Green Pilgrim Jerusalem

Ein Karem - Learning How Food Was Grown in Biblical Times

Funding given to the Jerusalem Green Fund by Shi An Culture has been allocated to the Ein Karem community group working in the Wadi Hatemanim ( a part of Ein Karem that was given to Yemenite immigrants who came to Israel through the “Magic Carpet” operation in 1949).

A group of local residents in the Wadi has set a goal of restoring the ancient agricultural terraces, which date back to Bible times. From the time of the 1st Temple, these terraces were prepared to grow food to support the influx of pilgrims that would come from all parts of the Holy Land three times a year for the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.

The Ein Karem community group, led by Mr. Liel Tammuz, a member of the Ein Karem committee, has used the funding provided by Shi An Culture, to learn how to manage the 25 acres surrounding their neighborhood appropriately. 80% of the area is covered in ancient olive trees, and 20% can be set aside for different kinds of crops.

They arranged a course teaching agriculture in hilly conditions, which the group of six local entrepreneurs attended for a subsidized price, but was open to other interested potential urban farmers as well. The course is still in progress, as it consists of a whole morning of study, half theoretical and half practical, with a total of eight meetings once a month over the same number of months.

An expert in agriculture in hilly terrain, Assaf Bashan, has been hired to run the course. In addition to the six members of the Ein Karem team, 22 additional students signed on. The 22 external participants paid the full fee, while the 5 members of the Ein Karem team paid a subsidized fee.

 

Mountain agriculture around Jerusalem has to rely on rainwater only, and the terraces were built to create level patches which could retain rainwater. Only certain types of crops can succeed in these conditions.

The olive trees that cover 80% of the area are ancient, planted between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago, thus some go back to the Second Temple period, the time of Jesus.

We thank Shi An Culture for their continuing support.

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