At Chubeza, we value the direct connection between consumers and producers and encourage our friends to familiarize themselves with the food they eat. To this end, we have partnered with a number of small producers, some from literally around the corner and others from the far reaches of our tiny country, whose products may be added to your boxes: organic fruit, granola and cookies, flour and semolina, sprouts, goat cheeses, honey, crackers, dates, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil and olives, sourdough bread and baked goods. This type of person-to-person economic relationship also contributes to the support and continued sustainment of local independent businesses.
Below is a brief description of each of our affiliated producers. A detailed list of items and prices can be found on our online order system (for registered Chubeza members).
Melo Hatene Fruits
Hilaf Menahem specializes in growing fruit at his farm “Melo Hatene” (meaning “bountiful basket,” the Hebrew equivalent of cornucopia). Hilaf is a close neighbor – in order to deliver his produce to us, he only has to cross the low hills separating our fields from his orchards in Karme Yosef. At Melo Hatene the Menahem family has created a special, magical place, where instead of a large monoculture containing a single fruit variety, there thrives a marvelously mixed orchard of many varied fruit trees, bushes and climbing vines, interspersed with vegetables, herbs and every imaginable plant. The diversity of fruit includes familiar friends like apples, citrus, plums and grapes, alongside raspberries, guava, annona (sugar apple), figs, pomegranates, loquats and more. The fruits available vary with the season. You can order a small/large box on a regular basis, or choose individual fruit box.
Stone-ground by Assaf in Pardes Hana, this flour is especially great since it is from Israeli wheat, growing mainly not far from Assaf in the Bet She’an Valley. From the moment of grinding, the flour is refrigerated to discourage insect and other pest development. In addition to 100% whole wheat flour, Assaf prepares a 70% wheat flour (reduced bran), spelt flour, rye flour (both imported), as well as coarse-ground semolinas from the above grains. The following specialty flours are also available: rice, corn, oats, buckwheat, white spelt and quinoa. All flours are organic and of excellent quality.
Tamir and Daniella live on Moshav Sha’al in the Golan Heights. As a beekeeper, Tamir is continuing in the footsteps of his father from Ethiopia. In adherence to family tradition, Tamir does not feed the bees sugar, nor heat the honey, and abstains from any unnecessary intervention, such that the resulting product is as naturally delicious as can be. The wild vegetation and cultivated crops of the Golan provide the bees with a host of flowers to feast upon, so that Tamir and Daniella can offer a range of honey flavors: wildflower, eucalyptus, raspberry, blueberry, kiwi, and jujube. Also, in season, honeycombs may be purchased, swimming in jars of sweet golden honey.
Meshek 42 is a family farm situated in Tal Shachar. On this diverse farm they grow goats for dairy products and operate a boutique dairy. In addition, there is an olive grove for olive oil and a small apiary. The farm features a store where Meshek 42 products are sold, along with other quality products.
Ever since the goat farm was established around 2007, it has been expanding. Their goats hold the rare distinction of having been bred exclusively from animals born in the disease-free confines of the farm. The goats are raised in a ventilated, comfortable pen. They eat a mixture of corn feed in small quantities, and homegrown Meshek 42 hay. Two months before calving, the farm halts the milking of the pregnant goats in order to allow them to rest, build up their strength for the birth, take care of the kids and produce milk. The kids nurse for two months and are then gradually weaned. The milk is pasteurized, but not homogenized or pasteurized for extended life shelf (ESL), so the milk changes, as do the various products.
The Meshek 42 olive grove was planted two decades ago and currently hosts three types of olives, Syrian, Barne’a and Picual, producing olive oil with a mild, unique flavor. After the olive harvest begins, the process of cold pressing and extracting the oil in the olive press take place. Here, Meshek 42 arrives at the special “blend” of flavors that they select. The grove is treated organically. Pest control is conducted biologically by confusing the harmful insects and trapping them. There is no spraying of pesticides, and the fertilization, too, is organic. The oil is considered the highest kind quality “extra virgin olive oil, and is cold pressed.
Kibbutz Samar in the Eilot region specializes in growing a number of date varieties, most unique in its dry state being the Barhi type, nicknamed “date toffee” at Samar. The Barhi is the same hard bright yellow date usually sold in unripe clusters at the beginning of the season, to be frozen and thawed. Dried, they are sweet and chewy, like, well, taffy, but naturally better for you. We also sell the Dekel Nur variety, popular in the Arab world, characterized by a subtle sweetness and texture, perfect for snacking, as well as cooking and baking. Every few weeks, Gili, the marketing manager for Samar dates, happily replenishes our stock by dispatching a friendly kibbutznik who happens to be heading our way.
From a small factory on Kibbutz Kfar HaNasi originate the organic crackers of Zohar and Assaf, made from basic, healthful and clean ingredients: flour, grains and seeds, without sugar, additives or preservatives. Lev HaTeva crackers come in three flavors: wheat, rye or spelt. Aside from the quality and health embodied in their excellent taste, these crackers are made in the nation’s economically challenged north, providing employment for local residents – a fact that definitely weighs in when choosing this superb product.
Eliezer and Rose Tzion became interested in live-cultured foods by way of kombucha, a fermented tea drink. It was love at first sip. Fascinated by the transformative process of food fermentation, the couple embarked on a journey to understand, explore and create other pickled, probiotic and living products. Stemming from a deep faith in the importance of eating live food, Eliezer and Rose prepare their products from uncooked seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables, always striving to use raw ingredients which are fresh, local and organic. Shoreshei Tzion is strongly rooted in the belief that living food is healing food, having the power to nourish both body and soul.
After over a decade at the Ministry of Agriculture, Melissa, our friend and neighbor from Kibbutz Gezer, opened a new chapter in her life as a maker of natural snacks. She chose to start on the sweet side, discovering anew the health inherent in creation. So was born “Mipri Yadeha” – dried fruits and specialty leathers, in a variety of surprising flavors, lovingly crafted from 100% fresh fruit and herbs of the country, with no additives of any kind. Each leather packet of 6 sheets begins from about a kilo of fruit, peeled, mixed, blended and dehydrated. The result is an explosive burst of taste and energy with each healthy bite. Mipri Yadeha is the ideal choice for snacks, trips, gifts and school lunches. This is Melissa’s particular way of preserving and sharing the natural abundance all around us.
Didi and Shira Amusi from Rotem in the northern Jordan Valley produce organic olive oil and olives. Their oil bears the distinctive flavor of a family laboring day by day in love, joy and simplicity. They know and follow each and every tree in their grove during the changing seasons: blossoming into bloom, flowers into fruit, and then, at the start of winter, the family joins together in celebrating the harvest. On the same day the olives are picked, they are brought, fresh, ripe and bursting, to the press. The final product is cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil produced under strict quality control and concern for the environment, free of pesticides, with 0.5% maximum acidity, certified organic, kosher and kosher for Passover, in the following select varietals: Suri, Barnea, Picual, and house-blend.
Despairing of the industrial style loaves available during a prolonged stay in England, Manu (Emanuelle Roueff Zinkower) began baking bread at home for her family. This hobby led to exploration, experimentation and delving deeper into the fine art of bread-making. Today, Manu runs a small bakery at her home in Moshav Taoz where she makes bread from whole-grain flours using homemade sourdough starter rather than commercially prepared yeast. Allowed to rise slowly, unheated, each artisan loaf develops its own singular refined flavor. The basic breads are: wheat, spelt, rye, 3-grain and sprouted, weighing 660-680 grams. In addition, using only the best ingredients, Manu makes sweet and savory pies, quiches, cakes and other baked delights.
Though they were told that “organic almonds cannot be grown in Israel,” the Ein Harod “field croppers” decided to take on the mission, despite the many difficulties. As descendents of pioneers who arrived in Ein Harod in the 1920′s and became farmers and vineyard workers in the valley, they view organic farming as part of the protection of the valley and its habitants and of the environment in general. You should know that the Israeli almond is considered to be tastier and healthier than almonds imported from California, thanks to the varieties of almonds developed in Israel. Despite their smaller yield, they are of a superior quality. In addition to almonds, Ein Harod grows organic hummus as well as the “barnea” variety of olives, from which they extract organic olive oil. You are welcome to add them all to your boxes, and breathe a deep breath of fresh Jezreel Valley air… Bon Appétit!”
The Zukker’s live in Kibbutz Merav on the Gilboa Mountain. Ten years ago, the family decided to plant a pomegranate orchard. They leased some agricultural land from the kibbutz and began working–and quickly learning that growing pomegranates is both a task and a privilege. And they fell in love. They meet once a week, the entire clan–siblings and parents–for a workday, strengthening their connections with each other and the land. When they saw the huge amount of (chemical) fertilization the pomegranates undergo, they decided to go organic, and are pleased by their decision. Five years ago they began squeezing the fruit and marketing the juice as well. It is delicious and so healthy.
“We love selling products that we’ve given our hearts and souls to producing,” say the Zukker’s, “but what’s even better is that we are selling something that is genuine and vital to good health.”
When Karin and Roy established Gargir, they aimed to allow each and every one to consume homemade, healthy food. As they see it, one day soon every household will own a home flour grinder. The ability to personally prepare the most basic food product, bread, is a great privilege that one owes oneself and family members in order to produce healthy bread. The time that ensues from grinding to use is critical in order to maintain the nutrients of the cereal grain. Once it is ground, the process of oxidation begins and the minerals and vitamins break down, diminishing the nutritional value of the flour. With Gargir products, you can prepare the flour at home from a wide variety of cereals, in the quantity of your choice and with optimal freshness, thus retaining the nutritious benefits.
Roy and Karin offer home flour grinders based on millstones. These grinders can grind any non-fatty cereal grain (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, hummus, corn and others).