Ancient Species

Propagation of old deserted fruit trees I the Golan Heights
Vered Naor-Shamir Institute

The project is conducted in collaboration with Elor Levi from the Golan Regional Council and Galilium - the Regional Education Initiative. Many fruit trees of old varieties can be found in deserted villages along the Golan Heights. They include grapevines, pomegranate, fig, plum, English walnut, sower cherry, mulberry apple, and Quince. The trees have survived more than 50 years without any proper handling.

These old varieties bear specific traits that cannot be seen in modern varieties, like uneven ripening, tastiness, disease resistance, and others, making them not only as interesting genetic sources but also as suitable for community orchards. The project aims to establish community orchards in the local villages. A community orchard is a multi-species plot that serves as a local fruit garden for the benefit of the people of the village. In order to achieve this goal, interesting specimens of various species were located and marked with the help of grownups, high school students, and elementary school pupils. In winter, the propagation material was collected from the marked specimens and brought to the greenhouse at Shamir Institute. Stem cuttings were prepared by the students and rooted. Furthermore, scientific projects to verify the best conditions for rooting were held by the students as part of the school program. There is a great demand for new plants and more propagation projects are planned. In the second year of the project, 75 people were involved, ca. 200 plants were prepared and five groups have set or are now setting a local orchard.