In 2008, the Erlich family moved from the city (Jerusalem) to a village (Kibbutz Almog in the north of the Dead Sea), and was looking for an idea for economic initiative that will constitute an economic base for the family in its new home.
During a family trip to the Einot Tzukim nature reserve, we found our mission – to return the agriculture of the biblical Balsamon (Balm of Gilead) tree to the shores of the Dead Sea and to restore the former glory of the industries derived from it on ancient times.
We managed to get our first Balsamon (Commiphora gileadensis) plants; we established the Balm of Gilead farm and started to learn how to propagate and grow the Balsamon. Alongside with the development of agriculture, we decided to build a visitor center (agricultural tourism) and started to build a collection of biblical perfume and medical plants.
After two years, we got to the stage where we know how to propagate and grow the Balsamon (the tree is very happy at the north of the Dead Sea), but realize that the road to final products must pass through a period of research and development.
We have gathered a group of leading professionals and together we made a strategic plan and wrote a business plan. Our romantic initiative became a biotechnology venture (The Balsamon Company) which is looking for investments.
Over the years we have built a unique collection of perfume and medical biblical plants, we accumulated a unique agricultural knowledge and decided to promote, along with our Balsamon, also a selection of plants with significant potential for applications. Thus was born a new venture: The Living Valley (by the Dead Sea) - a Biotechnology for advanced applications.
In 2014, we started to plant the first plot in our world's first Balsamon plantation and an experimental plot of Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) and Moringa peregrina trees.
Quite a few good people and important bodies are supporting us along the way. Here we will present some of the professionals involved in the different projects:
Guy Erlich is an initiator and a farmer and he is the living spirit of the different projects.
Dr. Ram Snir, Israel’s leading expert in the field of herbal extracts and the former VP Natural Extracts unit of Frutarom Industries Ltd, is our industry mentor and will serve as our CEO.
Dr. Elaine Solowey, a world-renowned specialist on desert agriculture is the head of our agricultural R&D team.
Dr. Hinanit Koltai, head of the medical plants field at the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research.
Dr. Mina Faran, Israel’s leading expert in the field of herbal remedies (Medicinal plants) is our guidance counselor regarding natural pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Cole Woolley, essential oils expert chemist.
Efrat Erlich (Guy wife), Micha Goldmintz, Tamir Alvas and Chaled Rashaide are the talented employees of the farm.
Important organizations that support the different projects are:
Ministry of Agriculture, the Zionist Agency Settlement Division, the local council "Dead Sea Scrolls", the Jewish National Fund.