Thank you for coming to the Open Day! And now it’s… back to normal!

Happy Acharei Hachagim,

Here at Chubeza, we’re hard at work on a long to-do list of tasks and infinite farming demands. Those of you who visited us on the Sukkot Open Day at Chubeza got a firsthand glimpse at the urgent need for weeding the field. And now it’s finally time to get around to doing that, along with a multitude of autumn seedings and plantings.

We loved hosting and celebrating with you at the Open Day. Thank you for coming! Our daily work on the field is always action-packed, moving from one mission to another, and the Open Day allows us to stop, meet and chat, give you a tour of the field, tell you stories, answer questions and introduce you to the vegetables that call Chubeza their home.

Thank you for coming time and again, introducing yourselves in person, asking questions, showing interest and excitement over the fieldwork, and allowing us to see the beauty of the field through your loving eyes as well. It is our great pleasure (our= the field and us) to receive your compliments on the beauty and flavor of our vegetables. Blushing with pride, we are pleased to see our protegee grow up to be such a source of joy.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped make the Open Day a wonderful success:

*To the Hazel Hill String Band, who delighted us with marvelous music this year as well. The unique connection between the outstanding musicians and the field creates music that fills the heart and helps it soar.

To Neta and Shachar, Bat-Ami’s daughters, and to Bat-Ami’s parents, who in perfect multi-generational timing took up their posts at the Arts & Crafts corners, demonstrating and helping to make beautiful creations out of natural material.

To Gabi, the champion, who rigged up a genuine carriage upon which he transported endless rounds of passengers back and forth to the field, delighting groups of excited kids (and their no-less happy parents) each time anew. These deluxe Chubeza Cart Tours definitely upgraded the day, and were a welcome boon to the crazy autumn heat.

To our extraordinary workers, who toiled before, during and after the Open Day, for erecting the giant shaded structure, organizing the bonfire corner, hanging the directional signs, harvesting vegetables for sale, slicing salad vegetables, preparing dough, baking pittot, transporting equipment to and fro, setting up the activity corners and the Chubeza produce market, and the thousand other small tasks that come with this day. And all this with a shining countenance and a constant willingness to think outside the box and initiate. Truly, we couldn’t have done one iota of this without you Mohammed, Majdi, Ali, Hot, Thom, Montry, Vinai, Nufadol, Yuval, Daphna and Assaf!

To Ofri and Amir from The Mitsasa and Melissa from Mipri Yadeha who were present throughout the day with food and drink stands, all of which reflect their healthy, tasty and wonderfully special homegrown establishments fueled by manual labor of the finest degree.

Last but not least, thanks to all of you, our dear partners along the way, who came once again or for the first time to the Open Day, and as always complimented, suggested new ideas, asked sophisticated questions, and shared your own stories. It is a great pleasure to meet new and familiar faces, to hear actual voices after so much digital communication, to nosh away at a fresh, yummy salad, and to chat amicably. By virtue of your high spirits and continued support, you and others like you make Chubeza’s existence possible. For that, our hearts are filled with thanks!

Best wishes to all for an easy Return to Routine, and a joyous New Year!

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

_____________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

TuesdaySwiss chard/spinach, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant/potatoes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes/tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, mizuna/arugula/tot soi

Large box, in addition: Beets, lubia//okra, leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, mango. Small boxes, in addition: Bananas, pomelos. Small boxes, in addition: Persimmons, green apples

Wednesday: Swiss chard/spinach/kale, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia//okra, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, mizuna/arugula/tot soi

Large box, in addition: Beets, leeks/cauliflower/onions, small radishes/turnips.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, mango. Small boxes, in addition: Bananas, pomelos/oranges/clementinot. Small boxes, in addition: Persimmons, green apples.

October 7th-10th 2019 – Agricultural thoughts

NEW YEARS 5780 – CHANGES IN CHUBEZA DELIVERY SCHEDULES:

DURING THE WEEK OF YOM KIPPUR:

  • Wednesday deliveries will take place on Thursday October 10.

DURING THE WEEK OF CHOL HAMOED SUKKOT, THERE WILL BE NO DELIVERIES, i.e. no deliveries on Monday October 14 or Wednesday October 16.

DURING THE WEEK OF SIMCHAT TORAH:

  • The Monday delivery will be moved to Tuesday October 22.
  • Wednesday delivery (October 23) will take place as usual.

DURING THE WEEK FOLLOWING SUKKOT AND SIMCHAT TORAH, ROUTINE DELIVERY RETURNS!

OPEN DAY:

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza’s field to celebrate our Open Day.
This year’s festive Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, October 17, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed) from 12:00 noon – 5:00 PM.

The Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nosh on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours designed for little feet and curious minds, plus special activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up. (Open to adults as well…)

Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure you check this before heading our way.

Chag Sameach and Shana Tova to all of you from all of us. We look forward to seeing you all!

___________________________________

Over the holiday season, Ish Shel Lechem will not be baking bread, although cookies and crackers are available and may be ordered at any time.

Ido and Carole will resume their regular baking schedule immediately after Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

Happy holidays!

____________________

Pondering the Past Year at Chubeza (Part I)

The New Year is our chance to look back and do our soul-searching with the hindsight vision that was not apparent in Real Time. This Newsletter and the one to come will now give you a glimpse of the review and examination of events-in-the-field which Alon and I have undertaken.

Happily, this past year has been characterized by progress and development at Chubeza. In general, we tend to try out new things, and nearly every year we set out upon new experiments: species we haven’t yet grown, work methods we’ve heard about and opt to attempt, different growing methods and so on. We usually start small with one round of vegetables or a short time span and then draw our conclusions. This year we advanced to the second stage in some of these new endeavors, where positive results gave us the impetus to expand the scope and fine tune the implementation.

One example is our progress in the use of the hothouse. Several years ago, we worked hard to renew and renovate a very old, glum-looking hothouse and carefully learned the various methods of greenhouse  vegetable growth. Next, we constructed a number of tunnels (much smaller than a greenhouse) where we could grow our own tomatoes and cucumbers all year long. We also discovered the advantage of growing other vegetables in these settings over winter (greens, beets, cauliflower and broccoli were some of our newcomers). After new regulations forced us to fence in the entire field in order to separate it from neighboring non-organic fields (which in the past could be done by distance alone), we constructed four new tunnels which also serve as a buffer perimeter, thus gaining growth space and a separation marker at once. The new tunnels are slightly higher than the previous ones, allowing for the superb ventilation that is crucial for growing vegetables in such  structures. At this stage, the first round of tomatoes and cucumbers is approaching ripeness in the new tunnels and we are quite satisfied…

The nice green field with the new tunnels in background

This year we also performed solar disinfection in four veteran growth tunnels. This is the second year we are using the method of loosening the earth, covering it with compost, moistening it and then tightly spreading a plastic cover tucked firmly at the corners to create a vacuum and warm up the earth. This warming results in a disinfection that weakens disease factors within the earth and bolsters its immune system. Last year we attempted this on a small scale by covering only two of the tunnels for two months. Thanks to the successful results, this year we expanded to four tunnels and a three-month growing period. The new solar-fertilized veggies acclimated perfectly, and thus far are free of Pythium (a fatal fungus that can thrive in the earth which causes young plants’ stems to dry up in the closest part to earth). Another fortunate consequence of the solar fertilization method is a general fortification of the earth. At times we encounter weaker areas in the field where growth is slower and lazier for no evident reason, but after cleansing the earth we can actually feel the renewal and strength and the development, even throughout the tunnel. Perfection!

In light of this success, we decided to try cleansing another plot. The scorching summer was nearing its end, but we were willing to enjoy even partial results. We spread a clear cover over the plot at the beginning of September which will remain for a month and a half. Then we will uncover it and plant the autumn yield. We anxiously await the results and a chance to check the veracity of our instinct that a shorter span at the end of summer will prove its value as well.

This year we tried out various new species, including Salanova lettuce, a small, delicate, lovely variety which turned out to be less tasty than the better-known types and thus did not make the Chubeza grade. On the potato front, we grew four species at the end of winter: yellowish potatoes of Nicola and Vitabella varieties, as well as the red Desiree and Delila types. We have known and loved the Nicola and Desiree for years now, but Vitabella and Delila were brand new to us. Unfortunately, the potato outcome across the board was disappointing this year. The plants were thinner with fewer stems (maybe because the bulbs were smaller than usual) and did not achieve their usual standard. Perhaps the cold and rainy weather (gratefully received – except when growing potatoes) upset the potatoes, some of which developed various leaf diseases (including Bacterial speek), and achieved an overall small yield… In summing up the potato situation, we determined that the problems reflected the location in which they were planted, the small-sized bulbs and seeds and the very rainy season. And yet – we’ll try for better luck next year!

Other innovative ideas where it’s too early to measure success: new species in the fall planting – crimped Winterbor kale and the multicolored Swiss chard that yields dark green leaves in various spine colors: yellow, pinkish, light green. Hopefully you will see for yourselves as we move along this season.

Our annual contemplations have not ended. Tune in for our Post-Sukkot Newsletter where we shall continue, plus regale you with stories of Chubeza’s Winter in the Rain.

In the Yom Kippur spirit, I’d like to reshare something I wrote in the past:

Several years ago, a friend introduced me to the “complementary confession” – an alternative or perhaps supplementary addition to the standard “we have sinned, we have betrayed” Yom Kippur confession which accounts for 22 sins in alphabetical order. The supplementary confession is based on beautiful words by Rav Kook: “as there is great benefit to the healing of one’s soul in confessing sins… this holds  true also towards confessions of good deeds which will gladden one’s heart and strengthen his/her good ways.”

In the complementary confession written by Rav Benjamin Holzman, the Rabbi of Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa, each Hebrew letter receives a word of a positive nature, referring to life and deeds. And he is not the only one. Professor Vered Noam, a scholar and Talmud teacher, wrote a confession for adults which not only berates oneself for sinning, but also contains compassion, acceptance and humane, healthy self- observation. Reading these beautiful confessions inspired me to write a Chubeza confession by aleph-bet. So it’s not as well-phrased and refined, more like a salad of thoughts and emotions, as is appropriate for a farmer…

Anyway, here goes:

We have loved the land

Chosen seeds and plants

We trimmed

And thinned out

We smelled the scent of rain

Made sure the earth was moist

We seeded

Furrowed

Tasted

Sat down to take a rest

Bent our backs

Learned to cope (or to accept)

life with a new harmful pest…

We sorted out the produce

Wiped our brows

Told you the vegetables’ tales

Answered questions like “what is this petrified corn”?

We weeded, and weeded and weeded

and scattered compost

We rejoiced

and harvested

Made lists of veggies in the boxes

Delivered the vegetables to you

And thanked the Lord, the earth, the rain and sun. And we thank you for all your love and support. 

אהבנו את האדמה
בחרנו זרעים ושתילים
גזמנו
דיללנו
הרחנו את הגשם
וידאנו שהאדמה לחה דיה
זרענו
חרצנו תלם
טעמנו
ישבנו לנוח
כפפנו גו
למדנו איך להתמודד (ולפעמים להשלים) עם מזיק חדש
מיינו את התוצרת
ניגבנו זיעה
סיפרנו לכם על הירקות
ענינו לשאלות “מה זה התירס הקשה הזה”

עישבנו עישבנו עישבנו
פיזרנו קומפוסט
צחקנו
קטפנו
רשמנו רשימת ירקות בארגז
שלחנו אליכם ירקות
תודות לאל, לאדמה, למטר ולחמה, ותודה לכם, על התמיכה והאהבה.

And just before we part, we happily send congratulations to Saffa and Majdi on the birth of their second daughter, sister to Salame, niece to delighted uncle Ali and of course, granddaughter of the very proud grandpa Mohammed. A hearty mazal tov from all of us!

Wishing you all a good year. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

There’s an abundance of vegetables at Chubeza, so this week you’ll be receiving 12-15 vegetables, including a bundle of delectable greens as our gift!

B’teavon and labriut!

Monday: Red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant/potatoes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes/tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard. Special gift: mizuna/arugula/tot soi

Large box, in addition: Corn/baby radishes/beets, Iraqi lubia/okra, leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, pomegranates, yellow delicious apples. Small boxes, in addition: Kubo (cactus fruit). Large boxes, in addition: Pomelit, kiwi

Thursday: Red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, parsley/dill, New Zealand spinach/tot soi, mizuna/arugula/lettuce, Swiss chard. Special gift: coriander.

Large box, in addition: Baby radishes/beets/potatoes, Iraqi lubia/okra, leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranates, apples, Kubo (cactus fruit). Small boxes, in addition: Bananas. Large boxes, in addition: Kiwi.

!April 29th – May 1st 2019 – Back to Routine, And Thanks for Visiting on Open Da

A slight change in next week’s deliveries in Jerusalem:

Due to Yom Hazikaron, certain deliveries in Jerusalem will be pushed up to Tuesday. Those affected by the change will be informed ASAP.

As for the rest of the routes and days – it’s back to routine!

_________________________________

Gee I, it’s fun to jump back on the Routine train. After days of holidays and vacation, new landscapes and different schedules, what a pleasure to return to our field, brimming with growth. During vacation we toured the country and witnessed the blessing of the wet rain in realms other than the agricultural perspective: the northern rivers are flowing, the south is abloom, and dry springs have awakened from their slumber, gushing with excitement.

As always in this Mid-Eastern region we call home, seasons change abruptly, and the summery spring has now landed full force – the temperatures are rising, the air is drying up in the spring heatwaves and the body is beginning to come to grips with the fact that this is Reality for the next few months.

Though it’s been a few days now, we still enjoy recalling what a pleasant, festive time we had with you on the chol hamoed Open Day at the farm. Our daily work gets so busy that we relish this pause to meet with you, chat, tour the field comfortably (for once, not aiming to check the moisture level of the soil, the growth of new saplings or the progress of leaf blights). Your visits also allow us to see the beauty of our field through your encouraging, loving eyes. Your compliments on the field’s beauty and the flavor of its yield are a true gift, making us blush with pride at our cultivated ‘child’.

We thank all of those who contributed to the success of the Open Day: Gabby the Great who led the setting-up process, lending a hand in every possible way; to Mohammed, in charge of the vegetable stand and sales; to Majid and Ali who managed the refreshments and mingling; to Asaf, Netta and Talia who operated the cooking and craft stands; and of course to all of our other excellent team members who assisted in all the preparations and activities and greeted you warmly: Hott, Thom, Vinai, Montry, Nophdal, and our volunteer, Avi.

Most of the summer vegetables have now been seeded and planted in the field, and the warm weather makes them happily feel at home. Their growth is being hastened, and we have already begun harvesting the first pioneer of spring: the zucchini! This week we bid farewell to the fava bean, cauliflower, celeriac and other winter vegetables who are taking their temporary leave till autumn rolls around.

If you’re wondering when the rest of the spring and summer vegetables are scheduled to arrive, we remind you that you are welcome to check out our harvest schedule, and in preparation for summer veggies to refresh your skills in how to store vegetables during the warm seasons to survive the summer.

The season’s transitions are always accompanied by an excitement for the new round of vegetables we have been pining for since our last encounter, along with some sadness over the (albeit temporary) separation from our beloved winter buddies.  Although perhaps we’ve had enough of some for now, and the time has come to let absence make the heart grow fonder.

We wish you a peaceful and calm back-to-routine time, hoping you are taking it in stride. The mountain of tasks that steadily piled up will eventually decrease – no need to get everything done during the first days of Routine.

May you have a pleasant, summery and joyful week. Drink up! Let your body gradually get used to the heat.

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

_____________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Zucchini, carrots, lettuce, beets/turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, fennel/kohlrabi/potatoes, kale/New Zealand spinach, parsley root, Swiss chard, parsley/coriander/dill.

Large box, in addition:  Cabbage, celery, garlic/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, melon, pomelit, bananas.

Wednesday: Zucchini/potatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets, fennel/kohlrabi/turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, Swiss chard, parsley/parsley root, coriander/dill. Small boxes: kale/New Zealand spinach/cabbage.

Large box, in addition:  Cabbage, kale/New Zealand spinach, celery, garlic/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, melon, pomelit, bananas.

Don’t Miss Chubeza’s Open Day On Wednesday!

Chag Sameach!

We’d like to remind you that on Wednesday we will be holding our Passover Open Day and
we’d be delighted to have you join us!

This year we’ll celebrate inside the Moshav, next to our packing shed. Please check the diredtions.

The Open Day gives you a chance to see where your vegetables are growing, to
get a close-up look at them in the field, and to smell, touch, taste. And of course,
you get the chance to meet us, the faces behind your veggie boxes, as well as
your fellow Chubeza members who create the community that supports local
small agriculture and makes the farm a reality.

We’ll have:

Field Tours: every hour on “the half” – Come wander between the beds, meet
the plants and the stories that accompany their growth. Alon is leading a more
“professional” tour; Bat-Ami’s tour is designed for kids. Tour schedule (more or
less…): 14:30, 15:20, 16:30.
♦ Cooking Corner – We’ll make lettuce veggie rolls (with no rice).
♦ Arts & Crafts Corner – This Passover we’ll be working with nut shells: we’ll make animals and more…

Help yourself to our free veggie-salad stand, and settle back to enjoy the delightful cold water, plentiful shade and fresh air.

Vegetables, fruits and additional homegrown products (Kosher for Pessach) will be available for purchase at our produce stand at the packing shed.

Driving directions here.

Come one! Come all!

See you soonl!
Alon, Bat-Ami and the Chubeza team.

THANKS FOR COMING TO THE OPEN DAY AT CHUBEZA!!!

So, at long last we’re finally back to Routine Life, after months of vacation and balagan. Here in Chubeza’s field, it’s a big relief to finally have a full week where we can plant, sow, weed, pick, fertilize, weed, prune, trellis, weed, weed, and more…….

Those of you who visited us on the Sukkot Open Day got a firsthand glimpse at the urgent need for weeding the field. And now we look forward to getting around to doing it.

But first, it’s time to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped make the Open Day a wonderful success:

 *To Judy of the Hazel Hill String Band, who delighted us with marvelous music this year as well. To be honest, we nearly failed to organize any music at all, since the amazing Hazel Hill ensemble which traditionally accompanies us had previous commitments this year. But Judy the Magnificent would not give up, and recruited two fellow excellent musicians to come fill Chubeza’s air with the sound of absolutely beautiful music. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

*To Neta, Shachar and Talia, Bat Ami’s daughters, and to Bat Ami’s parents, who in perfect multi-generational timing took up their posts at the Cooking and the Arts & Crafts corners, demonstrating and helping to weave palm leaves and to knead one after another piece of clay. You’re the best!!

*To Gabi, the champion, who rigged up a genuine carriage upon which he transported endless rounds of passengers back and forth to the field, delighting groups of excited kids (and their no-less happy parents) each time anew. These deluxe Chubeza Cart Tours definitely upgraded the day, and were a welcome boon to the heavy heat wave that jumped in all of a sudden. As always, Gabi is the master of great ideas who never fails to pull fascinating, joyful surprises from his hat. Thank you Gabi for the idea, the organization and the flawless execution of this new enterprise!

*To our extraordinary workers, who toiled before, during and after the Open Day, for erecting the giant shaded structure, organizing the bonfire corner, hanging the directional signs, harvesting vegetables for sale, slicing salad vegetables, transporting equipment to and fro, setting up the activity corners and the Chubeza produce market, and the other thousand small tasks that come with this day. And all this with a shining countenance and a constant willingness to think outside the box and initiate. Truly, we couldn’t have done one iota of this without you –  Hurray for Muchamed, Majdi, Vinai, Hut, Tom, Montry, and Assaf!

*To Ofri, Melissa, and Carol – from “Tomer & Chamutal’s Apples,” Mipri Yadeha, and Ish shel Lechem, respectively – who were present throughout the day with food and drink stands, all of which reflect their healthy, tasty and wonderfully special homegrown establishments created by manual labor of the finest degree. It was great to have you! Many thanks!!

*Last but not least, thanks to all of you, our dear partners along the way, who came once again or for the first time to the Open Day, and as always complimented, suggested new ideas, asked sophisticated questions, and shared your own stories. It is a great pleasure to meet new and familiar faces, to hear actual voices after so much digital communication, to nosh away at a fresh, yummy salad, and to chat amicably while weaving a bracelet or flattening pita on the sadj. By virtue of your high spirits and continued support, you and others like you make Chubeza’s existence possible. For that, our hearts are filled with thanks!

Best wishes to all for an easy Return to Routine, and a joyous New Year!

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

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: New Zealand spinach, sweet potatoes/bell peppers, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/ potatoes, Thai yard-long beans/okra, mizuna/arugula/totsoi, parsley/coriander/dill, eggplant/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/kale, cherry tomatoes, leeks/onions/garlic.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, peaches, mango, bananas.

Wednesday: 

New Zealand spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/potatoes, Swiss chard/kale, cherry tomatoes/zucchini, mizuna/arugula/totsoi, parsley/coriander/dill, eggplant/onions. Small boxes: sweet potatoes/corn.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, lettuce, sweet potatoes and corn.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocado, apples, pears. Small boxes: bananas/pomelo/lime. Large boxes: mango.