Israel’s Berry Picking Season

family vacations my clever husband has always found a way to include berry
picking on the itinerary. Sometimes we would eat our hard-earned berries
at the farm and the rest later on a picnic. One year, this same husband was
positively brilliant and figured out a way to bring them back from Canada
to Israel. After we loaded our buckets with a few kilos worth of assorted
black and red berries, he then bought pectin, sugar and some jars. You guessed
it – back in our kitchenette, we made fruit jam and returned to Israel with
half a dozen jars of multi-hued berry jam.

These days Israelis do not need to
travel half way around the world for this particular treat.

The berry season in Israel begins
in mid-May at the Zak Family Farm on Moshav Sde Yaakov, continues
at the Landau Farm at Moshav Ben-Ami near Nahariyya, and ends
in the Golan Heights at Kibbutz El-Rom and Bustan HaGolan
in mid-September.

The brainchild of 3rd generation
moshavnik, Nadav Zak, the Zak self-picking berry farm has 7 varieties of
blackberries — including 2 thornless varieties — and raspberries. Berry
names are posted in the rows and you can compare tastes as you fill your

Open in the afternoons from Sunday
thru Friday. Closed on Shabbat (Saturday) and Jewish holidays.

Location: Zak Family Farm on
Moshav Sde Yaakov, 20 minutes southeast of Haifa on Route 722.

Tel: 04-983-2539; 050-297747.

At the Landau Farm on Moshav Ben-Ami the berry picking season
is from the end of May until the end of July. Pick organically-grownpitango

blackberries, raspberries, and mulberries. Landau, an expert and grower of
exotic fruits, also offers for the pick-it-youself crowd.

Open all day Friday and Saturday.

Mid-week, by advance reservation only.

Location: Landau Farm on Moshav
Ben-Ami west of Nahariyya on Route 89.

Tel: 050-461-981

Further north, berry season takes
place from mid-June through mid-September,

Kibbutz El-Rom: In addition
to the blackberries and raspberries found at Zak Farm, Kibbutz El-Rom
also offers blueberries for picking, and a winemaking


Winemaking workshop: From mid-August,
make your own wine in a one-day session that is held daily until mid-September.
Families begin by picking grapes and then stomping on them in the old-fashioned
way. At the end of the workshop, you take home a 3-liter jug of wine, according
to Avi Gavish, program coordinator. Part of the winemaking package is a country-style
meal of labane (thick yogurt), pita and olives.

Reservations required for winemaking:

Avi Gavish: 050-252269

you need to cool down, see a short film about another El-Rom industry, the
business of subtitling films. The air conditioned theater and coffee shop
are the perfect end to a day in the fields.

fee. All you can eat on premises. Produce is weighed for take-away. Open
daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Kibbutz El-Rom on Route 98 in the Golan Heights.

Tel: 06-698-1294.

Bustan HaGolan: In addition
to blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, Bustan HaGolan also offers cherries.
From August through October, pears, apricots, nectarines, peaches and apples
are part of the self-picking menu. Also on the site are picnic grounds and
a petting zoo with alpacas and llamas.


Entrance fee. All you can eat on premises.
Produce is weighed for take-away. Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Until 3 PM
on Friday and Saturday.


Location: Bustan HaGolan on Route
98 in the Golan Heights. Tel: 06-698-1294.

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