Sunday, September 19, 2010

Harvest Time 5771 in the Etrog Orchard

Sukkot is only a few days away, so it's harvest time in the Katzes' etrog orchard. That's always an exciting and emotional time for us.
My husband Israel has been growing etrogim (citrons for Sukkot) for the past 13 years. Etrogim are one of the four species that Jews take together for a blessing on the holiday of Sukkot. There's also the palm branch, myrtle twigs and willow branches. We read in Vayikra (Leviticus): 23:40 "On the first day you shall take the product of citron trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before your G-d seven days."
Our mighty etrog trees were actually begun in our dining room, as teeny seeds nestled in cotton, in little egg containers. My husband babied those etrogim every step of the way. Today, B"H, he reaps the fruits of his labor, literally. (Background:
Our etrogim were originally grown for the unity of the Jewish people. That was our children's idea. We try to keep them doing mitzvot. A tree that does mitzvot?? If you don't know how that's possible, you can view the whole story in this video about last year's harvest:
We had so many etrogim in 5770, B"H, that we were able to give our friends and family Katz Etrogim, and still had enough to auction off again for charity.
This year while we didn't have as large a crop, we had, B"H, quite a number of beautiful perfectly-shaped etrogim (and some cute individualistic ones too).
Join us (virtually) for our etrog harvest. We had quite an adventure just taking the etrogim off the trees, because many of them were difficult to get to, and required near acrobatics to reach them. Bli ayin hara, we succeeded in harvesting about 20 fruits for the holiday.
Put on some sleeves (etrogim have a lot of thorns) and come along,

1 comment:

  1. You guys are amazing. What an example for us to attempt to follow. Chag Semeach. We bought one last year. Let's see what we can do this year. B'vracha. Sandra Orman