Cherry-picking in the Golan Heights

Published on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 by Webmaster

Cherry-picking in the Golan Heights
On the off chance that cherries aren’t your absolutely favorite fruit, it’s still worth taking a trip this time of year up to the Golan Heights where the picking season is in full steam. Because even if you’re not crazy about their taste, the sight of these gorgeous red nuggets dotting trees across the landscape is a guaranteed feast for the eyes.

So hurry up, because before you know it, the short season will be over, and it’ll be time to move on to other summer fruits, like berries and peaches – not such bad choices either, come to think of it.

Several kibbutzim and farming towns on the northeastern plateau offer cherry-picking activities this year. Since our base happened to be Ein Zivan, we opted for Bustan Bereshit Hagolan, the 25 acres of orchards run and owned by this particular kibbutz.

Once inside the orchards, we were each handed a small basket and given a quick lesson in basic cherry picking. The price of admission, incidentally, includes all the cherries you can eat on the premises, but whatever you take home needs to be paid for separately, according to weight.

It's quite shady in the orchards, particularly under the trees, but arriving early, especially in the midst of the summer, is always a smart choice.

Most children will probably have gotten the point and had enough of the picking and munching after about an hour, so it's a good idea to plan on doing other things while you're up here. Bustan Bereshit does offer other activities tailored for kids, among them wagon, pony and mini-tractor rides, as well as fruit-pie baking. There's also a nice little café on the grounds, where you can sip tea made from locally grown herbs while taking in the stunning vistas. Just point the kids in the direction of the nearby hammocks, which they're sure to love taking a swing in, and lift up your feet. If none of these options appeal to them, rest assured there are many other kid-friendly things to do up in the Golan – not to mention a plethora of authentic Druze eateries in the area – to help justify the long drive there and back.

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