It all started with a regular Ramat Beit Shemesh apartment with a neglected barren backyard...
Three years on, we've transformed it into a thriving urban farm and nature sanctuary, where we produce 30+ different kinds of fruit, vegetables and grains, as well as herbs, spices, sugar, honey, eggs, olive oil, wine and more!
We are also cultivating habitat for native plants, birds and other critters, and are thrilled to see the biodiversity in our tiny yard blossoming before our eyes!
With Hashem's Kindness, we are currently producing about 800,000 calories per year of the highest quality, most nutrient rich, most eco-friendly and most delicious food that money can't buy! (Fun fact: the average Westerner consumes about 1 million calories per year)
I always wanted to live on a farm. When I was a kid growing up in Australia I had an imaginary goat in my backyard named “Mazal Tov.” I dug up a corner of my parents’ manicured lawn to plant carrots. I bought my first gardening book when I was no more than 9 (It was the Burke’s Backyard compendium - for the Aussies here).
In adulthood, I moved to Israel became a hi-tech entrepreneur and the author of the Torah novel Yedidya, as well as a wife and mother. I never left the big city for the farm acreage of my dreams. That never stopped me from growing and making, but I wondered if I was neglecting my dream.
Until one day I realized that my dream is happening. Though I live in a regular Beit Shemesh apartment, there are so many budding opportunities for me to farm. I farm on my kitchen windowsill, in my storage room, on my porch, in the yard I’m blessed to have, in my neighbor's yard, in the open spaces that surround my neighborhood. I don’t need rolling green acres.
I use the old-world definition of a farmer as someone who grows and makes their own food and household goods. I don’t have to sell my produce or earn a living from it - in the old days, farming folk rarely did.
There are so many benefits to being a farmer, so many unique flavors, and so many enriching experiences that are exclusive to us.
So if you want to be a farmer too - there is absolutely nothing stopping you becoming one today!
Follow me for tons of creative ideas, projects and inspiration.
May Hashem bless you with fruitfulness,
Naomi “Bloomah” Elbinger
PS. Though everyone calls me Naomi, Bloomah is my Jewish name. Good job, Mum and Dad!