The Plantation

LivinGood Farm, Jordan Valley, Israel

We wake up early in the morning, early enough to catch the first glimpses of the rising sun. We put on our brown work boots, tying them tightly. Then we hop into the old, worn out pick up truck. Bouncing on the rocky road, ancient dust kicking behind us, we pass  mountain gazelles, Hoopoe birds, and little green birds along the way.

The Plantation. Beautiful beyond words. We are a mere few steps away from the Jordan River in the fertile Jordan Valley-one of the best places in the country to grow dates.

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Here we’re given our first task-to cover the clusters of organic Medjoul dates with mesh bags to protect them from birds and insects while they ripen. We pick up a bundle of bags and a handful of twine and we begin. We climb the tree branch by branch until we reach the top.

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From the top of the date palm tree the view is spectacular. We can see the entire plantation with rows upon rows of emerald palm trees. We’re surrounded by the majestic, golden mountains. High up in the trees, we sing along with the birds as we work through the day.

In the distance we can smell the aroma of Turkish coffee with cardamon made in a seemingly ancient finjan. We can taste our Israeli breakfast of hummus, tehina, and pita with tomatoes and cool, crispy cucumbers.

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We continue working hard until around noon-the hottest time of the day when it can reach up to 50° Celcius (120° Fahrenheit)! We clean up our supplies and get back into the  truck, knowing that our adventures have hardly begun.

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Here we are with Ran and Eyal, our hosts.Two of the kindest, most generous, hospitable, and amazing people we have ever met. It has been an honor to get to know them and their families. We learned so much from them, about Israel, the culture, the land, and the people. We learned about organic farming and so much about life in general. We learned that “LivinGood” is not just a name printed on a box of delicious dates, but it is a way of life.

Life is beautiful.