Aley Chubeza #48 – December 20th-22nd 2010

Reminder: We’re now taking orders for Yiftah’s bi-weekly baking. Please send your orders by Friday. The loaves will be delivered in the boxes of December 29th and January 3. You can read about Yiftah’s hand-baked, sprouted bread products here.

Last week, after I had sent out the newsletter longing for rain– and then lived to see it, I went out to the field to enjoy the glory. I took some pictures I’d love to share with you. We’ll start with some puddles:

Our field is on a bit of a slant, which causes the water to drain out of the beds and accumulate at their edges.

But also along the paths…

Our footprints made many dents in the earth, which the falling rain quickly filled.

The cherry tomatoes and yard-long beans seemed a little surprised with being flooded by rain:

And in the drainage canal at the edge of the field, which must run through one of the side channels of the Ayalon River, there was a fine current of water.

The poultry manure bed, with which we fertilize the fields, was quickly covered (there are certain advantages to the fact that the rain lagged to such an extent–We had time to get organized.)

On the way, I met some very happy plants, the drops decorating their leaves like tiny beads of pearls. Many winter crops are characterized by leaves that do not allow the bountiful water to saturate. There are smooth leaves, like those of cabbage and peas, whose thin wax-like covering makes the water slide off without becoming absorbed or causing them to rot.

Or the fennel, whose thin, feathery leaves (like the dill) easily shake off the raindrops.

Even our young citrus trees seemed happy:

On rainy days such as these, we do not enter the field with our car for fear of sinking in the mud. Harvest is slow and the vegetable boxes are carried by hand to the closest place outside the field where the car can reach. Of course, we dress accordingly (making bold fashion statements with our garish clothing):

Then we wash off the heavy mud coating the vegetables (which paints the bathtubs brown).

At the end, some of the mud (some would say –most of it) is packed along with the vegetables and sent to you.

We’ll end with a group picture:

 

Hoping for a wintery winter,

Alon, Melissa, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team

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And What’s in this Week’s Muddy Boxes?

Monday: white or purple cabbage, mustard greens or red mustard, lettuce, turnips or daikon, scallions or leeks, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsley.

In the large box, in addition: cauliflower, celery leaves, dill, yard-long beans or beets.

Wednesday: Dill or coriander, parsley or coriander, cucumbers, turnip, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, peas, celery leaves, leek, red or green mustard, roquette.

In the large box, in addition: cauliflower or broccoli, beets, scallion, daikon.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers of these organic products: granola and cookies, flour, sprouted bread, sprouts, goat cheeses, fruits, honey, crackers. You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. The attached order form includes a detailed listing of the products and their cost. Fill it out, and send it back to us to begin your delivery soon.

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