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Terumot and ma'aserot and hefker for fruit on trees now (Cheshvan)

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Hello, my daughter has a lemon tree that she just picked 3 lemons. 1. I believe that the lemons fall under the category of yivul shishit. 2. If so, does she still have to make them hefker before she brings them into her home? 3. Does she have to take terumah and ma'aser since they were picked during the shemitah year?

Removing dead leaves or the entire contents of a planter

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

If most of the leaves have died in a potted plant (perforated planter, outside), may I remove the dead leaves and/or throw out the entire contents of the pot?

Baking banana bread with kedushat shevi'it bananas

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Can I bake banana bread with kedushat shivi'it bananas? Since we are not supposed to use the fruit in an “unusual” way, I wasn’t sure if baking is considered “unusual “? 

Garden maintenance: lawn care and leave removal

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Hello. Thank you so much for this information! We made Aliyah 3 months ago are very confused with how to properly keep the laws of shemitah here in the holy land.

Question(s): (1) Can we mow the lawn (or have someone do it)? The seed grass grows too high for my little dog to comfortably do her business on the lawn. We recently mowed it, before I realized that this might be a problem for shemitah.

(2)  Can we remove dead leaves from the ground in the garden? Thank you again.

Poisoning and removing shoots that emerge from trees

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have a wild type of tree from the willow family. During the year we have new shoots surfacing and must poison them and pull them out as their roots can be very aggressive. Can we do this treatment during the shemitah year?

Repotting a broken pot (outdoors)

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Whilst cutting a neighbouring tree a branch fell and broke a pot. Can I lift the pot and soil and put in a new container or I just have to beg forgiveness and replace after shemitah?

Open to the air and on a man hole.

Pruning lemon trees now while they are still sixth-year fruit

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have an orange tree and our neighbor's lemon tree overhangs our property. Does this mean that we can trim back the trees before they have kedushah status as well?

Treating heter mechirah produce as having kedushat shevi'it

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I don't believe in the halakhic basis behind היתר מכירה. However, I live with roommates who do not see it as a problem, and our food is shared. Invariably, I end up eating היתר מכירה. Since I do not believe in its halkhic basis, and, however, do end up eating it since it's incredibly difficult otherwise, should I consider all the היתר מכירה fruits and vegetables to have קדושת שביעית?

Vegetables that started growing before shemitah, but are sold and bought (without heter mechirah or otzar beit din)

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I used to buy produce from a farmer who doesn't have a hechsher, and says that he is selling produce that began growing before the beginning of shemitah and that his produce has kedushat shevi'it. He isn't part of an otzar beit din.

Isn't that a problem? I mean, the produce is supposed to be hefker and you are not supposed to transact with it. Am I allowed to eat the vegetables? I accidently bought some already before checking him out.

Digging up a plant and moving it to a covered balcony

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

BDE my father passed away. We have finished shiva and tomorrow I am clearing his house.  Can I dig a plant from the garden and move it to a pot and keep it in a pot on a covered balcony? Or am I not allowed to dig it up.