In Practice

Urban Agriculture

Urban Agriculture is practical way to implement and promote sustainable development. It means to grow food in the City, close to homes, with no pesticides in ecological ways. Most of the world’s population lives in the cities. Raising food near home makes the city active and productive, as long as use is made of accessible resources from nearby and reduces the carbon footprints created by the transport of food from rural to urban areas. Urban agriculture is gradually becoming established as being more politically-correct, by mimicking nature and enabling the provision of untainted, pesticide-free food products, conserving water and improving the fertility of the land, while protecting the botanical and biological variety in the area. The heavy tractors and agricultural machinery are replaced by the farmer, who develops a sensitivity for his crops. The open public spaces remain protected and bring agriculture closer to home, so that people can understand the food process from soil to plate.

חקלאות עירונית

The Urban Farm

This pioneer project is located in the Gimel neighborhood in Be’er-Sheva and functions as the first ‘urban farm’ in Israel. It was founded in 2014 for the purpose of providing fresh local, organic produce to the city’s residents. This farm was planned and is managed in accordance with a variety of natural food-growing techniques: permaculture, biodynamic agriculture and traditional farming methods.By copying the characteristics and reciprocal systems that exist in nature, the urban farm succeeds in functioning as an independent mini-ecosystem. For example, the enrichment of the soil and the extermination of pests are accomplished by means of certain animals and plants specially brought to the farm, that are the natural enemies of the invading plants and pests. This saves both the physical labor and the costs and dangers incurred by the use of poisonous chemical pesticides. Meanwhile, the local flora and fauna are enriched, as well. Our urban farm, as a wonderful part of the city’s natural environment, also serves as an experiential learning center, where tours and courses are given, active community workshops and the sales hub for our own organic produce and that of a few other small natural producers.

חווה עירונית

Food Forest

This is another model of urban agriculture. In essence, a ‘food forest’ is one in which almost all that grows in it is edible and useful to human-beings, ranging from fruit trees to spice bushes and medicinal plants. On one hand, this greatly resembles many gardens found in certain rural villages and settlements, but, unlike those gardens, it has been planned and situated such that, over time, it can become totally autonomous. After 5-7 years it is no longer requiring ongoing human upkeep by: naturally collecting its own water, automatically fertilizing itself, and biologically exterminating its own natural enemies. Such a space also creates a meeting place and safe haven for local and migrating birds, butterflies, bees and, of course, people.

מרכז חקלאות ירוחם

Kalisher Community Garden

10 years ago,together with the Kalisher Absorption Center and the Ethiopian community residing there, Earth’s Promise founded its first, large community garden.The Garden became a national for integrate the ethiopian community with urban agriculture and other communities in Israel. Kalisher community garden is a source of pride and a bridge for the immigrants to be more involved in their new environment. Each immigrant family was given a plot and a chance to grow special Ethiopian crops, such as: gomeh, teff, different types of peppers and corn, some of which were not available in the Israeli markets. Kalisher community garden enabled these new immigrants, most of whom came from a rural, farming culture, to feel more at home in Israel (to literally ‘put down new roots’), to adapt more easily to the changes incurred during the absorption process, and also provided them the opportunity to meet others under pleasant circumstances, while bridging the generation gap.

גינה קהילתית

Agricultural Center in Yeruham

The Ecological Agriculture Center promoted by Earth’s Promise is a unique project that brings together Jewish families from Yeruham and Bedouin families from Rachme’, the unrecognized village that surrounds the small town. The Ecological Agriculture Center includes a desert food forest, family garden rows, a traditional herb garden and olive trees for a mutual olive harvest. The Center will be developed on municipal open space and we’ll transform neglected land into a green productive area. Throughout the week, families from both places will work together to build a sustainable ecologic framework that promotes coexistence, mutuality and responsibility to the environment.  Training and professional support will be offered to the families to replicate the practices in their own homes. Community events and learning circles will take place for special holidays while giving a place to get to better know each other’s culture and tradition.

יער מאכל

Community Olive Harvest

The city of Be’er-Sheva has over 1,000 olive trees located in the public domain. In order to enjoy this free and accessible local resource, every year we take volunteer members of the local communities out with us to celebrate an urban olive harvest. After the first fall rains, we go out together and pick the olives, which we then take to a local olive press. The resulting wonderful, local olive oil that we have prepared is then bottled and distributed, as a gift, to those who had participated in the harvesting, and the remaining bottles are sold at our organic farm.

מסיק זיתים

Grow What You Eat , Eat What You Grow