In Gush Katif, agriculture filled everything – the air and the atmosphere, even though not everyone was a farmer. The agricultural scenery, the rapid progress in the field, the many greenhouses in nearly every community, the insect-free vegetables developed in Gush Katif, the many acts of kindness done by farmers – all gave everyone a feeling of living in an agricultural area, in settling the land by being connected to it through what grows on it.
Initially, the experts questioned the ability to successfully grow agricultural crops in sand dunes. “I will grow hair on the palms of my hands before you can grow anything here” – said one of the experts. But Gush Katif farmers succeeded in turning the dune soil into an agricultural paradise, thanks in no small part to the Israeli invention of drip irrigation.
They grew cherry tomatoes, peppers, leafy plants and flowers such as geraniums and more in Gush Katif. Organic farming also occupied a prominent place among Gush Katif farmers. Worth noting are the insect-free vegetable crops that were a product of the unique combination of shared life that characterized Gush Katif; A combination of moshav farmers and Torah scholars.
Over the years, Gush Katif farmers achieved impressive international achievements and turned the place into an agricultural empire.
In 2004, there were 4,400 dunams of greenhouses in Gush Katif, and they formed part of the total agriculture of the State of Israel.
To illustrate – 65% of organic vegetable exports, 60% of geranium seedling exports and 90% of insect-free vegetable production in Israel were from Gush Katif.