November 4th-6th 2019 – Green Leaves Was My Delight

To celebrate autumn, Kibbutz Samar’s delectable, distinctive Barhi dates are now on sale for Chubeza clients:

5 kg box – 130 NIS
1/2 kg boxes – 13 NIS

Stock up today!
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Shorshei Tzion is proud to introduce three new flavors to their line of outstanding natural chocolates. Mexican (72%), hazelnut (67%) and 100% cocoa now join the splendid lineup of raspberry, orange, coffee, ginger and turmeric and 85% chocolate, all produced from high-quality raw cocoa. Here’s to a sweet, nutritious autumn!

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

We anxiously await the rain. Sukkot has come and gone, the tabernacles have been disassembled, and though we were rewarded with a few nice downpours, they are but a mere appetizer for the Real Thing. Now it’s high time for the main course! The fall seesaw is here with the weather rapidly changing from surprising heat and humidity to days of mild weather and cool mornings. Some days, the skies are beautifully adorned with clouds, in place of the very light blue skies of summer, and every so often a breeze will move them to and fro, scattering dry leaves and lovingly teasing the greens in our field.  But alas, the actual rain has not yet graced us with its appearance, and it is thus time for our little Chubeza Rain Dance to beseech the skies to shower us with their treasure!

The last of the summer crops are marking their final weeks and passing on the relay-race stick to the new winter crops – carrots, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, radishes and turnips, already skipping and hopping to our packing house.

I always know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the subject, “What ARE the green leaves in my box this week!?”  Indeed, winter generates a broad variety of greens dotting the Chubeza clods, filling up your boxes. Some of you are 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. This year we’ve even expanded the shades of greens, making the realm even more confusing. So for those who are still miffed, I am proud to present:

“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed”

Swiss Chard:

   

A sibling of the beet, differing by growing huge leaves instead of a thick root. This year we are growing a colorful variety named “Bright Light” boasting stems in a wide variety of colors and leaves that are just a tad curlier than traditional chard.

Swiss chard is perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even tossed fresh in a salad.

Here is a wide variety of recipes.

 

Tatsoi (Spinach mustardSpoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy)

    טאטסוי

A native of the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae dynasty. This year we are growing two varieties of tatsoi in two different colors: the familiar and beloved green, and a yummy, stunning red.

Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy, but very distinctive. Excellent when served with piquant flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and sweet fruit varieties.

Like mustard greens or Swiss chard, tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, in soup, quiches, omelets, and more.

Here are some thoughts about tatsoi, and a recipe. Scroll down and you’ll find some links to other recipes.

New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in New Zealand and Australia. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken along on voyages to fight Vitamin C deficiency-caused diseases (i.e., tetanus). New Zealand spinach is ideal for our local climate, thanks to its penchant for warm weather. Sporting small and meaty leaves, it enthusiastically sprawls and spreads.

New Zealand spinach can be used in 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, eating New Zealand spinach raw is not recommended. First soak it in hot water for several minutes, then wash with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

 

Winter 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, chockful of rain and freshness flavors.

Like its cousin Swiss chard, spinach can be served 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

 

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 can add a dash to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well with arugula, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness.

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

 

Kale

   

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.

After many years in which we grew only one kale variety (the Russian Red Kale, as seen above on the left), this year we opted to add the curly kale. It comes in a lighter shade of green, and as of now seems to be a runaway success.

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

Mizuna

A green member of the Brassicaceae family, otherwise known as Japanese spinach or Brassica rapa. Mizuna sports long, thin leaves with serrated edges. The plant was cultivated in Japan back in ancient times, but probably originated in China.

The green mizuna’s flavor is bland, making it a perfect 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 is even 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

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

By the way, lots more recommendations on how to store the various vegetables are found on our website under Storage Tips.

But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! Now, with the 7th of Cheshvan behind us and the pilgrims of old having long returned, you’re all encouraged to pray, hope, beg, insist or practice the steps to your rain dance till that rain comes to grace us with its presence.

That’s all for now! I hope the green picture is a bit clearer for you all. But never fear. Should an unrecognizable guest arrive in your boxes, we are just a phone call away for clarification. You are always welcome to pose questions by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com). Our loyal Facebook page of Chubeza members is always helpful as well for information or suggestions.

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

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale/totsoi, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes/cherry tomatoes, cauliflower/cabbage/Jerusalem artichokes, slice of pumpkin/carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, turnips/daikon/baby radishes. Special gift: mizuna

Large box, in addition:  Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia, scallions/arugula, beets/kohlrabi/fennel.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranate, apples, pomelit, oranges.

Wednesday: Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale/totsoi, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, cauliflower/cabbage, Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia/okra/Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, turnips/daikon/baby radishes. Special gift: mizuna

Large box, in addition:  slice of pumpkin, scallions, beets/kohlrabi/fennel.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranate/avocado, apples, pomelit, oranges.