| Karmey Avdat, one of the first five
privately-owned farm settlements in the Negev Highlands, is the home of
Eyal Israeli, his extended family and their dogs. Located off the road
between Kibbutz Sde Boker
and the ancient Nabatean town of Avdat, Karmey
Avdat is open for short tours. Upon entering the gorgeous expanse of previously
unsettled property, the visitor passes by newly-planted vineyards, site
of the future winery being planned by Eyal.
The compound itself has two homes and
a hangar-like structure where pottery and metal work crafts are designed
and made. Toys dot the open space between the houses which remind the visitor
that this workplace is also home to a family. Looking for a way to maintain
a quiet lifestyle in an agricultural and inspirational atmosphere, the Israelis
sought out this land from the Jewish
Today they host visitors to the homestead
to share in the vision of what can blossom in the desert. The 45 minute tour
of Karmey Avdat includes an overview of the independent settlers program,
a description of the wine
route project, and the similarities between the way wine grapes are harvested
today and in Nabatean times, relations between the new settlers and their
Bedouin neighbors, and environmental responsibility. Every participant is
treated to a cup of tea. The tour is conducted in either Hebrew or English.
A gift shop featuring handmade pottery
made at Karmey Avdat is located on the premises.