Jan 3, 2013  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Blueprint Negev,

Helping in the Arava

Today we worked in the Arava which is in the western part of the Negev.  We visited an archeological site that a family was taking care of and we helped clean it up.  Some people helped paint an old house and parts of the banister on the side of the stairs.  Some people helped clean up garbage around the site, and we buried irrigation hoses.  There were four rows of trees and each had a drip irrigation line.  We had to bury the lines because porcupines would eat the lines and they also don’t do well in the desert weather.  We took hoes and dug trenches a few inches deep all the way down the lines and then we buried them as best as we could making sure to leave the drippers sticking out so it could water the plants. 

For our afternoon activity, we went to a research and development center where we learned about settling in the desert.  The most fun part of this trip was when the director took us to some of the greenhouses and we got to taste fresh Israeli strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers.  They were so sweet and I think that everybody thoroughly enjoyed.  We also got to see the fish farm that they had, where they were primarily growing clown fish.  I love learning about agriculture in the desert because I think it is amazing how much they can do.  

Sara Jacobovitch, Alternative Break Participant, Binghamton University