In the basket are bottles of 100% pure natural jojoba oil, which apparently does wonders on the skin and hair.
I'm sorry now that I didn't splurge and buy some when our group toured Kibbutz Hatzerim.
The kibbutz grows the bushes, harvests the beans you see above, cold mills them and makes the oil, which is really a liquid wax.
They presently make 1/3 of the world's production of jojoba oil.
Most is exported to big cosmetics manufacturers, but the kibbutz keeps a little to sell on the premises and online.
(The dunam has been standardized in modern times to mean 1,000 square meters, but in Ottoman Turkish times the word dunam meant "the amount of land that could be plowed by a team of oxen in one day.")
Weeds are not a problem in the plantation because there is so little rain here in the Negev desert.
No herbicides are used.
Drip irrigation lines are buried 12-15 cm below the surface; each bush has its own dripper, invented and produced by Kibbutz Hatzerim, so it gets only the water it needs, directly to its roots.
It is computerized so each plant gets individual attention.
Rows are four meters apart.
At harvest season in the autumn a tractor goes down the row, its silicon arms shaking the bush until the seeds fall (although most of them fall naturally when fully mature).
Then with big brushes made in nearby Kibbutz Ruhama's brush factory, the jojoba beans are swept up.
Our kibbutz guide said they harvest ten tons per day.
Processing is then done inside the kibbutz with cold milling, much like in olive pressing.
Pollination is by wind only.
At Hatzerim 50 female plants need only ONE male, whereas in the world it is more like only 8 or 10 that are pollinated by one male.
To learn more about this interesting plant and the Jojoba Israel company, see their website (in several languages).
In Israel we pronounce it kho-KHO-va. And you?
Here is a 4-minute video about how the kibbutz dealt with the 2014 conflict with Gaza, and it shows jojobas damaged by many incoming rockets.
UPDATE: This is really interesting! --
Re-use of Jojoba Pulp - During the process of manufacturing the oil, pulp is created from the jojoba seeds. This pulp has many features needed for the production of cosmetic products; however, we also use it to fertilize the jojoba fields. As a dry material, the pulp can absorb liquid up to 10 times its volume. The kibbutz members take advantage of this feature and spread the pulp in the kibbutz’s cowsheds. The pulp absorbs the cows’ secretions and after proper processing, the pulp-enriched cow waste is reused to fertilize the jojoba fields!.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday and ABC Wednesday, for J-day.)