Mordechai “Moti” Kahana hopes new techniques will help him preserve the past while boosting business at an historic Calais Road farm. Kahana, his wife Stacy and their three children, David, Miki and Yarden, residents of Wilkeshire Boulevard, signed a contract in February to rent the 80-acre farm from the Rosenfarb family for the next five years, with the intent of buying when the contract is up.
Kahana hopes to transform the property not only into an aquaponics farm, where water and fish will be used to grow produce, but into a museum celebrating the area’s past. “I think the people of Randolph should know how lucky we are,” Kahana said. “We have a beautiful town.”
Kahana grew up on a farm in Israel and went to farming school where he learned how to herd sheep and cattle. He moved to the United States when he was 23 years old, got married and started a family in Tuscon, Ariz., before settling in Randolph two years after David was born in 2000. He spent more than two decades in the automotive business, most notably buying and selling used cars. At the same time, he and other Israeli businessmen and American Jews traveled between the U.S. and Syria to help get Syrian Civil War refugees in need of treatment to Israeli hospitals.
He said he decided to return to farming two years ago, after discovering the farm while searching for a place where son Yarden could take horseback riding lessons. So it was he ended up at the Rosenfarb Farm, which offered lessons. The rest, as it were, is history.
“Some people have a mid-life crisis and buy a Ferrari,” Kahana, who is 52, said. “I decided to buy a donkey.”
Read more at New Jersey Hills Media Group (Claudia Ceva)