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09-08-2015

Kfar Silver Campus is Growing and Developing a Demonstration Farm Built with the Students Help

20150727_143125The Kfar Silver campus is located within Kibbutz Kfar Silver and includes four classrooms, most of which are already operating full time. They are expected to be in full capacity by next year and this is part of the story of the Kfar Silver campus that is growing and developing quickly, in no small part thanks to the efforts of the devoted Agrostudies team working there.

Aside from the classrooms and educational tours initiated by the team, they are also working on creating a library for the students that will include articles and books that will help them with their studies. These days, the team is at Kfar Silver is also working on the construction of a demonstration farm on campus grounds that will include a wide variety of crops and growing techniques, allowing the students to gain valuable experience.

The demonstration farm will include open field crops, a net house that provides limited shelter from dust and sun and also prevents heat from escaping during the winter. This simulates similar conditions that are prevalent in many of the students’ home countries.

They are also creating sophisticated, yet practical irrigation system, a greenhouse, more. הקמת מבנה החממה (17)The students are already involved from the very first stages and were present in the planning process, allowing them to understand the considerations and thought process behind the decisions, including the locations of the water ducts, the greenhouse, the net house and other items.

The team, that includes Ariel Mastarcci (Campus manager), Yossi Hadad (Agronomist), Shirley Hon,  Efrat Edri and Dafi Avrahami, brought contractors to cast the concrete that will serve as the floor for the Family Drip System they decided on and the Greenhouse. However, they worked alongside the contractors and brought the students to help so they could understand and recreate what they are learning here in their home countries.

The Family Drip System was chosen, for example, because it is practical for the student to recreate. It does not require complex technology or electricity as it uses gravitation. Of all the different areas planned, the first to be put into operation will be the greenhouse, which is 15*9 meters and will include five flowerbeds where tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and pumpkins will be grown. 20150803_152017

To put it into operation several actions must first be taken, and they will be performed with the help of the students who are very enthusiastic about working and helping on the demonstration farm. First the ground must be tilled, after which it will be soaked with water to soften and make the loosening process easier. When this is done, 8-10 cubic meters of red loam soil will be brought in and disturbed evenly, on top of which the first plants will be planted.

From this point on, the demonstration farm will be active on an ongoing basis and will serve as a complimentary educational experience for the students, where they can gain more practical experience.

So finally, the last thing to be resolved is how to utilize the final produce.

This is not clear yet. The expected yield is certainly not minimal, however it is not commercial either. Collaboration with Leket Israel, an organization that distributes leftover produce for the needy, has been considered and several other collaborations are also possible. The main goal is to allow the students to experience every stage in the farming process, from preparing the land and building the farm, to planning ad growing and all the way through packaging and distribution. This is being done in hope that once they return to their home countries they will be ready to do all of this independently.

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