Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Israel Olive Branch Days Festival 2016

Israel Olive Branch Days Festival 2016 takes place these days until November 19th. During the festival, many Olive farms and olive press factories are open to the public and offer olive-press activities and related workshop for families for free or for a nominal fee.
Israel Olive Branch Days Festival 2016

Here are some of the activities offered during the festival.

Kfar Kedem
Imagine yourself going back to the days of the bible? This is exactly what Kfar Kedem offers. At Kfar Kedem we got dressed like the people in the bible and made olive oil in an old style olive-press. At Kfar Kedem you will find farm animals and the Seven Species (Shivat Haminim). Here where Rabbi Yehuda Han’asi walked 1800 years ago, we had warm tea from an old style pot and made olive oil.

At Kfar Kedem we made olive oil using ancient type olive press while learning about the process: crushing, pressing, and collecting. A fantastic experience for adults and children!

Kfar Kedem offers many activities year-round, including wine-making, olive-press, cheese-making, and more.
Information: Kfar Kedem, Hosha’aya, Nazareth, English program available, RSVP at 04-6565511
Ein Camonim
Ein Camonim is a dairy and olive making farm. It is especially famous for their excellent goat cheeses, but their olive oils is of high quality as well. Ein Camonim has a small classic-style machine-operated olive press. This means that the process is similar to the old-style press, using millstones, but mechanical. The steps in the production are: olives enter the product line are filtered (stones, leaves, etc. are removed), washed, crushed and pressed and separated using centrifuge. Here’s a short movie showing the process that I took at Ein Camonim’s olive-press factory.

At Ein Camonim there is a restaurant, cheese shop (Kosher), and the olive press factory (if you are lucky and they press while you get there).
Information: Ein Camonim, 04-6989680. open Sun-Thu, 10-18, no reservation required.  The shop and restaurant are open daily 9:30-20.
Dir Hana
The village of Dir Hana is mostly muslim today, but “Dir” means monestary as it used to be a Christian monestary. The village has an old fortress, and a tower, and some old buildings, including an old olive press mill.
At Dir Hana we met Huri and his mother Najma, whose family owns the old olive-press mill. For 60 years they made here olive oil. Now it is used for education purposes, so instead of a donkey, the student spin the millstone.

They also played some oriental, local music for us.

You can try and contact Huri at 050-7519597 to visit th eold mill and hear their music, but there is no English program avilable here.
Yarka – Olive Press Naim Shanan
The Olive press at Yarka is an industrial olive press that serves the farmers in the area, who bring their olives to produce olive oil. They pay with money or part of the produced olive oil. This is a classical model of families who have a small olive vineyard around their house and need olive-press service.
The Olive-press has two production lines, one is classic olive-press with millstones, but mechanical, like the one at Ein Camonim, but at a larger scale. The other, fully industrial line that makes up to 3 ton of olive oil an hour! This is a good place to visit to see a busy commercial-sized olive-press, and it is quite busy so you got a good chance to see it at work during the season.

Information: Olive-Press Naim Shanan, 054-4241198
Sajur – Sultan Restaurant (Kosher)
If you are in the Galilee for the olive festival and feel hungry, checkout the Kosher meat restaurant at Sajur. They serve very good local made salads, Kibbeh, stuffed vine leaves, Kebab, and chicken.

stuffed vine leaves

Information: Sultan Restaurant, Sajur, RSVP 050-763-7122.
Israel Olive Branch Days Festival English Programs
Of the festival activities, the following sites are offering programs in English:
Galilee Olive Oil, Ecological olive press that offers olive-harvest, olive pickling workshop. There is a coffee shop and children play area. Information: Galilee Olive Oil, RSVP: 052-6254422
Derech Hatavlinim, olive-harvest and olive vineyard tour, olive pickling workshop. Additional activities for families. Information: Derech Hatavlinim, RSVP: 054-2543262
Lavido, Natural cosmetics based on olive oil: cream, aromatic oil perfume, aromatic scents making, etc. workshops. Information: Lavido, Nahalal, RSVP: 04-651531
Sindyanna of Galilee, olive oil tasting workshops, herbs and cooking workshops, and more. Information: Sindyanna of Galilee, Village of Kanna, RSVP: 050-4330039.
Plia Center, Bukhara Jews heritage site, offers traditional bread making, and dipping it in local olive oil. Information: Plia Center, RSVP 050-6303231

Dr Ali Mazr at Um Moris house at Dir Hana – olive pickling and olive oil tasting
Israel Olive Branch Days Festival 2016 has a website in Hebrew.

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