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  • Talma Gotteiner

Sukkot Festival: "Open Farmsteads in Pitchat Nitsana"

Hi there,

The Negev Mountain Tourism Partnership, the Mirage Israel Foundation, and the Ministry of Agriculture invite you to a magical and special agricultural experience in the desert. Come and get to know up close the magnificent desert agriculture in the hidden desert of Pitchat Nitsana and reap experiences for the whole family during the intermediate days of Sukkot at a symbolic and subsidized cost of - 15 NIS per participant.

This is the sixth year that the "Open Farmsteads in Pitchat Nitsana" festival is being held, offering you a variety of tours and experiences in greenhouses and agricultural farms in the settlements of Pitchat Nitsana in the Negev Plateau.

WHEN: October 11-13, 2022 - Chol Hamoed Sukkot

Sukkot Festival: "Open Farmsteads in Pitchat Nitsana"
Credit: "Open Farmsteads" taken by Adi Ziv Av

Festival Events

A Tour of Shirat Hamidbar Farm - An experiential tour diving into the world of medicinal plants and spices. You will learn how to use more and less familiar plants from everyday life, prepare extracts, and more. The tour is guided by Golan Cohen, clinical herbalist and founder of the "Shirat Hamidbar" farm.

Tour of the Meshek-Tushia Farm - The tour will reveal a unique and exciting family story starting from the famous clubs of the Tel Aviv nightlife, to the establishment of an educational organic agricultural farm that keeps "Shmita" (i.e the 7-year agricultural sabbatical) in the desert on the border of Egypt. Their particularly Zionist story will take you along vineyards, olive groves, and rich fruit orchards. At the end of the tour, you can taste and buy unique desert wines and excellent local must produced in the local winery.

A Tour of the "Shalom" Vineyard Farm - Oren Shalom, one of the founders of the Moshav "Be'er Milka" and a pioneer of growing grapevines in the desert, will take you on a guided and in-depth experiential tour that tells the story of the settlement in Pitchat Nitsana. Its a story of innovation in the face of several challenges. Of course, you will taste the local desert wine.

A Sunset Tour at Tel Nitsana - Tour guide Iris Barzani will take you on a circular route where you will meet the secrets of the hidden desert: the "Pillars of Peace", an ancient agricultural farm, animal tracks, the ancient ruins of the Nabatean city "Tel Nitsana", and also view our neighbor Egypt, whose relations with the State of Israel are becoming tighter in many interesting ways. We will share with you the stories of settlement and contemporary agriculture and introduce you to special characters who are engaged in the flowering of the desert wasteland every day.

A Tour of the "Nitzana" Farm - An experiential tour with an educational flavor delivered by youth in Nitzana who were trained as tour guides and engaged in challenging education daily. The Nitsana agricultural farm is one of the projects of the Nitsana educational community, which maintains connections between different groups in Israeli society. We will hear the fascinating story of the farm, visit the greenhouses and the vegetable garden, and of course taste the produce of the farm.

A Tour of the "Moniz" Farm - A tropical and special tour of the Moniz farm in Kadesh Barnea with Ran and Maya who left lucrative management jobs and decided to run a farm in the Negev. They will tell about their free-range coop, about growing cherry tomatoes at the beginning and the search for other types of agriculture that are suitable for the area, about their mango and lychee plantation, and the tropical pineapple in the heart of the desert.

A Tour "From the Aviary to the Grove" - ​​In the colorful deer aviary in Kadesh Barnea with cold herbal tea and a sweet homemade vegan snack you will meet Naama Katz, a resident of Moshav Kadesh Barnea who will take you on a journey through time in Pitchat Nitsana. From the views of the Egyptian border, the agricultural stories of the special settlement, and the Independence Day War to the "enchanted and bewitched" Beerotaim grove with its own fascinating story and the strange trees in it that are suitable for climbing.

Sheep Grazing at Sunset - A challenging fun activity in which you will experience taking a flock of sheep to pasture. Upon arrival at the farm, you will be treated to coffee and tea and after a brief explanation about the farm and the sheep, you will join Liran Almosnino, the owner of the farm, to take the sheep out to pasture. You will learn how to lead a flock, look after the sheep and take care of them while listening to the stories of the shepherds in the desert.

Scorpions and Stars - An experiential night activity for the whole family in a fascinating evening tour that includes stargazing and tracing the wonderful world of scorpions with the help of ultraviolet flashlights. The tour takes about an hour and a half.

The White Desert - A trip that combines a public singing activity with Hadar Gini, a resident of Kadesh Barnea and a tour and arts guide in the area. Together with Hadar, you'll embark on a poetic journey inspired by the desert, with guidance and stories behind the songs at the foothills of Nitsana.

A Family Olive Picking Event - An experiential activity for the whole family at the Medalia farm located in Moshav Kmehin. During the tour you will experience self-harvesting and pressing of olives using a traditional method and you will hear from Miron Medalia what the special secret of olive trees is.

Ancient Crafts Workshop - In a rotating workshop that will take place in the Sukkah in Meshek Nitsana every afternoon, you will step into past. Together you will learn to weave plant-based materials and feel the value of the connection between man and the earth. Adult supervision is required for children under the age of 10.

Lulavim Weaving Workshop - In the workshop you will meet Ella Sinai from Be'er Milka and together you will experience weaving lulavim into an elegant and simple trivet, with a basic technique very similar to criss-cross weaving. The product obtained at the end of the workshop can be used as a trivet for a pot, a decoration for the wall or any use that comes to your mind, and you can easily reproduce the success at home with plants that you find near your home.

In addition to the subsidized festival (which offers symbolic prices for all these activities), the area also offers a host of other activities by prior reservation:

  • Independent bike tours

  • Lantern and stargazing tours

  • A desert escape game "The Nabatean Youth Potion" for the whole family

  • "Secrets of Shivta" tour at sunset

  • Tomcar 4x4 tours

  • Yoga and movement workshops

  • Sand surfing

  • The curiosity room

Wishing you a Sweet New Year!


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