The Scottish Grove is a dream come true. It all began with a classic fair trade task – to serve as the missing link between the Arab farmer and the Israeli market. As the story unfolded and we became more involved, we realized this project presented a unique opportunity to make a quantum leap and bring our values full circle. For in this project, we didn't just help a farmer market his olive oil; we helped farmers reclaim 30 dunams of derelict, uncultivated land in the heart of the Jezreel Valley below Nazareth and transform it into a flourishing olive grove, which will produce extra virgin olive oil that will be sold all over the world.
Our partners in this exciting journey are the owners of the land – the Abu Hatum family from Yafi'a (read more about our partnership with the family) and the Church of Scotland. This marvelous olive grove allows us to promote the modernization of traditional Arab farming and agriculture by introducing new techniques, irrigation, and olive cultivars; aid sustainable cultivation and agriculture; invest all future proceeds of the grove in community projects that promote fair employment for Arab women; and oversee the entire value chain, from seed to extra virgin olive oil bottle.
In 2012, a new olive grove was planted against the backdrop of the historic scenery of Nazareth on one side and the archeological site of Armageddon (Tel Megiddo) on the other side in the Jezreel Valley. With it, seeds of hope were planted in the hearts of all those involved in, and inspired by, Israel's new, flourishing Jewish-Arab olive grove.
Dedication of the Scottish Grove (December 2011)
First planting in the Scottish Grove (September 2012)
On September 15th, 2012, Sindyanna of Galilee planted olive trees on unused land belongs to Arab farmers in collaboration with the Scottish church. Most of the volunteers had no previous farming experience before joining the planting but, although it was very hard work, it was very nice experience for all the participants – to feel the soil and the young plants under the blue sky. (Read more about the event)
First olive picking in the Scottish Grove (November 2014 / Photos: Yoram Ron)