Agriculture Minister distributes 5 tons of fresh fruit

Tu Bishvat: Minister Uri Ariel and Plants Council Director distribute fresh fruits to Israel Railways commuters.

Yoni Kempinski/Mordechai Sones,

Minister Ariel distributes fresh fruits
Minister Ariel distributes fresh fruits
Eli Dasa

In honor of the Tu Bishvat holiday, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) and Plants Council Director Zvi Alon distributed fresh fruit at the Tel Aviv train station today, while telling passengers of the advantages of fresh Israeli fruits compared to dried fruits imported from abroad.

Minister Ariel encouraged the public to consume fresh fruits during the holiday, and of course throughout the entire year.

The festive undertaking was carried out as part of a special collaboration between the Agriculture Ministry, the Plants Council, and Israel Railways prior to the Festival of Trees. Passengers at 8 main train stations enjoyed fresh fruits made by Israeli farmers, served with a broad smile for Tu Bishvat.

About 5 tons of fresh fruit were distributed.

The 15th day of the month of Hebrew month Shvat marks the beginning of the "new year" for trees for the purpose of calculating the tree's age for tithing. The Torah states that fruit from trees which were grown in the Land of Israel may not be eaten during the first three years from the tree's planting; the fourth year's fruit is for G-d, and after that, the fruit may be eaten.

Each tree is considered to have aged one year as of Tu Bishvat, no matter when in the previous year it was planted.

It is customary to plant trees and partake of the fruits of the land of Israel to mark the day.

It is estimated that on this Tu Bishvat dried fruit will cost the consumer four times more than fresh fruit. Dried fruits contain fewer vitamins than fresh fruit and usually contain added artificial ingredients (such as sugars, food coloring, or glazes). Most dried fruit eaten in Israel is imported from Turkey.

This year (5778 / 2018) Tu Bishvat falls on January 31, 2018.