News From Ramaz
Students farmed on 10 acres of fields, orchards, and pasture in Falls Village, Connecticut. In addition to the farm being certified organic, the farm also uses sustainable practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, composting, drip irrigation, creating habitat for pollinators, and growing a diverse mix of perennials and annuals.
Twenty-three students participated in the Upper School's Chol HaMoed Sukkot Harvesting Day, celebrating the gifts of the earth. They reaped the ripened vegetables on Hazon's 10 acres of fields and fulfilled an important mitzvah! The cabbage and kale students gathered had to be harvested, otherwise these vegetables would have wasted away. Student volunteers also had to guarantee their dedicated Hazon educators that their fresh produce would be given to people who need nourishing food. Students donated their fresh vegetables to the NY Common Pantry that services a population that depends on the pantry for its families' sustenance. They also ground whole wheat using their God-given muscle power only -- added some additional natural ingredients -- thereby donating dozens of homemade muffins to the pantry as well. Students discussed several brachot that we make over fruits and vegetables, and analyzed the reasons for bread to have its own unique bracha .
Afterwards, students ate lunch in Hazon's large Sukkah which faced a serene lake. The afternoon's exciting challenge was trekking the mile hike up a challenging trail that lead to breathtaking views of the Taconic Mountain Range. At the very top, staring at the exquisite mountains gave students a chance to reflect on their New Year's resolutions. And the best surprise was getting to "sit," or rather, "stand" inside the branch-woven Sukkah on the very edge of the mountain's cliff! And yes, students were motivated to sing, ever so softly, and with palpable emotion:
מַה גָּדְלוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ מְאֹד עָמְקוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ
How great are Your works, God; Your thoughts are very deep!
Our Chesed mission was generously sponsored, and dedicated in memory of J. Leonard Spodek, יהודה לב ישראל.