Canaan carries a responsibility towards a significant ecological inheritance in the Palestinian landscape. Our farmers are the stewards of a land that has some of the oldest permaculture on earth. The Land of Canaan is where the first agriculture revolution in human history took place. From agriculture came the first settlements, to then the development of the fist alphabet, to the human history we know. This cultural inheritance, in landscape settings, in faming practices, in landraces, in actual living trees for thousands of years, in cuisine, and social communities that produce from the and give to the land, all represent the Canaan Ecology that Canaan seeks to nurture a life for.
Over the years, Palestinian cuisine evolved with the development of agriculture in this land. Our balanced diet developed in harmony with our balanced farming practices. Our food needs for protein, fats, fibers, sugar, and starch has led us to cultivate these needs from the land. Palestinian main dishes of vegetable proteins of Humus “chickpeas”, Falafel, Foul “fava beans”, and Mujadara “lentils” are all legumes that are used in intercropping or alternate cropping. Our fat intake is mainly from olive trees (30% fat of olive fruit) and almond trees (50% fat in almond), our sugars are from grapes, figs, and carobs. These trees are intercropped with the protein legumes as well as wheat, which provides for our fibers and starch. Our meats, eggs, and dairy fats are also provided by animals grazing these same fields as well as other legumes farmed for animal like vetch, and animal are fed the same proteins, fiber, and starch, and give back nutrients to the soil and the plants.
This one example of healthy, sustainable ecosystem that took thousands of years to develop naturally is allowing us to cultivate olive trees that are over 2,000 years old. Much of our olive orchards, olive trees, and carob trees are orchards designed and planted hundreds and thousands of years ago. These trees and the other foods intercropped within them are landraces, plant varieties that have evolved in nature, in their natural settings. The relationship between them and the farmers’ communities are relationships of exchange and reciprocity rather than exploitations. As is the relationships between the legumes and the trees and the relationship of the sheep, goats, and chickens with the human, and the vegetation in the land.
This ecosystem provides for soil health. The legumes enrich the soil with nitrogen. The cover cropping maintains a moist and healthy microbial life in the soil which allows for continuous decomposition of organic matter in the soil making nutrients available for the roots. Cover cropping also works as water harvest through precipitation of dew on the leaves and extend the moister to the soil. Continuous live roots system in the soil brings active fungal life in the soil which energizes bacterial life and hence organic matter decomposition. Animal integration brings manure active bacteria into the soil and works as weed control and affects the needed movement in the soil rather than tillage. The reduction in tillage, or no tillage, makes the earth carbon-absorbent rather then carbon-emitting. The carbon inside the soil acts as a sponge that retains water in the soil making soil life even more active. All of this integration of life allows for healthy soil, rich with nutrients, that allows for the growth of healthy crops producing foods that are dense with nutrients naturally.
Canaan Ecology is to invest in preserving these ecosystems and their traditions. Learn from them, draw from them, benefit from them and sustain them for future generations. We seek to research and document these ecosystem and the innovations, designs and the practices that allowed for their survivals. Enrich them with modern permaculture and regenerative agriculture knowledge. And share with our customers and partners around the world a piece of these traditions in the nutrients dense food ingredients these ecosystems produce.