Update: Tu Bishvat Edition

Hey folks! Reporting to you under the stars of Nahal Barack in the Arava desert, soaking up the energy from the full moon; our stomachs satisfied by our most recent gourmet delight, grilled sandwiches and hot roasted granola. We’ve been trying to be creative with all the dried fruit that we’ve accumulated from every Tu’Bishvat event we found ourselves at. How are the prunes treating you? I think we deserve a medal for managing to celebrate the birthday of the trees in four different ways:

1. While hitch hiking down from the wedding in Jerusalem back to where we left the trail, we got a ride with a teenager who said she would have to make a stop at an agriculture fair. Annually, all workers of the farming industry get together to share farming advances and to network. When we sat to chat with Gal, a businessman working for the Amiad Irrigation Company, to ask for advice of how to darken the color of our tomatoes, he gave us the insider scoop that the event is really just an excuse to give hard-working farmers a day to schmooze, eat, and have a free beer. So we sat with Gal over free beer and freshly brewed cups of joe, and discussed the meaning of life. We went around to all the booths collecting give-away fruits and learning about interesting farming advancements.

This is how your vegetables are packaged.

This is how your vegetables are packaged.

You can also package your valuables like Photo ID, iPods, and wallets to keep them safe from the storm.

You can also package your valuables like Photo ID, iPods, and wallets to keep them safe from the storm.

The fair was filled with entrepreneurs, some more huggable than others.

The fair was filled with entrepreneurs, some more huggable than others.

This Israeli patent measures sugar levels and water pressure of each plant. Results are sent straight to your handheld and you can water the plant with the swipe of a finger. A machine that waters your plants and makes you a lazy bones!

This Israeli patent measures sugar levels and water pressure of each plant. Results are sent straight to your handheld and you can water the plant with the swipe of a finger. A machine that waters your plants and makes you a lazy bones!

We filled out stomachs with samples of fresh produce, 6 types of honey, and fresh pittas off the fire.

We filled out stomachs with samples of fresh produce, 6 types of honey, and fresh pittas off the fire.

Business meeting with Amiad representatives about water irrigation for our dying tomato field.

Business meeting with Amiad representatives about water irrigation for our dying tomato field.

Honey, we shrunk the hikers

Honey, we shrunk the hikers

2. From the fair, we headed over to Sapir, a close-by town, to the Chabad house for a traditional Tu’Bishvat Seder. We were hosted by the Rabbi, who frequently opens his door for hikers of the Israel Trail. We joined members of Sapir and other nearby towns around two tables covered by plastic bowls each filled with a different fruit.

At the Seder we sat with Naomi, a new immigrant from France. She told us that the most important thing in life is "la foi."  Who knows what that means? Montrealers, that's a question for you.

At the Seder we sat with Naomi, a new immigrant from France. She told us that the most important thing in life is “la foi.” Who knows what that means? Montrealers, that’s a question for you.

We said the blessing over each fruit and listened to Rabbi Moshe tell parables about the connection of man to nature. Everyone was ecstatic when Nava pulled out the fruit that we had had brought from the Jerusalem Market (Machne Yehudah) earlier that day. They couldn’t believe that we managed to find pomegranate and grapes fresh in January! TRIVIA QUESTION: The Gemara tells us that one tree changes gender after seventy years.  Which tree? Winner will receive anything of their choice packaged!

3. The rabbi’s wife, Channi, requested that we accompany her to the local army base where she was leading a woman’s study for the female soldiers. It was a creative lesson, we really let ourselves go. You wouldn’t believe what you can do with some dried fruit!

Nava and her fruit bouquet.

Nava and her fruit bouquet.

Finished projects with the Rebbizen and soldiers.

Finished projects with the Rebbizen and soldiers.

4. Okay, I know. We are supposed to be hiking. We got back to the trail today and had a nice long hike. We stopped around noon to have a Tu’Bishvat Seder of our own.

“Because man is a tree of the field.”(Deuteronomy 20:19)

Our own Seder. Can you spot all the different ones?

Our own Seder. Can you spot all the different ones?

Sprouted spelt bread with natural peanut butter melted date fig ginger topped w cinnamon assorted nuts and seed roasted to a crisp.

Sprouted spelt bread with natural peanut butter melted date fig ginger topped w cinnamon assorted nuts and seed roasted to a crisp.

Crispy roasted sprouted spelt bread topped with bbqed red bell pepper lightly marinated in salt pepper and garlic.

Crispy roasted sprouted spelt bread topped with bbqed red bell pepper lightly marinated in salt pepper and garlic.

Assortment of dried chickpeas, walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnut, peanut, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, hemp seed, chia seed, flax seed, cranberries, raisins, dates, apricot, and fig with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and olive oil glaze roasted on an open fire packed with protein, fats, and essential omega 3 fatty acids.

Assortment of dried chickpeas, walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnut, peanut, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, hemp seed, chia seed, flax seed, cranberries, raisins, dates, apricot, and fig with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and olive oil glaze roasted on an open fire packed with protein, fats, and essential omega 3 fatty acids.

Being in Israel this year for Tu’Bishvat showed us many different ways to enjoy the fruits of the land and to learn about the connection between man and nature. So go hug a tree, eat a new fruit, water your garden with your iPhone, and embrace all there is around you because “man is a tree of the field.” Deuteronomy 20:19

Make up your own fruit pick up lines. Here’s ours:
Hey, I see you RAISIN your eyes at me.  There’s something so GRAPE about you that’s making me go BANANAS. Can I take down your FIGures, or do I need to meet your PAPAYA first?
Please, don’t keep me WHEATing for an answer.
Comment APPLE tu?

Send in your own, and take the one you love out on a DATE.

Nava & Yoella

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One thought on “Update: Tu Bishvat Edition

  1. Yoella
    La foi means what you believe in (4 English words to explain one in French)
    Keep writing please, I am enjoying each and everyone of your and Nava’s tales.
    Love
    Laurence Weis

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