Aley chubeza #157, May 6th-8th 2013

A slight delivery change next week because of the Shavuot festival: Wednesday deliveries will move to Thursday, May 16th. Monday deliveries remain unchanged.

Wishing you a Chag Sameach!

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 In Klara’s message from last week regarding macrobiotic cooking, the information link is faulty. If you wish to receive more details or sign up to her workshop, please contact Klara directly: 052-342-8058  klara_levine@yahoo.com

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One Season Following Another…

The unending heat waves have been hard for us all, human beings, animals and plants alike. The air is heavy with dust and haze, and temperatures are heavy and dry. And how is the Chubeza field responding to this oppressive spring heat? The summer vegetables are not fazed by it at all—they’re even enjoying the dryness. They quench their thirst via irrigation, so they make sure to drink the correct amounts and enjoy looking straight up at the sun, which makes them grow faster and stronger.

If you come visit us at this time (please do!) you will enjoy the field’s majesty: the cucurbits, from small to large, have begun covering the area with green, healthy foliage; the cucumbers are bearing sweet fruit, and the fakus is following. The melons and watermelons are growing at a merry pace, their branches sprawling everywhere, as if they are stretching their limbs to get an even tan (their leaves, especially the watermelon’s, really do look like outstretched hands). You’ve already received some light-colored zucchinis, and this week their dark green-striped brother will be making an appearance in your boxes.

Members of the solanaceae family are beginning to take their places of honor: the peppers, eggplants and tomatoes are growing nice and upright, green and strong. They will soon begin to show their flowers, yellow for the tomatoes and peppers, and gentle lilac-purple blooms for the eggplants. This will be the next step on the way to bearing fruit, coming this summer. Their cousins the potatoes, which grew over the past winter months, are really almost ready for a spring harvest, in honor of the holiday of the first fruits (Shavuot).

The green bean, unfortunately, is reluctant to develop this year. We don’t really know why, but we’re still hoping it’ll get over this crisis for us to enjoy it before the bean gives up when the heat gets too strong. The black-eyed peas and yard long beans are beginning to make their way to the top of the trellising vines, climbing steadily by their twisted, intertwined tendrils. They could not care less about the great heat and feel totally at home.

In contrast to the happy summer vegetables, the poor winter vegetables ending their season in the field resemble workers at the end of a shift: they are exhausted, and the heat is getting to them. The cabbage, carrot and celery have grown mostly in cool to cold temperatures, which they prefer (even when it was freezing out, they did not complain!) and now, at the end of their term they suddenly encounter summer (which usually likes to make a grand entrance with a killer heat wave), which is just too much for them.

That’s why at times you find a carrot or beet that are softer than usual, their green leaves not as fresh or a cabbage that is tired. Respect them, they were with us all winter long, and even now, as they grow older and live in non-optimal conditions, they still are able to ripen and cheer up your dinner table with the winter sweetness they store inside. Root vegetables which grew soft (carrot, beet, celery root, parsley root, etc.) can be soaked in cold water. They’ll perk up and grow stiffer, and they’re even easier to clean after their soak. Then, place them in a sealed container and into the fridge. Use the cabbage. They are yummy and delicious despite their weary appearance, which they even carry in the field. These are the last of our winter guests. Try to receive their parting epilogue with love.

Wishing you a Shavua Tov, and may we continue to grow accustomed to our hot spring,

Alon, Bat Ami, Ya’ara and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Green lettuce, parsley root, dill/coriander, tomatoes, garlic chives, cabbage, celery stalk, cucumbers, daikon, purple kohlrabi, zucchini

In the large box, in addition: carrots, leeks, Swiss chard, beets

Wednesday: Swiss chrad, cucumbers/fakus (light color cucumber), cilantro/dill, beets, lettuce, zucchini, garlic chive/scalions, purple kohlrabi, carrots, tomatoes, parsley root – small boxes only

In the large box, in addition: cabbage, celery/celeriac, leek, lemon verbena/thyme

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Spring recipes for late winter veggies:

Kohlrabi Salad with Nectarines & Beets

35 (!!) zucchini recipes

Couscous Tabbouleh With Parsley Root and Preserved Lemon

Unstuffed Cabbage with Chickpeas, Zucchini, Swiss Chard and Bulgur

Swiss Chard with Cabbage, Chickpeas & Garlic

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