A celebration of blossoming anemones in the Negev

Spring is almost here again and with it the Darom Adom (Red South) festival.

negev88 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Spring is almost here again and with it the Darom Adom (Red South) festival, the northern Negev's annual celebration of blossoming anemones, culinary attractions and recreation for the entire family. The festival, which is being held during February's five weekends - Fridays and Saturdays - is particularly strong on culinary attractions: An ethnic food market will open the festival every Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Patish Fortress in Ofakim National Park, where visitors can enjoy Yemenite, Tunisian, Kurdish, Moroccan, Caucasian, Russian, Israeli and other cooking styles. For more information: (050) 937-0468. Visitors who prefer a dairy menu accompanied by the wines of the area, olive oils and breads can attend the Market by the Water in Eshkol Park on each of the festival's Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Green Picnic area is available to visitors, who can enjoy the park's ponds as well. (08) 995-8110. Kibbutz Be'eri's dairy farm, Shvil Hehalav (The Milky Way), invites the public, Saturdays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., to a culinary happening at the bicycle lot. Food stalls and free tasting of the local produce. (08) 994-9374. Wine fans and the curious can join Yuval Ben-Shushan Winery's guided tasting outdoors and hear a lecture on the influence of the Negev's climate and terrain on the wine of the area. Early coordination is required: (054) 674-4161. On Kibbutz Bror Hayil, a mobile coffee shop will offer hot and cold drinks and Brazilian style pastries made by Betty from The Way of Food to Love bakery. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (052) 288-4733. On Friday, February 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a Braderie, or Dutch food market, will be held at the Dutch Farm in Moshav Ben-Zvi. To the sounds of traditional Dutch box music, Dutch dishes will be served and the moshav's products will be displayed for sale. (077) 321-0385. Kibbutz Yad Mordechai's culinary fair runs Saturdays from February 16 until March 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with dairy products, a farmers' market and a national cuisines food market which will include South American dishes, Japanese, Yemenite, Italian, French and others. (08) 672-0559. Darom Adom also offers a variety of activities for the younger members of the family and their parents, including: Kibbutz Erez will host festival visitors on February 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in a traditional Beduin tent, and offers a tour of the area's antiquities, an introduction to the kibbutz's pets and a market of food, jewelry and facial treatments. (050) 754-2215. If you ever wondered how a hot-air balloon works, Kibbutz Ruhama is inviting children and their parents to an experimental workshop at which they will build hot-air balloons and fly them. February 9 and 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., (054) 799-5095/6. The arts department of Sapir College will hold an artistic Saturday that includes an exhibition of the work of local artists and an art fair in which hand-made jewelry, ceramics and decorative sculpture will be displayed for sale. February 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (050) 754-9847. Darom Adom features a selection of walking and cycling tours of the area's nature reserves, parks and historic sites. For more suggestions, see www.daromadom.com.