November 2nd-4th 2020 – Old Friends (Sat in their Orchards like Bookends)

Strong Friendships

Today our vegetables take a step back to make room for our friends. As life moves back to normal, there’s lots of new excitement in our Additional Local Products section. This Newsletter is thus dedicated to introducing you to the extraordinary cottage industry owners who produce and maintain these products for us.

We are big believers in direct contact between consumers and manufacturers, and in the value of being close to those who grow and develop our food. Over the years, a number of small and medium-sized manufacturers from across the country who create quality products from excellent raw materials have become members of the Chubeza community. They are all masters of simplicity – no preservatives or additives needed.

Wandering among the additional products which may be added to your Chubeza boxes is a sensual experience and a journey from one end of the country to the other. Among the myriad of colors, flavors and fragrances, you will find organic flour ground in Hadera; breads baked in Ganaton, goat cheeses from Tal Shachar; honey from the Golan Heights; gluten-free bread from Emek Hefer; vegan cookies baked in Ashdod; scrumptious Tahini from Netiv Halamed-Heh; olive oil, hummus, teff seeds, organic almonds and honey from Ein Harod in the Jezreel Valley; date honey, juices, olives and health bars from Neot Smadar in the southern Negev; sprouts from Achituv; dates from Kibbutz Samar in the southern Arava; tahini and coffee hand-ground at Karmei Yosef; Olive oil from Rotem, unique raw vegan products from Beit Shemesh; organic crackers and gluten-free crackers from Kfar HaNasi in the northern Galilee, and juices, jams, apple cider and vinegar from the hills of Jerusalem.

These products and information about their manufacturers appear in our online order system, where you can get to meet each of them in the Additional Products category. They will be delighted to have direct contact with you and are happy to tell you about themselves and the products, answer your questions and explain how they work. Sometimes you can even visit them for an on-the-scene glimpse of how and where they produce these distinctive, outstanding products.

Well then, what’s new?

Samar Dates

Our beloved Samar dates are back for another sweet season. Among the delectable date grown in the southern Arava kibbutz are:  Barhi honey (small, soft and super-sweet) that earned the endearing nickname “The Toffee Date”; Dekel Nur (elongated and drier with a gentle sweetness) and Zahidi dates (big and round). This year Samar is also offering Madjhoul dates (big and juicy) –great news! Another Samar novelty is the new small, lovely packages they are offering of 1, 2 or 5 kg (except for Madjoul that for now will only be sold in 1 kg packages). Details and prices in our online order system. Enjoy!

Neot Smadar

From the southern Arava, we make our way to the Shizafon intersection that lies not far from Kibbutz Neot Smadar, a unique place full of so much goodness. Enjoy the yield of their orchards – Madjhoul dates and amazing Madjhoul date honey; fresh, natural juices from the Deep South, olives and fruit-based health bars. All these delicacies have lately been joined by Tapenade – an incredibly delicious olive spread. Lastly, Neot Smadar’s yummy grape juice is joined this week by grapefruit juice! Enjoy!

Shorshei Zion

From the south, we now climb to the city of Beit Shemesh, where in a small factory in the old industrial section, Eliezer and Sarah-Roze make unique raw vegan foods: crackers, buckwheat gRAWnola, desserts and chocolates, as well as almond and walnut spreads which joined their veteran spread friends: cashew spread, hazelnut spread, almond spread, pumpkin seeds and lately also pistachio spread. Definitely worth a delicious taste!

The Matsesa

Not far from there, at the top of the hills, Tomer’s Matsesa uses leftover fruits from Kibbutz Tzuba’s orchards to produce juices, alcoholic cider, jams and excellent apple cider. After a long wait for our beloved apple cider that took its time fermenting and souring – it’s back! I highly recommend getting to know them even by ordering a 250 or 750 ml bottle.

And just so you can see the astonishing myriad of additional deliciously healthy products made from high-quality raw materials and the daily labor of good, diligent people, to make your heart jolly and your table merry during these complex days, take a peek:

We believe in a direct connection between the manufacturers and consumers – to deepen consumers’ knowledge in the way these distinctive products are made, and offer a plethora of natural, unprocessed food, additive-free, as a healthier alternative to the consumers, producers and environment. This direct interaction contributes to the development of small, independent and local cottage industry manufacturers. During these crazy days, the importance of locality and direct contact is all the greater.

The change in season also brings about a change in our staff: after many, many years together, this month we bid our farewell to Ali, Hoth and Thom. Ali worked with us for eight years, over which he taught himself Hebrew and took part in packing up the boxes. Ali has embarked on a new path and just as he was standing at the threshold, he was able to greet a beautiful new baby with his wife Jihan. (Mazal Tov to Saba Mohammed and Uncle Majdi!)

Hoth and Thom are returning to their home in Thailand after working with us for six years. Our appreciation of their diligence and determination is combined with the understanding of the difficulty of leaving your home in order to live some years in a faraway country. We wish them both the greatest of luck. May they have a good journey home, and an easy reintegration into Thai life.

At the other end, we are happy to greet out new workers: Santi and Sa’ah, who joined the Thai workers team, both wearing smiles and working meticulously, and Einat, who after volunteering here for some years has now joined as a full member of the team. Welcome everyone! May we enjoy many years of fruitful labor and mutual growth!

Our warm wishes go out to the 1-4th grade students as they embark upon a known-yet-unknown routine, and to all of you who made your way back to work this week. May we all be blessed with gentle and good “routine” life as we are showered by blessed rains!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday:  Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, lettuce, bell peppers/eggplant, turnips/kohlrabi/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley/dill/ basil, zucchini/carrots/onions, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: okra/lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichokes.

Large box, in addition: Celery, cabbage/corn, arugula/mizuna/bok choy, baby radishes/daikon/ potatoes.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, apples, bananas, oranges/pomelit/clementinas

Wednesday:  Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, lettuce, bell peppers/corn, eggplant/potatoes, turnips/kohlrabi/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/onions, zucchini/carrots, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: Celery/scallions.

Large box, in addition: Parsley/basil, cabbage/baby radishes/daikon, arugula/mizuna/bok choy, okra/lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichokes.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, apples, bananas, oranges/clementinas