Milk and Honey Farm at the Boulder JCC Partners with the Jewish Farmer Network

Milk and Honey Farm has collaborated with the Jewish Farmer Network, a network connecting Jewish farmers around the nation to help support and connect Judaism to agricultural roots. For the past two growing seasons, the Milk and Honey Farm has partnered with the Jewish Farmer Network to grow Quishum, a hairy melon, for the Jewish Seed Project. “The camaraderie and connection with Jewish Farmers around the nation through this partnership have been supportive, celebratory, and uplifting” our farmers, Farmer Becca and Farmer Rachel added.

In the story of Exodus, after the Jews escaped Egypt and were wandering the desert, they grew nostalgic for the fruits they left behind. One of these fruits they yearned for was Quishum, a non-sweet, hairy, oblong cucumber melon. These are true melons, botanically speaking, but they’re harvested underripe when they look and taste like cucumbers.

The Jewish Farmer network researched to find seeds that they believe are direct descendants of the ancestral fruit, Quishum. With this information, they created the Jewish Seed Project, which connects our farmers at the Milk and Honey Farm to help grow these seeds and compare them with the descendants of this fruit of our ancestors and move towards creating a variety that honors the diasporic reality of these seeds and those who have and continue to steward them. Just like we are Jews reconnecting from different branches of our diasporic histories, the seeds are relatives meeting again, too. These seeds may be descendants of our ancestors – a direct line to the past. We extend a hand toward the future by saving and sharing these seeds.

Our volunteers at the Milk and Honey Farm have taken great pride in tending to all of our plants, especially the hairy melon, and have enjoyed sharing the story in their communities and the joy of harvesting and eating it together. Farmer Rachel reflects on last year’s Jewish Seed Project, “I remember vividly the day the first hairy melon was spotted by the daughter of our volunteer, Julia Schlatter. We harvested the melon and ate it after saying the blessings and a shehecheyanu and it was so fun and special to share in the experience together”

If you’d like to plant your own Qishut, the Milk and Honey Farm has a limited supply of seeds for our community to take home, please ask the front desk at the Boulder JCC. If you’d like to get more involved in our farm, you can find more information to volunteer at the Boulder JCC website

About Claudia Metsch

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