Making and Lighting Olive Oil with Kids

In honor of Chanukah, I just ran a hands-on olive picking and pressing workshop for the family’s of the Community Garden of Arnona, a neighborhood in southern Jerusalem. The first step was to pick the olives off the branches that I brought in. Then we had to crush the olives. Then we pressed the crushed…

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Bloomah’s in Mishpacha: What My Rabbi Said

Today, October 14, is an exciting day for me and my mission: a 6-page feature article about Bloomah’s City Farm came out in Mispacha’s Jr Magazine! I am excited and nervous – especially about the cover, because I never expected that they would feature a photo of my son there. My No Photo Policy I…

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Animal Instincts: Do Humans Have them?

The amazing thing about living with animals is I get to observe a very powerful force of nature up close: Instinct. For example, my pet hen Stripey knows exactly how to incubate and hatch eggs, even though she never read a parenting book, never saw another chicken do it, and she herself was born in…

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Why I never planted peanuts before – and why I did now

My peanuts sprouted! I have wanted to grow peanuts for such a long time but I never did. Since they are legumes (kitniyot). there is a halachic imperative to leave a big space between them and other vegetables (48-60 cm, depending on which halachic opinion you follow) Beans are also kitniyot – another summer favorite…

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Just Hatched: My New Novel

This week we have an exciting new hatchling on Bloomah’s City Farm. It’s my new novel – Yedidya. I just published it digitally. It’s 100% homegrown with right here on the farm. Here’s a blurb: Yedidya – A Novel in Weekly Installments Based on the shiurim of Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis | Written by Naomi Elbinger…

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I’m Featured in Gila Manolson’s New Book

Here in Ramat Beit Shemesh, there aren’t too many other farmers. Actually none. I guess you could say that my farming passion sets me apart from my lovely neighbors, who think that bees are scary, manure is gross, and potatoes grow on trees. The fact that I think so differently used to bother me greatly…

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Birkas Ha’Ilanos Under Lockdown

It’s the month of Nissan and we have a special mitzvah to make a bracha over fruit-bearing trees in bloom. Usually that means that we head out in the neighborhood on a delightful blossom hunt in nearby parks and gardens. This year it’s not so easy but our bewildered, news-saturated souls need this inspiring once-a-year…

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How to Grow Horseradish at Home

Pesach is almost here which means it’s the perfect time to plant your Marror – for next year’s Seder! Horseradish is super easy to grow and is started from a piece of the root itself, which most of us will have in our homes in the immediate future. So now’s the time! Here’s how: Step…

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