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Palestinian farmers celebrate an abundant freekeh harvest, PFTA elects new board of directors, videos, pictures, news & delicious recipe all in our latest newsletter!
Palestinian Farmers Celebrate an Abundant Freekeh Harvest!

APRIL-MAY is the season for harvesting the young, green wheat of Palestine for FREEKEH, and we’re happy to report that our farmers are celebrating an abundant freekeh harvest in Palestine this year!
This ancient grain of Palestine is dried in the sun, and carefully set on fire (flame-roasted) to burn the straw and chaff (the dry, inedible part of wheat and other grains’ seeds). Because it’s harvested when the wheat is still very young and green, the seeds do not burn due to their high moisture content. Once cooled, the wheat undergoes a rubbing process that cracks the seed and separates the chaff, which describes why it is called Freekeh.  The Arabic name freekeh is derived from Arabic verb ‘faraka’ which means rubbed.

This extremely old grain has been a staple in Palestinian food for thousands of years and originated from the Marj Ben Amer plains north of Jenin where is still mainly cultivated. Freekeh is becoming increasingly popular all over the world and our farmers are ready to share Freekeh in its most authentic form!

The resurgence of freekeh has been aided by its unique chewy, nutty texture, and the fact that compared to several other grains, it is much more nutritious. Freekeh has up to 3 times the fiber and protein in brown rice and half the fat of quinoa with 30% higher protein!  What's more, freekeh contains resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that helps keep you feeling pleasantly satisfied longer.  That’s why it’s great for people who are trying to lose weight!

      Here is a video we produced to share with all of you the Palestinian harvest of Freekeh!  
      Take a look at these beautiful images from the Freekeh harvest.
Palestinians Find Freekeh Again!

Check out this article written by Daniella Cheslow for NPR about Freekeh making a comeback in Palestine and in the world.

“This version of wheat is coming back. Palestinian chefs are placing freekeh prominently on their menus. Home cooks are using freekeh to make pillowy pilafs and earthy stuffed zucchini. The result is a buzzing harvest season, with many more wheat burning sites all around Jenin.“
Experiencing Fair Trade in Palestine is an article written by one of Canaan’s Fair Harvest Tour delegates from last year, Randa Kayyali, on her experience in Palestine with the Canaan community! Check it out!
The Palestine Fair Trade Association General Assembly Elects New Board of Directors

Congratulations to The Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA) on the successful conclusion of their General Assembly and the election of their new Board!

The biennial conference was held at the Jenin Chamber of Commerce on Thursday May 21, 2015, and elected 9 Board members in open and fair democratic elections.

Highlights of some of the PFTA achievements & successes during the past year include:
- Increasing PFTA revenues to more than 50%
- Granting interest-free loans to 30 women of 10,000  ILS each through its Micro-loan project.
- Planting 17,000 olive & almond trees through Trees for Life.
Increasing PFTA farmers to include 400 new farmers and going into new regions in Tulkarm and Qalqilia.  

We at Canaan Fair Trade celebrate the growth of the PFTA,  its capacity to run as a farmers union, and the level of interest and engagement the farmers' communities have in it. We continue to pledge support beyond marketing their products,  to link them with community networks around the world and to support their efforts as farmers and farming communities to build a future for Palestine. 

See this short video on PFTA elections

It’s easy to fall in love with Palestine! There are the holy shrines, the historical treasures, the beautiful landscapes, the rich culture, the delicious cuisine, and the legendary hospitality! Many tourism companies in Palestine offer programs to experience all this, but through Canaan, we will show you another side of Palestinea side that you won’t experience anywhere else! Read more on our visitors program here.

If you've been at our headquarters in Burqin to tour our facilities, or enjoyed some time at our annual olive harvest festival, or stayed overnight with our farming families, or took part in the olive harvest season, please write your review and feedback on Trip Advisor & help us spread the word & attract more people to visit Canaan and beautiful Palestine!

Did you know that almonds in Palestine are rain fed? In fact, the most exciting part of the story of our 'Hassan Asaad' variety of almonds is that our local farmers developed this variety grafted onto our indigenous bitter almond tree that is resistant to drought and can bear fruit under scarce water conditions. So despite the big water problem in Palestine, our almond trees can still produce exceptional superior quality almonds with being rain fed only!
In picture: Farmer Elayan Abu Arra proud of his almond trees, Aqqaba - Jenin.

Canaan Trains Young Women Startups on Branding!
Canaan director, Dr. Nasser AbuFarha, led a training session for young women startups on branding. The training was conducted in cooperation with Tomorrow's Youth Organization

Dr. Nasser described in detail the marketing strategies of creating a brand, to give the best possible impression about a specific product and differentiate it from all other products/brands. "Promoting entrepreneurship in Palestine in general and for women in particular is part of Canaan’s social and developmental goals. " Dr. Nasser said.   

Qallayet Bandora [Farmers Lunch with lamb]

Meals in the field are one of the favorite memories of any Palestinian.  Farmers Lunch, with tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic and olive oil cooked over a fire and eaten with bread, is made with food readily available in any farmer's field.  Here is a dinner version.  All portions are approximate, use what you have!

8 small red tomatoes cut in half
1 garlic head
1 pound lamb cut in cubes then sliced 1/4”
1 green or yellow pepper
2 onions sliced
2 jalapeños sliced thin
Canaan olive oil
Salt and pepper, & your favorite meat spice  
Use separate fry pans so all ingredients cook and don't stew.  Don't turn (especially meat) until almost done.  Cook all fry pans on high heat at same time, with some of Canaan's organic extra virgin olive oil. 

Fry pan 1: Add your favorite meat spice, salt & pepper to lamb. Fry with a thin layer of olive oil, and only stir once when almost cooked.

Fry pan 2: Add green &/or yellow pepper, onions, jalapeños and half the garlic, and fry with 3 tbsp of olive oil.

Fry pan 3: Tomatoes, single layer, skin side down, and other half of the garlic.  Flip when more than halfway cooked, cook then flip again and add the other two skillets to it.
Mix and serve with rice or bread for dipping.   Sahha w Afiyeh!  
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