Arts and Culture | Events | Upcoming

Bet Shalom farm festival will celebrate desert garden, New Year for trees, family fun

The Midbar Project located at Congregation Bet Shalom will host a Tu B’Shevat Farm Festival on Sunday, Feb. 9. This festival will include the garden’s first plantings, painting the fence and chicken coop, clearing and pruning space for the mindfulness area, along with face-painting, music, PJ Library books, and a short mystical fruit seder.

The Midbar Project, the first urban Jewish farm in Arizona, is part of a Jewish farming movement that has enjoyed a revival over the past decade, says Lisa Schachter-Brooks, Bet Shalom’s congregational director. The movement is embracing a grassroots way of engaging the community in social and ecological sustainability. The local project intentionally blends the wisdom of ancient Tohono O’odham Sonoran Desert farming techniques with Jewish agricultural practices.

Micah Chetrit, Molly Block, and Jack Speelman are stewarding the project, which is funded by the Synagogue Funding group at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, GARDEN Inc., and community donations.

The festival is from 2-6 p.m. at Bet Shalom, 3881 E. River Road. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and energy. Work gloves and garden tools are helpful but not required. For information, contact Schachter-Brooks at 577-1171 or