Aley Chubeza #225, December 1st-3rd

Samar dates are here!

This monday afternoon we recieved the very much aticipated delivery of this season’s dates harvest from kibbutz Samar in the Arava.

Those sweet fellows come in three varieties: Barhi, Zahidi and Dekel Nur. You can add them to you order via the online order system.

__________________________________

Get into the Green Scene…

Last week’s downpours quenched our earth in great measure. Melissa, our neighbor at Kibbutz Gezer, gave me the measurements taken by Lee Sigal chalking up some 120 mm rain in five days for us last week (most of it on Tuesday and Wednesday!).  Friday’s skies were already clear, but the earth is still muddy and the nighttime dew still serves up good quantities of moisture for the plants (and the hems of our pants…). Along with the great showers, the nice sunny days we are expecting this week will give another boost to our winter crops now abundantly filling your boxes. The last of the summer crops have been celebrating their final weeks with us. Soon we will bid farewell to the eggplants and black-eyed peas. We already parted from the corn and peppers, who all made way for the Brassicaceae family and lots of sweet, spicy, juicy, colorful roots, and…

Just as the color green is now everywhere in sight outdoors, your boxes are abounding in bright edible greens. To give you a new appreciation for the verdant vegetables, as well as a delicious host of serving ideas, we are proud to present Part 2 of the recently-begun action series (you can find part 1 here)

“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed” – part 2:

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 are all sorts of recipes.

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, chockfull 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

New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in Australia and New Zealand. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken on journeys to fight scurvy resulting from a vitamin C deficiency. New Zealand spinach is suitable for our local climate because it loves warm weather. It sprawls and spreads, and its leaves are 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 raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

Kale

A green belonging to the Brassicaceae family, considered to be one of the most healthy 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

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 side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, in order to prevent rotting, avoid wetting them and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, 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.

That’s all for now. I hope the green picture is a little clearer now. You are always welcome to question unrecognizable varieties in your boxes by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com).

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

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Maya and the Chubeza team

 _______________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Slice of pumpkin, kohlrabi, kale/spinach, tomatoes, fennel/daikon/turnips, cabbage/broccoli, parsley/dill/coriander, cucumbers, Swiss chard/totsoi/arugula, scallions/leeks. Small boxes only: beets

Large box, in addition: Celery, curly lettuce/mizuna, eggplant/Jerusalem artichoke, sweet potatoes

Wednesday: Slice of pumpkin, kohlrabi, spinach, tomatoes, fennel/daikon, cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower, parsley/dill/coriander, cucumbers, scallions/leeks, sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichoke, beets

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/totsoi/kale, arugula/mizuna, celery

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, pomegranate juice and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!