Defying War’s Wreckage, Cherry Tomatoes Ripen Near Gaza

The Fellowship  |  February 29, 2024

farm, Israel
(Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)

On October 7, terrorists damaged and wrecked many Israeli greenhouses in the south. But now, some of the first cherry tomatoes that were planted after the attacks have started to ripen, showing some hope amid the crisis, reports The Times of Israel:

“Everything was destroyed,” said Gil Ronen, the founder and CEO of NRGene, which uses algorithms to map out the genetic makeup of plants to increase their yields and resilience.

But even before October was over, the work restarted. As the war raged on and rocket alerts pierced the skies, company employees worked with farmers to replant the saplings in Moshav Yated, which is also in the Gaza envelope but further away from the border.

These cherry tomatoes come with a twist: instead of being pleasingly plump, they look wrinkled, more like a raisin or a dried cranberry. That is because they have self-dried naturally on the vine, offering a burst of sweet and sour flavor to the palate with four times the juiciness of sun-dried tomatoes, the founder says.

“The product is completely natural, it didn’t undergo genetic engineering, nor gene editing,” said Ronen.

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