What I’m Growing on Shmitta

Shmitta can be hard. There are many things that I would like to do in my garden right now. Such as:

  • Prune back the Panama Berry tree, which I adore, but it growing so fast that by the end of the year it will be shading most of the other trees and plants in that part of the garden
  • Remove the mealy bugs from my blood orange tree
  • Pull up the weeds from my vegie beds. They may well have a thousand babies each, by the time shmitta ends. How I wish I could just feed them to the chickens!
  • Plant! There is a growing list of plants that I am itching to put in. At the top of my list: Peruvian pear and galangal.
  • Eat the garlic, potatoes and nettle which have sprung up in my growing beds. But instead I must yank them out and destroy them, as they are sefichin.

But still there’s lots of good stuff brewing on Bloomah’s City Farm

Pictured (l-r): Fermented honey-garlic-ginger, sauerkraut with apple and ginger, pickled purple onions with sumac, apple scrap vinegar, beeswax skin salve, hibiscus mead, beeswax-olive oil deodorant. Also scattered fruits from my edible hibiscus plant.

It’s kind of hard to explain the satisfaction I get when I partner with the forces of Creation to grow something so delicious, nourishing and beneficial! So valuable! So one-of-a-kind!

Really it feels kind of like gardening 🙂

There are so many more DIY projects I want to try. The shift of focus from gardening is inspiring me to try lots of new things on my kitchen counter.

Projects I hope to try soon:

  • propolis tincture (our hive gives us plenty of propolis but I’ve never made use of it before)
  • all kinds of home-brewed vinegars
  • herbal infused oils (using our hand-harvested olive oil)
  • new adventures in natural soap making – this time with wood ash instead of chemical caustic soda

One of the main things I’m growing this year is my knowledge and skills. I joined a monthly courses on ancient skills, where we are learning about foraging, carving, natural clays, tracking and more.

It is wonderful to be outdoors and learning in this beautiful world.

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My name is Naomi and this is my tiny little farm in the heart of the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. I enjoy growing, making and processing as much of my family's food and household essentials as possible, while nurturing a biodiverse ecosystem filled with beauty and life. 

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  1. Dinah Martindale on December 26, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Do you mind sharing the info on the ancient skills course you’re doing? I’d love to do something like that!

  2. Rebecca on December 30, 2021 at 5:43 am

    I also love the outdoors and this blog has given me the impetus to get towards a home based growing project as well, what a wonderful way to connect with nature even in smaller Israeli quarters, thank you so much and looking forward to your email updates!

  3. ZALMAN MITTMAN on January 3, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    When you want to sell some fresh Bee propolis, please let me know.
    Kol tuv,

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