Many members of the Christian Life Community (CLC) in Lebanon are taking individual initiatives to contribute to taking care of our “common home.” Some helped in cleaning the capital after the blast of 4 August 2020 in the port of Beirut, others are working on waste sorting, raising ecological awareness, and changing their ways of life by saving energy and water, among other daily and personal actions. In Machghara, a village known for its gigantic moon and for the musician and composer Zaki Nassif in the West Bekaa, CLC member Pamela Rahhal is participating in a family project in an agriculture field.
Agriculture in Lebanon, largely dedicated to wine and citrus production, is one of the most climate vulnerable sectors due to the country’s limited water and land resources. The agriculture project aims to regenerate and re-develop the family’s two remaining lands of 1.3 hectares each, previously planted with various kinds of fruit trees, mainly apples such as Gala, Pink Lady, Jonathan, Granny Smith, Fuji, Red Chief, Jonagold, Golden, and Starken, etc. Other fruits grown are grapes, cherries, mulberries, apricots, figs, quinces, among others.
The project is starting the production and development of homemade products from fruits such as jams, syrups, vinegar, apple wine, and other products but there are many challenges.
Taking care of the fruit trees needs to be done in person for many years and includes scheduling fruit picking in the proper time, storing the fruits safely, producing adequately, and distributing. With limited assistance from government and related ministries, limited financial resources, restricted supply of clean water, and the impacts of a changing climate, these challenges pose great harming to the trees, and can lead to reduced fruit production.
In such a politically-challenged rural region, this project is an example of sustainability and survival, ensuring the trees do not deteriorate and the lands are made productive and not sold.
As Christians, Pamela and her family believe this project and the “fruits” of their labor are part of “preserving” and caring for Creation, our “common home” that is the work of God and of people.