Farmers of the Negev
Kibbutz Neot SmadarArava Desert
An expansive, diversified bio-organic farm has been created at Neot Smadar, a kibbutz in the southern part of the Negev Mountain. Accompanying it is the fruit-processing center, where various organic products are prepared exclusively from the local harvest and processed by kibbutz members and volunteers.
A variety of crops have been cultivated successfully in this desert environment: vineyards for table grapes and for wine, olive groves as well as deciduous fruit trees such as apricot, nectarine, plum, apple, almond and more.
Neot Smadar has pioneered the use of the salt-water brine from the nearby desalination plants (known as residual water), taking what was formerly slated for the trash and creating a green belt surrounding the highway, growing plants that like the salty water, including Alfalfa for all their goats.
Their modern kibbutz–which was founded in 1989–has at its core the early principles of the kibbtuz movement. The kibbutz members emphasize the importance of sharing, and they swap family homes every five years or so to prevent attachment to material possessions. Moreover, they put intention into all of their building and design. Their structures are intelligently designed for the desert; they incorporate ancient knowledge to their crafts, including the use of air shafts in each building to cool the structures. Kibbtuz Neot Smadar approaches farming with the same deference towards local knowledge, having been “Organic” before the government even recognized it, inspired by the philosophy long before they knew of the term.
International Phone – 011-972-8-635-8111
Israeli Phone – 08-635-8111
See their website.