In 1919, a young Jewish couple named Yaffa and Israel Haklai decided to leave their lives in Belarus and move to Israel to pursue their lifelong dream. They took their buggy, with a couple of mules and went on a 2 year journey through Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and finally into Israel (Palestine at the time).
Upon their arrival they began working on drying swamps and building roads. With the birth of their 3rd child they finally decided to join an agricultural group and settled in middle of nowhere (now, center of Israel, about 30 minutes from Tel Aviv). They formed the village of Kfar Hess, that’s when Gafni Farms was founded.
In 1949, a young Holocaust survivor named Jacob Gafni, a farmer from Slovakia, immigrated to Israel and settled his life in Kfar Hess where he met Yaffa and Israel’s daughter Naomi. Shortly thereafter they decided to get married and join the family farm as the 2nd generation.
During the farm’s first 45 years, it specialized in growing crops such as a variety of citrus trees and also raised chickens but for their day to day survival they also grew potatoes, corn, peanuts and a cow named Babushka. In 1972, with the return of Yaffa and Israel’s grandson, Efraim back from his military service to work in the farm it shifted its specialty and settled on cut flowers, which it grows to this day.
In the past 40 years, the farm had been producing world class quality cut flowers, foliage and had grown to as many as 30 hectares (300 Dunam) of fields in total some of which has green houses, some under shade nets and other in the open field. Each variety with its own specific needs.
Among its crops, Gafni Farms also operates a nursery for producing plant material used for both internal purposes along with wholesale to other farms. In addition to the nursery, the farm also operates a state of the art tissue culture lab, which allows it to:
- Isolation and propagation of mutations, which are found within our own fields (on average 2-5 per year).
- Since the lab is an official quarantine certified by the Israel PPIS, it is much easier to import plant material into the country for internal and representation purposes.
Throughout the years the farm has been involved with the introduction process of some of the newest varieties to arrive in Israel. Among these varieties you will find Phlox, Lisianthus, Solidago, Solidaster, Hypericum, Viburnum, Wax Flower and many more.
In 2008, the family’s 4th generation joined the family business. Moav Gafni had finished his B.S.c in Biotechnology brought with him “fresh approach” and had developed a new vision:
“To use our knowledge, professionalism, and good management in order to focus on new, unique & exclusive niche products, which will be grown by Gafni Farms and / or select growers that will be organized by us in order to provide constant quantities to the world market under exclusive right from the breeders and sold directly to selected buyer in the florist market. By 2015 almost 90% of our products will be sold in advance to buyers through seasonal deals or Order In Advance deals (for more information on this issue, enter our buyer zone or enter our breeder zone).
These methods will allow our buyers to get the freshest products with a fixed price, no added fees, and will allow Gafni-Farms to get to know its client better. Getting a constant feedback from our clients will help us to improve ourselves for the next shipment…”
Some of our new and unique crops are:
- New Waxflower varieties – Exclusive agreement with Helix Ausralia.
- New Colored Calla lily varieties for the winter time – Exclusive agreement with Bloomz New Zealand.
- Sandersonia cut flowers and pot plants for the winter time – Exclusive agreement with Bloomz New Zealand.
- New cut flower varieties of Leptospermum from Australia and New Zealand.
- New Phlox Varieties – Exclusive agreement.
- New Asclepias Amilia Improoved – Exclusive Argument with Armada NL.
- New Lisimachia varieties – Exclusive agreement.
- And of course our new Phlox “Green-Lady”
We are always glad to discuss possible opportunities with both breeders and clients.