The Organic ‘Therapy’ Farming on Kibbutz Hukuk
Kibbutz Hukuk member, Efrat Noy, along with her friends founded the sustainable agriculture farm located close to the shores of Sea of Galilee. ‘Kaima’ is an agriculture farm whose organic products are sold to the region’s population. The crops are seasonal and organic which, on a weekly basis, are gathered from the fields, packed at the local packing house and sold in ‘baskets’ to the Galilee residents. Allegedly this is a wholesome, healthy and simple concept. In practice, it is more of a challenge, because the educational goal of the farm is to employ teens 15-18 years of age, who have dropped out from the formal education system and, replacing vagrancy and social isolation have found a ‘home’ that welcomes and provides them with an opportunity to re-engage with society. The teenage boys and girls working at the farm are high-risk category and the hard agriculture work at the farm is a way means for them to attain a normative life.
The farm managers are also trained therapists and the project’s primary goal is to enable these teens to work at the farm for a period of time, during which they can find their way into a more normative life and eventually enlisting for a service in IDF. The work is intense physical agricultural labor, every day and in every kind of weather condition, and together with the teens – the support providers work and discuss the teens’ challenges on an individual and on a group basis.
As a part of the ‘Galila Fellows’ program support we provide, we also work with Efrat on the farm’s business plan and help her develop new markets for their produce as well as help their sustainability by advising them on resource development opportunities and strategies.