March 16th-18th 2020 – The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

So, the world has spiraled off into unknown terrain over the past few weeks, but at Chubeza we are all in good health and continuing our routine by working outdoors in a small team with vast spaces between us. Naturally, our orders have grown and multiplied and we are working hard, but we are grateful for the opportunity to continue our work and adhere to blessed routine.

This semi-routine helps us remember that despite the drama and anxiety, life still goes on, the seasons are changing like there’s no tomorrow (hmmmmm, not the best choice of words?), the vegetables are growing and we are in the midst of a different-genre drama in the field.

Last Thursday, our field was hit by a whirlwind. A real whirlwind, not a metaphoric one: massive gusts hurled around everywhere, spinning the plants, hothouses, tunnels, and the spring saplings covered in plastic to protect them from the cold. In the annals of Chubeza history, we’ve never seen winds of this force. The metal structures of the hothouses and the tunnels braved the storm courageously, but the plastic covers flew off, damaging the young cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. The covers protecting the first spring pumpkins blew off as well, injuring some of the plants in their flight and leaving the poor things bare and exposed to the wet and cold. The fava beans, peas and other open-field crops were hit smack in the face by the strong winds, with the brave pea surviving nicely, but losing many of its tall fava bean friends.

Our delivery box shed, normally covered by a net and plastic, lost its roof to drench a great many of the boxes inside. We recovered the boxes that are still useable, and gratefully we had already ordered a new batch. Here’s hoping we’ll breeze through the shortage, so to speak.

The showers that followed those winds fell steadily from Thursday night to Saturday, delivering a grand total of 35mm of rain – Wow! The field has now returned to its muddy wintery state. On Sunday we did our damage assessment: despite our sadness over the marred and battered crops, we were cheered by the hope and restorative capabilities of the plants, who immediately activated their survival mechanisms to embark on the journey towards healing and revival.

The young cucumbers were indeed badly damaged and many will have to be replanted, but the cherry tomato is a sturdy plant which we’re counting on to speedily rebuild its strength and return to normal. (Plants, like human beings, are sometimes stronger in their youth, with their own space to recover, as opposed to a more veteran plant damaged after most of its growth has been completed.)

Unlike the unfamiliar Corona virus and the dread it arouses, weathering the weather is relatively easy: we know the challenges involved and realize that they eventually make way for sunny days (like this Sunday and Monday), bringing comfort and healing to our wounded field.

We wish to convey precisely that emotion this week – albeit things seem terrifying at times, we have healing and recovery to depend on, despite the difficulties and disruptions we are now experiencing. This crisis shall pass. Until then, the new budding growth carries solace and hope for a healthy future to come.

Wishing us all endurance, and healthy, strong and good days,
Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror, Orin, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Cabbage/slice of pumpkin, potatoes, cauliflower/broccoli/beets, green fava beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, celeriac/parsley root, peas/daikon/ Jerusalem artichokes, coriander, lettuce, leeks/green garlic.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/kale/chubeza (mallow) greens, parsley, carrots.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, oranges, pomelit/red grapefruit, apples.

Wednesday: Potatoes, beets/kohlrabi/radishes, green fava beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, celeriac/parsley root, parsley, carrots, lettuce, leeks/green garlic. Small boxes only: peas/Jerusalem artichokes/onions.

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/cauliflower/broccoli, Swiss chard/kale/chubeza (mallow) greens, slice of pumpkin, coriander.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, oranges/red grapefruit, pomelit, apples/avocado.