Kibbutz Kfar Etzion founders and youth worked side by side this past week to save a large crop of peony flowers that were doomed for destruction because of a global shutdown following the spread of the coronavirus.
Kibbutz Kfar Etzion grows the flowers for export in Europe, but markets in Europe were closed because of the virus, leaving the kibbutz with tens of thousands of plants that were destined for destruction.
The Kibbutz realized that its only way to avoid such a heartbreaking scene was to market the flowers locally, but they had no apparatus in place to do the work.
Setting up an ad hoc distribution center, the Kibbutz elders sorted the flowers and the youth set up a circulation point, all working 18 hours a day to save the flowers.
Heeding their call for help in a time of distress, the Israeli local market consumed the entire stock within a few days.
“Even the optimists among us did not dream of such an exciting display of solidarity,” said kibbutz member Yaron Rosenthal.
“It was also moving to receive hundreds of comments about how beautiful and noble this flower is and what a shame it was that it was not known in Israel,” he added.
Motivated by their success, the kibbutz has decided to expand its services to other products and help other farmers from across Israel, including the Gush Etzion Winery, whose grapes are grown in Kfar Etzion.