June 21st-23rd 2021 – Take a breath, Smell the summer

Fanfare!! Our order system is being upgraded!!!!!!

 After much effort by Amir, webmaster of the EasyFarm system, from this weekend our order system will undergo renovation, plastic surgery, rejuvenation and reorganization, which is why over Friday the system will be closed while Amir makes final touches. Beginning Saturday, you may begin working with a renewed and friendly system. Enjoy!

Thanks for your patience and cooperation.

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This past Monday, June 21st, was the first day of summer, and our field is celebrating wildly with abundant sweetness and joy: melons and watermelons, corn and pumpkins of all varieties and colors, and… our honored scented Guest Vegetable of the Week!

Summer exudes the aroma of the ocean, the swimming pool, and suntan lotion. It carries the fragrance of ripe fruit – melon, figs, grapes, overripe peaches, and more. In our packing house, summer has a very distinct aroma of basil. When the basil-laden boxes stand in the packing house, it is hard to ignore the heady scent in the air that spurs the taste buds to fantasize on pesto.

After some years in which we grew basil and were burned by vicious diseases that attacked and destroyed any green leaf in the vicinity, we took a break for several years. When we tried again, we failed repeatedly. But last year we decided to try a new disease-resistant (or so we’re told) basil variety. At the start, we cautiously seeded it in smaller beds, which is why it was an infrequent guest in your boxes. Later, we expanded the planting. And now, the time has come to declare Basil as the aromatic star of this week’s Newsletter!

Basil

Basil is an annual plant. In wintertime, it wilts from the cold. Sometimes it can survive the winter if it happens to be a protected indoor plant (in a sunny corner). Basil is quite common in such warm areas of the world as Asia, Africa, Southern Europe, and California. It belongs to the prominent Labiatae family, but unlike some of its local celebrity cousins like hyssop, lavender, sage, thyme, mint and others, basil does not grow wild in Israel. It is very common as a cultured growth in nurseries, where it grows easily, so long as it receives at least six hours of sun daily.

Although it is a celebrated insect repellent (more on that later), growing basil is not an easy task due to its susceptibility to leaf diseases, specifically the Peronospora which attacks the leaves and causes them to blacken and wilt. Which is why most of our attempts at growing basil in the past involved a very small yields, and a major amount of disappointment. Last year we were informed of a new species, Prospera, developed in Israel by researchers from Bar Ilan University and the Israeli seed company Genesis. So far, from our experience with this and last year’s yields, we are satisfied by the results. Let’s hope this new variety allows us to go back to regularly growing summer basil and to return that heady fragrance to Chubeza’s summer boxes!

There are various explanations as to its name. Perhaps basil is named for the basilica, an elongated church structure where quantities of basil were grown in its nurseries. Perhaps it comes from the word Basilus, Greek for “king,” a title possibly earned by its plentiful medicinal properties. In Hebrew and Arabic, it is Rechan, to mark its powerful fragrance (“re-ach”). The word Rechan appears in Midrash Konen (Brayta d’Maase B’reshit): The third temple is constructed of silver and gold and all sorts of gems and jewels, and it is very large and all the goods of heaven and earth are there. And all varieties of sweet delicacies and varieties of fragrances and varieties of rechan are planted there.

Folklore attributes the name to a menacing dragon named Basilia. Anyone who set eyes on this creature died a strange death, prevented only by a magic basil potion. To this day, basil is known as a proven remedy against annoying pests (a tad smaller than dragons….), which is why in Italy and France it is grown on windowsills. An opposing belief held that basil attracts scorpions and their sting as well, which is why it was customary to apply a basil leaf compress to a poisonous insect sting in order to draw the venom. Basil is planted in combined vegetable gardens with the goal of attracting beneficial insects and repelling flies and mosquitos. Planting basil alongside tomatoes and asparagus actually improves their flavor!

Basil also acts as a secret partner in romance. When a Sicilian woman removes the basil plant from her windowsill, it is a sign to her lover that he may climb right up to her room. But it also assists Cupid in other ways: in Southern Italy, girls would don a garland of basil in their hair to signify their innocence and attract beaus. There, basil is actually called Bacia Nicola (Kiss me, Nicholas). A Romantic Italian man wishing to display his love would wear a sprig of basil in his lapel. In India, it is a talisman warding off evil from a couple’s fertility, which is why Indian women cultivate basil around their homes and temples.

The Jews of Morocco, Yemen, Algeria and Tunisia use basil plants (usually purple basil) for their fragrance in the blessing over spices at the Havdala ceremony at Sabbath’s end. Basil’s wide range of varieties include colors from deep green to deep purple, leaves both serrated and smooth, and varying tastes. The one trait all basil types share is its very distinctive fragrance… there is simply no doubt about it!

Basil Collection

In folk medicine, basil tea is used to treat stomach ailments, and basil abstract is beneficial for skin diseases. A blend of various herbs and basil is prescribed for insomnia sufferers, and eating basil seeds along with the leaves helps strengthen the heart. The etheric oil found in basil leaves boasts many antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal virtues. It contains linalool, methyl chavicol, and eugenol which encourage perspiration and healthy abdominal function, treat respiratory diseases and encourage lactation for nursing mothers. Basil also contains vitamins A and C.

Basil tea (8 leaves to one cup of boiling water) eases a cough, soothes gassy intestines, relieves painful gums and menstrual cramps, and keeps blood pressure balanced. It also lulls to bed those who seek a good night’s sleep.

And lastly – how to store basil fresh:

As stated, basil loves warmth and suffers in the cold, which is why keeping it in the refrigerator under 12 degrees will make it turn black and rot. But since it is a gentle green leaf, it will wilt if simply left on your counter.

To lengthen its lifespan, snip off the bottom of the stems just as you would a flower bouquet, and place the garland in a vase or glass of water (3-5 cm). Place the vase in a well-lit space and cover the leaves in a plastic bag with holes for the first 24 hours. Within a few days the leaves will grow roots which will provide your basil with vitality and keep it fresh for a week or more.

So together with our lovely basil, we wish you all wonderful, fragrant, safe days of summer, full of love and good health.

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and all of us at Chubeza

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

*If you received fresh basil this week’s box, we highly recommend taking a close look at the Newsletter text and watching the video on how to keep your basil garden-fresh. Enjoy!

Monday: Melon, green lettuce/lettuce hearts, parsley/coriander/basil, yellow string beans/oval-shaped cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, red/yellow potatoes, beets/carrots, butternut squash/slice of Neapolitan pumpkin, eggplant/zucchini, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard.

Large box, in addition: Corn/bell peppers, onions/scallions/parsley root, Amoro pumpkin/fakus

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, watermelon, red apples, pears.  Large Boxes: All of the above + peaches.

Wednesday: Green lettuce/lettuce hearts, parsley/coriander/basil, yellow string beans/carrots, oval-shaped cherry tomatoes/corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, red/yellow potatoes, beets, butternut squash/slice of Neapolitan pumpkin/zucchini, onions/eggplant, Amoro pumpkin/acorn squash.

Large box, in addition: Melon/wetermelon, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, scallions/parsley root.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, red apples, grapes, mango. (Large boxes get larger quantities).

July 13th-15th 2020 – Take a breath, Smell the summer

Summer is most definitely here. No doubt about it! And although this summer rolled in relatively gently, not bashing us full-force on the head, the air is still heavy and humid, temperatures are high, and we no longer enjoy the occasional respites of cooler days. At Chubeza, it’s work in the stifling heat, day in and day out.

Summer is also a time of goodbyes, and this week we bid farewell to Gadi and Tamir’s amazing blueberries that have been with us for the past few months. They will return next spring, and until then we will just have to crave them…

Summer exudes the aroma of the ocean, the swimming pool, and suntan lotion. It carries the fragrance of ripe fruit – melon, figs, grapes, overripe peaches, and more. In our packing house, summer has a very distinct aroma of basil. When the basil-laden boxes stand in the packing house, it is hard to ignore the heady scent in the air that spurs the taste buds to fantasize on pesto.

After some years in which we grew basil and were burned by vicious diseases that attacked and destroyed any green leaf in the vicinity, we took a break for several years. When we tried again, we failed repeatedly. But–this year we decided to try a new disease-resistant (or so we’re told) basil variety. At the start, we cautiously seeded it in smaller beds, which is why it was an infrequent guest in your boxes. Later, we expanded the planting. And now, the time has come to declare Basil as the aromatic star of this week’s Newsletter!

Basil

Basil is an annual plant. In wintertime, it wilts from the cold. Sometimes it can survive the winter if it happens to be a protected indoor plant (in a sunny corner). Basil is quite common in such warm areas of the world as Asia, Africa, Southern Europe, and California. It belongs to the prominent Labiatae family, but unlike some of its local celebrity cousins like hyssop, lavender, sage, thyme, mint and others, basil does not grow wild in Israel. It is very common as a cultured growth in nurseries, where it grows easily, so long as it receives at least six hours of sun daily.

Although it is a celebrated insect repellent (more on that later), growing basil is not an easy task due to its susceptibility to leaf diseases, specifically the Peronospora which attacks the leaves and causes them to blacken and wilt. Which is why most of our attempts at growing basil in the past involved a very small quantity of yield, and a major amount of disappointment. This year we were informed of a new species, Prospera, developed in Israel by researchers from Bar Ilan University and the Israeli seed company Genesis. So far, we have been satisfied by the results and hope this new variety allows us to go back to regularly growing summer basil and to return that heady fragrance to Chubeza’s summer boxes!

There are various explanations as to its name. Perhaps basil is named for the basilica, an elongated church structure where quantities of basil were grown in its nurseries. Perhaps it comes from the word Basilus, Greek for “king,” a title possibly earned by its plentiful medicinal properties. In Hebrew and Arabic, it is Rechan, to mark its powerful fragrance (“re-ach”). The word Rechan appears in Midrash Konen (Brayta d’Maase B’reshit): The third temple is constructed of silver and gold and all sorts of gems and jewels, and it is very large and all the goods of heaven and earth are there. And all varieties of sweet delicacies and varieties of fragrances and varieties of rechan are planted there.

Folklore attributes the name to a menacing dragon named Basilia. Anyone who set eyes on this creature died a strange death, prevented only by a magic basil potion. To this day, basil is known as a proven remedy against annoying pests (a tad smaller than dragons….), which is why in Italy and France it is grown on windowsills. An opposing belief held that basil attracts scorpions and their sting as well, which is why it was customary to apply a basil leaf compress to a poisonous insect sting in order to draw the venom. Basil is planted in combined vegetable gardens with the goal of attracting beneficial insects and repelling flies and mosquitos. Planting basil alongside tomatoes and asparagus actually improves their flavor!

Basil also acts as a secret partner in romance. When a Sicilian woman removes the basil plant from her windowsill, it is a sign to her lover that he may climb right up to her room. But it also assists Cupid in other ways: in Southern Italy, girls would don a garland of basil in their hair to signify their innocence and attract beaus. There, basil is actually called Bacia Nicola (Kiss me, Nicholas). A Romantic Italian man wishing to display his love would wear a sprig of basil in his lapel. In India, it is a talisman warding off evil from a couple’s fertility, which is why Indian women cultivate basil around their homes and temples.

The Jews of Morocco, Yemen, Algeria and Tunisia use basil plants (usually purple basil) for their fragrance in the blessing over spices at the Havdala ceremony at Sabbath’s end. Basil’s wide range of varieties include colors from deep green to deep purple, leaves both serrated and smooth, and varying tastes. The one trait all basil types share is its very distinctive fragrance… there is simply no doubt about it!

Basil Collection

In folk medicine, basil tea is used to treat stomach ailments, and basil abstract is beneficial for skin diseases. A blend of various herbs and basil is prescribed for insomnia sufferers, and eating basil seeds along with the leaves helps strengthen the heart. The etheric oil found in basil leaves boasts many antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal virtues. It contains linalool, methyl chavicol, and eugenol which encourage perspiration and healthy abdominal function, treat respiratory diseases and encourage lactation for nursing mothers. Basil also contains vitamins A and C.

Basil tea (8 leaves to one cup of boiling water) eases a cough, soothes gassy intestines, relieves painful gums and menstrual cramps, and keeps blood pressure balanced. It also lulls to bed those who seek a good night’s sleep.

And lastly – how to store basil fresh:

As stated, basil loves warmth and suffers in the cold, which is why keeping it in the refrigerator under 12 degrees will make it turn black and rot. But since it is a gentle green leaf, it will wilt if simply left on your counter.

Which is why to elongate its life, cut off the bottom of the stems just as you would a flower bouquet, and place the garland in a vase or glass of water (3-5 cm). Place the vase in a well-lit space and cover the leaves in a plastic bag with holes for the first 24 hours. Within a few days the leaves will grow roots which will provide your basil with vitality and keep it fresh for a week or more.

So together with our lovely basil, we wish you all wonderful, fragrant, safe days of summer, full of love and good health.

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and all of us at Chubeza

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Zucchini, lettuce, corn, melon/watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, New Zealand spinach/basil/Swiss chard, okra/yellow string beans/lubia yard-long beans/slice of pumpkin, coriander, eggplant/bell peppers/potatoes, cherry tomatoes.

Large box, in addition: Scallions/onions, parsley, acorn squash/butternut squash/ Amoro pumpkin

FRUIT BOXES: Grapes, apples, mango. Large box, in addition: Peaches. Small box, in addition: Bananas

Wednesday: Zucchini, lettuce, corn, melon/watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, acorn squash/butternut squash/Amoro pumpkin, coriander, eggplant/potatoes, cherry tomatoes. Small boxes only: New Zealand spinach/basil/Swiss chard

Large box, in addition: Scallions/onions, parsley, okra/yellow string beans/lubia yard-long beans, bell peppers/slice of pumpkin.

FRUIT BOXES: Grapes, apples, mango. Large box, in addition: Peaches. Small box, in addition: Bananas

Aley Chubeza #304, August 29th-31st 2016

Summer Fragrance

Summer smells of the ocean and swimming pool and suntan lotion. It carries the fragrance of ripe fruit – melon, figs, grapes, overripe peaches, and more. In our packing house, summer has a very distinct aroma of basil. When the basil-laden boxes stand in the packing house, it is hard to ignore the heady scent wafting above that instantly spurs taste buds into fantasizing on pesto. After some years in which we grew basil and were burned by a host of leaf

blights out to attack and destroy any green leaf in the vicinity, we took a break for a few years. Over the past two years we began growing basil again, but this time more carefully, in smaller beds. This is why it only graces your boxes  from time to time. Today, basil is the aromatic star of this week’s Newsletter.

Basil

Basil is an annual plant. In wintertime, it wilts from the cold. Sometimes it can survive the winter if it happens to be a protected indoor plant. Basil is quite common in such warm areas of the world as Asia, Africa, Southern Europe, and California. In Israel, basil does not grow wild, but is very common as a cultured growth in nurseries, where it grows easily so long as it receives at least six hours of sun each day.

There are various explanations as to its name. Perhaps basil is named after the basilica, an elongated church where lots of basil was grown in its nurseries. Perhaps it comes from the word Basilus, Greek for “king,” a title perhaps earned due to its great medicinal properties. In Hebrew and Arabic, it is Rechan, in praise of its strong fragrance.

Folktales attribute the name to a menacing dragon named Basilia that anyone who set eyes on died a strange death, prevented only by a magic basil potion. To this day, basil is known to be a proven remedy against pesky pests (a tad smaller than dragons….) which is why in Italy and France it is grown on windowsills. An opposing belief held that basil attracts scorpions and their sting as well, which is why it was customary to apply a basil leaf compress to an area in the body stung by a poisonous insect in order to draw the venom from the sting. Basil is planted in combined vegetable gardens in order to attract useful bugs and repel flies and mosquitos. Planting basil alongside tomatoes and asparagus actually improves their flavor!

Basil also acts as a secret partner in romance. When a Sicilian woman removes the basil plant from her windowsill, it is a sign to her lover that he may climb right up to her room. But it also assists love in other ways: in Southern Italy, girls would don a garland of basil in their hair to signify their innocence and attract beaus. There, basil is actually called Bacia Nicola (Kiss me, Nicholas). A Romantic Italian man wishing to display his love would wear a sprig of basil in his lapel. In India, it is a talisman warding off evil from a couple’s fertility, which is why Indian women cultivate basil around their homes and temples.

The Jews of Morocco, Yemen, Algeria and Tunisia use basil plants for their fragrance in the blessing over spices at the Havdala ceremony marking the end of the Sabbath. Basil comes in so many different varieties that I can’t even begin to name them. Colors vary from deep green to deep purple, leaves are both serrated and smooth, and the taste fluctuates as well.

Basil Collection

In folk medicine, basil tea is used to treat stomach ailments, and basil abstract is beneficial for skin diseases. A blend of various herbs and basil is prescribed for insomnia sufferers, and eating basil seeds along with the leaves help strengthen the heart. The etheric oil found in basil leaves holds many antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal virtues. It contains linalool, methyl chavicol, and eugenol which encourage perspiration and healthy abdominal function, treat respiratory diseases and encourage lactation for nursing mothers. Basil also contains vitamins A and C.

Basil tea (8 leaves to one cup of boiling water) eases a cough, soothes gassy intestines, relieves painful gums and menstrual cramps and keeps blood pressure balanced. It also lulls to bed those who seek a good night’s sleep.

Tips

  • Basil leaves can be preserved in two ways: wrapped in a thin towel and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator (just as you would do with lettuce, celery, Swiss chard and other greens) or placed in a vase with water (like you would do with other herbs, mint for example.) If your kitchen is naturally warm, we recommend covering this water vessel with plastic wrap and refrigerating.
  • If your recipe calls for dry herbs, they can certainly be replaced with fresh herbs. Just increase the quantity by three. The dish will be all the more robust and aromatic.

This year we improved our basil crop. In the process, we learned it should be cut low in order to allow it to renew itself from the base of the stem, thus keeping “forever young,” preventing fungus and other diseases from taking advantage of weakness in its aging parts. We grow basil in between our nurseries, covering it with a shade net. This way it enjoys protection of two surrounding nurseries like two angels guarding it on either side.

So together with our nice basil, we wish you all wonderful, fragrant, safe days of summer, full of love and good health. And in keeping with our tradition, we wish our Chubeza staff’s new first graders – Talia, Immanuel, Yoav, and Tama – lots of luck and health, safety and security in their new path. May you always learn with happiness, curiosity and excitement. We love you!

Wishing you a good week and luck with the new schoolyear, or anywhere else you find yourselves in the School of Life,

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Leeks/scallions, coriander/parsley, tomatoes, Thai lubia/lubia, cherry tomatoes, eggplant,  Provence/Tripoli pumpkin slice, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/basil, cucumbers/bell peppers, popcorn, onions.

Large box, in addition: Potatoes, okra, lettuce

Wednesday: Leeks/scallions, coriander/parsley/dill, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant,  Tripoli pumpkin slice, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, cucumbers/potatoes, popcorn, onions. Small boxes: Thai lubia/lubia

Large box, in addition: peppers, okra/corn, Thai lubia/lubia, lettuce/carrots.

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, apple juice, cider and jams 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