This trip in the Jerusalem mountains focuses on the Sataf Reserve, where the traditional vine varieties of Eretz Israel and figs ripen in late August at the height of summer. And the second place is Ein Mesila - the slopes of the Jerusalem mountains where Rhamnus lycioides grow this season. Again, excellent plants make up a delicious meal at the end and several road stories.
The Jewish National Fund trained the southern slopes of Mount Eitan and restored the ancient terraced agriculture. They say that plants from biblical times were planted in the park and built cisterns to store rainwater for irrigation in the summer months. In addition, the fund planted varieties of ancient grapes and figs.
Eretz Israel buckthorn is a thorny shrub. He has small fruit, and there are seeds with laxatives inside themselves. Please do not eat it. Just suck and spit out the seeds. However, a liqueur from the fruit is made very tasty. It is better to gather the buckthorn in Ein Mesila - there are many bushes there. Shake the branch into a bowl with a stick. Apparently, it can be concluded that since the plant's seeds cause diarrhea, they help in constipation. But there is no proof of that. However, figs are beneficial against constipation. Next to buckthorn, the Common Madder grows. The black fruit of Madder is very toxic. Toxins make the black color.
The red crest is a Rhus coriaria or tanner's sumach. The nickname of the tanners is given to the plant because they used it to process skins. A substance that is found in large quantities in tanner's sumach is tannic acid. Tannic acid breaks down the proteins. The protruding stems are the fruits of the plant and are mature when it is purple. The real sumach has an unsalted taste. It is claimed to be anti-aging. You can make spices as follows: Gather the clusters when they are greasy and sticky. Dry them for three weeks and grind them into a light pourer mill that will not crush the seeds. Then pass through the strainer.
Varthemia is like sage. It is made into sweet and spicy tea.
Terraces are an ancient farming method. The spring water waters the terraces and descends to the wadi. On the upper terraces, figs are grown, below the olives and below the pomegranates are inclined. It all depends on the amount of water the plant needs.
Fig has a substance called psoralen. In the vernacular, it is named fig milk. This plant-based milk causes the milk to become cheese. Fig is an allergenic tree. At the early stage of ripening, a fig has a flower that invites a wasp to pollinate. Therefore the wasp larvae sometimes remain in the fruit. The next stage of ripening is fruiting. When the fruit is opened so that birds can come and spread seeds - the fruit is ripe. At this point, figs do not excrete the milk.
This part of the orchard is for growing traditional vine varieties unique to the Land of Israel. One of the most common varieties is Halvani. The name comes from Arabic - Halva - sweety, candy. There is another name for this breed, "baz el bakra" - cow's nipple. This name figures out its elongated shape and much fleshiness. The grape is usually huge and sweet, suitable for creating raisins. Another original variety is the skoti, or Baladi - the true one from the varieties of the Land of Israel. The skoti is a smooth green grape, relatively large and slightly elongated in shape. It adapts itself to all types of Eretz Israel soil and is known for its delicate sweetness. In the southern Hebron Mountains, his name is El Khalili - that is, Hebron. In the Carmizan Monastery south of Jerusalem, white wine is made from it.
The natural cave can show how the caves in the orchard were used in ancient times. They are meant to house agricultural tools, and sometimes shepherds stay in them. From here, you can clearly see the tops of the red sumach. In the north of the country, near the Druze town of Masada, there is a spring of Ein Fit. Next to it is a whole grove of sumach trees.
The fig orchard for self-harvesting. For more information on varieties of figs of Eretz Israel, read Assaf's blog.
On the eve of the War of Independence of Israel, the "Burma Road" was the only connecting route between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It passed through this important point named Ein Mesila spring, in its Arabic name Deir Duban. The spring served as a transit station on the Burma Road. The empty trucks from Jerusalem were loaded here, with equipment and supplies coming from the Tel Aviv area. The large well, well-remaining today, filled from nearby several springs. Today the JNF has set up a parking lot with a playground equipped with the "table" games of ancient times.
The games are depicted on large stone slabs in which niches and a drawing are presented. You can play with small stones. The rules of the game are listed on boards.
In fact, this is the meal we made from what we picked up!
Bulrush grows In the mud near the dam over the Burma River stream. The heart of a delicious young white bulrush is good to fry with noodles.
The journey is ended!