Situated on the sand dunes of the ancient Negev desert at 200m above sea-level, we set out in 2013 to do our part in the prophesied 'greening of the desert'. Upon sending our first soil sample for analysis we were not too surprised when they came back telling us what we already knew - that the soil held nothing that was going to help us in our quest!
When appealing to experts we realized that that were not many other people that had done what we were doing and prepared ourselves to glean from other farmers in the area but largely, with strong faith, face a largely unknown field in front of us.
Water & Fertigation
All our crops are irrigated as our annual rainfall seldom exceeds 100 mm (4 inches). Our water comes to us via the Israel National Water Carrier. Today the largest source of our water is from desalinated sea water. This is added to water from the Sharon aquifer and some from the Sea of Galilee. As our soil (sand dunes) have little or no organic matter, organic growing is not an option. We feed our crops by injecting liquid fertilizer into the irrigation water. They receive the missing micro elements as a supplement contained within the fertilizer. As our evaporation rate is very high - having very low humidity.
We irrigate up to 35% more than in other grape growing areas.
Growing in the Desert
When growing in the desert and secondly in sand dunes, the way we grow has had to be adapted to suit our extreme weather conditions. Precise irrigation practice and adaptive growing protocols can help to bring a resounding success to agriculture in areas where one may think it not possible.