DDecember 28th-30th 2020 – Who did you just call a vegetable? Or: what is in your winter Chubeza boxes?

We are delighted to inform you that the Matsesa has launched a limited edition of wintery warm cider with 5.5% alcohol. Choose from three deluxe favors:

  • Apple cider with rosemary, star anise and lavender
  • Apple cider with cinnamon, clove and star anise
  • Pear cider with sage, rose petals and cardamom

Best sipped hot, but also delectable as a cold drink with ice.

You are welcome to add this gourmet delight to your veggie box via our order system and savor every drop…

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Come take a peek at our garden
Parliament of all that grows
The beds so green
Our joyful hearts ardent
Each vegetable raises its head with a flair
And the sweet flower fragrance fills all the air

Moshe Aharon Avigal, from: Kulanu Hever Poalim, anthem of the first School for Workers’ Children in Tel Aviv
(loosely translated by A. Raz-Meltzer)

We do tell you that we grow vegetables in the Chubeza fields. But unlike fruit, where you’re pretty sure what you’re supposed to eat (the part that includes seeds, surrounded by juicy and fleshy matter, and wrapped in a peeling), vegetables are far more confusing since we call almost all edible parts of a plant “vegetables,” sometimes even when they are fruit… I could say that in general, the edible parts are green and fresh, but we refer even to the dry parts (e.g., garlic or onion) as vegetables.

So, this week we shall explore some of the vegetables from this angle: what part of the plant is actually in your box this week?

Let’s start with a short quiz: What plant part is each of the following vegetables:

If you gave a different answer to each picture, you may actually be right. In Chubeza’s winter vegetable boxes we are able to enjoy all parts of the plants, from head to toe or rather from root to fruit. There are roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit and pods. Some I’m sure you can easily recognize, but others are more surprising. Time to embark upon our fieldtrip:

The root of the matter: Usually plants develop their roots underground where they are used to grasp onto the soil and soak up water and nutrients. There are also roots which store food, ventilate or reproduce. The edible roots are almost always storage roots, chockfull of the nutrients that the plants stored within them. Our boxes contain such roots as: Tubers (the thickened underground part of a stem), either sweet like the carrot, beet and sweet potato, sharp like the radishes and daikon, or mildly sweet like the turnip, celeriac or parsnip; Bulbs (the part of the stem that functions as a food storage organ and has thus thickened and lost its chlorophyll) such as the Jerusalem artichoke; as well as onions composed of layers of scales (a modified type of leaf that changes in order to act as a storage organ and has lost its chlorophyll): onion, fennel and garlic.  As mentioned, the roots do not include chlorophyll, the substance responsible for the green color in most parts of the plant. In the absence of chlorophyll, our roots transform into a range of lovely hues: orange, purple, yellow, pink, and white… When we pick roots, we are in fact pulling them out of the soil, sometimes assisted by a pitchfork, while other times (though not always), we cut off the part above the roots: stems and leaves. Once picked, the roots that dwelt in the wet wintery soil are usually in need of a nice soak in the tub before being packed up and delivered to you.

* Perhaps you’re thinking: but wait, what about the potato? Well, Mr. Potato does not belong here because he is not a root! But we’re jumping ahead of ourselves. Patience!

From the root, we ascend to the stem: The stem is the organ that sprouts up from the root, and most leaves sprout from it. The stem’s main job is to transport food from the roots to the rest of the plant parts via its transportation pipes. The root’s secondary role is to uphold the rest of the plant parts, something like a green spine. Our boxes include stems that are also connected to their roots, like the scallion, or stems without leaves, like the celery. Winter-thickened stems are treated respectfully at Chubeza – these are the vegetables who at first glance look like a bulb or onion and are easy to confuse, but they are in fact a thickening of the bottom part of the stem, just above the topsoil. Did you guess it right? Yes, I am referring to the kohlrabi and fennel. Unlike roots, these two are not tugged out of the soil but rather released by being cut away from the strong root connecting them to the earth. If you look closely at the bottom of a fennel or kohlrabi, you can see the actual slicing mark.

Now, it’s time to guess the identity of another distinguished thickened stem which frequents your boxes quite often: It’s hard to realize that this vegetable is a stem, because unlike “regular” stems, this one is an underground thickened stem. The telltale factor is that it did not lose the ability to produce chlorophyll. Though it doesn’t develop within the vegetable as long as it lies dormant in the dark earth, when exposed to the sun it takes on a greenish hue. Have you figured it out yet? Of course, this is the potato! The potato bulbs develop from underground thickened stems, and as mentioned, the potato’s greenish hue is a sign that chlorophyll is developing upon being exposed to the light, because after all, it is still a stem…

Keep on climbing, and we reach the leaves: Leaves are in fact the mouth of the plant, which it uses to “eat” light and thus create energy via photosynthesis. Leaves usually sport a shade of green (but not always) due to the chlorophyll, that same pigment which helps to carry out the photosynthesis, and water+CO2+light result in sugar, i.e., energy. Chlorophyll (from Greek: khloros: pale green; phyllon: leaf) could be translated ‘the green of the leaves.’ The smooth leaf which connects the leaf to the stem is termed ‘petiole,’ while the body of the leaf is the ‘lamina.’ Within the lamina are veins whose job is to transport nutrients to the leaf: In the center you can identify the Midvein that splits sideways into smaller (secondary) veins. There are many leaves in your winter boxes, in various shapes and uses. The small or tiny leaves of the parsley, dill and coriander are used for seasoning. Slightly larger leaves like tatsoi, bok choi, mizuna, arugula or lettuce are usually designated for salads, and huge leaves that can sometimes cover the entire length of the box and more, like Swiss chard, kale and spinach, are generally cooked.  But there is one more serious leaf vegetable in your box that may look a little different because its leaves are not flat: the cabbage. At a certain point in its growth process, the leaves begin to grow inwards creating a ball-shape, with more and more leaves growing inside this ball and compressed within to create the cabbage head.

The next stage in the plant’s development, after it sprouts a stem and leaves above and sends its roots deep down under, is the blossoming. The flowers are the plants’ reproductive organs – they create the reproductive tissues (the male Stamen and the female Pistil), and summon the rendezvous between the reproductive tissues within the flower or other flowers. Ultimately, they are the substrate on which the seeds are created, allowing the continuity of the plant world by disbursing its offspring and expanding the area of its growth. The Pedicel connects the flower to its stem, while at the base of the flower is the Receptacle upon which the organs of the flower are arranged. When there are an abundance of tiny flowers crowding together on a receptacle, we call it a flower head (or pseudanthium).

Your winter boxes host two beloved flower heads: the cauliflower (as evident in its name in many languages) and broccoli (that resembled an arm or branch to the name givers, who granted them the less illustrious title). We eat them when the flower is closed, before it has developed and opened up, but if you allow the broccoli or cauliflower to continue growing, they will develop the very many small flowers grouped together in the head and a beautiful bouquet of Cruciferae flowers will grow from the center.

The next stage of the growth is fruit. To be honest, if we only ate vegetables in season, winter would not be the time to discuss vegetables that are fruit, as winter is slow and growing takes time and progresses slowly. Fruit – the highlight of the plant ­– arrives at the end of its growth. After the stems and leaves grew, a flower developed and fertilization occurred, and the seeds developed and matured, a juicy, nutritious material often develops around them wrapped in a peeling. Most of these vegetable delights are berries (moist and juicy flesh; containing more than one seed with a thin, flexible outer layer) and they grow in the summer: eggplant, pepper, squash and pumpkins, melons, watermelon, fakkus, zucchini and others. Which is why they do not come to visit during this time of the year (we said our final goodbye to the pumpkin this week). But two of them actually grow here year-round and enjoy a growth spurt in wintertime thanks to our growth houses: the cucumber and tomato, the royal couple of the Israeli vegetable salad (but now we know that it is in fact a fruit salad…).

Aside from the juicy, fruity vegetables, there is one very special family in our field whose offspring are also fruit, but of a different kind. The legume pods boast distinguished representatives in springtime, summer and autumn: green beans, black-eyed peas and edamame. But they are well-represented in wintertime as well with peas and fava beans. The green legume pods are a very unique vegetable-fruit because they lack juicy flesh surrounding the seeds, but sport instead an elongated pod in which the large seeds are laid out Indian-file.

The great variety of the wintery vegetable garden and your boxes is a stark reminder of nature’s wise diversity: the plant parts are versatile, as are the various stages of development, different strengths, varied colors, shapes and characteristics. The content of your boxes must always be different, varied and pluralistic in order to be plenty, to allow life and be sustainable.

May we learn more from nature in 2021: how to embrace difference, variety, and multiplicity, and how to grow along with them.

Wishing you a good week in which we will bid farewell to this strange and confusing year. Let’s hope for a new year that is just a little more boring….

Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

(Quiz yourself! Which part of the plant is each vegetable in your box?)

Monday: Swiss chard/kale/mizuna, lettuce, daikon/baby radishesbroccoli/cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, turnips/beets/kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichokes/peas/cabbage/fennel, coriander/parsley/dill, carrots, sweet potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Celeriac/celery, onions or a bundle of new onions, spinach/totsoi/arugula.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, clementinas, red or green apples/kiwi, pomelit/pomela/ oranges, bananas.

Wednesday: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach, lettuce, daikon/baby radishes/kohlrabibroccoli, cabbage/cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, turnips/beets/fennel, coriander/parsley/dill, carrots, sweet potatoes/potatoes/a bundle of new onions .

Large box, in addition: Jerusalem artichokes/peas, Celeriac/celery, winter spinach/totsoi/mizuna/arugula.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, clementinas, red or green apples/kiwi, pomelit/pomela/oranges, bananas/lemons.

December 14th-16th 2020 – To see the light

…for a moment I could run,
Like a feather on the wing
of a bird in flight
And I was able to climb high
To see the light

Barak Feldman/Asaf Amdursky/Efrat Gosh

Last week we were able – just for a moment – to be like a feather on the wing of a bird and gaze over Chubeza’s fields from above! Eyal Fischer, one of our very loyal delivery people (responsible for bringing veggies to dozens of homes in Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Biqat Ono and Tel Aviv ) photographed Chubeza from on high.

Aside from working with us, Eyal is also a veteran photographer whose camera has captured photos for the press, architecture, advertisements, art and more. In all honesty, his first visit here several years before he joined the Chubeza team was as a photographer for a food magazine who came to do a feature on us. Last year, Eyal mastered the art of drone photography and now specializes in this field. Last week, it took our breath away when we saw how beautiful the fields look from above.

We’d like to share our excitement with you, so here it is: Chubeza from a Bird’s (and drone’s) Eye View. Thank you, Eyal, for this privilege to see things in a new light and from another angle.

 

Our fields – This is where it all begins:

A look to the east – from the growth houses to 3 sloping field plots and the Jerusalem Hills:

 

Northwest: working in the field. In the background: Kfar Bin Nun and the Tel Gezer Hills:

 

Southwest – the fields and growth houses. In the distance: Hamaginim Forest

The packing house north to south: bottom right – the office and workers’ living quarters (greenery-topped roofs), to their left a small clementine orchard, the packing house and surrounding plots.   

 

Packing house – north: this is where we pack your boxes on the delivery cars and send them on their way to you!

So, although we couldn’t host you in the field this year, thanks to Eyal we were able to send a stunning virtual embrace, in honor of Chanukah.

To contact Eyal, call 050-5278012.

May we have a bright Chanukah and lovely week,
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Spinach/totsoi, lettuce/arugula/mizuna, slice of pumpkin/broccoli/lubia Thai yard-long beans, beets/fennel/kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, turnips/baby radishes/daikon, cabbage/cauliflower/Jerusalem artichokes, coriander/parsley/dill, carrots, sweet potatoes.    

Large box, in addition: Scallions, celeriac/celery, Swiss chard/kale.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, oranges/pomelit, bananas, clementinas, red apples/kiwi.

Wednesday: Lettuce, slice of pumpkin/Jerusalem artichokes/lubia Thai yard-long beans/snow peas, beets/kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage/broccoli/, coriander/parsley/dill, carrots, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard/kale. Small boxes only: baby radishes/daikon. A special gift for all: Arugula/mizuna/totsoi  

Large box, in addition: New Zealand or winter Spinach, fennel/turnips, scallions, celeriac/celery.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, oranges, bananas, clementinas, red apples/kiwi.

November 2nd-4th 2020 – Old Friends (Sat in their Orchards like Bookends)

Strong Friendships

Today our vegetables take a step back to make room for our friends. As life moves back to normal, there’s lots of new excitement in our Additional Local Products section. This Newsletter is thus dedicated to introducing you to the extraordinary cottage industry owners who produce and maintain these products for us.

We are big believers in direct contact between consumers and manufacturers, and in the value of being close to those who grow and develop our food. Over the years, a number of small and medium-sized manufacturers from across the country who create quality products from excellent raw materials have become members of the Chubeza community. They are all masters of simplicity – no preservatives or additives needed.

Wandering among the additional products which may be added to your Chubeza boxes is a sensual experience and a journey from one end of the country to the other. Among the myriad of colors, flavors and fragrances, you will find organic flour ground in Hadera; breads baked in Ganaton, goat cheeses from Tal Shachar; honey from the Golan Heights; gluten-free bread from Emek Hefer; vegan cookies baked in Ashdod; scrumptious Tahini from Netiv Halamed-Heh; olive oil, hummus, teff seeds, organic almonds and honey from Ein Harod in the Jezreel Valley; date honey, juices, olives and health bars from Neot Smadar in the southern Negev; sprouts from Achituv; dates from Kibbutz Samar in the southern Arava; tahini and coffee hand-ground at Karmei Yosef; Olive oil from Rotem, unique raw vegan products from Beit Shemesh; organic crackers and gluten-free crackers from Kfar HaNasi in the northern Galilee, and juices, jams, apple cider and vinegar from the hills of Jerusalem.

These products and information about their manufacturers appear in our online order system, where you can get to meet each of them in the Additional Products category. They will be delighted to have direct contact with you and are happy to tell you about themselves and the products, answer your questions and explain how they work. Sometimes you can even visit them for an on-the-scene glimpse of how and where they produce these distinctive, outstanding products.

Well then, what’s new?

Samar Dates

Our beloved Samar dates are back for another sweet season. Among the delectable date grown in the southern Arava kibbutz are:  Barhi honey (small, soft and super-sweet) that earned the endearing nickname “The Toffee Date”; Dekel Nur (elongated and drier with a gentle sweetness) and Zahidi dates (big and round). This year Samar is also offering Madjhoul dates (big and juicy) –great news! Another Samar novelty is the new small, lovely packages they are offering of 1, 2 or 5 kg (except for Madjoul that for now will only be sold in 1 kg packages). Details and prices in our online order system. Enjoy!

Neot Smadar

From the southern Arava, we make our way to the Shizafon intersection that lies not far from Kibbutz Neot Smadar, a unique place full of so much goodness. Enjoy the yield of their orchards – Madjhoul dates and amazing Madjhoul date honey; fresh, natural juices from the Deep South, olives and fruit-based health bars. All these delicacies have lately been joined by Tapenade – an incredibly delicious olive spread. Lastly, Neot Smadar’s yummy grape juice is joined this week by grapefruit juice! Enjoy!

Shorshei Zion

From the south, we now climb to the city of Beit Shemesh, where in a small factory in the old industrial section, Eliezer and Sarah-Roze make unique raw vegan foods: crackers, buckwheat gRAWnola, desserts and chocolates, as well as almond and walnut spreads which joined their veteran spread friends: cashew spread, hazelnut spread, almond spread, pumpkin seeds and lately also pistachio spread. Definitely worth a delicious taste!

The Matsesa

Not far from there, at the top of the hills, Tomer’s Matsesa uses leftover fruits from Kibbutz Tzuba’s orchards to produce juices, alcoholic cider, jams and excellent apple cider. After a long wait for our beloved apple cider that took its time fermenting and souring – it’s back! I highly recommend getting to know them even by ordering a 250 or 750 ml bottle.

And just so you can see the astonishing myriad of additional deliciously healthy products made from high-quality raw materials and the daily labor of good, diligent people, to make your heart jolly and your table merry during these complex days, take a peek:

We believe in a direct connection between the manufacturers and consumers – to deepen consumers’ knowledge in the way these distinctive products are made, and offer a plethora of natural, unprocessed food, additive-free, as a healthier alternative to the consumers, producers and environment. This direct interaction contributes to the development of small, independent and local cottage industry manufacturers. During these crazy days, the importance of locality and direct contact is all the greater.

The change in season also brings about a change in our staff: after many, many years together, this month we bid our farewell to Ali, Hoth and Thom. Ali worked with us for eight years, over which he taught himself Hebrew and took part in packing up the boxes. Ali has embarked on a new path and just as he was standing at the threshold, he was able to greet a beautiful new baby with his wife Jihan. (Mazal Tov to Saba Mohammed and Uncle Majdi!)

Hoth and Thom are returning to their home in Thailand after working with us for six years. Our appreciation of their diligence and determination is combined with the understanding of the difficulty of leaving your home in order to live some years in a faraway country. We wish them both the greatest of luck. May they have a good journey home, and an easy reintegration into Thai life.

At the other end, we are happy to greet out new workers: Santi and Sa’ah, who joined the Thai workers team, both wearing smiles and working meticulously, and Einat, who after volunteering here for some years has now joined as a full member of the team. Welcome everyone! May we enjoy many years of fruitful labor and mutual growth!

Our warm wishes go out to the 1-4th grade students as they embark upon a known-yet-unknown routine, and to all of you who made your way back to work this week. May we all be blessed with gentle and good “routine” life as we are showered by blessed rains!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday:  Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, lettuce, bell peppers/eggplant, turnips/kohlrabi/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley/dill/ basil, zucchini/carrots/onions, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: okra/lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichokes.

Large box, in addition: Celery, cabbage/corn, arugula/mizuna/bok choy, baby radishes/daikon/ potatoes.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, apples, bananas, oranges/pomelit/clementinas

Wednesday:  Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, lettuce, bell peppers/corn, eggplant/potatoes, turnips/kohlrabi/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/onions, zucchini/carrots, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: Celery/scallions.

Large box, in addition: Parsley/basil, cabbage/baby radishes/daikon, arugula/mizuna/bok choy, okra/lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichokes.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, apples, bananas, oranges/clementinas

October 12th-14th 2020 – Here Comes Autumn

Autumn / Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.


Winter fruit has taken its place in your fruit boxes, with an assortment of delicious pomegranates, apples, pears, bananas, avocadoes and plenty of citrus. What’s even better is that the price of winter fruit is much lower than summer fruit, allowing us to assemble an impressive fruit box for less.

Beginning this week, the price for a box brimming with luscious fruit is 70 NIS! (One-size boxes)

May we have a sweet, pleasant sweet autumn!


The Rose is Out of Town

The holidays are now behind us, including the Harvest Festival of Sukkot. The days are growing shorter, the nights are extending, and the heat of the day gradually lessens.… In our field, Sukkot is a holiday of transformation from summer to autumn. Our tradition at Chubeza is not to deliver vegetables during the week of Chol Hamoed, but rather have you come to visit us on Open Day. Usually, we devote the time that frees up (from harvesting, packing, delivering, etc.) to all sorts of maintenance projects in the field, those that are always being put off due to the busy autumn planting schedule. Mainly weeding, weeding, and weeding. The vegetables, too, are happy to spend the whole week growing in peace, without being constantly tugged and pulled at.

This week is the one in which we cross the threshold from the End of Summer into the Autumn vegetable-boxes. True, you started getting cooler-season vegetables even before the holiday: sweet potatoes, baby greens, Swiss chard (returning after a short break), and carrots. But mainly, the feeling was that the boxes don’t change much from week to week, accompanied by their familiar, constant summer soundtrack: corn, bell peppers, okra, lubia, eggplant and pumpkin. Over the next weeks, once the vegetables have rested and grown, more young and fresh autumn vegetables will be joining, including radishes, arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, beets, Jerusalem artichokes, celery, turnips and more… Little by little, the small, delicate stems turn the page for us from summer to autumn. What joy!

Usually, the post-Sukkot newsletter is filled with thank you’s to the many people who worked hard to make the Open Day a success… But this past year has been strange in so many different ways. Among other global catastrophes, we at Chubeza went through a whole year without seeing you at our Open Day. A whole year without a visit from you, without celebrating nature’s constant, soothing rhythm together with you. And our charming vegetables did not get a chance to show off their beauty in their natural habitat. How we miss the Chubeza Festival and its joyous air of celebration!

For now, our days in the field are jam-packed with one chore after another: planting, seeding, weeding, fertilizing, trellising, spreading plastic covers or nets, fixing the irrigation, preparing lists, making phone calls and writing emails, harvesting, packing, delivering…. On Open Day we relish the chance to meet you in person, see for real the people behind the names on the stickers, and take you for a stroll around the field for an exciting close-up view of the vegetables. This year we had to forgo this traditional togetherness, and our hearts ached. Not an easy year for anyone…

Our vegetables, too, were not happy at all about this cancellation. We just happened to eavesdrop on a conversation between them as they discussed… well, you! (We included this personal message from Chubeza vegetables in last week’s newsletter, but I think it may have gotten a little lost.)

Thank you to my very own dubbers of the Sorek-Dancziger household, and a thousand thanks to the one and only Aliza who helped create this cute message from us.

We wish you a great week, one in which we gently see our way back to routine, activity, movement. And one last panoramic glance at the field being weeded away…

From all of us at Chubeza


WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday:  Basil/Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, lettuce, corn, arugula/mizuna/totsoi, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers/zucchini, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley/dill, eggplant/potatoes, sweet potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Baby radishes, lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra, leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Green apples, pears, pomelit, pomegranates.

Wednesday: Swiss chard/arugula, lettuce, corn/potatoes, New Zealand spinach/totsoi/bokchoi, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: eggplant/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: Baby radishes, lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra/Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, basil/dill.

FRUIT BOXES: Green or red apples, pears/avocado, orange/pomelit, banana/pomegranates.

May 25th-27th 2020 – On the Road

Bukra fi Mishmish
Good news from Mipri Yadeha: “Absolute Apricot” leather is back! – and like all MY products, made with love from only Israeli fruit with no additives whatsoever (no added sugar, preservatives, coloring or even water). Just 100% natural goodness.
In the family of fruit, apricots stand out as having a particularly sudden and quick season. The expression in Arabic, “Bukra fi mishmish,” means figuratively, “Anything is possible,” just as one morning we awake to the seemingly impossible appearance of suddenly ripe apricots.
So, in the spirit of joyful surprises, miracles great and small, such as back to school, a renewal of health, peace among people , we wish all bukra fi mishmish, may we wake in the morning to a world of ________ and without ______ (fill in yourselves).
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People with a mission

We share with you a great deal of news about work in the field: cultivating the land, selecting crop varieties, growing the vegetables, braving the gamut of weather extremities – in short: the life of a farmer. But we don’t usually shift our gaze to that crucial link that connects our field and your dinner plate: our loyal delivery people, bringing our vegetables to your doorstep, come rain, shine, corona, or more. Deliveries are the type of tasks we tend to offhandedly dismiss, but there is something so incredibly meaningful and important about this mission: connecting people, waiting for a response, bringing joy to individuals and families. This week I will tell you about the delivery team we are blessed with at Chubeza, using the Newsletter as a means to bring our delivery people to your door….

In the field, we conduct the activities at hand in our own little inner circle, whilst during packing and delivery we face the exterior: you. Suddenly movement becomes less and less circular, extending its arms like a starfish to the various   directions. On harvest days, our delivery team gathers one by one in friendship, organizing their daily tasks, exchanging thoughts and suggestions, marking the boxes and helping one another load them onto the cars. And then, when all the boxes are safely in place, they each set off on their appointed routes to deliver the boxes to your homes.

Our delivery crew includes men of differing ages, hailing from various places and an array of pursuits: some devote their entire week to deliveries, while others are involved in quite different lines of work as well. Some live nearby Chubeza, while others are a long way from home. There are veteran workers who have been with us for years, and others who just recently joined us. This week, let us introduce you to them all:

North and East crew: Chubeza’s team in the Jerusalem-Modi’in area

Dror, the veteran of the group, is family (Alon’s brother), thus he has been with Chubeza for many years from the very beginning. The father of 9, he lives in Charish. Many of you know him beyond his deliveries to Modi’in, Jerusalem and the outskirts of Jerusalem, as being in charge of clients. The voice behind our phone and emails, Dror is the loyal caretaker of your requests, references and questions.

Ziv, too, mans the Jerusalem-Gush Etzion route. He lives in Teko’a, father of 4, who began as a veteran client of Chubeza (many years ago.) Aside from his work as a deliveryman, Ziv is a musician, drummer and singer who performs throughout the entire country. Plus, he lectures and facilitates groups on the vast topics of interpersonal relationships, listening and being present. Music is also a tool he uses to treat at-risk teenagers.

Ziv on his experience as a delivery person: Our home champions additive-free food, and we actually started our relationship with Chubeza as clients, enjoying the delicious vegetables for years… It is a great privilege to take part in this providential endeavor, being of service to people who support these values and enjoy the fine products. When I deliver, I leave the box by the door and move on, but when we encounter clients, my heart is warmed by the smiles and mutual appreciation!

On Wednesday, Jerusalemites are joined by another musician Matan, father of 3 who lives in Jerusalem. Matan is a drummer and producer of Simchat Ha-Ketsev (‘The joy of rhythm’) drumming circles and activities for children and youth. In addition, he sings and preforms at Nigun Mechuvan (‘The Tempered Tune”). Some of you may remember him from fun drumming circles he conducted on Open Days at Chubeza. Matan is the ‘greenhorn’ of our delivery people, joining only several months ago yet fitting in instantly with expertise and devotion.

South and West team – Our people in the coastal plain

Alon (a popular name for Chubeza staff) from Mesilat Zion has been working with us for almost 14 years, over which we saw the birth of his 3 children… Having started out in the field, he is well-acquainted with the story of each vegetable from seed to harvest. Like all our field workers, his blood and sweat are interwoven in the clumps of Chubeza soil. For some years now, Alon has been teaching agriculture and sciences for special ed. Students, and today he works with at-risk teens at the Tafnit school. We are graced by his presence on Mondays as well when he arrives to distribute boxes to the Rishon Letzion, Rechovot and Mazkeret Batya areas.

Eyal is a proud father of 3 boys and a girl, all grown up, who lives in Gan Yavneh and is a professional photographer. After many years of working as a photographer in various areas of journalism, he now focuses on agricultural photography and aspires to become a drone photographer. Aside from this vocation, he also delivers from organic farms, and brings Chubeza products to the Ono Valley, Tel-Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givatayim.

Eyal: when I was offered this job, I must admit I did not know what I was getting into. I was surprised to discover that the mission of delivery is indeed a mission in many ways. Delivery days begin very early in the morning.  I arrive at Chubeza refreshed, load the chockful-of-fresh-veggies boxes, make sure I have everything, and set off on my way while the car fills with the scent of fresh vegetables that follows me throughout the day. I enjoy working hard in the service of values and human beings, and the deliveries keep me in shape. I am happy to be the link between the organic farm and the people at home.

The road to Tel-Aviv also belongs to David, who resides in Rechovot and is father to two cute little kids 😊. David has been with us for approximately two years, but has been in the organic vegetable delivery trade for over 10 years. He works for various farms, and his many years on the road have led to a wealth of fascinating experiences.

I love deliveries, and feel there is more to it, a satisfaction I feel by being able to deliver a box of health to a client, at times against all odds.

Another driver who constantly drives into the city is Lev, our Monday and Wednesday man who delivers vegetables to Tel Aviv and Herzliya. Lev is our baby, 31 years old, living in Netanya. Aside from deliveries, he works as an advertiser and in gift branding. In his spare time, Lev enjoys water sports and is an avid lover of nature – a social activist for environmental issues.

Our fourth delivery person to the big city, on the south Tel Aviv- Jaffa route, is Netanel, father of Yair and Yehonatan, who comes to us from Modi’in Ilit. He works five days a week in deliveries, dedicating one of them to Chubeza…

Netanel: I love hearing the words “Yay! The vegetable person is here!” or “Yay! The box of surprises has arrived”! It is heartwarming to know that you make people happy with your deliveries, especially during the Corona season when the roads were devoid of cars and the streets bereft of people, and you know you were bringing food to clients who may not have ventured out to buy it themselves.

Our vegetables do a great job of growing and ripening in order to be ready for harvest and packing (and like good parents, we try to help by not interrupting them.) But all this beauty and goodness would be worthless without our excellent delivery staff bringing it straight home to you. It is truly not a given that we have been able to form such a responsible, intelligent, serious and joyful group. Their assistance and encouragement of each other, their patience with us when packing is delayed or they’re held up by tardy milk products or sprout delivery, or asked to unload half of the already-loaded boxes when we discover we forgot to add parsley… Their thoroughness in correcting inaccurate addresses or entry codes, or finding a magical solution to opening locked entrances. Their efforts to bring you the vegetables, enduring physical exertion, even at times of glitches or problems, and sometimes, as mentioned above, against all odds. Neither rain nor heat nor gloom of Corona stays these couriers from their duties, and in our name and yours we extend our full appreciation and thanks.

On a technical note – during corona days, some of you asked us how to leave a tip to your delivery person via credit card, and we finally came up with a solution. You can now add a tip to your deliveries on our order system page (under the vegetable boxes and fruits), and we will make sure to pass these on.

Best yet – greet them face to face with a good word and a smile. They deserve it!

May we have a good week, and happy harvest holiday!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and the whole Chubeza team at the field and on the road

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Tis the season of Fakus! We promise to write about this amazing vegetable, but in the meantime – for those of you who received Fakus instead of cucumbers – how to tell the difference between Fakus and zucchini: check its stipe (the part which was connected to the plant). If it is wide and starshaped like a zucchini, well… it’s a zucchini, while if its slight and willowy like a cucumber – say hi to your buddy, Fakus.

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Zucchini, potatoes, carrots, beets, fakus/cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkin/butternut squash/acorn squash, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/kale, parsley/ coriander/dill, lettuce, scallions/garlic.

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/celeriac, bell peppers/melon, yellow string beans.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, peaches, applesLarge box, in addition: Cherries

Wednesday: Zucchini, potatoes, carrots, beets, fakus/cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley/dill, lettuce, bell peppers/melon, scallions/garlic, yellow string beans/cherry tomatoes.

Large box, in addition: Pumpkin/acorn squash, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, coriander.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, peaches, apples/nectarinesLarge box, in addition: Cherries.