Family and agriculture in the heart of the Shomron are miraculous in view of the fact that the summers are long, hot and dry. The winters are gusty with torrential rains. The ground is usually semi-frozen. Thus vegetation is limited to two seasons, spring and autumn. Spring begins in late February with the symbolic flowering of the Almond tree; along with it all of nature bursts forth with an abundance of fruit and vegetables. As the days warm up we bless the farmers “congratulations” and “many blessings.” A sign of the redemption is when the land brings forth its fruit to her children and this we merit seeing it is very special.
The first autumn rains bring with them lively green colors seen on every hill and dale. The olive trees are finally watered by these first rains. The quality of sunlight during these seasons brings the vegetables to the highest excellence of taste, aroma, shape and texture. Itamar exports many of its award winning merchandise to international markets. Tomatoes, melons strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, are just some of them all of them are organic.
This produce is what the people of Itamar also eat in their homes. Our menus vary and include raw food, pickled, grilled, baked, fried, baked or steamed.
I may mention that there is also a local olive press here. Many people make their own olive oil for all their cooking needs. The olive tree is native to the Shomron. Itamar also produces its own organic whole wheat flour, honey, fruit leather, cheeses, yogurts, and organic eggs. Spices like thyme, mint, and Zatar(oregano) grow wild in the cracks of the rocks or in the open fields.
Just like fruits and vegetables give strength to the body and spirit so does your friendship. Let’s hope this site can offer virtual sustenance to all of our friends.
Autumn vegetables in olive oil
1 bushel of celery
1 sweet potato
250 gramsof pumpkin
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of sugar
A handful of dill parsley and coriander
Peel all the veggies and cut them into cubes. Put into a large pot. Pour over the olive oil and squeeze the lemon. Turn off the flame. Add 4 cups of boiling water after sautéing for 5 minutes. On a medium flame add all remaining ingredients and cook for thirty minutes (you can add one cup of pearl barley to this recipe)
Leah Goldsmith, Itamar