tomatoes and Tekoa?

I’ve got tomatoes coming out of my ears. It is the glut before the drought. Temperatures will soon be too hot at night for fruit setting and so it will be October or November before those lucious red babies are pickable off the vine again. In the meantime, they are pouring in. On Friday my very elderly neighbour had asked if I could drop a few tomatoes off to him on Sunday. I guess he actually meant like two. He wasn’t home when I went to drop them off so I left him a little basket outside his door with like 16 cherry tomatoes and six slicers. Today the basket came back with thanks…and 4 slicers and half of the cherry tomatoes still in it.

The super sweet neighbours directly next door are picking their own as needed and seem to be harvesting 5 or 6 slicers a week. The neighbours across the hall collected 3 slicers last Friday, the family on the fourth floor took 5. The neighbours upstairs, who usually take a good number, are on vacation for three weeks. Yeah, it is their fault I’m drowning in these puppies! Yesterday I made an absolutely huge salad of finely chopped tomatoes, a red and a green sweet pepper, two small hot peppers, a baby yellow onion and its greens, some parsley — all from the garden — mixed with a can of corn. I had it for dinner, breakfast, lunch, a snack…and there is still enough to feed a family of four off it. On Saturday I made enough tomato pasta sauce for 8 servings. I guess I need to make some more to freeze as I’ve still got around 10 slicers and a couple dozen cherry tomatoes on my counter and nearly a dozen will need to be harvested off the vine tomorrow.

You have to follow the tomato vine to get to Tekoa. Because Tekoa is just a skip out Jerusalem, tomatoes set fruit all summer long with those chilly summer evenings. More importantly, there are plots of land in Tekoa that have already been zoned residential for like 85k. The plots aren’t huge — the size of an average suburban lot in the U.S. but that would still give me way more growing space than I have now and it would be mine, all mine! If I put a caravan (trailer) or caravilla (pre-fab house) on it, with the idea of building something more permanent in like 10 years, I would like insto have space to build the animal sanctuary and to garden, garden, garden.

I looked into buying agricultural land in the Golan, like a lot of it (the equivalent of 2-3 acres going for 32k U.S. per acre), but I discovered that, in order to qualify for the exception to build a, as in just one, single personal dwelling that is more substantial than a tent –that is, a tent that can be moved and would need to be moved from pillar to post on a regular basis– for a farm on agriculturally zoned land, I’d have to buy a hell of a lot more land (about 60 acres) than I can afford. Yeah, nearly 2 million U.S. above my most wildly wishful-thinking budget. Clearly, our country doesn’t like the idea of small farm entrepreneurs. So I’m thinking about a suburban lot in Tekoa…

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11 responses to “tomatoes and Tekoa?”

  1. Lynne says :

    As big as Texas is, there are still restrictions on buying farm land, that is, on subdividing it into smaller lots to sell, especially when the land in near a major city like Austin or Houston or Dallas. In the smaller towns though, it’s possible to buy smaller properties of several acres. I believe that the intent is to keep farmland from becoming suburbs.

  2. KLF says :

    Did you check the Negev ? I think it’s cheaper than the Golan area.

  3. XSAGaL says :

    Tekoa … a couple of things to think about
    1 -Its over the green line
    2 Transportation.. You will probably need a car (you work in TLV?) . I would assume that public transport isn’t great there.
    3 buying a plot of land might be cheaper there but life in general could be more expensive

  4. israeliminx says :

    I’m checking everywhere. I like Tekoa because it is a community with a nice mix of religious and secular folks and an artist community as well and I like the location. I am also looking at the Negev but am not wild about the idea of setting up an animal sanctuary in relatively frequent rocket range — I’d have to turn the entire yard into a bomb shelter for them and that would be extremely expensive. I keep hoping some affordable zoned land will open in Karnei Shomron but there isn’t even non-affordable land available there currently. I’ll definitely need to get a car if I am out of the center, whether south, north or east. I should probably think about getting a driving license 🙂

    • Lynne says :

      Get your license again when you visit here in September. Please do not think of living over the green line. Please.
      I think that having an animal sanctuary in Israel is out of the question to do alone. I know people here who have sanctuaries and they have a large group of people who help them, and in fact, one shelter has lost volunteers and board members and may have to close as a result of the loss. I think we have to try to get the rescues that you have here, as many as possible. I hope that you will look at some apartments that you may like instead.

      • XSAGaL says :

        I think That a US licence is not valid in Israel . She’ll need to convert it to an Israeli one which is not automatic. She’ll need to take lessons and do a test.
        As for living over the green line I would think long and very hard about such a move

        • KLF says :

          Last time I checked they changed the law, the converting is automatic now, but she will need to double-check again to be sure.

          I agree with Lynne, you should not do the animal sanctuary alone, the bureaucracy you’ll have to endure will bend you before you even start to build anything.

          • XSAGaL says :

            KLF when I made Aliah is wasn’t automatic .I had to go through a short process of theory and practical test ..Any .. she should check the law .

          • israeliminx says :

            Changing the license over is pretty automatic but only if you do it within a year and a half of aliyah — then you don’t need to do any of the driving courses and only need to take the test, though sometimes they just hand one over without the test (6 friends were required to do the test, 9 friends simply given the Israeli license). Anytime after a year and a half and it depends on the mood of the bureaucrat you get when you go to do the license acquisition: They can require you to take 10 months of driving lessons, some negotiated amount of driving lessons, or just switch you over.

            With the sanctuary, I actually want to make a set-up like what my Ema has in her yard — it is not something you need permission to build as they are all temporary (e.g., easily dismantled) structures. I’d really like to not have 17 animals inside my abode.

  5. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    Another incentive to reduce your number of cats (two maximum would be the sane number!!) because, to keep your place clean, it must be a nightmare with the crazy number of cats that you have.
    —Read “Is cat poop dangerous?” [THE ANSWER IS YES!!!] at http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/09/health/expertqa-cat-poop-risks/?hpt=he_c1

  6. israeliminx says :

    lol, Tekoa is far safer than communities in the Negev and is in Gush Etzion –an area that is not and never has been considered on the negotiation table and has a population of something like 75,000 people in the G.E. communities, many of which straddle the Green line. Tekoa is one of our most highly rated communities for quality of life. Nefesh b’Nefesh lists it as one of the most desirable places to live in the country, outside the center for secular and religious alike. No one with more sense than a pea thinks we are going to go back to anything remotely resembling the Green Line ceasefire demarcation of 1948 and even Bill Clinton, as President, recognized that gush etzion was going to remain part of Israel (he even planted a tree in a G.E. community).

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