From the Farm to Your Table: Inside the Fresh Frenzy

From home deliveries to local-produce restaurants: Tel Aviv Table examines Israel's farmer’s market movement.

Illustration: fresh greens for all. Photo via TLV1
Illustration: fresh greens for all. Photo via TLV1

In Tel Aviv - as in many major cities - there’s a burgeoning movement to bring food straight from the farm to the table. From home deliveries of organic produce to farm-to-table restaurants, this movement is fresh, natural, and delicious.

Yuval Kochavi, who manages farmers markets all around Israel, explains how the movement found its inspiration in a Barcelona market. He talks about some of the unusual vegetables you can get at these markets in Israel - like a heart-shaped cucumber.

Song: Arik Einstein - Tozeret Ha'aretz (Made in Israel)

Hubeiza farm-fresh delivery

If you ever dreamed of having a box of fresh organic vegetables delivered to your door, then you should talk to Bat Ami Sorek. Her Hubeiza farm sends drivers all around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where they bring the freshest produce every week. She started gardening while living with her husband in San Francisco. Today she delivers to around 700 homes a week.

Song: Presidents - Peaches

A season for everything

Meirav Barzilay is a third-generation farmer who opened a Tel Aviv restaurant last year. Each month, she changes the menu according to the Hebrew calendar. I caught up with her at her restaurant, Meshek Barzilay, in Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek neighborhood, to talk about seasonal, farm-to-table eating.

Are organic restaurants unsustainable?

One of the main complaints people have about farm-to-table is its cost. Yair Yosefi learned that the hard way. He founded his Elba restaurant two years ago to cook fresh food from the farm of a friend - but he recently had to shut the doors. He explains what went wrong.

Song: Meir Ariel: Sdot Goldberg (Goldberg’s Fields)

Taking a green thumb to ancient history

We think of local as what you can get in a farmer’s market today. But Elaine Solowey takes a longer view. She’s a botanist at Kibbutz Ketura, down by Eilat. She’s most famous for sprouting a 2,000 date seed and reviving ancient frankincense. She talks to the Table about some ancient local foods that might be worth reviving.

Song: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - The Onion Song

Cheese! Need we say more?

Sick of supermarket cheese? Tzeela Gorodenchick makes delicious sheep cheese down in the Negev, and here she talks about the challenges of desert herding.

Food news

An Israeli couple has opened a hummus restaurant in the most unlikely of places...the Warsaw ghetto. Erez and Dafna Mosinson from Hadera opened the Hummus Bar in March in a building they believe was owned by Polish Jews before WWII. It’s next to the former home of Isaac Bashevis Singer.

A new restaurant in Jerusalem is offering kosher gourmet right outside the Machane Yehuda market. Nagila opened this week, with a menu focused on fish and vegetables. It’s a 14-seater restaurant with a big outdoor garden where there will be concerts in summer. Mashiach Borochof 5, Jerusalem.

When acclaimed Israeli wine writer Daniel Rogov passed away in 2012, he left behind a huge hole in the public knowledge of Israeli wines. Now, two writers have come to fill in the gap. Yair Gat, a wine writer for Yisrael Hayom, and Gal Zohar, a wine curator launched, their “New Israeli Wine Guide” in Hebrew and English online to give a guide to what's good in Israeli bottles.

Producers: Liya Spiegel and Amy Racs
Editor: Amy Racs
Music Editor: Tomer Gershenman
Technician: Tomer Gershenman and Lior Peleg
Host: Daniella Cheslow

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