From the Carob Recreation Area we can drive to Peace Valley Farm, which lies only a kilometer and a half away along a dirt track marked in blue. The route skirts the northern flank of Givat Mishol, which is clad in KKL-JNF woodland. In winter and spring it’s best to cover this short distance on foot in order to enjoy the magnificent flowers that bloom at that time of year. After visiting the farm we make our way back to the Carob Recreation Area along the lower reaches of Nahal HaShofet (red trail markings) and enjoy the flowing stream fringed with well developed willow trees.
Along the way we pass by Ein Parur, a spring whose waters supply Peace Valley Farm. Two tall, straight lone cypresses stand opposite the spring, planted in memory of guards Yoash Zoller and Yitzhak Kalichevsky, who fell here in the Arab Revolt of 1936.
Peace Valley Farm was founded in 1960 by a German pilot. After undergoing a series of changes it was settled in 1964 by a German Biblical researcher named Hermann Bäzner who was later joined by a Czech named Josef Elisha, who became his pupil.
The two men, both devout Christians with a great love for Israel and Judaism, fully believed in the vision of the prophets. They grew fruit, vegetables and grains. Both died in late 1999 (Hermann Bäzner at the age of 99). They welcomed visitors and bequeathed the farm to the people of Israel. It is now operated by the Lotem organization as a nature exploration center that offers activities to people with special needs. Hikers and passers-by can still drop in and visit free of charge. Picnics, however, cannot be held at the site, and no fires may be lit.
A few words about Nahal HaShofet
Nahal HaShofet is a short river that rises between Moshav Ein HaEmek and Kibbutz Ramat HaShofet. This is the site of the river’s most important spring, Ein Rehaniya.
The river flows through a landscape of rounded hills and crosses Kibbutz HaZorea before entering the open spaces of the Jezreel Valley, where it becomes a canal that empties into the Kishon River. The river flows through Ramat Menashe for about seven kilometers, and through the Jezreel Valley for about another three kilometers. Nahal HaShofet’s catchment basin is soon to be declared a core heritage site in the Ramat Menashe Biosphere Reserve.