Aley Chubeza #89, October 31st – November 2nd 2011

Musing About Autumn

They say that we have no autumn in this country, that we have only two seasons, summer and winter. They claim that autumn and spring are fictitious seasons imported by the Europeans who were pining for home… And yet, it is hard to let go of them. It’s hard to resolve that we’re only willing to live within two opposites, two extremes. We would like to taste some soft middle ground, something variable and fickle, not as fixed, not as acute, not as decisive.

The Hebrew for autumn is stav, and its Biblical connotations most likely referred to cloudy days:

For behold, the winter (stav) is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.

(Song of Songs, 2:11)

The Aramaic word stava means winter, while the Arabic shita is used for both winter and rain. In searching for a word for this season falling between summer and winter, for those days when the heat is diminished and the clouds begin to gather, they took the word stav and changed it to mean autumn. These are the days in which we rediscover how beautiful the skies look when they are adorned with clouds, and how irresistible sunsets can be against the backdrop of a gray day.

In our household, the closet is now a colorful collaboration of good ol’ summer clothes alongside those winter coats we dragged down from the top shelves. It’s really hard to make that decision to fold and put away the shorts and summer clothes for a few months. For me, this is proof that even in our decisive, definite and always unequivocal country, there is, after all, autumn.

On Friday, we went for a hike and saw a myriad of snails hanging on dry blades of grass, almost like a field of white flowers, waiting for the raindrops to come and wake them. Perhaps today they broke into a little rain dance, crawled away and disappeared, leaving the grass to awaken and sprout anew. So see- there’s definitely an autumn here!

Take a look at your boxes– they’ll give you the answer. The corn dwells with the Swiss chard and the pumpkin lies down with the turnip. And our fields are full of many, many weeds that are soaking up the moisture and dew and irrigation as well as those last daytime hours of soothing sunbeams. And we lean over our field beds and pluck them out meditatively. Like we said: autumn.

After the Open Day, Ruth from Tel Aviv sent me this blog post about her visit with us. Thank you so much, Ruth! I’d like to share it with you all: A Visit to Chubeza

May we all have a fickle, moderate, capricious and delightful autumn,
Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team

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What’s in our Autumn Boxes?

Monday: Arugula, pumpkin, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, coriander or dill, carrots with greens attached, corn, beets plus greens

In the large box, in addition: Yard-long beans or cowpeas (lubia), bell peppers or eggplant, scallions or leeks.

Wednesday: sweet potatoes, lettuce, cucumbersqred peppers, arugula, tomatoes, dill, eggplants / green peppers / cowpea (lubia) / yard long beans, green mustard, corn, carrots, radishes

In the large box, in addition: pumpkins, leeks, beets plus greens

* Beet greens are both lovely and healthy! Use them like Swiss chard in hot salads, as a filling for dough, in soups, quiches and even chopped thinly in fresh salads.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: granola and cookies, flour, sprouts, goat dairies, fruits, honey, crackers, probiotic foods, sesame butter and dried fruits and leathers too! 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 soon.

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