The South Red Festival of Shukda Anemone Forest (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Good rain fell because God (finally) relented in the first week of February, when the "Drom Adom" festival begins, which will be held for the 18th time on February 1-28, 2023 throughout the northern Negev.
By the way, it didn't really bother me - they are in their own right and already started blooming in January and filled the fields of the northern Negev, although less than in previous years.
5 places to see anemones in "South Adom"
but it doesn't matter - they are already here and you too will probably be on one of the next four weekends of the festival, which will surely create traffic jams at the Saad intersection, road 232 and other popular access routes to the area. One of the busiest hubs in the whole Shana during the festival is, of course, the Bari complex, where there are quite a few parking lots for picnics, the bicycle center "La Medush", a hiking and biking trail, a place to buy cheese - including an axis that leads to the sage well, the Shukda forest, the Reim parking lot, and more - at which time the residents of the Otaf enter a curfew and shut themselves down on weekends until anger passes.
To overcome this load, beck"
"Bari is the 'father' of tourism in the area," says Zohar North, who, unlike his name, is the head of the planning department in the southern area of KKL-Junk.
The entire array of singles and scenic roads.
But a few weeks ago, they began planning a master plan to free Barry from this traffic jam that happens on the weekends of the festival. According to him, the kibbutz is under siege in February because all traffic drains to the Saad-square intersection. The Anzac and Wad Levari," Zohar explains how they will fight the heavy load.
So it won't happen at the upcoming festival, but there is definitely something to look forward to.
What is still planned in the area is a bicycle path accessible to tandem riders and hand bikes, which will leave Shokada and connect the paths, as well as singles in Shokada and Bari, thus allowing a longer ride for "regular" riders as well.
This connection will connect the city with paths to nature, so that there will be a regional network of cycling spaces, which is great.
In addition, the picnic area in Barry Forest, where the security house also known as "Mickey Mouse", will be expanded, bus parking will be arranged, as well as accessible paths.
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The carpets are already here.
Anemones in Beer Marvah (Photo: Shay Makhlouf)
The area will undergo renovation to link the heritage to the travelers.
The security house ("Mickey Mouse") in Bari Forest (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Anemone, behind you!
It turns out that South Adom is not only a festival of anemones, but also of other flowers.
For example, the geranium, which, with all due respect to the anemone, is probably the most common flower in gardeners in Israel, certainly in Europe.
At the Barak nursery in Moshav Ein Hashour, Shimon and Naga Barak have been growing only geranium flowers for 40 years.
According to the good news, they came from a division camp located in the sea zone in Sinai.
"There was a field of thorns here," says Noga about the moshav that she and her husband were among its founders and adds that the names of the streets in Ein Hashur are named after the settlements in Sinai.
"There we grew pepper tomatoes, gypsophila and more, and when we came here we planted gypsophila and in the second year we started with geraniums," they say.
Everyone who enters the couple's nursery is immediately filled with wonder and a sigh of "wow" escapes from his mouth.
The beauty is simply mesmerizing - bright colors of red, burgundy, pink, orange, purple and white dot many acres of geranium flowers of all kinds.
Shimon, a graduate of the Faculty of Agriculture, says that there are 450 varieties of the flower in the world.
"We market 95 percent of the geraniums in Israel and ten percent in Europe," he says.
Half a year ago they opened a visitor center in their huge nursery that covers 45 dunams of colorful growing tables.
"The red geranium is the most popular," explains Shimon and also provides some tips for its long-term growth: don't give excess water, don't forget to water twice a week and choose the right varieties - from those that are suitable for full shade to strong sun.
On a tour of the place, you will receive coffee, tea and also a half-hour lecture about the world of plants, about the history of the couple in Sinai, about the moshav and the geranium that Shimon loves so much: "It has a soul because healing energy comes out of it," he says.
Tour by appointment: NIS 45 per person, 054-5614521.
And there are also charming art workshops that Nega conducts for the whole family.
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Growing geraniums for 40 years.
Shimon and Nega at the Barak Nursery in the Ein Hashur Moshav (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
"He has a soul because healing energy comes out of him."
Geraniums in different colors in the nursery (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Giller's Farm, Tenet Lane
Agriculture is also the lot of Naama and Eyal Giler from Nativ Hathara, who until four years ago were engaged in high-tech, but opened "Giler's Farm".
By the way, Netiv Hatara was also a settlement in Sinai, which was evacuated and re-established right on the northern border of Ezera in 1982.
In the couple's farm you will find crops that you don't usually know or see.
For example, mustard leaves with the taste of wasabi horseradish, or an orange cucumber that is especially loved by Thais, and also pitaya of a yellow variety for cosmetics.
And there are also many types of pumpkins (for the leaves that the Thais love in the country), Thai beans which are red beans, spicy hot pepper "more than the banaro", promises Naama) and other great crops that can also be tasted.
In addition to that, the farm also has goats whose milk makes excellent cheeses, for example with Katz, or with pesto, Bulgarian, white, and also an excellent Zfat-Circassian cheese, and you can buy wine and strawberries together with Jahanon and go on a local picnic.
On the Fridays of the festival there will be tours by appointment (10:30 and 13:30).
Tour NIS 30 per child and NIS 15 per adult.
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Makes excellent cheeses and tells about the special crops.
Naama from "Giller's Farm" (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
On the agricultural tour of the farm you will get to know a special cucumber, pumpkins and also animals (photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Picking up from the stomach
What grows now in nature is collected by Jacqueline, who is a picking guide in the area.
"Gathering came to me out of a crisis in 2016," she tells how the novel with the herbs began, "and I came across a gathering course on Facebook."
But it all started with her even earlier, from her mother.
"Mother was a lactic at heart and would send us to the orchards to get capers, almonds, olives that had fallen, and would tell how she picked dates in Djerba (Tunis - ZR), and it connected with me, I took a course and on my birthday I invited friends on a picking tour, and since then I have been Tours for families and children".
On a tour that lasts about two hours plus, including cooking of what you have picked, Jacqueline will take you to the nettle, sorrel, white mustard, thistle and other good herbs that are now growing at their peak, and together you will prepare a meal.
050-6823131 or via Pace.
I will explain to you about what is growing now.
Jacqueline and mustard that she made from a white mustard plant (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
An excellent family activity that connects you to nature.
Picking tour with Jacqueline (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Excellent and cheap picnic case
Those who are less into gathering and preparing a meal, and more like to pamper themselves, are invited to take one of the traditional picnic baskets offered in South Adom.
This time get a recommendation for an excellent and delicious basket made by Mor Orner from Kibbutz Alumim, right next to Bari, under the "Cakes and Mor" brand.
Moore studied confectionary and other courses in cooking for our guests at the rural hospitality in Alumim.
"Everything started small in 2016 and this cake developed into hospitality trays, meals for groups and councils in the area," she says.
In South Adom, she will offer picnic packages in which personal salads, quiches, good breads that she bakes, natural orange juice, jars of white wine, olives, tahini, and for dessert she will add some simply excellent cookies that she is an expert in baking.
A double case will cost NIS 220, which is quite cheap for the area, a family case will cost NIS 320 and is enough for up to four people.
At the festival, the cafe will also open on Fridays and there will be desserts and sandwiches for sale.
And where to deploy the case?
So Moore recommends the Be'er Merva area across the road from the kibbutz, and that's what we did, and the area is full of anemones.
It's great that you spread out a blanket, just keep the anemones.
The indulgent picnic box of "Cakes and Moore" (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
We found nature, where plant-meets-animal-meets-man, in a charming farm in the south of the Northern Negev - in "Hmeda Sdot" in the Peri Gan moshav in the Shalom region - yes, this moshav also lived in a maritime zone in the past, and was established in its current location in 1981.
Oren Shamai moved with his family from the center to the south because he wanted quality of life and peace.
So, about six years ago, they planted a grove with eucalyptus trees and later built an educational farm "that will teach you about sustainable agriculture and love for living," he says.
"Everything here is recycled, an old tree used as a fence for a barn, the animals on the farm were saved from the food industry and all those who built the farm are neighbors, friends and family."
Indeed, you will find sheep, chickens, ducks, goats and even Sonia Hatton, who likes to take selfies.
"This is not a petting zoo," emphasizes Oren who, on a tour of the farm, talks about the relationship with the animals.
In addition, at the entrance to the farm, the family planted different medicinal plants ("and not spices", as Oren says) around the dome which is a kind of open greenhouse.
"This is our private iron dome," he says, "and we divided the farm according to the days of creation."
By this Oren means the types of plants that were planted: around the dome you will find the seven species as well as the four species - there is a representation for all of them.
In general, the farm has an interesting reference to the creation of the world in seven days - in which God also created the vegetation and the animals, and on the seventh day it was Shabbat and he lived in the small cafeteria at the farm.
On a tour of the place, you learn about the way to use plants, about oils, about natural cosmetic products that are produced from plants, "when the main idea is to work on our five senses," adds Oren.
The tour will last about an hour or even more, the price is NIS 30 per person, including making pita bread, free coffee and tea.
Must be arranged in advance.
A place that educates about sustainable agriculture and love for living.
Oren and the selfie queen Sonia in "Hamad Sdot" (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
The private iron dome of Hamda Sdot, and surrounding medicinal plants (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
The border triangle, the southern branch
A few minutes' drive away, it's worth going to the settlement closest to Gaza (along with Nativ Hathara) - Kerem Shalom - which sits on the border triangle.
"From this map you can see Israel, Egypt and Gaza," explains Gaula Rabi, a teacher from Kiryat Arba who came with her family to live in the kibbutz a few years ago.
The story of Kerem Shalom is very special.
Operation "Tzuk Eitan" caused a socio-economic crisis in the kibbutz, after which privatization began and many left it.
"They tried to think of what makes us unique on Route 232," says Gaula, "and then they came up with a brave idea - to turn the kibbutz into a mixed community and bring in traditional religious people."
Today, one-third of the kibbutz residents are religious and two-thirds are secular, and this is how it is anchored in the kibbutz laws, meaning that Kerem Shalom maintains its secular character, but at the same time embraces traditional immigration and communal life.
Today there are 42 families in the kibbutz, which means an increase of about one hundred percent from the 20 families that existed until 2017.
In addition, on the tour organized by the residents of Kerem Shalom, you will learn about the Gdash (field crops) that they grow together with Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, such as sweet potatoes, barley and carrots, you will see the high separation wall that surrounds half of the kibbutz, with a small porthole that looks out to Gaza, the wall paintings The beauties painted by various artists, but the most interesting to the travelers is this "new" baby that was born in the form of a shared life of secular kibbutzniks alongside settlers and other religious people. Indeed interesting. Price: 30 per tour per person. 055-7210915, not on Shabbat.
"Tzuk Eitan" caused a socio-economic crisis in the kibbutz, but it recovered.
Kerem Shalom (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
The kibbutz closest to Gaza.
The Separation Wall in Kerem Shalom (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Gaza sprouts from the separation wall through the wall in the kibbutz (photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Darom Adom is starting, a great opportunity to support the businesses and residents of the Gaza Strip, just please take care of the anemones, the nature and take the trash you bring with you.
Everything you need - where to travel, where to eat, sleep and what happens every weekend - is
on the festival website
. Happy anemone holiday.
Trips in the country
Trips in the south