Israel Today Plants 1,400 Olive Trees in the Desert

We weren’t about to let Corona stop us from making the biblical desert bloom!

By Ayala Shalmayev | | Topics: Olive Trees

We are not letting the coronavirus stop us from making the desert green as we promised. We finally received special permission from the security forces to drive down to Nitzana along the Egyptian bor-der to plant another 1,400 olive trees.

Due to curfew, no one is allowed to drive that far south, but our work to make the desert bloom is deemed essential to Israel!

Regulations stipulate that no more than two people may drive together in a car, but we managed to find enough cars and drivers to get some of our staff to the desert plantation before 9 am. Oren, the caretaker the vineyard and olive groves had already begun panting the olive trees early at 6:30 am to-gether with his wife and five children. In addition, another family and several young people from Be’er Milka came to help us with the planting. What a joy to see the highly motivate and hard working young people helping us! We made very good progress as the tractor went ahead drilling holes in the ground and we followed planting the trees.

Making the desert bloom

Planting the Land

It is always an amazing experience to personally contribute to making the desert of Israel bloom!

Months ago, several friends of Israel Today asked us if they could come to help out. Unfortunately, that is not currently possible due to the coronavirus. However, we hope you still feel a part of the planting through the photos and videos we took.

Making the desert bloom with new olive trees

The new olive trees

It was hot day, but it was nice to be out in the sun again. Oren’s wife told us that they had never be-fore experienced such a rainy winter. We could see for ourselves all the way down to Be’er Milka, a moshav in the southern Negev close to the border with Egypt, where everything was green. A beautiful and unusual sight in the middle of this typically dry and thirsty land!

After the trees were planted, we set off to a nearby hill from which we could see the first olive trees and vineyards we planted. Surrounded by the blooming desert and the peaceful quiet far away from Corona, it was a special treat to be there. We enjoyed it very much, made coffee and enjoyed the fellowship.


As we took pictures of olive groves number 1 and 2 and the grapevines, it was stunning to see how everything had grown. On our way back to Jerusalem, we saw many storks migrating back north for the summer and stopped to take a few pictures.

Olive grove 2

All in all, it a great experience to work at the desert plantation. Now that we have planted another 1,400 olive trees, we will plant the remaining 1,200 trees, God willing, in Autumn this year. We hope that you can be with us and support this important investment into the vital future of the Land of Israel.

Making the desert bloom amid a global pandemic.

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