Setting Strong Roots – an ongoing story of growth
“So where should I dig?”
“Svalo! Wait! Not there… that’s where the new plots are going to be we’re digging now for the live hedge…
Don’t worry there are 30 pits to dig for 30 beautiful bougainvilleas…”
So yes it’s happening – the “Setting Strong Roots” Community Garden will be doubling its size this month which means 30 more plots are added to the existing 50 plots!
The community is in full action, last time we had such a big workday was before my time here when Isaac Hametz, the founder of Earth’s Promise, initiated this Community Garden with the Kalisher Absorption Center for Ethiopian immigrants.
We celebrated the 2 year Birthday this September and now we’re growing some more with the growing need.
New immigrants from rural areas in Ethiopia are coming to Be’er-Sheva City to an 8 story building with elevators and a parking lot below… not very similar to their home village… or as Ori Konforti, the Ethiopia representative of the Jewish Agency, says it –
“the transformation [is] a move from a land where they live like they did in the Bible, to the actual land of the Bible.”
And so it is at the land of the Bible things have changed quite a lot and it can give some comfort, as in any new situation, to have at least a few familiar things around one.
Big stalks of Mashila(=corn) or bright red Berberie (=Hot Pepper) and even some Tef (the Ethiopian grain used to make Ingira, Ethiopian bread) can go a long way in making a new immigrant feel more at home.
This intensive organic growth alongside huge mammoth Sunflowers and various fruit trees have transformed the desert-beige backyard into a surprisingly abundant garden for the neighborhood to enjoy.
Now – the next step – to mix the residents with the olim (immigrants):
Come join us ye local onlookers! – the Ethiopian community has the knowledge, you have Hebrew and Israeli know-how..
Do you see what I see..?
Well big challenges afoot – we’ll update you as we grow and bloom..