• Bri Nemet

Celebrating Life: Pesto Party Version

by: Vatsala

As an explorer and an individual who takes keen interest in the world of business and often ponders about what’s going to be the next best thing, I turned to hydroponic technology.

A quick search on google told me the following: hydroponic farming is up to 80-90% more water efficient than traditional farming and that the value of hydroponic farming will more than double in the next 5 years. Next, which better region to escalate the use of this technology than the Middle East? Less than 1% of the land in the Middle East is suitable for agricultural use, therefore, I decided that working at the heart of the technology, where it is most valued, will provide me an optimal environment to learn about it and hone my skills – I moved to Israel for the summer.

I have been working with hydroponic technology for 1.5 months now, and it has been a very rewarding experience. It has given me a chance to watch the food I eat, grow right in front of me. Not only has it given me the ability to trust what I’m eating, but also eating without any guilt or regret.

This blog is about the pesto party that the association hosted on July 2, and it will give you a glimpse into the ease with which Israeli’s manage to be both, healthy and productive, with the use of hydroponics.

It all started off with an idea and an urge to do something that creates value.

During the end of May, Gregory, the operator of the hydroponic system on the roof, decided to plant around 76 flexi plugs of two kinds of basil leaves on the NFT system. What’s so amazing about this technology is that it completely terminates the use of soil in farming and uses less water and energy. By the beginning of July, most of the pods had sprouted into long healthy leaves, and some even gave birth to two stems instead on one.

The NFT system in the beginning of May, 2019

The NFT system in the beginning of July, 2019

The idea of doing urban agriculture is not just to grow food for yourself, but to share and promote the idea of a healthier and more economical way of life. The team decided to invite refugee students from one of the schools that the organization has adopted, Ha’yarden School, and cement the ideology of changing the way the society thinks from inculcating these changes in everyday education.

By allowing the kids to get comfortable in the environment and giving them ‘Urban Farming’ t-shirts, we aimed to give them a sense of belonging.

Fresh plucked basilicum

Me interacting with the school kids

Never before could I have imagined that a sauce I once paid $20 a jar for, could cost me less than $5. The ingredients were very simple – roasted almonds, virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and of course, basil.

Coming from India, I am very well versed with spices and sauces, and in my unbiased opinion, the pesto sauce I had that day is the best that I have had in 20 years of my existence. Not only was it fresh, but I could also taste each one of the ingredients that we put in.

Fresh pesto!

The aftermath...

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