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November 20, 1987 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

LIFE IN ISRAEL

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Home-Grown Galilee Teas
Are Said To Soothe And Heal

• !if

itzpe Hararit, Gali-
lee Highlands — Got
a stomach disorder
or a toothache? Then why not
soothe the pain with a cup of
melissa or lavender tea. And
while we're on the subject of
medicinal herbs, if you keep
a strict natural diet, try
seaasoning any one of your
meals with Hararit's
organically grown oregano,
salvia, thyme or sage.
These are some of 30 dif-
ferent local Israeli species
grown by David Doron at
Mitzpe Hararit, a new com-
munity village with 19
families high up in Galilee's
central highlands, on land
cleared by the Jewish Na-
tional Fund.
Unlike classical Ceylon,
Doron's plantation is a mere
one-acre plot on a rocky
hillside overlooking the
mesmerisingly scenic Netufa
Valley. Yet Hararit's aromatic
herbs and spices make
delicious competition even for
Earl Grey's prestigious brews.
"From a medical or dietetic
point of view," stresses Doran,
"Israeli-grown herbs enjoy a
significantly higher quality of
fats than herbs grown in
other countries around the
world. Organic agriculture is
intelligent farming," he adds,
commenting that he chose
the field because of its cerebal
challenge and contribution to
a healthier society, as well, of
course, for its excellent
economic prospects.
David Doron, a former
electro-optical engineer,
formerly employed at the
Weizmann Institute, settled
five years ago with his
London-born wife, at Hararit.
Hararit is Israel's sole
transcendental meditation
center in central Galilee.
Having chosen this lifestyle,
bio-dynamic methods of
agriculture neatly fitted in
with his search for better,
balanced living.
As a native of Mikve Israel,
Israel's first agriculture
school near Holon, Doron's
rural background served him
well in his adult transition to
farming in Galilee. Immers-
ing himself in his new profes-
sion with systematic
thoroughness, he started
carefully researching local
herbal plant life in the
Galilee region, its climatic
conditions, soil requirements
and diseases.
Doron's one-acre plot
presently yields some 3,000

World Zion ist Press Serv ice

F

DESIGNS IN DECORATOR N
LAMINATES

David Doron packages his organically grown herbal tea.

kilograms of dried and pro-
cessed herbal leaves. Plants
are grown outdoors in the
open air and are organically
fertilized. Being perennials,
maximum yields are obtain-
ed several years after plan-
ting. No pesticides or insec-
ticides are used, and plant
diseases are controlled
through natural selection, by
introducing predatory insects
to the infected plots.
The quality of the herbal
blend begins with harvesting.
This is done manually and
the leaves and stems are hand
picked from only the
healthier plant specimens.
Nevertheless, Doron is cur-
rently developing a technique
of sieving the stalks from the
leaves and blossoms which
will help to mechanize tradi-
tional tea harvesting.
lb keep the herbal blends
dry, the leaves and blossoms
are dried indoors in condi-
tions of low humidity in large,
mesh wire trays at
temperatures of between 30
and 40 degrees centigrade,
five hours a day for two to
three days. As a result,
Hararit's blends retain their
outdoor freshness and aroma
for approximately one year.
According to Doron, the
same herbs that go to make
tea and spices can be used for
therapeutic purposes as well.
He recently, for example,
began preparing herbal teas
from locally grown red basil,

which is said to cure indiges-
tion, vomiting and nauseau,
and hybiscus blossoms and
leaves for alleviating an-.
tisomatic disorders. A brew of
thyme leaves or hyssop
soothes nervous tension,
depression and anxiety, while
mint tea is meant to cure in-
somnia, . dizziness and
toothache.
Most of Doron's customers
are local visitors at Hararit's
transcendental meditation
center, while others are
tourists who, having heard
about Doron's herbal blends,
drop in to purchase a few
packets of his attractively
packaged product. Doron's
regular, large customers in-
clude Israeli natural health
food stores and practitioners
of natural medicine.
The Jewish Agency is to
help Doron expand and im-
prove his herbal farm by
granting him funds to pur-
chase harvesting equipment
and construct enlarged dry-
ing and packaging facilities.
The JNF will prepare addi-
tional rocky terrain at
Hararit for factory facilities
and expanded tracts of land
for cultivating the herbs.
These improvements will per-
mit Doron to increase his
work force at harvest time,
which at present consists of
two young girls from nearby
Kibbutz Avtalyon.

World Zionist Press Service

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