Yesterday I took my two year old son, Eviatar, on a fun day with Mommy. And where does a two year old go on a fun day with Mommy? Gymboree? The Zoo? Not really! We went to the Levy Farm in Telmi Yechial in southern Israel. Eviatar ate tomatoes straight from the vine, rode on tractor and wallowed in the mud between the beds of cabbage and broccoli- what fun! It’s actually my second visit to the farm, but this time I got a special tour from Eitan- the main operator of the farm and the person in charge of pest control (I got detailed explanations about pesticides).
So this is what Eitan explained to me: the farm was founded by Naomi Levy in the 1980’s, and is located in Telmi Yechial, next to the Malachi Junction (in the southern part of Israel but only 40 minutes away from Tel Aviv). The farm exports cherry tomatoes to Europe. Besides tomatoes, the farm also specializes in the growing of pineapple, asparagus, snow peas (I bought some for home!), and long beans. There is also a vegetable garden which provides fresh vegetables for the vegetable stand which Naomi’s daughter Roni opened about five years ago. The best time for a visit to the farm is on Fridays, when Roni makes home cooked delicacies using the freshest vegetables for the visitors to taste (and get a free, yes free, recipe)!
The farms’ website is http://www.mesheklevy.co.il  and you can read about the farm and directly order vegetables.
If you were wondering if the vegetables are organic, then the answer is no- they are not classified as organic, and I honestly think what’s really important (as Eitan also mentioned to me) is to buy vegetables from a responsible grower. At the Levy Farm they are required to use pesticides according to the strict European standards, which lessen the use of pesticides as much as possible. I saw several of the biological pesticide materials that the farm uses (which include all sorts of insects), through Eitan’s magnifying glass, and I was very impressed with the work they do.
I got home with a box full of fresh and tasty vegetables- and I started by cooking some broccoli and snow peas in a wok. I then moved on to the huge celeriac I bought, slicing it very finely, and using Eitan’s tip, I squeezed fresh lemon juice on the slices, and topped with sea salt and it came out incredible. How simple, and how tasty! I have a fridge full of vegetables and a mind full of recipes.
So I’ve introduced you to a magical place which induces culinary inspiration. I hope you will make the visit and if you do- don’t forget to write to and let me know about it!