Tag Archives: Tu Bishvat

Candy Tu B’Shevat

Hadassah Barbie, Tefillin Barbie’s Bubbe,  circa 1958

Please read the full article: Tu Bishvat in Candy Land at Kveller.com.

At Kveller, I shared my take on Edible Dirt for Tu B’Shevat, plus some ideas on how to use fruit-shaped candies.

Runts and Nitwitz are colorful, fake-fruit sugar bombs that my kids like to play with more than they like to eat.  And they are quite fetching as proportionally-sized tree fruits for Playmobil and Barbie festivities.

Fruit Shakers are bigger (see the picture), and are actually gumballs filled with tiny, rattling, candy “seeds.” Of course, I plant these seeds in the Edible Dirt…  But you’ll see all that in the article. This post is just an excuse Continue reading

Eat a fruit, plant its seeds for Tu B’Shevat

our apple tree at 2 years, earliest leaves emerging now

In How (and Why) to Let Kids Plant Parsley on Tu B’Shevat, I nattered on about the meaning behind growing parsley on the Birthday of the Trees. Because, really, isn’t it weird that a parsley project is the go-to activity for a holiday about trees? But in a nutshell, the big idea is this: to germinate parsley on Tu B’Shevat links the earliest of Spring holidays—when the sap/lifeforce begins to wake after winter—and Passover, the paradigmatic Spring holiday.  Parsley is Spring on a seder plate.  It is the most common representation of the karpas category, without which a seder can’t happen.  Makes perfect sense, this link and its timing, but still, tree it ain’t.  (Well, a curly parsley stalk does rather look like a miniature tree.)

Better we should grow a tree on the Birthday of the Trees, yes?  And what if the tree could be an olive or date or fig or pomegranate: four of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel (Deut. 8:8), the rock stars at a Tu B’Shevat seder?  How brilliant to grow an olive tree especially, whose fruit could give us oil to light Hanukkah menorahs. Or a an almond tree, the early bloomer celebrated in Israel on Tu B’Shevat. Or a citron tree to grow an etrog for Sukkot.  Or a palm or willow or myrtle to harvest for our own lulav.  Chills. Continue reading

How (and why) to Let Kids plant Tu B’Shevat Parsley

Tu B'Shevat parsley for Pesach karpas

Tu B’Shevat parsley for Pesach karpas

Tu B’Shevat is the New Year and/or Birthday of the Trees, but the classic Tu B’Shevat planting activity doesn’t really have much to do with trees. We plant parsley.  All over America, little Jewish kids plant parsley seeds on Tu B’Shevat.  Sounds like Sunday School in Chelm, right?  But it does make sense.  To germinate parsley seeds and use the plant two holidays later as the karpas on a Passover seder plate connects our earliest Spring holiday to our main Spring holiday, and it lets kids get their fingers dirty fostering green life from dormant seeds. Tu B’Shevat is the official start of the agricultural year, when tree sap (and all lifeforce by extension) begins to rise after winter rest.

Parsley, though, is not a tree. It’s easier, folks say, easier than Continue reading