On Sunday, we took a break from Community Service and spent the day in the Negev. Ben Gurion would be proud seeing the ‘desert bloom’! As we drove south past the sprawling cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, we saw green crops growing and in open fields the beautiful spring Anemone purple, red and white flowers! Ah…a sign of spring!
Our first destination was visiting a farm in Moshav Taimei Yosef, the Salad Trail, located in the northern Negev. The day was perfect, sunny, warm temperatures – great to be in the outdoors for a tour. The guide took us through several greenhouses explaining what is grown and the agricultural technologies used to increase taste and production, i.e. latest in bee bio-engineered technology. Yes, cherry tomatoes were developed in Israel! We picked and tasted salad and medicinal greens, like Verbana – great in tea, which they made for us.
We picked a variety of tomatoes, of all colors and VERY tasty. The cucumbers were crisp and yellow, white, orange and purple carrots crunchy and yummy. It was amazing to see what can grow in such sandy soil. It is strawberry season in Israel and we got our fill of these tasty berries. Yes, we ATE our way through the tour.
From there we went to the city of Sderot, located less than one mile from Gaza border, which has received major rockets attacks during the Gaza confrontations. As your drive through the city and the NEW neighborhoods, you see each apartments has security rooms attached. There are concrete security areas near ALL the bus stops and of course, in schools and buildings. Yes, we were surprised to see so many new neighborhoods being built.