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Nature ‘n Nosh – Discovering an Edible World of Nature In a City

Hard to believe this is a wild carrot (Photo: Debbie Zimelman)

Ten years ago, out of the blue, I had the first opportunity to change the course of my life. I had been happily working as an aliyah advisor in Modiin when government budget cuts forced me to look for a new direction. Having gained so much satisfaction from helping immigrant families, I thought long and hard about finding a career in an area I was equally passionate about: nature and environment.

This is all well and good in principle, but how many jobs are there in nature and environment? In the first instance, I found a job as a brown composting bin educator: teaching school children by day how to correctly separate rubbish – or as my children called me, "A Rubbish Teacher" - and in the evening evangelizing door to door with my brown bin in hand.

Nature ‘n Nosh — A family of all ages

 Changing the world one household at a time was great, but when a course opened up to be a tour guide at Neot Kedumim BibIical Nature Reserve, I jumped at the opportunity to really get to grips with nature. Six months intense studying taught me so much about native flora and its connection to our roots and history, and a deep love and appreciation of this land and its changing seasons. I then got to share this with tourist groups from all over the world. I learnt the names of the seven species in Chinese, hugged trees with Christian evangelical groups from America, and cried with March of the Living teenagers as we planted trees in the land of Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

During Operation Cast Lead in 2008, when the sirens went off, I took my group to shelter in a 2000-year-old mikveh. But that marked the downturn in tourism so I branched into guiding about environmental rehabilitation at Park Ariel Sharon. A rubbish mountain turned into a beautiful park.

I had ten wonderful, enriching and happy years guiding in these beautiful places and then on March 1, 2020, my whole work life just stopped. Coronavirus spread round the world, a diary filled with reservations for tourist groups became cancellations and I haven't guided tourists since then. I look forward to being back at both my places of work very soon.

I was now handed the second opportunity to change the path of my career. For many years my family and I have loved eating and cooking in nature. We pick whatever is in season - wild asparagus, mulberries or figs - and enjoy baking pittot, cooking al fresco, and brewing tea with local herbs over an open fire.

Strangely enough, being locked down at home gave me the chance to study foraging more intensely. I joined online workshops on sprouting, edible flowers, medicinal aspects of herbs and much more. I discovered a whole world of nature in my 100-metre radius. Neighbors would spot me noshing a flower in the local park and picking weeds from cracks in the pavement to brew tea to cure my son's insomnia.

I started thinking about creating a tour so that other people could enjoy eating in nature. As the concept crystallized, I scoured the area for the right location, brainstormed names, and my niece started sketching logos.

Nature ‘n Nosh Picnic

Nature 'n Nosh was launched in the middle of July 2020. It is a 3-hour tour in nature where you experience the plants, trees and flowers by tasting, smelling and hearing their stories. At the end of the tour there is a light picnic enhanced with the delicacies that you have picked.

Amazingly, the business took off like a rocket. July and August were intense months. People who had their vacation plans dashed were searching for interesting new outdoor experiences and Nature 'n Nosh fitted the bill. I guided six days a week and had to turn away dozens of enquiries. It was hot, tiring and challenging, but so rewarding seeing people tasting new fruits and flavors.

Now is the perfect time to get out into nature. The weather is cooler, the seasons are changing, and the new shoots and flowers are peeking out and with them a whole host of colors, smells and tastes. Corona has provided me with an unexpected but amazing opportunity to learn more, grow professionally and be able to offer other people something that I myself am passionate about.

Find out more about Nature 'n Nosh Israel on Facebook or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And a 10% discount to all ESRA members.

 

Comments 1

Guest - Barbara Raymond on Wednesday, 09 December 2020 16:30

Inspiring! I would love to book a slot when I next come to Israel.

Inspiring! I would love to book a slot when I next come to Israel.
Guest
Thursday, 28 October 2021

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