Winter cold such as the Golan is currently experiencing makes for larger & more beautiful fruit in spring, and better milk too, say Golan experts.
Snow piled up to a height of 10 cm (4 inches) in the Golan Heights at week's end, bringing numerous tourists to Israel's north-eastern plateau. In addition, the cold temperatures were good news for agriculturalists in the area.
Gabi Kuniel, manager of orchards and vineyards at the kibbutz (cooperative agricultural community) of Merom Golan, said that the bitter cold is good news for orchards, especially those where apples and cherries are grown. The cold will cause the fruit to appear in larger bunches – four apples or ten cherries per bunch – and will cause individual fruits to be larger and more beautiful, he said.
Ze'ev Markman, Director of the Galilee Development Corporation, said that the rainfall has filled the Golan's streams so that it will be possible to water crops in the summer. The rain that has already fallen will make it possible to stop artificially watering winter crops such as wheat and barley.
The managers of the Galilee Mountains Winery at Yiron were also pleased with the cold weather. They said that these would make for more select grapes in the upcoming spring harvest. Cold weather allows grapes to develop taste and concentration while maintaining sourness, he explained.
Yoav Belhasan, dairy manager at Mitzpeh HaYamim, said that cold is good for the cows. “The colder it is, the better conditions are for quantity and and quality of milk, and all we have to do is continue to supply [the cows] with healthy food.”