Today, the eighth graders of the Evangelical Lutheran School of Beit Sahour, in a trip facilitated by the EEC and accompanied by an EEC educator, traveled to Sarras Farm to learn about Palestinian agriculture.
In Palestine, farming is always plagued with resistance from surrounding settlers and land disputes. The Sarras farm is no different. Students learned about the struggle of Mr. Sarras, who works his land with his sons and daughter. He feels called to continue to care for creation, despite how often the right to his land is called into question by outside forces.
Students also learned about the Sarras farm’s environmental work. All vegetables are grown organically, and unused vegetables are composted. The Sarras family also has bees on their farm, which help both the farm itself and any surrounding land, by providing pollinators to flowering plants. The farm is also home to bio-gas system that creates fuel from animal waste and compost. The gas created in this system invented by the Sarras family fuels all kitchen gas needs, eliminating the need for outside gas, ultimately reducing the use of more harmful gases.
As ELCJHL students and Palestinian students, learning about the struggle of Palestinian land ownership, in addition to the importance of local agriculture and a real-life example of environmental stewardship, are all necessary for students to learn in a memorable manner. Students asked great questions and now hold a tangible example of one way Palestinians resist peacefully, care for creation, and provide for Palestinian society.