The agricultural garden in Geddera serves approximately 60 farmers, all of whom are of Ethiopian descent, and most of whom are pensioners. It is in these gardens that the farmers grow their organic grains and vegetables, using traditional agricultural methods. The product is thereafter brought home to be consumed by the farmers' families, and with the purpose of developing future business ventures for the farmers participating in the program. Although the farmers arrive daily to tend to their crops, they also arrive every week at the gardens for activities that help solidify their union and guide or support their endeavors.
The garden creates a sense of capability, success, pride, a connection to the land, and also strengthens the bond between farmers and their spouses at home, their children and their grandchildren.
Even during the most difficult periods of lockdown, the farmers arrived daily at the gardens. In fact, working in the garden has become somewhat of a refuge for them from the multi-generational complexity of their homes; a place to dust off the bones and recharge the soul; a place that allows them to support the family economy, while providing them with nutritional security in the form of fresh organic vegetables at the dining table and also enabling them to sell surplus produce in the neighborhood to add a little extra income for the family.
During the pandemic, we realized (together with them) that everywhere they go they hear “no”: no, don't leave the house; no, don't see the grandkids; no, don't crowd or meet with friends… it is only in the garden that they are free. We realized that there's a sustainable model here that's very suitable for these times, and not just for Ethiopian Israelis, but wherever there are elderly folk.
The garden is a multi-generational community meeting place wherein tours and workshops are available for schools, expeditions and groups from Israel or abroad. Furthermore, the garden plays host to a plethora of community events that are open to the general public.
Based on our extensive knowledge and experience -- we have established our model in other communities, such as Yavne and Gan Yavne, wherein we are currently assisting elderly farmers from Ethiopia who are engaged in community agriculture, to cultivate the land and grow their own organic produce.
The model is marketed as part of the Friends By Nature Training center , which is open to anyone who wants to build projects such as this.
For more details:
Mirit - 054-5616727