January 23-25 2023 –  Carrots, anyone?

Exciting news from the fields of Kibbutz Ein Harod: Their brand new organic quinoa from the plush Jezreel Valley has arrived at Chubeza!

Bring this delectable Israeli organic quinoa to your table, fresh from the sun-kissed fields of Ein Harod. Available in 1 kg packages. Add them to your boxes today via our order system !

____________________________________

___________________________________

In a ponderous 1904 letter to his beloved wife Olga, Anton Checkhov writes, “You ask, ‘what is life’? That is the same as asking, ‘What is a carrot?’ A carrot is a carrot and we know nothing more.”  Over a century later, we can no longer say that “a carrot is a carrot and we know nothing more.” Countless research studies have been conducted to examine this basic veggie, so common and beloved, generating a wealth of information on the carrot’s healthy components and its ability to maintain our health and to spur healing.

But Chekhov did articulate a hint of the mystery lying in the root. What meets the eye as we stroll by the carrot bed is only its bad-hair-day and the edge of its scalp. But when we tug it out of the soil – voila! Orange joy retrieved from the dark underworld…

Winter is its season. The carrot does not appreciate warm weather, but adores the cold. It can even grow under a blanket of snow. Now that the weather has cooled off at last, the carrot has finally become a frequent guest in our field and your boxes. We seed several carrot beds every few weeks, and after several months pull out bed after bed of juicy orange corkscrew roots, week after week.

The carrot (Daucus carota) belongs to the Umbelliferae family, home to such vegetables and spices as celery, parsley, fennel, dill and cilantro. Various wild carrot species have grown in many areas in the world, specifically in five continents: the Mediterranean, South Asia, Africa, Australia and America. The origin of certain domesticated species is probably Afghanistan and Turkey. The Arabs introduced the carrot to Spain, where it spread to Europe. Its first domesticated varieties came in a range of colors: red, purple and yellow-green. Later, yellow and white carrots were developed. In the 18th century, the Dutch grew orange carrots, which are today’s most common variety. In Israel, the carrot has been raised from the beginning of the Jewish settlement. The Arabs used to grow dark purple carrots, which can still be found today to a small extent, mostly for aesthetic use.

The wild carrot is known in English as “Queen Anne’s lace,” a name which originated in a fairy tale about how the wild carrot’s flower got its distinctive look: a sort of white lace embroidery, with a dark red-purple dot at its center. Legend has it that Queen Anne (wife of King James I), who reigned as Denmark’s queen in the 16th and 17th centuries, was an expert at lace tatting. One day she pricked her finger in the process, and a drop of blood rolled onto the center to create this special flower. Although the tale only appeared in writing some 200 years after Anne’s death, it could be associated with the 17th century custom for ladies to smartly adorn their hats with wild carrot flowers.

Queen Anne’s Lace

Carrots are usually biennial. At the end of their first year of growth, they develop leaves and a root. When the root is well-developed and the plant has received its necessary dose of cold weather, the next season leads to the development of a stem which grows rather tall. As the stem branches out, it produces peripheral branches which end in an inflorescence resembling an umbrella. The seeds remain in the dry fruit, one seed per fruit. They contain ethereal oil which provides their unique scent.

When a carrot is grown for food, we are interested in its taproot, which is why it should be picked before reaching flowering and seeding – for by then the root is too old and becomes grainy. The root develops in three stages, beginning right after sprouting when a long skewer-like root grows. At the second stage, the root thickens and becomes longer, gaining its orange color. At the third stage, the downward growth stops and the root only thickens.

The root consists of a central stele, the endodermis and the cortex. The endodermis is surrounded by tissue, which creates the inner cortex and the outer phloem. This tissue is rich in color substance and sugars. A carrot’s quality is determined by the thin texture of its central stele in comparison to the cortex tissues. In difficult growing conditions, or as the plant ages, the central stele becomes wood-like and the carrot is no longer fit for human consumption.

The carrot from inside to outside: the endodermis, the cortex and the phloem.

The carrots in your boxes were seeded three-and-a-half to four months ago. Never one to rush, the carrot sprouted slowly: first its two long ears, the cotyledons, peeked out of the earth. Afterwards the plant actually grew “real leaves,” the type we can identify as carrot greens, a true bunny gourmet treat.

The carrot needs a lot of space to breathe and grow, in both length and depth and preferably from all four directions. But its seeds are tiny and hard to seed accurately and well-spaced. Thus, as soon as they begin to grow, we start thinning the plants and pluck out lots of tiny carrot sprouts to allow the remainder to grow nice, bountiful roots.

carrot thinning

The orange of the carrot is known for its medicinal qualities: research highly acclaims it as a cancer and heart disease fighter. Carrots maintain healthy eyes, fortify the immune system, protect your skin, and generally boost human growth and vitality. Its healing powers come from the yellow-orange caratanoid pigment group: the alpha carotene, beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. 

Beta carotene, the most researched and popular pigment in the carrot, belongs to the carotenoid group, which becomes Vitamin A when consumed. For this reason they’re termed “pro-vitamin.” Vitamin A, aka “retinol” due to its benefits to the retina, plays a crucial role in healthy vision.  A Vitamin A deficiency can impair the function of the photo-pigments in the retina and cornea, causing blindness or night blindness. Vitamin A promotes skin health and epithelial cell growth, and in pregnancy contributes richly to proper fetal development. Current research indicates that Vitamin A is critical to the process of learning and memory, probably by enriching the area of the brain responsible for memory function.

Vitamin A keeps the immune system working, whereas a deficiency can increase the risk of acquiring viral infections. In infectious diseases, a Vitamin A deficiency can aggravate the disease and increase the mortality risk. In Chinese medicine, carrots are known to strengthen the spleen and blood in anemia. Medical research supports this as well, recognizing that Vitamin A is beneficial in absorbing iron and relieving the symptoms of anemia.

Proper Vitamin A consumption has been linked to reducing the threat of many types of cancer, including eye, breast, large intestine, prostate, skin and liver.

Carrots also contain falcarinol, a natural pesticide which the carrot probably develops against harmful fungi by delaying the creation of material which encourages fungus growth. In a like manner, falcarinol hinders the creation of components which foster the growth of cancerous tumors, thus delaying their development.

Carrots are also rich in excellent “traditional” nutrition components: potassium and such B vitamins as folic acid, vitamins C, K, E and dietary fibers. In short, it is full of great stuff. Give the carrot a place of honor in your menu!

Beyond the orange beta carotene, carrots come in rainbow colors. How beautiful are these?

Overdosing on carrots may cause carotenemia – a temporary yellowing of the skin, caused by excessive consumption of beta carotene from fresh carrots. This is not dangerous, only a little strange-looking, and it disappears several weeks after going cold turkey on beta carotene.

Carrot Tips

– If you receive carrots in a bunch, complete with greens, the best way to store them is by removing the greens. Otherwise they will draw water from the root and cause it to shrivel.

– Carrots should be stored in the coldest place in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag or in the vegetable drawer.

– The carrot is best unpeeled. You can lightly scrape the peeling, or not at all. The peeling is tasty and nutritious.

– Like the tomato, a cooked carrot is more nutritious and healthier than a raw carrot. The level of vitamin A rises as the cooking – and even a light scraping – breaks down the cell walls. It is best to cook carrots in a small amount of water, so the vitamins are not diffused in the cooking liquid.

* Adding a small amount of oil to the cooking liquid will increase the absorption of antioxidants.

– It is recommended to combine carrots with foods containing vitamin E, such as peanuts, pumpkin, leafy vegetables and whole grains.

Check out our recipe section for a variety of interesting ways to cook carrots.

When you purchase carrots in the supermarket, they are already meticulously sorted out with only the right sizes and shape surviving the selection and placed on the shelves. (The rest usually become “baby” carrots…) But in the field, the carrots grow in various shapes, revealing the playfulness and grace of the charming carrot that loves to dance, hug, hang out and make funny faces. Here are some vivid examples:

Wishing you a great orange week filled with health, happiness and good times (hopefully in the rain…….)!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and the entire Chubeza team

____________________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?   

Monday: Fresh white or purple onions, fennel/red or green peppers,  Swiss chard/kale/spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley, turnips/baby radishes/daikon/Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets/kohlrabi. Free gift for all: coriander/dill.

Large box, in addition: Celery/leeks/scallions, cabbage/cauliflower, garden peas or Chinese peas/green fava beans.

FRUIT BOXES:  Oranges/pomelas/pomelit, red apples/carambola, avocados, bananas, pomegranates/clementinas.

Wednesday: Fresh white or purple onions, fennel/kohlrabi, cabbage/red and green peppers, Swiss chard/kale/spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, broccoli/cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, garden peas or Chinese peas/green fava beans/sweet potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Celery/leeks/scallions, turnips/beets, baby radishes/daikon.

FRUIT BOXES:  Oranges/pomelas/pomelit, red apples, avocados, bananas, clementinas.

January 16-18, 2023- Orange You Glad That the Yams Arrived?!

I’m not sure how I neglected to mention the first autumn harvests of our sweet potatoes. Though this delicious beauty has frequented our boxes for several weeks now, we somehow didn’t get around to giving her the grand ovation she deserves. This newsletter is thus lovingly devoted to welcoming that spirited redhead now gracing our boxes.

Though the amazing sweet potato has been with us since fall, our journey together actually began some seven months ago. Since then, we’ve carefully followed the various stages of her growth – sometimes through the camera’s lens. So this week, here’s a glossy look at our glamorous redhead veggie – the sweet potato (aka yam)!

Growing sweet potatoes is a lesson in faith, imagination and hope. This is how it works:

In the beginning of May we received a package from Kibbutz Nirim, which we opened to find this treasure:

“Well, hey there, Georgia!” we greeted our sweet potato, and happily placed the cuttings into the pre-dug mounds we’d prepared in the ground, each separated by 15 centimeters. Here’s how it looked like when we were done:

And close up:

Several days later, we started to notice tiny little leaves growing on those branches. Then, lo and behold, here’s the scene after just one week:

Remember that naked branch? Look how stylishly-dressed she is now!

Then, the young seedlings began stretching out beautiful arms, on their way to a bountiful future:

Only two weeks later, the field looks like a sea of yams, with a multitude of densely assembled leaves, branches, and a vibrant, verdant carpet of blooms:

And up close:

…and zooming in even closer: look at these gorgeous little flowers, with their characteristic Convolvulaceae family purple hue at the center.

Underneath this green carpet, silently but surely, the sweet potato plant shoots out roots which thicken in order to store nutrients for the winter. Four months after the start of the process, we begin exploring what’s happening six feet below. If need be, we turn off the irrigation (causing the sweet potatoes to grow just a little more) and when The Time Comes, we roll the lawn mower over the plots, mowing the heavy thicket from above to make life less tangled for us, and off we go, armed with pitchforks and a smile to dig up the luscious orange roots.

In Hebrew, the word for orange is כתום (Katom) from the word for gold (Ketem, also “stain”) because of the golden color comprised of red and yellow. For me, the orange deserves its royal name, and the synergy of cooling weather and the warmth of the orange hue are a perfect balance for the charming autumn.

The origin of the sweet potato lies in tropical South and Central America. The most ancient evidence of sweet potatoes was found in Peru, from where they mysteriously traveled to the rest of Central and South America, all the way to Polynesia. Some say sweet potato seeds were carried from America to Polynesia by birds or by sunken ships that drifted away. Another assumption is that the sweet potato seeds floated along ocean currents from South America to Polynesia, as they can sprout after having been immersed in sea water. Columbus found sweet potatoes in Cuba, brought them along on his journey to Europe, from where they travelled together with the European conquerors to Africa, India and Asia.

Years of careful selection of sweet potatoes by farmers and nature have made today’s sweet potato very strong and resistant to (or at least tolerant of) diseases and pests. Sometimes the plants can be carriers of various pathogens that are not actively expressed and do not prevent the plant from growing or developing. Basically, the sweet potato hardly suffers from any ailments, and usually grows nicely over a few months’ time.

When the time has come to harvest, there is no urgency to remove the sweet potatoes from the earth right away and store them. They are well-protected within the earth, even during cold winters, thanks to the warmer temperature underground. If you remove the sweet potatoes from the earth, bring them indoors so they’re not too cold. When the outside temperature falls below 13 degrees Celsius, the storage refrigerator should be at a temperature of 13-15 degrees so the sweet potatoes do not catch cold.

This is also why they should not be stored in your home refrigerator. The sweet potato that grows primarily in warm seasons dislikes cold weather, and refrigeration impairs its taste. Store them in a cool, ventilated place, not in a bag or a sealed container, to prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. They need not be hidden from light, because (like radishes and beets) sweet potatoes are roots that contain no chlorophyll, thus will not turn green. This is in contrast to the dense-stem potato which turns green when exposed to light and should be stored in dark places. High temperatures will make the sweet potato sprout or ferment, thus avoid warmth…unless you wish to make liquor.

We keep our harvested sweet potatoes in the packing house for only a short time before sending them to you. Sweet potatoes that are mass-produced for industry and kept till the end of wintertime undergo a process called “curing.” They are pulled from the earth and warmed up in a room that is temperature and moisture-controlled. This process thickens their peelings and they grow scab-like skin to cover areas bruised during the digging-out process. Sweet potatoes which have undergone curing can be stored for longer periods of time.

The luscious, soothing taste of sweet potatoes is an especially great blessing in cold autumn evenings when your sweet tooth craves attention. You can eat sweet potatoes without one iota of guilt, as they are bursting with benefits to your health. The orange color assures high levels of beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A when consumed, a multi-armed warrior for battling various cancers, essential for good eyesight, strengthening your immune system, keeping your skin healthy and contributing to proper growth.

Despite its sweet taste, the sweet potato is considered an “anti-diabetic” vegetable, recommended for diabetics because of its contribution to the balancing of sugar levels in the blood and to reducing the resistance of the cell to insulin – perhaps because of its rich carotenoid content. Along with valuable Vitamin A, sweet potatoes also contain good levels of vitamins B6 and C, rich in potassium, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber. This team works to control blood pressure, strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, and allow for proper brain function and the development of learning skills in children and babies.

In Chinese medicine, the sweet potato is recommended for weight loss. It strengthens the spleen, which according to Chinese medicine regulates metabolism and our need for sweet foods and food in general. A weak spleen will create a strong need for sweets, and an inevitable weight gain. According to this approach, the body must receive naturally sweet food, i.e., there is no harm in a sweet diet, on condition that the quantity of sweets is limited, natural, and does not derive from processed foods like white sugar or candies. A medium-sized sweet potato contains 150 calories (equivalent to two slices of bread), but it is very filling. Chinese medicine perceives the sweet potato to be one of the most balanced foods and therefore can be eaten by almost anyone. According to the Chinese, the orange color ties it to earth, making it a warming, strengthening food.

So what can you do with your fresh, delicious Chubeza sweet potatoes? No need to work hard at peeling them. Many of the vitamins and dietary fibers are in the peeling, so don’t pare them—just scrub well. The sweet potato should be cooked immediately after being cut in your kitchen, as its skin will oxidize and blacken once it comes into contact with the air. If you must wait, keep them in a bowl of water to prevent blackening. See our recipe section for more ideas of how to enjoy these extraordinary autumn sweet potatoes. B’teavon! 

Wishing you all a week of faith, imagination, hope, warming hues and sweetness,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and the entire Chubeza team

_______________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Fresh white or purple onions, cabbage/broccoli, Swiss chard/kale/spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, turnips/baby radishes/daikon/fennel, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery/celeriac/sweet potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Green fava beans/Jerusalem artichokes, beets/kohlrabi, garden peas or snow peas.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, bananas, pomegranates, apples/pears, clementinas/oranges/pomelas.

Wednesday: Fresh white or purple onions, cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower, Swiss chard/kale/spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, turnips/baby radishes/daikon, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery/celeriac/sweet potatoes, beets/kohlrabi.

Large box, in addition: Green fava beans/garden peas or snow peas, Jerusalem artichokes/fennel, red and green peppers/scallions/leek.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, bananas, pomegranates, apples/pears, clementinas/oranges/pomelas.

January 9-11 2023 – Bigger than Life

True, we informed you some weeks ago that in 2023 Melissa will no longer be supplying her delectable dry fruit rolls from Mipri Yadeha, thus you must bid farewell to these delicacies.… Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret here – There’s still a small quantity  left in our inventory and they’re all yours to enjoy: natural fruit leather, additive-free, in a variety of distinctive combinations created by Melissa: giddy guava, Popeye’s choice (spinach!), Caribbean mango, grapes and more, as well as a bevy of dried fruit: pear, persimmon, banana, carob, mango, light grapes and plum.

Add sweetness and health to your winter boxes via our order system.

_____________________________________________________

The rain has been generous to us, and we’re soaking it up! Over the past weekend our field was granted a delightful 12 mm of gentle, rejuvenating showers. Combined with some 90 mm from the last round of rains, the soil is satiated, yet not swampy, the air is crispy clean, the temperatures have warmed up (rain moderates the extreme cold, rendering the weather more tolerable). Thus, here at Chubeza, it is officially, ceremoniously wintertime!

The generous quantities of rain expedite the growth of our veggies, which sometimes reach rather mammoth dimensions before we are able to pick them. Thus, you may come upon a huge turnip or enormous fennel bulbs in your boxes. Have no fear, my friends. Although giant vegetables can look hormone-pumped or old and tree-like – this is not the case! Those great big veggies are young over-enthusiasts who grew up too quickly and independently, with only the rain rushing them and expediting their growth. They are juicy, crispy and yummmmmmy.

This reminds me of a sweet legend from Vayikra Rabba (35, 10):

It happened in the days of Shimon ben Shetach and Shlamtzah the Queen that the rains would descend on Shabbat nights until the wheat [grew as large] as kidneys and the barley [grew as large as] the pits of olives and the lentils [grew as large] as a golden Dinar. The Sages gathered some of this produce and stored it away for generations to come…

And here is a group snapshot of one of the gangs (notice the pen to give you a feel of the proportions):

We truly hope that the showers will continue to be generous to us throughout this winter, praying that they come in well-measured quantities without causing major damage in one gushing rainstorm, for instance. But we still need to take precautionary measures, specifically in regard to hailstorms, so we’ve prepared the field by protecting the most sensitive green leaves with a cloth blanket.

Truthfully, we are talking from a somewhat egoistic perspective – don’t all plants have green leaves? And won’t they all be damaged one way or another if hail should fall? Covering the entire field seems a little over the top, which is why we need to ask ourselves if the leaves are edible (lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach etc.) or those that exist to assist photosynthesis and growth, but at the end of the day will remain in the field to re-compost in the soil…

The edible leafy plants will be covered in order to send you healthy, undamaged greens, while cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, turnips, fennel and other friends are left to confront the hail uncovered…. Of course, we do not love them any less, but do not necessarily need their leaves to be smooth and attractive.

Take a look at our field, blanketed safely under protective cloth:

And… we are already thinking about Spring in regard to the rain (wishing and hoping it continues to pour). In several weeks’ time, we will begin to plant and seed spring veggies, a formidable challenge in muddy satiated soil. Which is the reason we are currently digging and creating mounds in the field, leaving the earth wavy and high to ease the permeation. In preparation, we will be flattening out the beds, then planting and seeding as required. Keep your fingers crossed and take a look at what it looks like now:

Wishing everyone a great wintery week, and sending warm wishes of recovery to Majdi who broke his arm and will be recuperating at home over the next few weeks.

Alon, Bat-Ami and the Chubeza team

__________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Fresh white or purple onions, fennel, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, turnips/baby radishes/daikon, cauliflower/sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, beets/kohlrabi. A gift for all: Swiss chard/kale/spinach/tatsoi/arugula

Large box, in addition: Garden peas or snow peas/green fava beans/Jerusalem artichokes, celery/celeriac, white or purple cabbage.

FRUIT BOXES:  Oranges/clementinas/pomelas, apples/pears/carambola, avocados, bananas, pomegranates.

Wednesday: Fresh white or purple onions, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, beets/turnips/baby radishes/daikon/fennel, cauliflower/white or purple cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, kohlrabi, Swiss chard/kale/spinach/tatsoi/arugula.

Large box, in addition: Garden peas or snow peas/green fava beans/Jerusalem artichokes, celery/celeriac, sweet potatoes.

FRUIT BOXES:  Oranges/clementinas/pomelas, apples/pears/carambola, avocados, bananas, pomegranates.

January 2nd-4th – welcome 2023!

MORE NEW GREAT PRODUCTS

 What’s better than last week’s Newsletter with delectable descriptions of exceptional products available for purchase from our special “cottage industry” associates?  Two additional messages about wonderful products you can order for delivery to your door with your Chubeza box!

Enjoy!

Amazing, fresh pecans from the Schiff Farm reached our door just yesterday. Last year there were none, due to a poor harvest, but this year we’re delighted to welcome a beautiful crop. The Schiff family of Moshav Beit Chanan raises organic fruits, from which we purchase many of the fruits which fill your boxes, as well as these shelled organic pecans from their pecan grove.

 

Packages are available in two sizes:

200 grams – 27 NIS

500 grams – 66 NIS

___

And, as each winter, Hamatsesa is now offering their deliciously addictive Winter Ciders. With a 5.5% alcohol content, these spiced cider delicacies are available in three varieties:

* Alcoholic Apple Cider spiced with rosemary, star anise and lavender

* Alcoholic Apple Cider spiced with cinnamon, cloves and star anise

* Alcoholic Pear Cider spiced with sage, rose petals and cardamon

Also, brand new: Apple Liqueur soaked in hops, the plant that gives craft beer its bitterness, aroma and taste. The blend of hops lends this liqueur both a distinctive fruity flavor and a subtle bitterness.

 

ADD THESE AND A HOST OF OTHER DELICACIES FOR DELIVERY IN YOUR VEGETABLE BOXES VIA OUR ORDER SYSTEM TODAY!

___

This week’s fierce winds caused a long electricity backout to strike Kfar Ben Nun, including our office where one of our computers sadly bit the dust…In the ensuing balagan, there was no time to write this week’s Newsletter. Tune in next week! (Your boxes include a Vegetable List.)

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Fresh white or purple onions, fennel/kohlrabi, Swiss chard/kale/winter spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli. Small boxes only: Celery/celeriac.

Large box, in addition: Garden peas or snow peas/green fava beans/Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes/beets, white or purple cabbage, turnips/baby radishes/daikon.

FRUIT BOXES:  Avocados, bananas, apples, pomegranates, oranges/pomelit/clementinas.

Wednesday: Fresh white or purple onions, fennel/kohlrabi, Swiss chard/kale/winter spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, cauliflower/white or purple cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli. Small boxes only: Celery/celeriac.

Large box, in addition: Garden peas or snow peas/green fava beans/Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, beets/daikon, turnips/baby radishes.

FRUIT BOXES:  Avocados, bananas/clementinas, apples, pomegranates, oranges/pomelit.

December 26-28 – last week of 2022 – CHANGING OF THE SEASONS

Last week the seasons officially changed. On December 22nd, autumn made way for winter. Indeed, this week both the temperatures and welcome, wonderful rains dropped on Chubeza’s field. We are truly delighted, even as we know that sunny, warm days may lie just ahead in the crazy, volatile weather patterns of these past years.

In tribute to the changing of the seasons, there is also a farewell and a reunion in Chubeza’s  “Additional Products” section for distinctively delicious products to be ordered and delivered inside your Vegetable Boxes. This week, we’d like to tell you about some of the changes:

 

IZA P’ZIZA

For over six years, we’ve been working in cooperation with the amazing Iza P’Ziza Dairy in Tal Shachar. Beyond the highest-quality of their cheeses, we were also captivated by how they raise animals in a manner that honors their rights and needs, without viewing them as a means by which to satisfy our human apetite. As such, when the nanny goats reach the end of their pregnancy, milking ceases all the way from just-before-birth through nursing and weaning the young, thus the baby goats are not separated from their nursing mothers.

As Iza P’Ziza’s owners explain:

An encounter between a human and an animal is usually accompanied by some type of feeling. In the persona of the animal, one can experience an age-old or brand-new emotion or experience. The goats seem to provide a profusion of such images to those who remain in their presence for a while.

Each year, starting from winter till the end of spring, the barn abounds with the sheer joy of new life, and our hands are filled with blessed work – it’s calving season. Visitors are invited to come enjoy the soft, sweet “kids” which are endlessly happy and jumping merrily. The very lucky visitors will actually be able to watch the calving, an extraordinary wonder. The baby kids enter a world of vitality, and within just moments they are up on their feet and immediately seeking their mom to suckle.

As  each year, presently most of the goats in the dairy are in various stages of pregnancy, and the Iza P’ziza crew has ceased milking the majority of the herd in preparation for calving. Over the past several weeks, they have been trying to keep the decrease in milk gradual, but from next week, the dairy will be forced to stop supplying products for the next few weeks to allow the nanny goats to rest and prepare for calving.

As mentioned, even after the calving, the milk will not return to the shelves at once, until the goats are weaned. Around February, when the milk yield rises once more, Iza P’Ziza will gradually return to supplying products.

In the meantime, Alon Tzaban and the Iza P’Ziza crew invite you to come to Moshav Tal Shahar to visit the goats, and maybe soon, the new additions as well. In their store on the premises, you can enjoy drinking delectable milk, natural yogurt and a variety of very special hard cheeses.

AL-YASMEEN – TEHINA, GRAPE HONEY

Meanwhile, following a “dry period” for tahina and halva, last week Kamel of AL-YASMEEN arrived to bring us a new, delectable stock of tahini, halva and also hard yogurt stone (aka jameed or Kishk). AL-YASMEEN’s tahina is ground by a traditional millstone specially chiseled by an expert mason who has plied his craft for decades. It indeed boasts the finest, highest quality. With no additives, no heating, no bells or whistles, this is simply exquisite sesame butter, as is.

The halva is made from the same high-quality tahini, and this time Kamel also gave us a special treat of cocoa halva – a sweet-chocolate surprise for the winter days.

“SINDYANNA OF GALILEE” has also sent us new harvest: excellent za’atar and fine-quality olive oil from their Galilean olive groves, distilled and preserved by Arab and Jewish women in an empowering partnership that preserves longtime local traditions and renews ties, productivity and the environment. All the profits of this non-profit enterprise are invested in social initiatives to foster women’s employment, implement a sustainable green economy, and create a bridge between communities.

“SAMAR” ORGANIC DATES

And, last but not least, Samar’s spectacular organic dates have arrived at last after a long wait caused by this moist year’s delayed harvest. This is extremely good news for those who are already addicted and have missed and waited and longed for this sheer delicacy. And for the as yet uninitiated, Kibbutz Samar in the Eilot region grows the absolute finest organic dates. Add all three varieties to your vegetable box: Barhi“date toffee”soft, round and very sweet, best known in its fresh form as a yellow date. When Samar attempted to dry it on the tree like other varieties, they discovered that the flavor and texture of the dried Barhi is extraordinary. They’ve coined it “date toffee.”  Warning: it is deliciously addictive! Dekal Nur dates have also arrived, longer, darker and drier. They are milder and less sweet, bringing waves of nostalgia for those who love Yemeni or Iraqi dates. And the last and favorite is the Majhul – large, juicy and delectably sweet. Samar’s dates can be purchased in a 5-kilo boxes or in a 1-kilo package. (Majhul is available in small packages only).

“HAMATSESA

One final reminder – although it may be strange to think of on rainy days (but the sun’s coming out again soon), in honor of its almost-the-end-of-the-stock, HAMATSESA is offering a great sale on its 8% alcoholic blend summer drink:  3 bottles (each 350 ml) for just NIS 77! You can combine flavors: Louisa, mint, green tea or chamomile, black tea and lavender.

Add these wonderful products and more to your vegetable box via our order system today! ENJOY!

Wishing you all a good week, and a pleasant winter that is cold outside but warm in your heart!

Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

_______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Fresh onions/scallions, turnips/daikon/kohlrabi, Swiss chard/kale/winter spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, yellow string beans/garden peas/Jerusalem artichokes/sweet potatoes, white or red cabbage/cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli.

Large box, in addition: Baby radishes/ beets, celery/celeriac, fennel.

FRUIT BOXES: Orange or red oranges/pomelit/clementinas, red apples, avocados, bananas, pomegranates.

Wednesday: Fresh onions/scallions, Jerusalem artichokes/turnips/daikon/baby radishes, kohlrabi/fennel, Swiss chard/kale/winter spinach/arugula/totsoi, lettuce, carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli.

Large box, in addition: Celery/celeriac, parsley/coriander/dill, white or red cabbage.

FRUIT BOXES: Red oranges/pomelit/clementinas, red apples, avocados, bananas, pomegranates.