October 8th-10th 2018 – Green green grass of home

Post-holiday Rebirth

The holiday season is over and Tomer and Chamutal’s Apples are introducing a brand new product – natural apple juice, joining its predecessor the yummy organic pear juice.

For now, the apple juice is available only in 1 liter bottles, while the pear juice comes in 1 or 2 liter sizes. In addition, their extraordinary apple vinegar has been joined by a little brother – apple vinegar in a small 250 ml bottle, for those of you who wish to give it a try and fall in love…

All these treasures join the rest of Tomer and Chamutal’s excellent products – apple and pear alcoholic ciders and apple, pear and nectarine jams.

Order now via our order system.

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Assaf Nov, the flour grinder of Minchat HaAretz, is a dreamer. I have known him for almost a decade, and every time we talk, he throws out some vision sentences. Half of his mind is consumed with the daily operation of the excellent flour mill he co-owns with Arik in Hadera, while the other half is busy planning ahead, veering into the future. He arrived at the flour grinding concept when he wanted the finest quality flour in order to bake homemade bread. When he couldn’t find any, he decided to make it himself.  Just as he took a bite of his own delicious Shabbat Chalot, his eyes met

 the wine goblet…and off raced his mind in pursuit of another enterprise. He searched, wandered, examined, studied and then located an old industrial juice maker that had seen many a fruit in its day.

 Assaf was determined to introduce it to grapes from the neighboring Zichron Ya’akov vineyards. And thus, for some years now he has been making his very own natural grape juice – 100% fruit, unpasteurized so as to preserve the nutritious goodness of the fruit. Finally, he is willing to share with us.

Beginning this week, you will be able to order (white or red) grape juice – deliciously fresh. Upon preparing the juice, it is kept in the freezer, defrosting on the way to you. The juice may be refrozen in a closed bottle with no problem. After it is defrosted, it’ll keep in the refrigerator for 4-6 days. A 1 liter bottle costs 36 NIS. Order via our order system under the name Mechol HaKramim.

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And in the spirit of renewal, autumn and the post-holiday season, we invite you to a writing workshop in our field led by Liran, a veteran client and friend, on October 26th. Here are the details (Hebrew):

We will be very pleased to host you for a different kind of growth experience in our field. For questions or other thoughts, speak to Liran at 054-2400408  lirankeren1@gmail.com

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Forty Shades of Green

We anxiously await the rain. Sukkot has come and gone, the tabernacles are down, and though we were rewarded with a few raindrops here and there, they were a mere appetizer for the real thing. Now it’s high time for the main course! The fall seesaw is here with the weather rapidly changing from surprising heat and humidity to days of moderate weather and cool mornings. Some days, the skies are beautifully adorned with clouds, in place of the very light blue skies of summer, and every so often a breeze will move them to and fro, scattering dry leaves and lovingly teasing the greens in our field.  But alas, the actual rain has not yet graced us with its appearance, and it is thus time for our little Chubeza Rain Dance to beseech the skies to shower us with their wealth!

The last of the summer crops are marking their final weeks. We will soon be parting from the Thai lubia, okra, eggplants and pumpkins. The corn will strike it parting chord over the next few weeks. These veggies will be passing on the relay race stick to the winter crops – beets and radishes, already skipping and hopping to our packing house, while the kohlrabi is fattening up in the field alongside the fennel, carrots and turnips.

I always know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the subject, “What ARE the green leaves in my box this week!?”  Indeed, winter generates a broad variety of greens dotting the Chubeza clods, filling up your boxes. Some of you are delighted with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we avoid removing the beet and turnip leaves so as to make use of them as well. Yet others of you are a bit overwhelmed, and wonder what can be done (again) with all those greens.

For those who are still wondering, I am proud to present:

“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed”

  

Swiss Chard

A sibling of the beet, differing by growing huge leaves instead of a thick root. Perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even used fresh in a salad.

Here is a wide variety of recipes.

Tatsoi (Spinach mustardSpoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy)

A traveler from the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae dynasty. Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy, but very distinctive. Goes perfectly well with piquant flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and sweet fruit varieties.

Like mustard greens or Swiss chard, tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, in soup, quiches, omelets, etc.

Here are some thoughts about tatsoi, and a recipe. Scroll down and you’ll find some links to other recipes.

 


New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in New Zealand and Australia. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken on voyages to fight Vitamin C deficiency-caused diseases. New Zealand spinach is ideal for our local climate because it loves warm weather. It sprawls and spreads, and its leaves are small and meaty.

New Zealand spinach can go with any recipe calling for mustard greens, but is definitely suitable as a Swiss chard replacement. To prepare for cooking, one must remove the leaves from the stem which is hard and inedible. Unlike regular mustard greens or Swiss chard, it is not recommended to eat New Zealand spinach raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

Winter Spinach

Depending on the season, the bed in which it’s grown, and the timing of its harvest, spinach can sport huge leaves or resemble “baby” spinach.

It definitely tastes green (I used to be surprised when people described a flavor as “green”), just slightly bitter and then just a little sweet, chockful of rain and freshness flavors.

Like its cousin Swiss chard, spinach can go fresh in a salad or can be cooked, added to soup, a quiche, dumplings, an omelet or warm salads. They all work.

Here are some examples

Arugula

This yummy green goes by many names: arugula, rucola, roquette and rocket lettuce. Its flavor is piquant, typical of the Brassicaceae family. Like spinach, arugula can come in many forms, from huge and meaty to small and dainty.

The arugula leaves are spicy, but they have their own distinctive type of piquant flavor which can give a dash to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well with arugula, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness.

You can find many recipes if you conduct an internet search for “arugula” or “rocket lettuce.”

Kale

A green belonging to the Brassicaceae family, considered to be one of the healthiest foods around. An acquired taste, but definitely worth getting used to and falling for.

Due to its relatively rigid texture, kale is usually cooked or added to a green shake, but you can make chips from it or eat fresh in a salad—-it’s great!

Songs of praise and kale recipes to be found here

 

    

Mizuna

A green member of the Brassicaceae family, otherwise known as Japanese spinach or Brassica rapa. Mizuna sports long, thin leaves with serrated edges and a gentle, sweet-like flavor. The plant was cultivated in Japan back in ancient times, but probably originated in China.

Mizuna’s flavor is neutral, making it a perfect decorative addition and basis for appetizers and main dishes, as well as a great salad herb. It tends to star in the “baby” mesculun mixes (ours as well), but also stands on its own and is even great stir-fried.

Mizuna and daikon salad (thank you to Julie from Tel Aviv)

Mizuna salads recepies from Mariquita Farm

and a stir-fry option

Vegetable greens like being connected to their roots and the earth. When you want to store them after harvesting, you should attempt to prevent two unwanted side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, to prevent rotting, avoid wetting the greens and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, tatsoi, spinach and mustard greens should be wrapped (unwashed) in cloth or paper and placed in a plastic bag in order for the moisture to be absorbed without actually drying up.

But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! Now, after the 7th of Cheshvan has passed and the pilgrims of old have long returned, you’re all encouraged to pray, hope, beg, insist or practice the steps to your rain dance till that rain comes to grace us with its presence.

That’s all for now! I hope the green picture is a bit clearer for you all. But never fear. Should an unrecognizable guest arrive in your boxes, we are just a phone call away for clarification. You are always welcome to pose questions by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com). Our loyal Facebook page of Chubeza members is always helpful as well for information or suggestions.

May we all enjoy a week of good fortune, health and growth!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/kale/mizuna/totsoi, sweet potatoes, lettuce, radishes/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/potatoes, bell peppers, arugula, parsley/coriander/dill, eggplant/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, corn, onions/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apples, avocadoes. Small boxes: oranges. Large boxes: pears

Wednesday: Swiss chard/kale/totsoi, sweet potatoes, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/potatoes, bell peppers, mizuna/arugula, parsley/coriander, eggplant/corn.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra/cherry tomatoes, zucchini/beets, onions/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, avocadoes, pears. Small boxes: bananas. Large boxes: oranges and pomelo.

THANKS FOR COMING TO THE OPEN DAY AT CHUBEZA!!!

So, at long last we’re finally back to Routine Life, after months of vacation and balagan. Here in Chubeza’s field, it’s a big relief to finally have a full week where we can plant, sow, weed, pick, fertilize, weed, prune, trellis, weed, weed, and more…….

Those of you who visited us on the Sukkot Open Day got a firsthand glimpse at the urgent need for weeding the field. And now we look forward to getting around to doing it.

But first, it’s time to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped make the Open Day a wonderful success:

 *To Judy of the Hazel Hill String Band, who delighted us with marvelous music this year as well. To be honest, we nearly failed to organize any music at all, since the amazing Hazel Hill ensemble which traditionally accompanies us had previous commitments this year. But Judy the Magnificent would not give up, and recruited two fellow excellent musicians to come fill Chubeza’s air with the sound of absolutely beautiful music. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

*To Neta, Shachar and Talia, Bat Ami’s daughters, and to Bat Ami’s parents, who in perfect multi-generational timing took up their posts at the Cooking and the Arts & Crafts corners, demonstrating and helping to weave palm leaves and to knead one after another piece of clay. You’re the best!!

*To Gabi, the champion, who rigged up a genuine carriage upon which he transported endless rounds of passengers back and forth to the field, delighting groups of excited kids (and their no-less happy parents) each time anew. These deluxe Chubeza Cart Tours definitely upgraded the day, and were a welcome boon to the heavy heat wave that jumped in all of a sudden. As always, Gabi is the master of great ideas who never fails to pull fascinating, joyful surprises from his hat. Thank you Gabi for the idea, the organization and the flawless execution of this new enterprise!

*To our extraordinary workers, who toiled before, during and after the Open Day, for erecting the giant shaded structure, organizing the bonfire corner, hanging the directional signs, harvesting vegetables for sale, slicing salad vegetables, transporting equipment to and fro, setting up the activity corners and the Chubeza produce market, and the other thousand small tasks that come with this day. And all this with a shining countenance and a constant willingness to think outside the box and initiate. Truly, we couldn’t have done one iota of this without you –  Hurray for Muchamed, Majdi, Vinai, Hut, Tom, Montry, and Assaf!

*To Ofri, Melissa, and Carol – from “Tomer & Chamutal’s Apples,” Mipri Yadeha, and Ish shel Lechem, respectively – who were present throughout the day with food and drink stands, all of which reflect their healthy, tasty and wonderfully special homegrown establishments created by manual labor of the finest degree. It was great to have you! Many thanks!!

*Last but not least, thanks to all of you, our dear partners along the way, who came once again or for the first time to the Open Day, and as always complimented, suggested new ideas, asked sophisticated questions, and shared your own stories. It is a great pleasure to meet new and familiar faces, to hear actual voices after so much digital communication, to nosh away at a fresh, yummy salad, and to chat amicably while weaving a bracelet or flattening pita on the sadj. By virtue of your high spirits and continued support, you and others like you make Chubeza’s existence possible. For that, our hearts are filled with thanks!

Best wishes to all for an easy Return to Routine, and a joyous New Year!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: New Zealand spinach, sweet potatoes/bell peppers, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/ potatoes, Thai yard-long beans/okra, mizuna/arugula/totsoi, parsley/coriander/dill, eggplant/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/kale, cherry tomatoes, leeks/onions/garlic.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, peaches, mango, bananas.

Wednesday: 

New Zealand spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/potatoes, Swiss chard/kale, cherry tomatoes/zucchini, mizuna/arugula/totsoi, parsley/coriander/dill, eggplant/onions. Small boxes: sweet potatoes/corn.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, lettuce, sweet potatoes and corn.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, apples, pears. Small boxes: bananas/pomelo/lime. Large boxes: mango.

Don’t Miss Chubeza’s Open Day Tomorrow!

Chag Sameach!

We’d like to remind you that tomorrow, Thursday, is our Sukkot Open Day and
we’d be delighted to have you join us!

The Open Day gives you a chance to see where your vegetables are growing, to
get a close-up look at them in the field, and to smell, touch, taste. And of course,
you get the chance to meet us, the faces behind your veggie boxes, as well as
your fellow Chubeza members who create the community that supports local
small agriculture and makes the farm a reality.

We’ll have:

♦ Field Tours: every hour on “the half” – Come wander between the beds, meet
the plants and the stories that accompany their growth. Alon is leading a more
“professional” tour; Bat-Ami’s tour is designed for kids. Tour schedule (more or
less…): 12:30, 13:20, 14:30, 15:30.
♦ Cooking Corner – We’ll bake pita on the fire (saaj) for you to add to the salad.
Baking will take place primarily between 13:00-15:00.
♦ Arts & Crafts Corner – This Sukkot we’ll weave some treasures from palm
(lulav) leaves – We’ll teach you the basic weaving and you can take it from there
to make small mats, bookmarks, jewelry, animals, decorations and more…
Guided crafts sessions between 12:00-15:00 (you can continue on your own
afterwards).
♦ Tractor Rides – Rides to the fields outside and also inside the Moshav. Board
the tractor wagon to view the sights! Tractor rides will take place throughout the
day.

Joyous, toe-thumping music will accompany us during the festival – Judy from
the Hazel Hill Band and 2 friends will form the “Young-at-Heart’s Old Time Band”
and serenade us with wonderful music from 12:30-14:30.

Join us in our famous corn Sukka! Help yourself to our free veggie-salad stand,
and don’t miss yummy bakery goods, juice and cider for sale. And settle back to
enjoy the delightful cold water, plentiful shade and fresh air.

Vegetables, fruits and additional homegrown products will be available for
purchase at our produce stand at the packing shed.

Carol and Ido of the “Ish Shel LEchem” bakery, Melissa of “NiPri Yadeiha” and Ofri of “Tomer and Hamutal
Apples” will also be on hand to meet and host you as well.

Driving directions here.

Come one! Come all!

See you soonl!
Alon, Bat-Ami and the Chubeza team, Carol & Ido and Melissa and Ofri.

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After your visit with us, we highly recommend a short 20-minute drive up to
Jerusalem’s Ein Karem neighborhood to visit the Open House of Ilana and Davidi
of “Shana BaGina” calendar. Details here. (Hebrew)

September 17th-20th 2018 – How sweet it is to be loved by you….

HOLIDAY DELIVERY SCHEDULE FOR THE NEW YEAR:

This week’s Wednesday deliveries have been moved to Thursday, September 20th

During Chol HaMoed Sukkot: There will be no deliveries, thus no boxes on Monday and Wednesday, September 24th and 26th.

Over the week of Simchat Torah:
Monday deliveries move to Tuesday, October 2
Wednesday (October 3) deliveries as usual.

Back to normal schedule after Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

 DON’T MISS THE EXCITING CHUBEZA “OPEN DAY,” THURSDAY, SEP’T 27TH!

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.
The Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, September 27, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed) from 12:00 noon – 5:00 PM.

The Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours designed for little feet and curious minds, plus special activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up. (So can the adults…)

Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure you check this before heading our way.

Wishing you a Chag Sameach and Shana Tova. We look forward to seeing you all!

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LAST CHANCE to Order Ilana’s Amazing Shana Bagina Calendar:

You were going to order it, but never got around to it? Now is the time! The New Year is here to stay, and our calendar stock is quickly dwindling.

Order via our ordering system under Chubeza Fruits and Vegetables. You’ll love the calendar!

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Ain’t She Sweet?!

Though she’s frequented our boxes for several weeks now, she actually started out with us four months ago (perhaps more). For our part, we’ve been at her side observing the various stages of her growth and snapping shots for her fashion model portfolio. So in the spirit of these days, characterized by less talk and more silence, this week it’s a glossy look at our glamorous redheaded friend – 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 Oded of Moshav Yesha, 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, separated from each other by 15 centimeters. Here’s how it looked like when we were done:

And close up:

A few days later, we started to notice tiny little leaves growing on those branches, and then lo and behold – this is the scene just one week later:

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

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

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

Posing up close:

…and zooming in even closer: look at these gorgeous little flowers, with their characteristic Convolvulaceae family purple hue at the center. The sweet potato is practically the only edible plant in this extended family that includes such decorative and wild plants as the morning glory and the bindweed.

In a neighboring bed, a wild cousin comes to visit (there’s one in every family…), extending his arms and beautiful white flowers which have an intoxicating scent. Take a whiff:

And underneath this green carpet, silently and surely, the sweet potato plant sends out roots which thicken to store within them nutrients for wintertime. Four months after we first began the process, we start checking out what’s happening underground. If needed, we turn off the irrigation, causing the sweet potatoes to grow just a little more, and begin pulling out the luscious orange roots.

Bon appetite to you all!

And may we enjoy a holiday week of faith, imagination, hope and deliciousness!

See you at the Open Day!!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/mizuna/arugula, sweet potatoes/zucchini, onions/garlic, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, Thai yard-long beans/okra, lettuce,  parsley/coriander/dill, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: Leeks, potatoes/cherry tomatoes, eggplant.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apples, plums. Small boxes: pears. Large boxes: peaches

Thursday: Tatsoi/mizuna/arugula, sweet potatoes, potatoes/zucchini/eggplant, leeks/garlic, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, lettuce,  parsley/coriander/dill, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, onions/cherry tomatoes.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, peaches, pears. Small boxes: plums. Large boxes: apples.

September 13th 2018 – New year’s hopes and blessings

This week:

♦ No Monday deliveries.

♦ Today we are sending deliveries to Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Modi’in, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bikat Ono, Rehovot, Nes Ziona, Rishon L’Zion, Mazkeret Batya, Beit Shemesh area, Kfar Bin Nun and some of the Tel Aviv neighborhoods.

A message was sent to all of you who will be receiving your box today.

Unfortunately, there is no delivery this week to part of Tel-Aviv: South, Jaffa and some central neighborhoods, and to the Mevaseret Zion area.

Over the week of Yom Kippur:
♦ Monday deliveries as usual (Sep 17th).
♦ Wednesday deliveries will be moved to Thursday, September 20th

During Chol HaMoed Sukkot: There will be no deliveries, thus no boxes on Monday and Wednesday, September 24th and 26th.

Over the week of Simchat Torah:
♦ Monday deliveries move to Tuesday, October 2
♦ Wednesday (October 3) deliveries as usual.

Back to normal schedule after Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

If you wish to increase your vegetable boxes before the holidays, please advise as soon as possible.

Open Day at Chubeza
In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.
The Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, September 27, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed) from 12:00 noon – 5:00 PM.
The Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours designed for little feet and curious minds, plus special activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up. (So can the adults…)
Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure you check this before heading our way.
Wishing you a Chag Sameach and Shana Tova. We look forward to seeing you all!

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A reminder from the Ish Shel Lechem Bakery:

There will be no bread-baking on Monday, September 17 and Thursday, September 20th. Come meet Ido and Carol and their excellent goods at our Open Day on Sukkot! Baking will renew the week after Sukkot.

Shana Tova and happy holidays!

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Each year the grass grows green
The squills go white, the citrus gold
Every year the earth renews
The sun goes up, the rain falls cold
Each year so many new are born
To happiness and grief, to laughter and tear
And someone who wants only good to prevail
…this year.

–       Leah Goldberg

(translation: A. Raz)

In honor of Rosh Hashanah, we send you last year’s Rosh Hashanah newsletter, with some updates…

These pre Rosh-Hashanah days are festive indeed for Chubeza. I like the holiday symbols, not necessarily because of their blessings (I can definitely do without all the curses and abuse to our enemies. Not my idea of an optimistic holiday atmosphere…), but because of the seasonal variation that the holiday table offers, bringing together guests of all sorts: from the green leaves (Swiss chard), the legumes (black-eyed lubia peas), the princess of onions (leek) and the gourds, the summer kings. Plus, of course, the pomegranate and dates, apples, honey and fish – all demonstrating the wealth of this season in its blessed nature.

It’s an invitation to stop for a minute and glance at the colorfulness and the amazing variety of long green pods, round orange (or green) peels, green leaves with a white stem, white onions, red juicy seeds and oval brown-golden fruit. What a holiday for the senses, and what a collaboration of leaves, bulbs, roots, stems, fruit and pods. A true song of praise to the vegetable garden that brings together a vivid host of vegetables and fruit!

The simanim also reflect so much hope and truth regarding the upcoming year (and the one that is ending), wishes that contain a little of everything, in a mixture and variety: a little bit of this, a little bit of that… depth and shallowness, simplicity and complexity. May it be easy and hard, funny and sad, emotional, annoying, exciting, boring, depressing, elevating. May we experience success and failure, mistakes and correct choices, acceleration and deceleration, a treading then a sprint…This perfection of an imperfect, mixed salad, made of tiny slices of life.

In honor of the New Year, we are sending you a box of greetings comprised of Chubeza vegetables, varied and rich in colors and fragrance, despite the difficulties of the end of summer, in-between season we are now experiencing. This is our Rosh Hashanah seder:

Sweet Potato: May we enjoy sweet surprises that grew and ripened far from the naked eye, and may they bring with them wholeness and happiness.

Lettuce: Lettuce learn to accept the changes that even the known, accepted rituals undergo in hue, texture and flavor. Lettuce know to appreciate and not take for granted the loyalty of those who remain with us, now and forever.

New Zealand Spinach: May we acknowledge our strengths to survive and flourish in green freshness, even when the heat is on.

Pumpkin: May we persevere, as the pumpkin, to the end of the vine.

Potato: May we learn from mistakes made in the past, of others and of our own. May we remember to vary our fields with many yields, and not only count on the simplest and most common (you can find an explanation right here)

Leek: May we have the patience to grow slowly and diligently, and the understanding that sometimes, in order to reach ripeness, one must grow very slowly. And spring no leeks.

Cucumber: When others are in a dither, may we develop the sensitivity and ability to be calm, levelheaded and cool, as the cucumber.

Coriander: May we rejoice in the difference in people’s tastes, in the differences between us, in the wonderful variety and vibrancy that create a symphony of opinions, varying faces and opposite choices.

Parsley: May we allow the good things to enter, fill and cleanse us from the poisonous and harmful. And may we live sparsely, as the parsley.

Okra: May we gaze at the stars at least one night every so often to feel the lightness of our minuteness and the strength of being part of the vast cosmos. (slice the okra horizontally to see stars)

Eggplant: May we try and succeed to see the light, whiteness and faint but beautiful purple hue within the murky dark.

Pepper: May we be blessed with the skill to pepper our speech with just the right phrases, without overdoing it. And when life gets salty, may we stand beside it to add some spice.

Onion: May we be granted the wisdom to acknowledge the many and varied layers that life i

s comprised of, that people are made of, and that reality is created from. May we strive to gently, with consent, peel them off, rejoice in the many echelons, and arrive at the sweet heart.

Tomato: May our experiences be homegrown, ripened on the vine, full of juice, color and sweetness.

Black-eyed Pea: May our shiners be only from this pea.

Garlic – May we never stop asking questions or experiencing wonder in seemingly mundane surroundings, changing from acrid to sweet when the occasion arises.

Swiss Chard-Silka: May self-doubt and cruel self-criticism be banished (Yistalku) from us, and may we develop a strong, stable, supporting and beautiful spine, as the stem of the chard.

Mizuna: Who? What? May we always be blessed with newness: to meet, to know, smell, bite into and enjoy with every fresh encounter.

Zucchini Squash:  May we not be squashed by difficulties, but, like squash plants, cling to our life forces and succeed to grow despite obstacles and hardship. (Zucchini and squash plants have a wondrous ability to continue growing and bear fruit, even if attacked by viruses or pests.)

Corn:  May we have a sweet, happy year! And may some yummy dinners be as easy as just peel and bite.

Mallow: This September, may we try to remember when life was sweet and oh, so mallow. Renew our days, as of old!

So here’s to the New Year, to great expectations and very wet showers — please, oh please, may they come in due time, in the proper measure and quantity. May they satiate the human salad of this country, and the animals crying out for drink, the dusty plants growing grey at the edges, the flying insects, the crawlers and jumpers, the rocks and clods of earth that so deserve the blessing of rain.

And, beyond the rain, we wish you the fulfillment of your hopes and prayers, for good and for blessing, for happiness and growth. Shana Tova!

From the entire Chubeza crew in the field, the packing house, the office and on the roads: Alon, Bat Ami, Yochai, Aliza and Melanie, Mohammed, Majdi, Ali, Vinay, Thom, Hoth, Montri, Asaf, Eyal, Alon, Melissa, Ruthie, David, Alon, Aharon, Yigal and Amit.

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WHAT’S IN THE FIRST BOX OF THE NEW YEAR?

Thursday: Onions/garlic, cherry tomatoes/potatoes/okra, eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, Thai yard-long beans, zucchini/sweet potatoes, parsley/coriander, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/mizuna, corn, leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Nectarine, bananas, pears, apples. Large boxes also: plums.