Spring Changes

Due to logistic challenges in the Izza Pziza dairy, beginning next week, orders for their goat milk products will close earlier than regular orders (for Wednesday deliveries.) Henceforth, orders for goat milk products may be placed until Sunday, 10:00 pm. After this time, no changes or cancellation to your Izza Pziza order can be made.

 If you wish to order milk products on a permanent basis, we suggest adding them to your fixed order. As such, you will not be limited by the change in closing time.

Check out the price list for additional products (milk products included).

Thanks for your cooperation!

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Lines Written in Early Spring

Every spring is a season of weather craziness, but thus this year the extremes seem more dramatic than ever, with heavy showers and scorching heatwaves sometimes within a only few hours of each other. Amidst the turmoil, our field attempts to maintain balance and our vegetables work hard to survive, grow and bloom. Several days before Shavuot, with a heavy heatwave on the way, Alon and I wondered what to do with the young plants scheduled to arrive the very next day. Should we plant them and expect them to make a first acclimation to the soil just before the extremely hot and very dry days, or rather let them sit in the nursery trays they came in, a familiar setting, and plant them only after the holiday as temperatures drop?

We went with the former, thinking that in the planting trays, with only a tiny square of soil, the plants are more inclined to dry up than in the field where the automatic irrigation wets a large area and a shaded tunnel offers protection from the dry winds. So we saddled ourselves with hope, and added a second shade net over the growth tunnel for extra safety as we planted the tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, melons and spinach. Then we embarked upon our holiday celebration.

Friday’s winds were dry and mighty, and the sun beat down on the field Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And yet, we returned on Monday to find strong little plants, well acclimated and braving a fresh green smile, lined up in their beds. However, unexpectedly (though in retrospect it makes sense), those who suffered and became singed over the holiday were the mature plants in the field: the veteran tomatoes, climbing in the growth tunnels, and the first corn beds which were already blooming, on their way to pollination. The tallest of the gang were the ones to get hit first from the powerful heat and dry winds. The corn plants actually boasted a scorched leaf right on top, beside the blossom, and growth crowns on the tip of the erect tomato bushes dried up and were charred.

A scorched mature corn vs. youthful smiley tomatoes and spinach:

                      

The reason this happened is connected to the fact that the bigger and more mature plants need more energy and water for their daily existence – similar to mature heavyset humans versus babies or younger children – which is why their stress was greater. Their height was also a factor. With a larger surface area exposed to the abuse of sun and wind, these plants took the greatest hits as opposed to the younger, shorter plants. On the encouraging side, the mature plants have abundant resources: one scorched leaf does not wipe out an entire corn plant, and the tomato bushes are strong. We expect them to compensate for the withered growth crown with a renewed growth spurt. This crisis will cause a slight hindrance, but they will overcome.

The heatwave and rain combination caused leaf diseases and fungus in the melon and fakkus beds. This Cucurbit family is highly sensitive to heat and humidity, and very prone to diseases. During the first heatwave, our melons suffered and then overcame; the second – a little less, and with the third wave some of the beds simply gave up. Their bushes dried up before the melons had a chance to ripen, and the fruit was tasteless, as the sweetness did not develop within. With sorrow, we turned over the soil which held beautiful-albeit-unsweet fruit.

The other side of the heat is the accelerated speed of ripening, which is also dramatic in the Cucurbit family: the acorn and butternut squash ripened much faster than usual, and we had to harvest those jolly good fellas two weeks ago. The next melon round also ripened early, which is why despite the sorrow over the lost melons, you received cute melons last week and some of you will be receiving them in your boxes this week as well.

This week, planting resumes: the melons, tomatoes and spinach planted before Shavuot will be joined by lettuce, cucumbers and peppers. We’ve already seeded more corn, squash, Thai yard-long beans and edamame. So our field and your boxes host nearly summer produce only.  Over the past few weeks we bid our cabbage farewell, as well as the parsley root and celery. The carrots and beets are our last winter representatives, with a few sparse beds remaining. Your boxes will be painted in summer colors: melons, zucchini, acorn and butternut squash, fakkus, green beans, and  –  make room for the watermelon, coming soon!

With light showers this week, the crazy seesaw of spring is slowing down, and gradually its extreme movement is waning. Maybe we’ll even find ourselves missing spring when the penetrating heat, endless blue skies and merciless sun of summer arrive to stay. But for now, here’s to calm serenity – within the field, and most importantly, outside of it.

Ramadan Karim and Shavua Tov,

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

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 WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S SUMMER BOXES?

Monday: Acorn/butternut squash, lettuce, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, zucchini, garlic/onions, parsley, melon/carrots.

Large box, in addition: String beans, fakkus, cilantro/dill.

Fruit box: Banana, plum, nectarine, melon. Large box also cherry.

Wednesday: Butternut squash, lettuce, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, zucchini, garlic/onions, parsley, fakkus.

Large box, in addition: Melon/carrots, cilantro/dill, eggplant/pepper.

Fruit box: Apricot, nectarine, melon. Small box: banana, Large box: cherry.