This week Melissa informed me that the time has come for her classic, sweet and sour, delicious dried apricot “leather.” It is Melissa’s custom to ponder about life and current affairs as she waits for the leather to dry in the drying machine. Here are her current thoughts:
In the spirit of the changing seasons, dreams coming true and the belief that the impossible can happen in a surprising moment, Mipri Yadeha announces the arrival of the apricot – as a dry fruit or in “leather” form. There is an expression in Arabic “Bukra f’il Mishmish” – in the morning, an apricot. According to Mahmoud, our local translator, the expression conveys the idea that the unexpected can come true in a moment: here you are, waking up in the morning, and all of a sudden- there is apricot!
Lately, an Israeli-Palestinian group, Heartbeat wrote a new song by that name.
In a like manner, a new thing happened in Israel almost a week ago, when the high court acknowledged the right of non-orthodox rabbis to be eligible for public funding. After almost seven years of battling, Rabbi Miri Gold of Gezer (neighbors to Chubeza) was granted an official status as spiritual leader of the reform community in the kibbutz
So good morning new world, tomorrow is a new day, let us feast on apricots together, we could even bless a Shehecheyanu!
I happily received Naomi and Yiftach’s message about a sourdough bread workshop by “Yiftach Bread.” Yiftach is an artist of a baker and a great teacher.
The workshop can be held at your home, anywhere in the country, for a small group. All you need is a standard home oven and a table to work on.
Yiftach’s workshops are deep, contemplative ones, giving tools for the wide world of baking. Meeting Yiftach is a gift to anyone interested in natural food, specifically in baking.
Further details can be found in the attached document, or contact Naomi at 02-5333610.
The Green Leaves of Summer
Together with the apricot, another sign of summertime’s advent is our field. The cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have officially ended their term, after kindly providing one final small yield. This distinguished family was quickly replaced in the field– and our boxes– by the summer residents, the cucurbits. This huge, proliferated clan includes the cucumbers and fakus already in your boxes, our varieties of zucchini/summer squash (four different types this year), the melon that popped in for a visit, the watermelon which is on its way, and of course, a wealth of small, medium-sized and giant pumpkins, growing in a big thicket, soon to appear in your boxes.
Alongside the pumpkins, there’s a new guy on the block: the Jerusalem artichoke, aka “sunroot,” “sunchoke,” “earth apple” or “topinambour.” It is really a sort of sunflower (the kind whose bulbs are eaten) and its pretty plant, which really does resemble a small sunflower plant, grew quickly. We anxiously await its bloom, which I will promptly share with you.
The second family is of course the Solanaceaes, who received their name from the sun–sol in Latin– the great sovereign (some say tyrant) of summertime. Its first representative is actually a wintery fella, the only member of the family that appreciates cold weather and grows mostly in the cool days of autumn, winter and the beginning of springtime. This is, of course, the potato, now ready to be harvested in our field. The potatoes you received lately, ever since our autumn crops ended (harvested in the midst of wintertime) came from other fields. Last week, we began digging out our very own Chubeza-grown potatoes. As in autumn, we seeded two different varieties, the white and red, and they are both gradually climbing out of the earth.
The rest of the family members love heat, and after a difficult encounter with the slow, moderate spring we had this year, they slowed down their growth pace. Currently they are enjoying a quick, carefree sprint towards summer ripening. The eggplant and tomato (from this week, at least some of them are Chubeza’s very own) are already ripening, and our pepper is at their heels. In the meantime, we’re purchasing them from hothouses.
The field is turning various shades of green, but beyond the irrigation system it’s definitely summertime: everything around us is yellow and thorny; the seeds are mostly scattered, awaiting rain, and we are sweating away in the heat. Our bodies are slowly getting used to the burden of summer, remembering the heat, the feeling of sweaty skin, and a constant thirst, despite the water we cannot stop drinking. We are attempting to enjoy the relatively cool mornings and then the relief around 3:00 PM.
This brings to mind a legend I read in the book I received from Maya (Alon’s wife), legends for the book of Genesis, by Rabbi Shmuel Avidor HaCohen Every Blade of Grass Has its Angel
The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds… (Genesis 1, 12)
For every vegetation created in this world, an angel is created.
This angel watches over the vegetation, protecting it from pests, always reminding the small grass that it must grow. When it gets tired and stops growing, the angel drops a drop of water upon it to awaken it from its slumber. When it is hungry, the angel feeds it with dew, and when it bends over, the angel blows on it softly, till it straightens. Like a good mother taking care of her baby, the angel cultivates its grass, whispering to it incessantly: “Grow! Grow! Grow!” And each grass knows its angel, loves it and looks forward to its blessing. Only when the heat of the summer is too heavy, do the angels escape the heat and ascend to the heavens. The grass then dries up, bow down to the earth and its color turns yellow. When they are bereft on an angel, they are like orphans whose mothers have left them.
So we’re not angels, and we’re not ascending to any heavens. Every beginning of summer, I think about the beautiful lyrics of Meir Ariel’s song “Summer Seeds,” identifying with the wonder and hope and apprehension towards the type of summer we are about to meet, hoping that whatever will be, we do ultimately get a wave of love:
Summer seeds are carried in the wind, Stirring up memories, Awakening yearnings
Summer seeds brush your nose with A hint to the type of summer in the wings.
What is this approaching summer all about, with its finer-than-fine fragrance
A wave of love coming our way, breaking the yearning from afar.
Wishing us all health, friendship, and happiness! And don’t forget to drink!
Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team, getting used to the heat…
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: Cilantro or parsley, lettuce, eggplant or sweet red peppers, scallions or chives, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers or fakus, onions, beets, potatoes, melon
In the large box, in addition: basil, New Zealand spinach or Swiss chard, carrots
Wednesday: eggplants, lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, beets, zucchuni, cucumbers or fakus, parsley or dill or cilantro, corn, melons, potatoes – only small boxes
In the large box, in addition: leek, Swiss chard or New Zealand spinach, basil, carrots