Zucchini, orange trees, tomatoes and basil sprouted from every direction as I walked through one of Haifa’s eight community gardens. This garden, tended to by Jewish, Muslim and Christian residents, possessed over 80 plots and sat on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the sea.

Hani, the garden ambassador, expressed how the plants growing over these few acres brought together an amazingly diverse group of neighbors. Regardless of faith or race, gardeners asked each other to take care of their plants while they traveled on vacation. Tending to the garden allowed numerous chances for small talk.

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As an MIT group, we planted a tree at the edge of the garden, supporting the project and also leaving a lasting mark on the community. I expect the garden will continue to flourish. The next time I come back to Haifa, I hope to see a line of trees protecting a thriving ecosystem of fruits and vegetables.

Alex Abramson is a graduate student in chemical engineering at MIT.

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