shake them into a pile, box them up, and start all over. It doesn't require strength, but rather being able to keep working at a steady pace all day, and to keep up a steady and somewhat witty conversation with everyone else. From the experience of volunteers from years past, it is quite fun. When the harvest ends at the end of November or early December, we have an olive party.
Volunteers/wwoofers work 6 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Usually Sunday and Monday are the days off. We eat breakfast together in the olive grove. Once in a while you'll be asked to help load
the truck or do some other extra work. The crew varies from 3 to 10 people, mostly volunteers/wwoofers but also kibbutz members, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
Sometimes it's a bit hot and dry (until mid- November), sometimes a bit rainy and cold (Decem
ber). But in general quite nice weather that time of year.
You get a room to share with one or 2 other people (of the same sex) in a large building that has cooking facilities, a common room for cooking and hanging out, and showers. You also get credit in the kibbutz store to buy food and stuff, enough to cover basic living expenses while here. You need to bring sturdy work shoes and pants. I'd also recommend a hat and sunglasses. We have a place for used clothes which you can take from, and an English library open 24/7. You must come with health insurance to cover you while at Gezer.
Gezer is located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, so there's pretty easy access to both by bus and train. We are a kibbutz, which is a communal village. We share ownership of some things, make community decisions together, but at the same time each person has their own private home, job, kids, etc. We have 900 acres (3600 dunam) of farmland, 250 milking co
ws, 10 acres (35 dunam) of organic olives, a community garden, and food forest. Plus individual gardens and projects. So there’s people who can provide information and inspiration about farming, organic farming, permaculture, gardening, building and more.
If you are a friendly, open and hard-working person, I think you will have a great experience here. Gezer is a friendly community, with friendly people. Most speak English, and about 1/3 are ex-Americans or Canadians or Europeans. Some will invite you for coffee or a meal, and areinterested in meeting new people. We arrange Friday night meals with families. Most wwoofers enjoy a less “wired” lifestyle, developing friendships with people from all over the world, and having a special experience.
I suggest reading a little about what a kibbutz is, just to get a little background about what we're all about. It'll be amazing!