Ayala and her five siblings refused to carry on the family farming business due to the damaging methods in which their father, Micha Noy Meir, cultivated the land. They all studied at the High School for Environmental Education in Sde Boker, where they were exposed to the contradicting curriculum compared to how they were raised.
In their studies they learned in depth about the disastrous farming practices ruining the land they call home. Micha, unaware of the outcome of his land cultivation, began to acquire new knowledge every time the kids came home from school reciting contradicting methods, creating a great generational distance between them.
Still, understandably, Micha couldn’t imagine changing his entire work operation or the tools he was well apprehended with, especially when fathering a family of eight, being the sole financial provider. A dilemma with heavier weight appeared: what would be left of his hard work if none of his children were willing in good conscience to continue the family legacy?
‘The one regret I have was sending my kids to that darn school’ Micha says jokingly with a big colorful smile on his face.
20 years ago, With a heavy heart Micha began the process of unlearning the methods that had provided him and his family with security. He joined the olive-oil business with his children and put in the change to offer an ethical and pure product.
If it wasn’t for his children, Micha would most likely still be using pesticides, producing more, but not in touch with the land. Rish Lakish Olive Oil is a generational practice which evolved with time, and the willingness to grow and unlearn.
The Rish Lakish olive grove and olive oil mill are located in Zippori, a village in the Lower Galilee region. Spread out between ancient archaeological sites and the Israel National Trail, right in the heart of the Jezreel Valley, are 6,000 olive trees, among them 2,500 dating back a millennium. Over the course of four decades the Noy Meir family have carefully restored these trees and with precise harvesting methods produce a pure olive oil rich in history and flavor. In an era where capital determines quantity, The Noy Meir family took a different route. Instead of taking the more profitable and convenient path in which they could outsource the oil-extraction process from a large-scale factory or purchase machinery to shake the olives off the tree, they renovated their chicken coop into an olive mill and recruited members of the community to hand pick each fruit, having complete control over the creation process. With cleanliness being the headline for their work ethic, every step is calculated for an end product that compares to no other.