Farm Friday: Jewish Food?

I don’t think so.

People often ask me if the Seven Species of fruits and grains referred to in the Torah (and grown on our farm) are prime examples of Jewish food.  To me, this is a matter of silly semantics, and my answer is No. 

There is no such thing as Jewish food, any more than there is Catholic food, Buddhist food, or Muslim food.  Ethnic cuisine such as Italian, Chinese, Indian, and so forth, are comprised of dishes that originated in different regions of the world, and to my knowledge there is no such thing as a Greek Orthodox artichoke.

There are, however, agricultural staples that go back thousands of years in Jewish tradition– foods that are associated with Israel and are spoken of in the Old Testament

The Seven Species, which consist of wheat, barley, figs, dates, grapes, pomegranates, and olives, may no longer dominate the diet of modern Israelis, but they still characterize the local landscape of Israel and they are a centerpiece of the Surprise Lake Camp Farm.

This past week, as our barley and wheat burst into carpets of green to join the small trees and vines to round out the Seven Species area of our garden, we express our joy and gratitude for the bounty of are garden and the opportunity to teach the historic and religious history of the food that sustains us.

Baruch atah A-donay, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’olam borei minei mezonot.

Blessed are you L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who creates various kinds of sustenance.

Until next week . . .

Stay dirty,


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