Summer’s here, bringing sweltering heat, summer vacation, and…Tomer and Hamutal Apples’ super delicious freshly-produced summer fruits juices. This year, in addition to their delectable apple juice, they’ve added organic pear juice! All straight from the fruit surplus of Kibbutz Tzuba’s orchards.
Tomer and Hamutal also continue to make alcoholic cider, phenomenal apple vinegar and yummy jams. If you haven’t tried them yet, you’re in for a treat when you do! A cool delight at the heat of summer.
Summer fruits are ripening in the orchards, and sweet fragrances fill the sultry air. And right along with them, another seasonal fruit is maturing, one that has become a Chubeza tradition: the Shana Ba’gina calendar (“Home Garden”), created by the very gifted Ilana. For those as yet unacquainted, this beautifully detailed and illustrated calendar walks you through the year, describing in pictures and words the annual cycle in your home garden and surrounding nature. Each month introduces the changes in the field and forest, garden and nutrition.
Ilana is a collector, cook, gardener and very talented illustrator. These talents all come to the fore in her calendar, chockful of information, ideas, recipes and fun, accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations. All you need to do is to pick and harvest from the abundant store of information presented.
Now in its third year, the new edition of Shana Ba’gina is, as always, brand new, with new illustrations, innovative professional tips, recipes you haven’t yet encountered and new topics such as growing vertical plants, succulents and cactus and more.
In our family, this calendar has become a permanent resident for the past three years, accompanying us in its colorful beauty every day, bringing the outside world indoors and taking us outdoors as well, changing something about the feverish pace of life to allow a slowing-down, grabbing our attention and steering our glance to new and exciting activities. We highly recommend it.
This year Ilana offers two editions in two different languages: a new “Friends in the Garden” calendar for 5778 with new content, illustrations and recipes, as well as a new and special English edition “The Porcupine Calendar”.
For further details, check out the Shana Ba’gina website.
Shana Ba’Gina calendar: 75 NIS each
Two calendars: 140 NIS
Three calendars: 205 NIS
Five calendars: 340 NIS
Eight calendars: 488 NIS
Ten calendars: 600 NIS
You are welcome to make your orders via our order system (under “Chubeza vegetables”). The calendars will arrive during August.
I Lubia Truly……..
Over the past weeks, Chubeza’s lubia has begun ripening in nice quantities, making a formal announcement that summer is at its peak. If you’ve been wondering why the latest green beans you’ve been receiving are so strange and coarse, well, it’s because they’re not green beans but rather… Thai lubia (yard-long beans), which appear to be “gift-wrapped” in your boxes, all tied up with a rubber band, making a rather strange and unique present. But don’t expect it to be a green bean, because it simply is not…
Thai bean/lubia (V. unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) is a relative of the common bean, chickpea, soy, fava bean and other members of the Faboideae family we so love to munch on. Like them, the Thai lubia wears two outfits: the green dress, eaten in long green pods, and the dry ensemble where only the dry seeds are consumed.
In English, Thai lubia is known as the yard-long bean, bora beans, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean. All names relate to the bean’s various characteristics: it originates in Southeast Asia, hence the “Chinese” or “Thai” title, and can reach the lofty length of one meter (though it’s generally harvested young, at approximately 30 cm., measuring 1 cm in thickness). It is reminiscent of the asparagus in diameter and length, and because of its flexibility may resemble a green snake (to those of you with overactive imaginations). Its taste ranges between that of green beans and fresh lubia (not as sweet as the beans), whilst the texture is more akin to lubia, less crunchy than the green bean and more flexible.
The Thai yard-long bean needs more heat than the green bean, and manages quite well throughout the months of summer heat (which certainly cannot be said of green beans). It is seeded in late spring, and we trellis it like peas, on poles with a net spread between the stalks on which the young plants climb skillfully and efficiently. Blooms begin within three months with a couple of beautiful flowers on each pole, resembling two butterflies. A couple of beans ripen from those two, adjacent to each other at the ends, like a couple of twin green worms (I just managed to think up a new name!)
These beans must be harvested with care, as the bloom pole continues to develop flowers throughout the season. Contrary to green beans or peas, the Thai lubia grows slowly and yields pods only after more than three months (compared to two or less), but we can harvest it on and on, till the temperatures drop in wintertime.
The Thai yard-long bean can be harvested, like at Chubeza, at a young stage at less than 30 cm long and 1 cm. thick, in the same way as one would prepare a fresh lubia or green bean. You can also allow the pods to mature on the plant and use the black, red or white (depending on the variety) seeds as you would dry lubia pods or any dry bean.
We grow the green variety with black seeds inside, but across Asia there are wide, colorful varieties. The pods themselves come in green and reddish-purple and the seeds are black, white, brown, red, and more…
The Thai yard-long bean can be used in recipes calling for green beans or fresh lubia, including soups and quiches. In China, it is easily stir-fried, and is actually the original bean to have been used in stir-fried dishes. It tastes wonderful with fish and even pickled. The yard-long bean is rich in Vitamin A and contains a good quantity of Vitamin C as well.
Some of the recipes featured on our website range from easy to complicated, all delicious, of course. But if you don’t feel like firing up a cooking flame in this scorching summer, you are welcome to grab a long snake bean and simply…nibble.
Enjoy a week full of summer abundance and a true feeling of vacation,
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S SUMMER BOXES?
We are still in the throes of a cucumber shortage due to the recent destructive heatwave which left a dearth in the entire market. The organic market is particularly hard hit, and we are experiencing difficulty in purchasing supplementary cucumbers. This week, unfortunately, there will be no cucumbers in your boxes. However, the next round of Chubeza cucumbers has already been planted, and we are hopeful that these bushes will quickly grow and ripen so we can quickly restore your supply of bountiful, juicy summer cucumbers.
Monday: Coriander/parsley/dill, round orange pumpkin, yard-long beans/okra, bell peppers/zucchini, New Zealand spinach, tomatoes, corn, onions, slice of pumpkin/butternut squash, cherry tomatoes/edamame/garlic, parsley root.
Large box, in addition: Eggplant, leeks, potatoes.
Wednesday: Slice of pumpkin/butternut squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, Amaro pumpkin/ round orange pumpkin, parsley root/garlic, coriander/parsley/nana mint, corn, okra/yard-long beans, cherry tomatoes/sweet potato, New Zealand spinach, leeks/ onions.
Large box, in addition: Eggplant, zucchini, potatoes.
And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, 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!