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From Rooftop to Salad Bowl: Farming in Tel Aviv’s Urban Jungle

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 6:30
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Mendi Falk in Yarok Ba’ir (Green in the City), Dizengoff Center. By Dan Perez

Three enterprising farmers use hydroponic methods ?to grow veggies atop Dizengoff Center in the heart of ?Tel Aviv and offer them freshly picked on a daily basis.

By Ronit Vered
Mar 14, 2017


The time is 10 A.M. After almost four hours of work in the vegetable garden, the farmers take fresh produce that was picked at dawn – green and red lettuce, celery, spinach and scallions – and descend from the rooftop to the commercial center to sell their wares.

The brigade of farmers – Mendi Falk, Shaked Golan and Niv Maman – make their way quickly via covered walkways, escalators and staircases, carrying crates of green leaves and pails of water. In each of the tiny stalls that have cropped up recently all over Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv, they arrange the produce.

Despite the high pressure of a farmer’s day, they meticulously and purposefully arrange the bunches of vegetables as though they were bouquets of fresh flowers. Using blackboards and chalk, they diligently prepare small signs that indicate the price of the various vegetables (6-8 shekels a bunch). Above the stall next to the Israel Discount Bank, the largest and busiest point of sale, they hang a sign with the following text: “These vegetables are alive / And in the fridge they won’t thrive. / Keep them with some water in a jar / And they’ll last better by far.”

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