salad trail farm salad trail farm The Salad Trail lets visitors pick and eat their own produce. (Photo: Schaf Alon)

Take a bite out of Israeli agriculture

Salad Trail shows that it’s possible to grow produce in even the driest climates.

Did your salad grow in the desert?

According to the folks at The Salad Trail, it's possible to grow practically anything even in the most arid of climates, thanks to advancements in desalination and irrigation. This interactive farming museum in the northern Negev desert in Israel lets visitors observe the most up-to-date agricultural technologies, pick their own produce and even make Hawaiian-style necklaces out of Chinese oranges.

Agronomist Uri Alon, a specialist in international agriculture, owns the property. He leads tours of the farm all year round, explaining in-depth how technology has allowed crops to prosper in unforgiving environments. He shows how some fruits and vegetables evolved over the years – did you know carrots weren't always orange? – and lets visitors traverse a passion-fruit maze while picking and eating along their way.

Everything grown on the Salad Trail's farm is there for visitors to pick and eat on the spot. A flock of homing pigeons is also a fixture on the trail – visitors can attach a message to a pigeon's legs and watch it fly.

pet pigeonSalad Trail owner Uri Alon lets his young visitors pet a pigeon. (Photo: Dina Alfasi)

Alon, who manages the farm with the help of his wife, two other farmers and 15 guides, told Modern Farmer that he's wanted to be a farmer since childhood, but couldn't afford it – until he received 15 acres of land through a government program that supports desert farming.

He started the farm as a private business, shipping flowers to Europe. Once he expanded to more fruits, vegetables and herbs, fellow farmers began asking him about his techniques. He attracted visitors through his use of solar-powered greenhouses and locally sourced fertilizer, and eventually he decided to turn the entire space into an educational center.

salad trail greenhouseSolar-powered greenhouses help keep temperatures down. (Photo: Dina Alfasi)

"With a lot of hard work, we changed the desert to flowers,” Alon said. “We have so many challenges that the desert gives us, but in our way we can manage it and grow the best products in the world.”

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Take a bite out of Israeli agriculture
Salad Trail shows that it’s possible to grow produce in even the driest climates.