Winter in Eden

Posted on March 1, 2013

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In my last post, I talked about the “hakura” – the Arabic term for a kitchen garden next to the home, which was once traditional in rural Arab villages in the Galilee (and is, like so many other such traditions, becoming a thing of the past).

Now I’d like to report on our own hakura, here on this first day of March.  For many of you reading this, harvesting broccoli and lettuce at this time of year may seem anachronistic.  But then who would think of winter as being the most agriculturally fruitful time?  But when precipitation is rain and not snow, and every drop is a gift, and when the dark skies give way to brilliant sun-soaked days that draw up the growth from the rich, heavy earth like a magnet, then vegetables grow, even in the winter.

Growing on rainwater only

Growing on rainwater only

These days, in addition to lettuce and broccoli, we are stepping out the back door to bring in fresh radishes, green onions and chard leaves.  Soon there will be potatoes and maybe even some artichokes.  The carrots are taking their sweet time.

These days, my biggest dilemma is whether to eat from the hakura or to go out and forage.

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I will be coming to the US at the end of May and will give a presentation on Tracing the Local Foods of the Galilee to the Sources at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca in New York City on June 3rd.  If you can think of an audience that would enjoy such a presentation (with beautiful slides), why don’t you let me know?

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