Israeli scientists have come up with a new method to grow grapes all year round, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently announced. The agronomists successfully grew an existing variety of seedless grape known as Early Sweet during winter months.
The Ministry says the new technique that makes the fruit ripen in winter will allow farmers to grow and sell the grapes in all seasons.
At the annual “open house” ministry event recently, agriculture researchers also showed off seedless eggplants that are said to absorb less oil when cooking; an Israeli variety of Salicornia, the natural salt substitute; and new varieties of mushrooms.
Researchers from the Jordan Valley Regional Council, meanwhile, created a substance that keeps date palms from growing too high. Ministry officials say the development will cut cultivation costs, make date harvesting easier and increase the lifespan of the trees.
“It’s really great news for the farmers,” Tamir Cohen, a date farmer from Moshav Tomer in the Jordan Valley, to Ynet news. “At some stage, the old trees get so tall that it doesn’t pay to harvest from them due to the high labor costs and expensive machinery involved. And then they have to be replaced and you lose about seven fruit years.”