Aley Chubeza #311, October 31st-November 2nd 2016

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall
.

From: The Autumn by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Last Thursday, we got a promo of Autumn, as evening fell and a minor autumn storm began to dance. The air filled with strong winds, bolts of lightning and crashes of thunder before the skies opened up to release a downpour. Lovely, longed-for raindrops moistened the ground, calming the earth and pasting down the summer dust that has engulfed us for some months now. The shower only lasted around 15 minutes, but by morning our water meter showed 8 millimeters of rain! The happy, saturated beds of earth were delighted as the seeds and plants placed there that very morning received a beautiful welcome! A celebration of air, dust, rain and fire, followed by the intoxicating fragrance of after-the-rain earth. What fun!

lifeline

The field fills our heart with joy at this time. These are the moments of gratitude for farmers, when beds which stood empty for a month or two fill up within a few weeks with tens of thousands of green dots – tiny sprouts peeking from the earth and delicate plants that create a striking flair of multi-hued green against a backdrop of the fertile earth. It is a sight of hope and promise, a portrait of renewal which makes you take a deep breath of fresh post-rain air and allow that smile to spread across your face. Because it really is so beautiful.

You’ve been experiencing the winds of change in your boxes, as the root department expands to take up more and more space in your boxes. The sweet potatoes have been joined by carrots, beets, yummy white turnips, radishes, elongated purple radishes, and their cousin the white daikon.

We are beginning to harvest our most autumn-like root, which pops by for a short visit in autumn and goes right back under when the chilly winter arrives: the Jerusalem artichoke. It has been waiting calmly under the earth since spring, about five or six months. After growing a little jungle above its head, the thoughtful Jerusalem artichoke sent out cute little yellow flowers until he finally withered and dried out, signaling that his bulbs are ready to be collected.

lifeline

Look at these green leaves returning to us, fresh and happy. Swiss chard is back to himself, kale is making his rounds, spinach and arugula are here for their autumn visit and the lettuce varieties are nice and juicy-cool. The winter stalks and stems are beginning their autumn rounds as well: crisp green celery is already here – earlier than usual – along with the very first kohlrabis. And there you are, all set for your kohlrabi, radish and green turnip salad. Slice thin, add nice new bitter olive oil, be generous with the lemon and shower with kosher salt.

At the same time, we are bidding our goodbyes to the summer vegetables. The last round of corn is ripening in a fancy bed and will be harvested and delivered to you this week or next. The quantities of eggplants, peppers, lubia and Thai lubia are ebbing, and only some of them will arrive in your boxes. It’s that “either/or” time of the year. So hurry up and prepare your last Caponetas just before the eggplants take their final bows for this season.

In order to ease the pain of parting from summer vegetables, the field is preparing new surprises to cheer you up as winter makes its way. Meanwhile, the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have grown nice big green manes, their characteristic gray-green tones visible from every angle of the field. Very soon they will begin creating scalps and heads, turning us into satisfied vegetarian cannibals. What other wintery gifts does Chubeza have in store for you? Fennel, celeriac and parsley root, peas and snow peas, fava beans and lots of other delicious veggies. All are happily growing, nicely paced in our field that is slowly donning its winter wardrobe and preparing for the next season.

May the rains be plentiful, and may the upcoming autumn bring renewal, fullness, cleanliness, happiness and great big smiles!

Wishing you all a wonderful week,

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

______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Coriander/dill/parsley, kale/Swiss chard, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots/pumpkin, radishes/baby radishes, leeks/scallions, tomatoes. Small boxes only: lubia/okra/ Thai lubia.

Large box, in addition: Winter spinach/New Zealand spinach, celery, kohlrabi/white turnips, bell peppers/eggplant/corn.

Wednesday: Coriander/dill/parsley, kale/Swiss chard/Winter spinach/New Zealand spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots/pumpkin, radishes/baby radishes, tomatoes,  lubia/okra/ Thai lubia/corn. Small boxes only: leeks/scallions.

Large box, in addition: celery, kohlrabi/white turnips, bell peppers, eggplant.

 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, apple juice, cider and jams 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!