Aley Chubeza #126 – August 27th-29th 2012

At the end of this week, we will be billing your cards for the vegetables, fruits and other products you received during August.

Please note that there were five Wednesdays in the month of August.

The billing is carried out in three parts: one for the vegetables, fruits and dates (the receipt attached details all three. Of course, if you only ordered and received vegetables, you will only be billed for vegetables!) The second is for delivery (including VAT) and the third is for products from our associates.

At the beginning of September, you will receive a monthly bill clearly detailing the orders and their dates. If you do not receive it by email, please let us know.

Please make sure the bill is correct, and let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words “ “סהכ לתשלום 0 (total for payment 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, it means we were not able to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us.

Thank you!

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Manu, our incredible baker, will be resuming her bread baking next week (after escorting her Alon to first grade). Please order her breads and baked goods by this Friday. The list of her tempting fare appears in our Internet order system. For directions to use the order system, please use this link.

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Eldad, of the Bentovich farm in Nir Zvi–one of the most veteran organic farms–is selling organic chickens for a short period of time. They are fresh, healthy and yummy.

The organic chickens are raised within their natural habitat, feeding on seeds, vegetable and organic mixtures. They are fed no antibiotics or other toxins, in an environment that is both pleasant and organic.

Supply is limited. Hurry and place your orders! Eldad (who will also answer any question or inquiry) 052-6233088

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So much to learn…

The opening of the school year brought with it a lesson of another kind, and thoughts about how we continue to learn, especially from mistakes.

Last week we sent you popcorn. For those who didn’t read the newsletter and were wondering about the hard, shriveled corncobs in your box— this was popcorn corn, designed to transform into that yummy treat. Each year we test the corn for readiness through various means: we examine the firmness of the kernels, their color, whether or not the plants have dried up, and the amount of time that has passed since seeding. We also pick a few cobs, remove the kernels, place them in a pot and make some popcorn. This year, all signs indicated that it was high time to pick and distribute the yellow marvel.

 

And yet… it seems that somehow not all of the cobs were ready. Some of you received popcorn cobs which did not pop well, probably because they required additional drying. As I mentioned in the previous newsletter, the proper level of moisture is critical for successful, vigorous popping. Apparently, our cobs needed additional drying time after all. We will lay the remaining popcorn cobs in the sun to enable them to finish ripening. For those who haven’t yet popped the corn we sent last week, we recommend you place them in the sun for about a week to let them continue to dry.

We learn from mistakes.

 

And beyond learning from mistakes, we continue to learn new things every season. This year, it is the Jerusalem artichoke growing joyfully in our fields. We consulted with our farmer colleagues who are experienced in growing this lovely crop, to ask: When do we cut back on the watering? How do we know when it’s time to harvest? What is the best way to pick them without harming or breaking the tubers? It’s fun to learn new things, but also a bit scary. We hope to soon provide you with delicious, juicy Jerusalem artichokes. Stay tuned!

 

And as part of the lessons we’ve learned through the years, we have begun our autumn planting, even though summer seems to still be going full force. Planting cauliflower in the middle of August takes a lot of trust and courage. Trusting that summer is bound to end, that the longer nights will slowly cool down and aid the cauliflower, that cabbage and carrots will be well received within the earth. We have learned to trust the season changes and act accordingly. On the other hand, we have learned that we must keep a close eye on the new seedlings, tending to their regular irrigation (they received their first helping of water manually, by hose, under the close attention of Poom), to stretch nets over them for shade and pray for no more surprise heat waves. Wish our little ones luck!

 

And one thing we would like to teach, or remind, you: over the next few weeks we will sometimes send two types of hard squashes: slices of pumpkins, which you should use promptly (those of you who haven’t yet tried the recipe for pumpkin in coconut milk sent by Avital- it’s highly recommended! See Recipe Corner below.) But when we send the smaller squashes (butternut squash, acorn squash, Japanese kury squash, etc.) there is no need to use them at once. In our storage house, when they are in boxes or in a huge pile, it’s hard to keep them cool and ventilated. If we keep them in storage for later delivery, they will rot and ruin. On your kitchen counter, however, they stand the good chance of keeping a few more weeks, even months.

 

Together with the vegetables in the field, we send our heartfelt wishes for success to the younger generation of Chubeza who are starting first grade this week: Be’eri, Alon, Maya, Neria and Ori. And our best wishes to their excited parents (and savta, Melanie),as well. We wish you a wonderful school year, with successes and trials-and-error, friendship and growth.

 

Wishing all students an interesting year, full of fun and happiness, from all of us at Chubeza

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Chinese chives, white-leaved savory or lemon verbena (Louisa), lettuce, eggplants, green soy (edamame) or okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, a slice of Tripolitanian pumpkin, red or green bell peppers, corn, spaghetti squash or butternut squash

In the large box, in addition: Thai yard long beans, cherry tomatoes, scallions

Wednesday: sweet red peppers, butternut squash, a slice of Tripolitanian pumpkin, tomatoes, scallions, eggplants, cucumbers, lettuce, basil, potatoes or corn, Thai yard long beans or green soy (edamame) or okra

In the large box, in addition: lemon verbena (Louisa), leek, carrots

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, dried fruits and leathers and organic olive oil too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!

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PUMPKIN RECIPES

Avital from Jerusalem sent me these wonderful pumpkin recipes, one super-easy, and one for the more seasoned cook:

OVEN-ROASTED PUMPKIN SLICES

Wash pumpkin; do not peel. Dry and cut into slices and place on baking (parchment) paper. Spread olive oil, salt, pepper and a slight amount of sugar. Bake at very high temperature for 30 minutes. Pumpkin slices will be glazed and slightly brown. Mix 2 t. raw tehina with 1 t. date honey (silan) and drizzle over pumpkin.

WHITE, ORANGE AND GREEN FISH IN CREAM SAUCE OR COCONUT MILK, WITH SLICED PUMPKIN & PEAS

Ingredients:

Fresh fillet of tilapia (amnon) or any other fresh fish suitable for short cookingMedium onion, sliced into thin ringsHot green pepper, seeded and sliced to rings (optional)Kury squash (or acorn or butternut squash), clean and sliced, with peeling, into triangles2 c. peas, defrostedScallionsCan of coconut milkCanola, peanut or olive oilSalt, freshly ground pepper1 t. date honey or honey or Demerara sugar (or any other natural sugar)

Preparation:

  • In a wide, flat pan, sauté onion without browning (together with the hot pepper rings, if desired).
  • Add pumpkin slices and coconut milk, season, and add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick.
  • Cover and bring to a moderate boil. Cook over low heat for around 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid and add the peas and scallions, and shake pan till everything is mixed. If you use a wooden spoon to mix, the pumpkin will separate.
  • The sauce thickens quickly, so a bit of water may be added as needed. Check seasonings.
  • Carefully place the fish portions between the vegetables, covering them with the sauce and vegetables. Shake pan slightly.
  • Cook over low heat and turn off the heat. Leave pan closed for several minutes.

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