Happy Tu Bishvat, the new year for trees
RUSSELL MCLENDON for MotherNatureNetwork
The ancient holiday has become like a 'Jewish Arbor Day' in modern times, bringing religious and secular observers together for ecological reflection.
This spring will mark the 142nd anniversary of Arbor Day, founded in April 1872 as a time to "plant, nurture and celebrate trees."
But long before that, another tree-centric holiday had already been promoting arboreal appreciation for centuries. Tu Bishvat — also spelled Tu B'Shvat, Tu B'Shevat or Tu BeShvat — is an ancient Jewish holiday known as the "new year for trees." Its original role was to calculate the age of fruit trees, but today it has a broader ecological tone, earning it nicknames like "Jewish Arbor Day" and even "Jewish Earth Day."
Tu Bishvat falls on Jan. 31 this year (it technically begins at sunset Jan. 30), marking one of four new years on the Jewish calendar. While many religious and secular observers honor the holiday by planting trees, it has also inspired lots of other eco-friendly traditions over the years, from sustainable seders to tree-sitting.
Find some great ideas on JvillageNetwork's Pinterest page.
Is that food really fresh? Find out at a glance
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
An Israeli company is marketing its intelligent date code labels that monitor the temp and time interval of food products on their way to consumers.
“The milk is past its expiry date. We have to throw it out.”
“No, we don’t. It smells fine.”
“But it says so right on the carton.”
It’s an argument that’s been heard in households around the world: Does the expiration date on the package really mean the milk or the chicken or the eggs are bad?
FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE TOGETHER
MIDBAR-the Swiss Society for the Revival of Desert Areas embarks on a tour of the Negev with KKL-JNF to learn how the organization combats desertification in Israel.
Combating desertification is one of the central values KKL-JNF has championed under its banner. Friends the world over aid KKL-JNF in combating desertification, and one of the most prominent among them is MIDBAR - the Swiss Society for the Revival of Desert Areas.
Over the past several years, MIDBAR has supported several projects including planting a grove of trees in the green belt surrounding Beersheba, plantings in the Duda’im Forest and soil conservation and tree plantings along the Karkur Stream.
“When I see the trees grow here in the middle of the desert, I draw strength from them”, said Armand Rudolf von Rohr, CEO of MIDBAR, during a study tour of the Negev with KKL-JNF. “I believe that trees are the natural solution to global warming.”
Israelis debut an autonomous robotic submarine
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Ben-Gurion University launches company to commercialize the unique underwater vehicle for research, security, communications or military uses.
Under the surface of waterways across the globe, small remotely operated submarines are busy checking pipelines, mapping underwater minefields, taking geological and biological samples, scouting locations for communication cables, and searching for sunken vessels.
A group of 20 undergraduate and graduate engineering students from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev saw that existing autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have several limitations and they worked with Prof. Hugo Guterman in BGU’s Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics (LAR) to build a better model.
Former cannabis activist’s agtech ideas are game-changers
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies has one technology to stabilize plant root temps and another to irrigate farms with dew condensation.
Boaz Wachtel is best known in Israel for founding the Green Leaf (Ale Yarok) political party, which ran for Knesset several times on a platform of legalizing cannabis. Green Leaf never passed the voter threshold and Watchtel “retired” from the party in 2006. He has now transformed his passion for green into a different kind of initiative.
Wachtel is the founder of several Israeli agriculture technology companies. His latest – Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies – just went public on the Australian Stock Exchange, raising a modest $5 million.