To mark Tu B’Shvat, three generations of Israeli artichoke growers brought baskets overflowing with their produce to President Reuven Rivlin on Monday, the 15th of the month of Sh’vat.
The growers – the Shmilovitz family from Neve Yarak, the Mazor family from Nir Baninm, and the Yakoba-Rahmani family from Shafir, told the president they had heard that he was a great fan of the artichokes that his late wife Nechama used to prepare and so were only too happy to present him with their produce.
The president marveled at the lovely bushels of green artichoke, thanked the growers for visiting and said, “Even though I am a Jerusalemite through and through, Nechama the moshavnikit always made sure we had a connection to Israel’s nature, its soil and its seasons. Nechama’s artichokes became a talking-point at Rivlin family Friday night dinners, and so this fills me with a special longing.”
“Our connection to the land is first and foremost through working it, you do that every day,” the president continued. “I am always very happy to welcome here in this house those who work the land of Israel. Tu B’Shvat Sameach, my dear ones, and to us all!”
Noam Yakoba, chair of the artichoke growers’ group of the Plants Production and Marketing Board said that artichokes were even planted in the community garden established at the presidential residence by the late first wife. The growers also spoke of their great pride, along with the difficulties and challenges that Israeli agriculture has faced over the generations. The president expressed his hope that this year would see a bumper crop, with timely rains.