Eyal and Edna – we started as two 15 year-old youth movement counselors at Hefer Valley Regional Council, Kfar Yedidia and Beit Yitzhak. At 17, as a young couple, we dreamt of setting out on our own off the beaten path and farm for a living.
At 23, after finishing our army service – and the end of the 1982 Lebanon War – we journeyed up north to the Galilee to build a farm at Mitzpe Abirim. We began by putting up fences and chopping wood using it to boarder meadow grounds at the Galilee. Later we carried on as a JNF fence building team. At the same time we worked in after-school programs educating teens – a sequel to our work as teenagers.
After a year at Abirim, since we came to farm and there wasn’t much land available, we decided to set up a goat pen.
With the last of our savings we bought 10 goats and began a new journey. Alone, with a lot of love put into each bolt and welding, we built pillars and a concrete platform and created a milking facility.
In time our family grew when Keshet (1985) Or (1988) and Paz (1992) were born, joining the farm life and work. At that time Eyal was also a youth counselor in different moshavim at Maale Yosef, our local council, and guided high-school graduates who chose to do National Service prior to joining the army. Later Eyal became regional supervisor and instructor at all the councils in close proximity to the northern border.
When Eyal turned 30 the pen was still growing and so were the children. Eyal hosted workshops for staff at IDF Education and Youth Corps bases – Havat HaShomer and Michve Alon, served as youth coordinator at Kfar Vradim and independent guide hosting workshops at pre-military programs, teacher conferences, companies and more.
At 35 Eyal became manager of Bnei Hamoshavim youth movement spending his weekdays at the office in Tel-Aviv or on the road, coming back home just to sleep at night while Edna and the kids milked the goats (150) and on weekends – the family got together.
At 40 Edna and Eyal built a large wood cabin called Makom BaLev Cabin in the woods.
At 45 Eyal closed a 10 year chapter as secretary of Bnei Hamoshavim and got back to the farm. We stopped supplying milk to Tnuva and kept a small goat herd while Edna made cheese in a dairy built on the farm. After many years of working for others in education we decided to make our longtime dream come true and live off the farm at Mitzpe Abirim.
For that purpose we incorporated tourism into our farm: wood cabins, horse rides, Ranger drives, camping, cheese, group workshops and more!
We operate as we were brought up – by self-sufficiency. Based on that: Edna cleans and cooks meals for our cabin lodgers, makes goat cheese and tends to the house and yards while Eyal milks the goats (though mainly eats the cheese), leads horse rides for couples and families, organizes Ranger trips, hosts workshops and team-building activities and runs the campsite. And Racheli – who joined our family, gives western riding and therapeutic riding lessons, milks the goats, leads occasional trips, answers phone calls and watches the animals.
Because we work alone – we base our service on the trust system: there are 3 money registers spread out with coins and bills for change – next to the Café, the ice-creams and the cheese and wine stand. Customers leave money and take change on their own.
When coming back from a Ranger ride – park the Ranger next to the house, pay the fee, take the change and have fun at your next destination.
At the end of a camping trip – put the fee and a note in the register and see you again next time!
In short, as you can see our guests help us maintain the business by keeping everything clean, assisting with milking, charging themselves and spreading the word!
As for us, every season brings progress, new things are constantly added new friend are constantly made and become part of the family.
These days we and the kids are planning something new, the next step – raising money from guests by having them purchase special offers on future vacations in advance, enabling us to invest the money to develop the farm now so they could enjoy the efforts in the future.
If you want to become Meshek Hefer friends sign up now online, fill up your details and join in the fun!