Thursday, March 29, 2007

Things That Have Surprised Me About Israel, Pt. I

Oh yeah, FERTILE crescent! I had no idea how lush this place was. I always imagined it as a kind of desert with a few olive trees and grape vines growing through the cracks. Wrong. The whole Jordan valley up to and around the Sea of Galilee is one huge victory garden.

They grow everything here and it is all beautiful and healthy looking and delicious. One of my dinner companions the other night laughed when I commented on how huge the strawberries are here. She has lived in Jerusalem for twelve years. She nodded, "Yeah, they don't worry about any of that genetic breeding of agriculture here like you all do back in the States. Just keep making stuff bigger and better!" Anyway, I keep thinking of that story in the Bible when Joshua sent the spies into the promised land and they came back with fruits as big as wagon wheels. Not too far off from what I have seen.

Here, for example, was a row of gorgeous oranges stacked along the wall at Qumran.


And these were only a handful of the oranges that were sitting around there for no reason I could see, except that they were making fresh squeezed orange juice for the tourists. Every morning you get three or four oranges squeezed in a little machine right in front of you making for a wonderful experience of what orange juice is supposed to be. I'll never go back to frozen from concentrate.

There are miles and miles of banana trees. And the air around here is filled with the smell of orange blossoms. Oh, and then there are the date orchards...




...and those heavenly yellow trees....


...and the bright purple ones....


...and can't forget the pink trees...


...and those patches of lavender flowers...


Land of milk and honey, indeed.

1 comment:

prof said...

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a bientot