Aley Chubeza #322, January 16th-18th 2017

Good news from the Additional Products department:

* Neot Smadar proudly introduces yummy new coconut-date and apricot-flavored health snacks.

* The Izza Pziza goat dairy is back at full production of their entire line of products: milk, labane, medium-hard and hard cheeses, yogurts in various flavors and Dulce de leche (“ribat chalav”)

To order these and our rich range of additional products, use our order system.

In good health and happiness!

______________________________________

Sharing a great tip I received from Arik and Galit from Tel Aviv. You certainly may try this at home:

batzal yarok bahalon

“We placed an onion in a cup on the windowsill, snipped off a green leaf for our salad every day, and lo and behold, it grows right back!

___________________________________________

Eat Your Broccoli…

The Battle of the Broccoli fought between mother and child goes back in time to ancient lore. But it’s always interesting to note that fathers, too, have paid some attention to their children’s eating habits, even in days of old. Rumor actually has it that Drusus, son of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, loved broccoli so much that he ate broccoli and only broccoli for over a month. After his urine turned green and his father scolded him, Drusus was forced to take a sad leave of absence from his favorite veggie.

חוביזה פברואר 095

Romans have always been the most loyal and ancient broccoli consumers.  The vegetable’s name is derived from the Latin brachium, meaning branch or arm, which accordingly describes the way broccoli flower heads branch out. Broccoli has resided in Italy from the 8th century BC, i.e., almost 3,000 years, but it actually originated from Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea region. The Etruski farmers (an ancient nation that hailed from the area of Asia Minor and settled in Italy) in Asia Minor grew crops from the Brassica family. We have no written history about them, which is why their culture and faith remain somewhat of a mystery to this day, save for several facts like their love for the Brassica family… The Etruskis bequeathed this love to all the nations in the area with whom they conducted commerce: the Greeks, Phoenicians, Sicilians, Corsicans, Sardinians, and of course the Romans, who immediately fell in love with broccoli and continued to develop its family. In Roman cuisine, broccoli was a desirable gourmet platter, otherwise known as “the five green fingers of Jupiter.” However, in the beginning, broccoli varieties were leaner, forming less of a “head.” They were also purple and turned green in cooking. Over time, the Calabrese specie was developed, sporting a larger flower head, and remaining popular and widely grown to this day.

On the European continent, broccoli proliferation took more time. Only in the 16th century did broccoli stamp its passport at the French border upon its entry with the prestigious entourage of Katherina De-Medici who emigrated to France in order to marry His Royal Highness Henry II. Turns out the French did not fancy the green immigrant. In France, the esteemed chefs must have turned up their noses, exclaiming (read with a pronounced French accent): “Shame on him, that Levantine greenhorn! No class whatsoever! All those green curls out of control! Mon Dieu!!”

Broccoli is in fact a plant that arrives at the beginning of its blossom, and we actually eat the young flower buds. If you were to leave the broccoli to grow peacefully in the field rather than harvesting it, it’ll actually bloom. His head will spread open, and yellow and white florets will bloom from the dense green buds we eat. The flavor of these florets is sweet and spicy, but the stalks are fibrous and hardly suitable for cooking and eating. Here’s an example of a broccoli that passed its prime and is about to blossom (thank you, Chana, for all these beautiful photos):

חוביזה פברואר 045   חוביזה פברואר 044

Not all broccoli flower heads are suitable for eating. Here in the Middle East, it’s not common to eat broccoli leaves, but overseas in Italy or the Far East, for example, there are broccoli species grown for their leaves, like Rapini broccoli or Chinese broccoli. Usually they are species which do not grow a dense scalp like the broccoli flower head we know, but rather bloom immediately, a gentle bloom, and their greens are harvested when they are young and tender. They are very popular additions to pasta or stir-fries. The mature broccoli greens are used in a similar way to kale. Their nutritional value is quite high, and they are rich in vitamins (A, B-complex, C) and minerals (iron and calcium). This week, indeed, some Chubeza boxes will contain broccoli greens.

And, back to our initial question: is it really so important to eat your broccoli? Once again, Mom (and maybe Dad) is right. Big time. Broccoli is rich in Vitamin A, i.e., beta carotene, evident in its strong green color, as well as folic acid, calcium (a cup of cooked broccoli is equivalent to the calcium value of half a cup of milk) iron (10% of your daily recommended consumption) absorbed in the body with the help of Vitamin C (one cup of broccoli equals one orange, Vitamin C-wise!).  In addition, broccoli contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

But aside from its nutritional value, broccoli is gaining recognition for its important contributions to good health. For one, broccoli lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. Broccoli (as well as onion, carrot and cabbage) contains pectin fiber which binds to acids in the body, thus depositing more cholesterol in the liver and allowing less to be released into the bloodstream. Research has found that its effectiveness is equivalent to certain cholesterol-lowering medications. Broccoli is also rich in the mineral chromium which improves the function of insulin in adults who have a tendency towards type 1.5 diabetes.

In addition, it is common knowledge that members of the Cruciferae family are warriors in the cancer prevention battle. Recent research indicates that a chemical component in broccoli can prevent the expansion of cancer cells. The primary anti-cancer element is sulforaphane which, under laboratory conditions, was found to delay the growth of cancerous stem cells. Its course of action is similar to other anti-cancerous components that are used clinically, by actively disturbing the cell redistribution. Sulforaphane is even more prominent in broccoli sprouts (and while we’re on that subject, you can order broccoli sprouts and other excellent sprouts from Udi at Achituv via our order system).

So as not to harm the very valuable components of broccoli, take care not to overcook. Best to consume it raw, steamed or lightly cooked (3-5 minutes). Check our recipe section for excellent broccoli salads.

Hey, listen to your mother sometime.

Tips

  • Broccoli fares well in the fridge. Store it there in a plastic bag to protect its nutritional value, especially the Vitamin C. Another possibility, albeit less popular, is to immerse the broccoli stalk in deep ice water (like a bouquet of flowers), covering the inflorescence with a loose plastic bag, and change the water daily.
  • Do not wash the broccoli before you refrigerate. Moisture will damage it.
  • When you cook/steam/lightly sauté the whole broccoli, begin with the stalks. They are harder and need more cooking time. Add the florets and leaves later (broccoli leaves are delicious and definitely worth a taste!).
  • Go easy on the cooking so the broccoli remains solid and its flavor is stronger. Best to steam, not to cook.

חוביזה פברואר 162

Wishing you a good week, with lots of good news and happiness. Enjoy that winter-lit sun!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team

WHAT’S JOINING THE BROCCOLI IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/coriander, broccoli greens/kale/Swiss chard/spinach, fennel, cucumbers/bell peppers, cabbage/red cabbage/cauliflower, broccoli, fresh onions, tomatoes, carrots. Small boxes only: celery/celeriac, scallions/leeks

Large box, in addition: Kohlrabi, daikon, lettuce/arugula/mizuna, beets/snow peas, Jerusalem artichokes/ fava beans.

Wednesday: Parsley/coriander, fennel, cucumbers/bell peppers, cabbage/red cauliflower/broccoli, fresh onions, tomatoes, carrots, kohlrabi/daikon, celery/celeriac, lettuce/arugula/mizuna/pac choi. Small boxes only: scallions/leeks

Large box, in addition: Jerusalem artichokes/ fava beans/cherry tomatoes, beets/snow peas, broccoli greens/kale/spinach, cabbage.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, apple juice, cider and jams, dates silan and healthy snacks and goat dairy 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!

Aley Chubeza #275, January 11th-13th 2016

mipri yadeha1Tu B’Shvat is nearing, and Melissa of Mipri Yadeha offers holiday baskets from the best of Israel’s products: organic dates, naturally dried raisins, carobs, nuts in their shells, and of course, her home products: naturally dried fruit and fruit leather with no additives, in a wide range of amazing flavors (clementine, fennel, apples and dates, guava and more.)

Each basket costs 60 NIS. Orders can be made via our order system beginning a week before the holiday. Happy Birthday, dear trees!

___________________________________________________

Eat Your Broccoli…

חוביזה פברואר 095

The Battle of the Broccoli fought between mother and child goes back in time to ancient lore. But it’s always interesting to argue that fathers, too, have paid some attention to their children’s eating habits, even in days gone by. Rumor actually has it that Drusus, son of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, loved broccoli so much that he ate broccoli and only broccoli for over a month. After his urine turned green and his father scolded him, Drusus was forced to take a sad leave of absence from his favorite veggie.

Romans have always been the most loyal and ancient broccoli consumers.  The vegetable’s name is derived from the Latin brachium, meaning branch or arm, which accordingly describes the way broccoli flower heads branch out. Broccoli has resided in Italy from the 8th century BC, i.e., almost 3,000 years, but it actually originated from Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea region. The Etruski farmers (an ancient nation that came from the area of Asia Minor and settled in Italy) in Asia Minor grew crops from the brassica family We have no written history about them, which is why their culture and faith remain somewhat of a mystery to this day, save for several facts like their love for the brassica family… The Etruskis bequeathed this love to all the nations in the area with whom they conducted  commerce: the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Sicilians, the Corsicans, the Sardinians, and of course the Romans, who immediately fell in love with broccoli and continued to develop its family. In Roman cuisine, broccoli was a desirable gourmet platter, otherwise known as “the five green fingers of Jupiter.” However, in the beginning, broccoli varieties were leaner, forming less of a “head.” They were also purple and turned green in cooking. Over time, the calabrese specie was developed, sporting a larger flower head, and remaining popular and widely grown to this day.

In the European continent, broccoli proliferation took more time. Only in the 16th century did broccoli stamp its passport at the French border upon its entry with the prestigious entourage of Katherina De-Medici who emigrated to France in order to marry His Royal Highness Henry II. Turns out the French did not fancy the green immigrant. In France, the esteemed chefs must have turned up their noses, exclaiming (read with a pronounced French accent): “Shame on him, that Levantine greenhorn! No class whatsoever! All those green curls out of control! Mon Dieu!!”

Broccoli is in fact a plant that arrives at the beginning of its blossom, and we actually eat the young flower buds. Their flavor is a blend of sweet and spicy, but the stalks are fibrous and hardly suitable for cooking and eating. Here’s an example of a broccoli that passed its prime and is about to blossom open (thank you, Chana, for all these beautiful photos):

חוביזה פברואר 044  חוביזה פברואר 045

Not all broccoli flower heads are suitable for eating. Here in the Middle East, it’s not common to eat broccoli leaves, but overseas in Italy or the Far East, for example, there are broccoli species grown for their leaves, like rapini broccoli or Chinese broccoli. Usually they are species which do not grow a dense scalp like the broccoli flower head we know, but rather bloom immediately, a gentle bloom, and their leaves are harvested when they are young and tender. They are very popular additions to pasta or stir-fries. The mature broccoli leaves are used in a similar way to kale. Their nutritional value is quite high, and they are rich in vitamins (A, B-complex, C) and minerals (iron and calcium).

And back to our initial question: is it really so important to eat your broccoli? Once again, Mom (and maybe Dad) is right. Big time. Broccoli is rich in Vitamin A, i.e., beta carotene, evident in its strong green color, as well as folic acid, calcium (a cup of cooked broccoli is equivalent to the calcium value of half a cup of milk) iron (10% of your daily recommended consumption) absorbed in the body with the help of Vitamin C (one cup of broccoli equals one orange, Vitamin C-wise!) In addition, broccoli contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

But aside from its nutritional value, broccoli is gaining recognition for its great contributions to good health. For one, broccoli lowers the cholesterol levels in the blood. Broccoli (as well as onion, carrot and cabbage) contain pectin fiber which binds to acids in the body, thus depositing more cholesterol in the liver and allowing less to be released into the bloodstream. Research has found that its effectiveness is equivalent to some cholesterol-lowering medications. Broccoli is also rich in the mineral chromium which improves the function of insulin in adults who have a tendency towards type 1.5 diabetes.

In addition, it is common knowledge that members of the Cruciferae family are warriors in the cancer prevention battle. Recent research indicates that a chemical component in broccoli can prevent the expansion of cancerous cells. The primary anti-cancer element is sulforaphane which was found – under laboratory conditions – to delay the growth of cancerous stem cells. Its course of action is similar to other anti-cancerous components that are used clinically, by actively disturbing the cell redistribution. Sulforaphane is even more prominent in broccoli sprouts.

So as not to impair the very valuable components of broccoli, take care not to overcook. Best to consume it raw, steamed or lightly cooked (3-5 minutes). Check our recipe section for excellent broccoli salads.

Hey, listen to your mother sometime.

Tips

  • Broccoli fares well in the refrigerator. Store it in a plastic bag in the fridge to protect its nutritional value, especially the Vitamin C. Another possibility, albeit less popular, is to immerse the broccoli stalk in deep ice water (like a bouquet of flowers), covering the inflorescence with a loose plastic bag, and change the water daily.
  • Do not wash the broccoli before you refrigerate. Moisture will ruin it.
  • When you cook/steam/lightly-fry the whole broccoli, begin with the stalks. They are harder and need more cooking time. Add the florets and leaves later (broccoli leaves are delicious and definitely worth a taste!).
  • Go easy on the cooking so the broccoli remains solid and its flavor is stronger. Best to steam, not to cook.

חוביזה פברואר 162

Have a great week with wonderful, happy news. And enjoy the wintery, smiley sun!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team

________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Broccoli, coriander/parsley/dill, tomatoes, baby greens (mesclun mix)/lettuce, kale/spinach, cucumbers, kohlrabi/turnips, leeks/onions, cauliflower, fennel. Small boxes only: cabbage.

Large box, in addition: Daikon/baby radishes, Chinese cabbage/Swiss chard, celery stalk/celeriac, Snow peas/ sweet red peppers.

Wednesday: Broccoli, coriander/parsley/dill, tomatoes, lettuce/Chinese cabbage, kale/spinach, cucumbers, kohlrabi/turnips/daikon/baby radishes, leeks/onions, cauliflower, fennel. Small boxes only: cabbage.

Large box, in addition: baby greens (mesclun mix), beets/sweet red peppers, celery, spinach.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy 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!

Aley Chubeza #273, December 28th-30th – bye bye 2015

This week marks the end of December as well as 2015.  At the end of this week we will be charging your cards for this month’s purchases and will update your bill on our order system by the end of next week. Make note that this month had five Wednesdays, so your bills will most likely be higher than usual. 

You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words  סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!

Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables & fruits you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is תוצרת אורגני, “organic produce”). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases. (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”)

________________________________________

 A Family Tale

Last week we experienced the sudden loss of my father-in-law, Shlomo. Shlomo was a man of many faces, but most prominent were his tenacity and determination to always stand by the decisions he made, patiently, diligently and over many years, stemming from faith in himself and in the power of small steps in order to make that great leap towards the final goal.

His death made me think a lot about differences and development, learning how much patience, time and slow rhythmic pace must be devoted to the changes we undergo as human beings, specifically those dealing with repair: growth, opening up, connecting and healing. It seems so often that destructive actions are fast and immediate, while building and repairing require placing stone upon stone, moment by moment, demanding diligence and perseverance as well as faith and hope.

These thoughts brought to my mind a newsletter I wrote a decade ago about the beloved Brasiccae family that is in our boxes throughout the entire winter. It dealt with the transformations that the Brasiccae underwent over many years, thanks to the curiosity and self-confidence of loyal farmers. So here is The Brasiccae Newsletter, in an End-of-2015 version:

Every once in a while, we hear about the scientific creation of a new vegetable or other edible plant. It’s possible that the pace of change is much faster now than in the past, yet even in the distant, primitive past, farmers constantly refined their crops. Actually, many of the most amazing changes in species development came not as a result of structured research, but rather out of the simple act of a farmer’s choosing and collecting seeds from the plants he favored over seeds from less-desired plants. This straightforward action of promoting one plant over another had a huge effect on the improvement and change of a specific harvest or species. Long before man understood the genetics of plants, his actions caused small, slow variations in the crops, which compounded over time until they brought about actual results.

The Brassicaceae family (or “cabbage family”) is a perfect example. All family members derive from one wild plant, the brassica oleracea, which originated in the Mediterranean area and resembles the canola in appearance. At some point after the plant was domesticated, people began growing it for its leaves. Since they consumed the leaves, it made sense to choose the plants that produced the biggest leaves. As a result, those leaves became bigger and bigger, eventually creating the plant we now know as kale or collard. Kale’s botanical name is var. acephala, translating to “a headless cabbage.”

Others preferred plants that produced small, denser and more delicate leaves in the center of the plant at the head of the stem, hence advancing plants with those characteristics. Over the seasons, the process of compacting became more and more prominent in those plants. Over the years, it grew and evolved into a real “head of leaves” which we call cabbage. Its actual title is var. capitata, meaning “a cabbage with a head.”

Around the same time, in today’s Germany, farmers preferred short and thick-stemmed kale. They ate the actual stem, and gradually, in choosing plants with a tendency for thick stems, caused the former cabbage to alter its greatly-thickened stem. This turned into kohlrabi, which earned the name var. caulorapa, meaning “a stem turnip.”

Over the past thousand years, man also developed a passion for the undeveloped flower buds of the cabbage, and chose the plants that produced large-bloom heads. This is how we got cauliflower and broccoli, both different variations of an undeveloped cabbage plant. The cauliflower is var. botrytis, meaning “cluster,” for its resemblance to a cluster of grapes. The broccoli, which was developed in Italy, earned the title var. italica.

And, as for the last member of this extended family: we each have our own taste, and apparently there were those (most probably the Belgians) who preferred plants that developed an assembly of dense leaves along the stems. They chose and re-chose plants that produced this sort of leaf shape, and thus brought the world Brussels sprouts, titled var. germmifera “the cabbage with gems.”

In summary, this long, winding familial tale demonstrates that without a systematic education in genetics or plant propagation, but via a simple process of seed selection and a lot of patience, more than six distinctive vegetables have developed over the past 7000 years. It happens in the best of families. 

Wishing us all a week of wonder and variety, of stubbornness, faith and determination.

Enjoy the dry sunny days till the blessed rain returns, hopefully soon!

We wish you all a happy new 2016 year!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team

 __________________________

WHAT’S JOINING THE BRASICCAE FAMILY IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Broccoli, coriander/parsley/dill, tomatoes, Chinese cabbage/lettuce, fennel/daikon/red radishes, kale/spinach/ Swiss chard,  cucumbers, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage/cauliflower. Small boxes only: celery stalk/celeriac.

Large box, in addition: Kohlrabi, arugula/red mizuna/totsoi, beets, Jerusalem artichokes.

Wednesday: red/yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, cilantro/parsley/dill, Swiss chard/spinach/kale, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce/Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, beets/daikon/turnips, cabbage/cauliflower.

Large box, in addition: sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichoke, fennel, celery/celeriac

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy 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!

 

Aley Chubeza #229 December 29th-31st – bye bye 2014, Happy new year!

The month of December is nearing its end, as is 2014. At the end of this week we will bill your cards for this month’s purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by the beginning of next week. Make note that this month had five Mondays and five Wednesdays, so your bills will most likely be higher than usual. 

You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!

Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables, fruits and sprouts you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is “תוצרת אורגנית”, organic produce). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”).

________________________________________

Eliezer, of the distinctive Shorshei Tzion Raw Food Medicine, has informed us that he must raise his prices due to the rise in raw material costs. There are also new products that will soon be available. Check our online order system for details!

_______________________________________________

A Family Tale

Lately I have been thinking a lot about differences and development, learning how much patience, time and slow rhythmic pace must be devoted to the changes we undergo as human beings, specifically those dealing with repair: growth, opening up, connecting and healing. It seems so often that destructive actions are fast and immediate, while building and repairing require placing stone upon stone, moment by moment, demanding diligence and perseverance as well as faith and hope.

These thoughts, together with the birth of our fourth daughter Noga almost two weeks ago, brought to my mind a newsletter I wrote a decade ago about the beloved Brasiccae family that is in our boxes throughout the whole winter. It dealt with the changes the Brasiccae underwent over many years, thanks to the curiosity and self-confidence of loyal farmers. So here it is, in a renewed version. For me, this family newsletter is my own circle closing, as I wrote it right after the birth of my eldest, Neta, almost ten years ago…

Every once in awhile, we hear about the scientific development of a new vegetable or other edible plant. It’s possible that the pace of change is much faster now than in the past, yet even in the distant, primitive past, farmers constantly refined their crops. Actually, many of the most amazing changes in species development came not as a result of structured research, but rather out of the simple act of a farmer’s choosing and collecting seeds from the plants he favored over seeds from less-desired plants. This straightforward action of promoting one plant over another had a huge effect on the improvement and change of a specific harvest or species. Long before man understood the genetics of plants, his actions caused small, slow variations in the crops, which compounded over time until they brought about actual results.

The Brassicaceae family (or “cabbage family”) is a perfect example. All family members derive from one wild plant, the brassica oleracea, which originated in the Mediterranean area and resembles the canola in appearance. Sometime after the plant was domesticated, people began growing it for its leaves. Since they consumed the leaves, it made sense to choose the plants that produced the biggest leaves. As a result, those leaves became bigger and bigger, eventually creating the plant we now know as kale or collards. Kale’s botanical name is var. acephala, translating to “a headless cabbage.”

Others preferred plants that produced small, denser and more delicate leaves in the center of the plant at the head of the stem, hence advancing plants with those characteristics. Over the seasons, the process of compacting became more and more prominent in those plants. Over the years, it grew and evolved into a real “head of leaves” which we call cabbage. Its actual title is var. capitata, meaning “a cabbage with a head.”

Around the same time, in today’s Germany, farmers preferred short and thick-stemmed kale. They ate the actual stem, and gradually, in choosing plants with a tendency for thick stems, caused the former cabbage to alter its greatly-thickened stem. This turned into kohlrabi, which earned the name var. caulorapa, meaning “a stem turnip.”

Over the past thousand years, man also developed a passion for the undeveloped flower buds of the cabbage, and chose the plants that produced large bloom heads. This is how we got cauliflower and broccoli, both different variations of an undeveloped cabbage plant. The cauliflower is var. botrytis, meaning “cluster,” for its resemblance to a cluster of grapes. The broccoli, which was developed in Italy, earned the title var. italica.

And the last member of this extended family: we each have our own taste, and apparently there were those (most probably the Belgians) who preferred plants that developed an assembly of dense leaves along the stems. They chose and re-chose plants that produced this sort of leaf shape, and thus brought the world Brussels sprouts, titled var. germmifera “the cabbage with gems.”

In summary, this long, winding familial tale demonstrates that without a systematic education in genetics or plant propagation, but via a simple process of seed selection and a lot of patience, more than six unique vegetables have developed over the past 7000 years. It happens in the best of families. 

Wishing us all a week of wonder and variety, of patience and faith,

Enjoy the dry sunny days till the blessed rain returns, hopefully at the beginning of next week!

Alon, Bat Ami, Maya, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

_______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Scallions/leeks, spinach/kale, tomatoes, fennel/kohlrabi, cauliflower/ cabbage, parsley, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce/arugula, celery/celeriac, beets/ carrots. Small boxes only: pumpkin/sweet potatoes

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/totsoi, garden peas/Jerusalem artichoke, coriander/nana (mint), daikon/radishes

Wednesday: spinach/kale, tomatoes, fennel/kohlrabi, cauliflower/ cabbage, parsley, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce/arugula, celery/celeriac, pumpkin/eggplants, beets/ carrots. Small boxes only: scallions/leeks

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/totsoi, garden peas/Jerusalem artichoke, coriander/nana (mint), daikon/radishes/turnip

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, pomegranate juice and goat dairy 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!

Aley Chubeza #190, February 24th-26th 2014

Well, February is at its close. At the end of this week we will bill your cards for February purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by Sunday.

You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!

Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables, fruits and sprouts you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is “תוצרת אורגנית”, organic produce). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”).

_____________________________

Manu, our expert baker, is back from a very short maternity leave, with the help of Tamar. From this week, you may resume your orders for her breads and pastries. Glad to have you back, Manu!

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At the end of this week we will be launching a new, improved order system. As with every change, here too we are hopeful yet a bit wary. We hope the change will go smoothly. On your end, there will be no major changes, but internally the new system should bring improvements and fewer (technological) bugs.

In order to transfer all the data, we will be closing the system for several hours this Thursday. Upon completion, it will be accessible once again for you to update your orders as usual.

Thank you, Amir, the man behind it all, for all your efforts, ongoing availability and constant readiness to always help and fix. And thank you all for your patience.

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With the month of Adar upon us, let’s hope it will bring joy and gladness to all!

Melissa from Mipri Yadeha is preparing a special, creative line of yummy products for Mishlochei Manot:

  • The Scroll of Esther–distinctive, hand-fashioned leather scrolls in a royal package: fruit leather in select flavors: peach, clementine, apple-ginger, persimmon-carrot, guava, pomegranate, apple-date, orange-apple and more. 10 NIS per scroll.


 


A Tale of One Family

Over the past few weeks, our lists look like a jigsaw or crossword puzzle– this vegetable or that one, one type for the small boxes, another for the larger ones… This has resulted from our attempt to juggle between the large varieties of this season’s vegetables with those which grow in smaller quantities, as is characteristic of the end of the season. This month’s sunny weeks made the vegetables ripen nicely, thus catching up on the two preceding months, which were frozen and slow. But the unpredictable weather disrupts our plans, where beds ripen one after another. We make our plans to coincide with cool and wintery weather, and this spring leap changes our rhythm.

So some of the vegetables ripened quickly and were harvested, but the next bed we planted thinking we would be returning to in two weeks’ time, is not yet ready for harvest. On the other hand, other beds quickly ripened, and other vegetables which we did not expect to harvest just yet are smiling at us, ripe and happy. This mess, on top of the fact that the end of winter is nearing and the yield is changing, leads to a large variety of vegetables ripe and ready for your boxes.

For example, the arugula and daikon are back this week, and the fava is back for a short while. Celery stalks are replacing their cousin the celeriac, which has been accompanying us thus far. So you may not all be getting all of the vegetables, as the quantities are not sufficient for all the boxes. Our two varieties of peas are enjoying the dryness. Usually the surplus of water in the earth, causing a tightening and saturation around the pea’s roots, makes it weak and yellow, and it is prone to various diseases. This year, the earth is not at all saturated, to our great sorrow and the pea’s great joy, which is why it has been abundant over the past few weeks.

To the contrary, the carrot, beet, fennel and kohlrabi have been consistently with us, but their quantities are not large, thus you have been getting a little of each. So too the cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, which were planted in November and are only now beginning to finally ripen (in cold months it can take up to four months). We try to vary the family members, so usually you receive two out of three.

In honor of the Brassicaceae family, which has been with us for some months now, I now bring its story once more. Yes, it happens in the best of families…

Every once in awhile, we hear about the scientific development of a new vegetable or other edible plant. It’s possible that the pace of change is much faster now than in the past, yet even in the distant, primitive past, farmers constantly refined their crops. Actually, many of the most amazing changes in species development came not as a result of structured research, but rather out of the simple act of a farmer’s choosing and collecting seeds from the plants he favored over seeds from less-desired plants. This straightforward action of promoting one plant over another had a huge effect on the improvement and change of a specific harvest or species. Long before man understood the genetics of plants, his actions caused small, slow variations in the crops, which compounded over time until they brought about actual results.

The Brassicaceae family (or “cabbage family”) is a perfect example. All family members derive from one wild plant, the brassica oleracea, which originated in the Mediterranean area and resembles the canola in appearance. Sometime after the plant was domesticated, people began growing it for its leaves. Since they consumed the leaves, it made sense to choose the plants that produced the biggest leaves. As a result, those leaves became bigger and bigger, eventually creating the plant we now know as kale or collards. Kale’s botanical name is var. acephala, translating to “a headless cabbage.”

Others preferred plants that produced small, denser and more delicate leaves in the center of the plant at the head of the stem, hence advancing plants with those characteristics. Over the seasons, the process of compacting became more and more prominent in those plants. Over the years, it grew and evolved into a real “head of leaves” which we call cabbage. Its actual title is var. capitata, meaning “a cabbage with a head.”

Around the same time, in today’s Germany, farmers preferred short and thick-stemmed kale. They ate the actual stem, and gradually, in choosing plants with a tendency for thick stems, caused the former cabbage to alter its greatly-thickened stem. This turned into kohlrabi, which earned the name var. caulorapa, meaning “a stem turnip.”

Over the past thousand years, man also developed a passion for the undeveloped flower buds of the cabbage, and chose the plants that produced large bloom heads. This is how we got cauliflower and broccoli, both different variations of an undeveloped cabbage plant. The cauliflower is var. botrytis, meaning “cluster,” for its resemblance to a cluster of grapes. The broccoli, which was developed in Italy, earned the title var. italica.

And the last member of this extended family: we each have our own taste, and apparently there were those (most probably the Belgians) who preferred plants that developed an assembly of dense leaves along the stems. They chose and re-chose plants that produced this sort of leaf shape, and thus brought the world Brussels sprouts, titled var. germmifera“the cabbage with gems.”

In summary, this long, winding familial tale demonstrates that without a systematic education in genetics or plant propagation, but via a simple process of seed selection and a lot of patience, more than six unique vegetables have developed over the past 7000 years. It happens in the best of families. 

Wishing us all a week of wonder and variety, of patience and faith,

Alon, Bat Ami, Maya, Dror and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Broccoli, fennel/kohlrabi, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots/ beets, cucumbers, parsley, arugula/kale, potatoes.  Small boxes only: cabbage/cauliflower, snow peas/fava beans.

Large box, in addition: Daikon, leeks, celery, garden peas/ snow peas, fava beans

Wednesday: potatoes, fennel, cucumbers, red or green cabbage or cauliflower, parsley, broccoli, snow peas, kohlrabi/daikon, lettuce, tomatoes, kale – in small boxes only

Large box, in addition: leeks, cilantro, celery, garden peas/fava beans

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, sprouts, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, pomegranate juice and goat dairy 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!