The home we rented on Yishuv Ma’agalim in the Negev is on half a dunam of land. The family that we rented from bought the house as newlyweds and lived here for several years. During this time they planted many fruit trees.
As their family grew, they built a villa in Ma’agalim and decided to rent out this home. Every year or two they had new tenants and no one wanted to care for the trees and grounds.
When we rented the house, the grounds were so neglected, they were just one large garbage heap and the fruit trees were all dead! Or so we thought……..
Since I am very clean and organized and like everything in its place, the grounds made me feel up tight every time I walked outside.
And so I went to work, picking up the garbage, chip bags, pretzels bags, and the likes…plastics from freezes, disposable cups, cigarette butts, broken toy, little car parts, every bit of garbage you can think of was on the grounds.
My husband bought a hoe and rake and he dug up all the weeds. I made place for a flower garden and sectioned it off with nice rocks.
One day, a couple of weeks later, our landlord passed by our house and asked who cleaned up the grounds. When we told him that we did, he was shocked and said we did a great job. We told him that it was too bad that the trees were dead.
He said that the trees were not dead just dormant. All they needed was to be pruned and receive water on a regular bases and they would start to grow.
Now Israel has a shortage of water and because of this, water is very expensive.
Our landlord told us that if we wanted to cut a hole in the wall, from behind the washing machine, we could attach a hose and let the water from the washing machine water the trees.
He also said that bleach water from washing the floors was good water for the trees. [He knows all about trees because he and his family are the largest fruit,veggie and flower growers in the Negev].
If we were willing to pull a hose, he would come and prune all the trees. We agreed and a couple of days later we saw him pruning the trees.
Over the past year, almost all the trees came back to life because my husband gave them TLC. Uniformly, with every wash, Avraham moved the hose from tree to tree to the garden, so that each tree and flower would get a good drink.
Every bucket of floor wash water went to trees where the hose couldn’t reach. No water was ever wasted. Either the trees, garden or cacti got a drink.
We had almonds, figs, mangoes, oranges, and now clementineas. [tangerines]. The ramon tree [pomegranates] took, put it needed more water than we could give, so the fruit was not edible. I told my husband that he should have been a farmer, as he was outstanding in his field…
Our flower garden is beautiful. We planted 40 different types of seedling flowers that our land lord gave us, but a wild rabbit had a field day. I wrote a blog called The Tenacity of a Rabbit.
We bought planters and planted cacti on the patio. Over the year we have had some gorgeous cacti flowers that only grow where it is warm.
The life cycle of nature is fascinating. It was just amazing to watch dormant trees come back to life and gave us the opportunity to say the Bracha for Terumah and Maaser as we picked the fruit.
Hashem works in mysterious ways.
Our flower garden
Our cacti garden
Hose cut from behind washing machine
Watering the orange tree.