Aley Chubeza #318, December 19th-21th 2016

As Hanukah approaches, a reminder of the festivities awaiting you at the Iza Pziza dairy farm in Tal Shachar:

Iza Pziza Invites YOU!

Just like the Chanukah candles, we get a new young goat every day!

iza-pziza-gdiHere, the holiday has already commenced, and the goat families are growing… Our Iza Pziza was so excited that she bore 5 sweet little kids – an all-time record!

We cordially invite one and all to come with your families to visit us. All ages are welcome to enjoy an unforgettable experience: a Circassian cheese-making workshop, very easy to prepare at home, along with a tour of our pen, petting and feeding the goats, and of course, a chance to personally welcome our new baby goats.

At the end of the workshop (1.5 hours), we will spoil you with a taste of our dairy’s delectable cheeses and yogurts. Each family will receive its own cheese recipe and certificate of participation, including a special a discount on our dairy products and cheese-making equipment.

You’re welcome to stay and hang out at the nice warm Visitor’s Center, before or after the workshop, and enjoy a meal of goat cheeses, breads, dips and vegetables, and coffee/tea or wine. We also have a cheese delicatessen and a beautiful boutique store where you can purchase great delicacies for your home: goat cheeses, jams, olive oil, honey, dips and more.

When are we open? Every day of Hanukah (and school vacation) between 8:30-16:30 (closed on Shabbat)
When do the workshops take place? Every day of the Hanukah vacation, at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00
Advance Registration: Register in advance by phoning 08-6102876 or  052-2589900 or e-mail  izapzizadairy@gmail.com. Pay upon arrival.
Fee: 36 NIS per participant. No charge for children under age 3. Cash or credit.
How do we get there? Put עיזה פזיזה in your WAZE app, or head out to Moshav Tal Shachar. Just before the gate to the moshav, turn left towards the Dor Alon gasoline station, and follow the signs to our parking lot.
How do we contact you? 08-6102876, 052-2589900, izapzizadairy@gmail.com, or via our website www.izapzizadairy.com. Please like us on Facebook: עיזה פזיזה מחלבת עיזים

We look forward to seeing you! Happy Hanukah greetings to all!
The Iza Pziza crew – Meshek Tzaban, Moshav Tal Shachar

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And another reminder: The “Derech Hashatil” nursery is a small nursery in Shoham specializing in organic vegetable plants, working with the Shekel non-profit organization and employing only special-needs individuals. In their hothouse, the nursery produces excellent quality organic plants for your vegetable patch, placing top priority on the quality and health of the plants.

This winter they are now offering a planting kit for a winter vegetable garden containing an impressive selection of 60 winter plants: white and red cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, arugula, dill, scallion, parsley, coriander, lettuce, bok choy and more. The price of this kit is only 56 NIS. More details can be found here.

derech-hashtil-erka

What a perfect opportunity to grow your own crops while supporting great people and partnerships. Please place your orders by emailing us. We will collate all the orders for the nursery and send you your winter garden kit in the very near future.

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Goin’ Green

True to its word, the weather forecast called for local showers, and indeed, dark clouds have adorned the skies, cold winds are a’blowing, an occasional ray of lukewarm sun breaks through, and most important – there’s rain! Our rain meter for the past few days shows 40 mm, 100 mm from the beginning of the season, and that’s before this week’s showers. As long as the temperatures remain above frost level, we’re happy with our share. Let it pour!!

I always know it’s wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the common subject, “What are the green leaves in my box this week?”  Indeed, winter generates a broad variety of greens to dot Chubeza’s fields and fill up your boxes. Some of you are just 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”

Pak Choi/Bok Choy

pak-choi-red   

An immigrant from China (rassica rapa var chinensis) belonging to the esteemed Brassicaceae family. Bok choy comes in green or reddish-purple, and its unique flavor is fresh with a tinge of sweetness. Somewhat similar in flavor to cabbage (like his brother, the totsoi) bok choy is less spicy than mustard greens, and simply delicious.

Sometimes we harvest it mature, as a great big head sliced close to the earth like celery stalks or lettuce. At this stage it is perfect for light steaming or stir fries and combines well with such flavors as soy sauce, mirin, or ginger. But these past weeks we have been harvesting it young, allowing it to grow once more for an additional harvest. Bok choy’s tiny little leaves are ideal for giving every salad a boost, and blend splendidly with such sweet and sour flavors as oranges, fennel, kohlrabi, apples, cranberries, etc. Perfect!

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, which is why it goes well as a 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 even is 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

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 make them an exclusive addition to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well with arugula, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness a bit.

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

Kale

kale red russian.jpg

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

Swiss Chard

selek leaves chard.jpg

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

spinach.jpg

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

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

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.

Over the last week our field has gotten very wet (and so have we), and mud is everywhere. The crops are partying away! In order for this abundance to increase, we need more generous portions of water from the heavens. So please join us in requesting, nagging, begging, insisting, praying and hoping for rain…

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, Yochai and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

The recent weeks have brought a shortage of cucumbers. One of our younger cucumber beds failed to bloom, leaving us in short supply and unable to include this cool green vegetable in every box. We are making efforts to purchase cucumbers from other organic farms, but these days there is an overall cucumber shortage in both the general and the organic market. Thus, your boxes have been visited by the Saran-wrapped Dutch cucumber (grown in the north of Israel), and this week’s boxes will contain either cucumber or bell peppers. We are in hopes to soon be able to readily purchase cucumbers to supplement our supply. Please bear with us! And for those of you who don’t receive cucumbers in this week’s box, we hope you enjoy the bell peppers…..

Monday: Bok choy/mizuna/arugula, kale/Swiss chard/spinach, beets/fennel, cucumbers/bell peppers, lettuce, broccoli/ kohlrabi, daikon/turnips, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes. Small boxes only: scallions/celeriac.

Large box, in addition: Jerusalem artichokes, parsley, cabbage/cauliflower, sweet potatoes.

Wednesday: Lettuce/bak choi/mizuna/arugula, fennel/white turnip, kohlrabi, Swiss chard/kale/spinach, cucumbers/red peppers, carrots, tomatoes, scallions/celery/celeriac, beets, cilantro/parsley, potatoes/cabbage/broccoli.

Large box, in addition: Daikon radish/small radish/radish, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke/eggplants. 

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, apple juice, cider and jams, dates silan and healthy snacks 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!