When we were new to Israel, well over forty years ago, my husband reported back to me after a frustrating search in Machane Yehuda for nice tomatoes one winter:
"They said that tomatoes don't grow in the winter, and I should tell you to make the salad out of cabbage."That was before the more expensive and less natural green/hot house agricultural industry. Israel is a small country and even by utilizing the warmer Jordan Valley, we can't have fresh and tasty summer fruits and vegetables all year long. According to many health experts, we shouldn't eat fruit and vegetables out of season, even if they are on sale at reasonable prices and even if they are grown naturally in a different location. Citrus and avocados are for winter, while peaches and grapes are for the summer. In the days when I ate felafel every few weeks, rather than one or two a year, I'd notice how the salad changed. In the summer it would be full of tomatoes and cucumbers while the winter salad was mostly cabbage.
The leaves on my grape vines are drying and withering, as you can see on the two pictures I just took. Yes, I ran out to the merpeset-terrace armed with my camera just to show you. There are just a few grapes left to eat, and my grapes are late-ripening.
We don't live in a tropical jungle with food to pick freely at our fingertips.
Every single year at this, yes, pre-Holiday season the prices skyrocket. Summer produce is no longer fresh and plentiful, and the winter fruits and vegetables aren't yet ripe. Citrus will only be sweet, delicious and healthy after the first rains, in another month G-d willing.
Agricultural scientists do their best to extend the seasons, and the agricultural businessmen import what they can. But remember that although we want to eat whatever we want when we want, there's a price to pay. And it's not the government's fault, no matter who is in power.
There's one thing I learned pretty quickly living here in Israel. No matter what the weather, no matter how much rain, the farmers complain. The rain is either too early, too late, too little or too much.
Our rain is the result of how G-d calculates our sins and mitzvot. So, if we want more plentiful and less expensive produce, we must live according to G-d's instructions, each and every one of us. G-d makes His calculations for the entire Jewish People together. In another few days it'll be Rosh Hashannah and then Yom Kippur. It's time for Teshuva, Repentance.
Here's Latma's New Year's song: