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Wheat- A Taste of the Past

Since the days of the agricultural revolution, wheat and bread have been key components in our diets. However, in the modern age complaints have been surfacing around the fact that the nutritional value of these foods is dwindling as a result of the different processes they undergo in preparation for retail.
It is maintained, that these foods may even be detrimental to our health. Industrialization has reduced the varieties of wheat strains and has reduced the biodiversity. Over the past few years, efforts are being made to trace less common and even some historic strains that have better nutritional properties. These historic stains are believed to be more resilient to climate change.
Those who travel along the Manor Trail (marked in red) in the spring, may wonder why there is a sown wheat field in the middle of the Nature Park. The field is located on the east side of the park, on the way to Horvat ‘Aqav. This field is part of our effort to restore an agricultural landscape using these traditional wheat varieties.

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This wheat field located in Ramat Hanadiv is another among the many in our wide variety of heritage sites and archeological remains that preserve the landscape of the area’s ancient culture.  These sights complement the mosaic of the park’s natural scenic views, woods and planted forests. The use of these strains of wheat though, started as part of the “Eretz Hitah” (Land of Wheat) initiative, a joint effort of The Ministry of Agriculture and The Israel Plant Gene Bank (The National Center of Genetic Reserves of Area Vegetation).
In the winter of 2016, several observation plots were planted with historic wheat varieties alongside plots with industrial strains. This was done in an effort to learn whether these historic strains are sustainable in the area. Later, the observation experiments continued at various research institutes, such as the Weizman Institute, Volcani Center, and Ramat Hanadiv.

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The historic strains planted in Ramat Hanadiv were limited to those that could be purchased in commercial quantities (Norsi and Kamut). These wheat fields are maintained in accordance with the principles of “agriculture for environmental conservation”, which strives to integrate agriculture components with minimal effect on the surrounding natural processes. This includes not watering beyond precipitation, no fertilization with chemicals, and no use of pesticides or herbicides.
The added value of Ramat Hanadiv’s involvement in this initiative, in contrast to the involvement of commercial growers or research farms, is the option of testing more traditional growing methods while studying the interactions between them and the natural environment. In addition to their contribution to the historic- natural landscape and to agricultural-ecological research, there is a great contribution to the awareness of locally grown, healthful food.
The time of sowing is between the end of November and the beginning of January, depending when the rain begins, and harvest takes place around the month of May. At this stage, the crop is cut into hay which is then fed to Ramat Hanadiv’s herds of goats and cattle. One day, these strains of wheat that were grown and eaten here in our region two thousand years ago, will be easily purchased at the grocery and in the bread that we buy from the local bakery.

Of further interest...

Accessibility

Memorial Gardens Main Entrance

The main entrance to the Memorial Gardens – located next to the Visitors Pavilion. In the entrance plaza are temporary exhibitions on a range of subjects promoted by Ramat Hanadiv

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Sustainability

Horticultural Therapy at Ramat Hanadiv

Many studies have demonstrated the link between a green environment, nature or flowering gardens and feelings of calmness and serenity, enjoyment and vitality

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Dining Here

Dining-The Picnic Site

The picnic area is located near the secondary parking lot. You are welcome to spend time there before or after your tour of the Gardens.

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