August 8-10 2022 – Mama Edamame

Green soybeans, or “edamame,” have been with us from the very start of Chubeza. I had successfully grown edamame in California, and thought it would be no big deal to grow it here as well. Turns out, we had to endure quite a few years of failed attempts till we were finally able to successfully grow edamame in the Holy Land. Initially, we imported seeds from the U.S. and seeded them over the hot summer months, just as I had done in the States. Success was partial, not amazing. Though the pods were green and beautiful, they only half-filled with the round peas we toiled so hard to grow. Many of the pods remained green, hairy, flat, and painfully – empty.

Hence, we attempted to treat the edamame like her cousin, the green fava bean. We purchased organic soy seeds at the store and tried to plant them, hoping they would yield chubby green pods. The pods were indeed chubbier, but the soy dried up easily and quickly developed a yellowish hue. Even the peas within them aged slightly. After a few unsuccessful years, we opted to give up and take a little break…

Until several years ago, when one of the seed companies suggested we try a better variety of green soy and we decided to give it another chance. Only one or two beds to begin with. We also changed the date of seeding. Turns out that in Israel, green soy prefers to be seeded at the beginning of spring or the end of summer/beginning of autumn. In the past, we aimed for growth at the heart of summer’s heat. We thought that was how they liked it. (Wrong.) Which teaches us a lesson about always reexamining presumptions and impressions. So, several years ago we tried again, but this time we seeded the edamame towards the second half of summer, and surprise, surprise: it grew strong green bushes, yielding green, chubby pods!
The next year, we stuck with this successful new variety, and seeded it in early spring. Since then, we’ve attempted to find seeds every year (they’re not always available) and grow these joyful pods. It is such a beautiful, green and vital vegetable, resembling the green bean, but with different-shaped leaves – rounder and not sharp-edged. Here, see for yourselves:

soy-field

We will be harvesting edamame in bunches, and you will need to separate the pods from the branches, but this is most certainly a worthwhile task.

In China, soy has been considered one of the five most sacred types of grain for some 5,000 years, essential to Chinese culture (together with rice, wheat, barley and millet). It was actually deemed essential by the legendary Caesar Shennong, the divine farmer, considered to be the father of Chinese agriculture. Its origins are in North China, from a wild plant named Glycine Ussuriensis.

The process of soy domestication, probably one of the first crops to be cultivated by man, began around the 11th century BC, both as food and for medicinal purposes. By the first century, soy arrived to South and Central China and to Korea. By the 7thcentury, it could be found in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal and North India. It took till the 18th century to arrive in the West.

It’s fascinating to ponder what this ancient crop had to endure from the time it was grown in Chinese fields over 5000 years ago, mainly to be used as green manure to improve the soil and enrich the earth for future crops. Today soy is also used as glue, dye, synthetic fiber, soap, ink, candles, lacquer, a rubber substitute, and of course, biodiesel fuel. From a sacred and dignified seed to a genetically-engineered, labeled, patented prisoner.

Like corn, almost everything we eat contains soy, from baby formula to the popular soy oil, through meat and fish (soy is one of the components in animal and fish food),  soy flour in various pastries, soy protein in milk substitutes, soy fibers and soy lecithin in virtually every processed food that requires pasting, inflating and “modeling.” It is almost strange to say that food “contains” soy, as in truth it contains various separated components, taken apart and processed to their final drop of protein. Can this actually be called soy? I don’t know. Too philosophical a question for these scorching days… To me it sounds more like amputated, soul-less body parts…

Soy belongs to the legume or Faboidae family, whose distinguished members include beans, peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas (lubia), fava beans and others. At this stage they are picked to begin their final journey, during which they will be disassembled, extracted, bloated, fermented, ground, distilled and submitted to other tortures.

But most of our little soy poles are picked when they are green and still deserving of the title edamame (eda- twig, mame- bean).

edamame-bunch

Soybeans in their natural, original form abound in health benefits: they are rich in protein, containing 60% of the recommended daily consumption (and this protein is similar to that of meat). Such protein is responsible for stabilizing blood sugar levels and aids in reducing the risk of diabetes. In addition, edamame contains vitamins C, A and K, and such minerals as iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is rich in dietary fibers (40% of recommended daily consumption) that can latch onto toxins and cleanse them from the body. Soy contains lecithin, which assists in balancing cholesterol levels and can prevent arteriosclerosis. Lecithin is also an important component for weight loss, as it helps break up fats. In addition, soy contains choline and inositol, elements which improve memory function and the smooth transmission of receptors within the nervous system.

Soy protein also includes sapogenins, renowned for being effective in preventing cancer and cardiac diseases. Edamame is rich in isoflavones, the plant-form of estrogen, and can improve such menopause-related symptoms as hot flashes, heart disease and the loss of bone density, specifically in the spine and thighs. In addition, edamame includes a peptide called lunasin which reduces cholesterol levels in the body by both delaying the production of cholesterol and working to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Upon its arrival to Western World, soy achieved a place of honor in the realm of natural food, and like many trends, became most admired and considered a “health bomb,” and a punch line in cholesterol and tofu jokes. Can billions of Chinese be wrong?

Over the past several years, some controversy has developed between the soy advocates, supported by the good health of Chinese and Japanese (and lots of cash… over 50% of the world’s soy is produced by American companies; over 70% of the products in your local supermarket somehow contain soy) and the scientists who wonder whether so much hormone, even if it is vegetal, is indeed healthy. The latter blame soy for increasing various types of cancer (alongside those it prevents), changes in the function of the thyroid gland, harming fertility and brain activity in men, causing congenital defects and even the early sexual development of girls in Western countries.

Part of the blame is placed on the genetic engineering of the majority of the soy grown worldwide (most of which is intended to bolster soy against various herbicides), and the resulting excessive spraying. Although others claim that the fermentation process most soybeans undergo in the Far East to produce such products as tempe, tofu, miso, etc., actually destroys many of its naturally detrimental components, making it safer for use. The jury is still out on this debate, and the evidence is not conclusive enough to make the call.

And once again I am left to quietly ponder the problems of totality, extremism, exaggeration and wholeness, as I share with you the enjoyment of nibbling on some delicious green soybeans, the Oriental snack, and vote for moderation.

Check our recipe section for some great edamame recipes

Holiday greetings for Tu B’av, taking place this week. May we enjoy many celebrations, love, moderation, happiness, and of course – good health!

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

______________________________________

WHAT’S  IN THIS WEEK’S SUMMER BOXES?

Monday: Red bell peppers/long Ramiro peppers, onions/scallions/garlic, parsley/coriander, slice of pumpkin/zucchini/Thai lubia, New Zealand spinach/basil, eggplant/potatoes, green soy (edamame), Amaro spinach/basil, eggplant/potatoes, green soy (edamame), Amaro pumpkin/butternut squash/spaghetti squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce.

.Large box, in addition: Okra, corn, cherry tomatoes

FRUIT BOXES:  Red apples, mangos, grapes, pears.
Large Box: All of the above, plus nectarines.

Wednesday:  Green soy (edamame), Amaro pumpkin/butternut squash/spaghetti squash, spinach/basil, parsley/coriander, onions/scallions/garlic, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, corn/Thai lubia, Red bell peppers

Large box, in addition: Okra/zucchini, cherry tomatoes, slice of pumpkin

FRUIT BOXES:  Red apples, mangos, grapes, pears
Large Box: All of the above, plus nectarines

[עותק] July 24th-26th 2017

Mama Edamame

Green soybeans, or “edamame,” have been with us from the very start of Chubeza. I had successfully grown edamame in California, and thought it would be no big deal to grow it here as well. Turns out, we had to endure quite a few years of failed attempts till we were finally able to successfully grow edamame in the Holy Land. Initially, we imported seeds from the U.S. and seeded them over the hot summer months, just as I had done in the States. Success was partial, not amazing. Though the pods were green and beautiful, they only half-filled with the round peas we toiled so hard to grow. Many of the pods remained green, hairy, flat, and painfully – empty.

Hence, we attempted to treat the edamame like her cousin, the green fava bean. We purchased organic soy seeds at the store and tried to plant them, hoping they would yield chubby green pods. The pods were indeed chubbier, but the soy dried up easily and quickly developed a yellowish hue. Even the peas within them aged slightly. After a few unsuccessful years, we opted to give up and take a little break…

Until five years ago, when one of the seed companies suggested we try a better variety of green soy and we decided to give it another chance. Only one or two beds to begin with. We also changed the date of seeding. Turns out that in Israel, green soy prefers to be seeded at the beginning of spring or the end of summer/beginning of autumn. In the past, we aimed for growth at the heart of summer’s heat. We thought that was how they liked it. (Wrong.) Which teaches us a lesson about always reexamining presumptions and impressions. So, five years ago we tried again, but this time we seeded the edamame towards the second half of summer, and surprise, surprise: it grew strong green bushes, yielding green, chubby pods!
The next year, we stuck with this successful new variety, and seeded it in early spring. Since then, we’ve attempted to find seeds every year (they’re not always available) and grow these joyful pods. It is such a beautiful, green and vital vegetable, resembling the green bean, but with different-shaped leaves – rounder and not sharp-edged. Here, see for yourselves:

soy-field

We will be harvesting edamame in bunches, and you will need to separate the pods from the branches, but this is most certainly a worthwhile task.

In China, soy has been considered one of the five most sacred types of grain for some 5,000 years, essential to Chinese culture (together with rice, wheat, barley and millet). It was actually deemed essential by the legendary Caesar Shennong, the divine farmer, considered to be the father of Chinese agriculture. Its origins are in North China, from a wild plant named Glycine Ussuriensis.

The process of soy domestication, probably one of the first crops to be cultivated by man, began around the 11th century BC, both as food and for medicinal purposes. By the first century, soy arrived to South and Central China and to Korea. By the 7thcentury, it could be found in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal and North India. It took till the 18th century to arrive in the West.

It’s fascinating to ponder what this ancient crop had to endure from the time it was grown in Chinese fields over 5000 years ago, mainly to be used as green manure to improve the soil and enrich the earth for future crops. Today soy is also used as glue, dye, synthetic fiber, soap, ink, candles, lacquer, a rubber substitute, and of course, biodiesel fuel. From a sacred and dignified seed to a genetically-engineered, labeled, patented prisoner.

Like corn, almost everything we eat contains soy, from baby formula to the popular soy oil, through meat and fish (soy is one of the components in animal and fish food),  soy flour in various pastries, soy protein in milk substitutes, soy fibers and soy lecithin in virtually every processed food that requires pasting, inflating and “modeling.” It is almost strange to say that food “contains” soy, as in truth it contains various separated components, taken apart and processed to their final drop of protein. Can this actually be called soy? I don’t know. Too philosophical a question for these scorching days… To me it sounds more like amputated, soul-less body parts…

Soy belongs to the legume or Faboidae family, whose distinguished members include beans, peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas (lubia), fava beans and others. It takes around four months for the plant to fully ripen, harden, dry up and produce brown seeds that look like this:

At this stage they are picked to begin their final journey, during which they will be disassembled, extracted, bloated, fermented, ground, distilled and submitted to other tortures.

But most of our little soy poles are picked when they are green and still deserving of the title edamame (eda- twig, mame- bean).

edamame-bunch

Soybeans in their natural, original form abound in health benefits: they are rich in protein, containing 60% of the recommended daily consumption (and this protein is similar to that of meat). Such protein is responsible for stabilizing blood sugar levels and aids in reducing the risk of diabetes. In addition, edamame contains vitamins C, A and K, and such minerals as iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is rich in dietary fibers (40% of recommended daily consumption) that can latch onto toxins and cleanse them from the body. Soy contains lecithin, which assists in balancing cholesterol levels and can prevent arteriosclerosis. Lecithin is also an important component for weight loss, as it helps break up fats. In addition, soy contains choline and inositol, elements which improve memory function and the smooth transmission of receptors within the nervous system.

Soy protein also includes sapogenins, renowned for being effective in preventing cancer and cardiac diseases. Edamame is rich in isoflavones, the plant-form of estrogen, and can improve such menopause-related symptoms as hot flashes, heart disease and the loss of bone density, specifically in the spine and thighs. In addition, edamame includes a peptide called lunasin which reduces cholesterol levels in the body by both delaying the production of cholesterol and working to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Upon its arrival to Western World, soy achieved a place of honor in the realm of natural food, and like many trends, became most admired and considered a “health bomb,” and a punch line in cholesterol and tofu jokes. Can billions of Chinese be wrong?

Over the past several years, some controversy has developed between the soy advocates, supported by the good health of Chinese and Japanese (and lots of cash… over 50% of the world’s soy is produced by American companies; over 70% of the products in your local supermarket somehow contain soy) and the scientists who wonder whether so much hormone, even if it is vegetal, is indeed healthy. The latter blame soy for increasing various types of cancer (alongside those it prevents), changes in the function of the thyroid gland, harming fertility and brain activity in men, causing congenital defects and even the early sexual development of girls in Western countries.

Part of the blame is placed on the genetic engineering of the majority of the soy grown worldwide (most of which is intended to bolster soy against various herbicides), and the resulting excessive spraying. Although others claim that the fermentation process most soybeans undergo in the Far East to produce such products as tempe, tofu, miso, etc., actually destroys many of its naturally detrimental components, making it safer for use. The jury is still out on this debate, and the evidence is not conclusive enough to make the call.

And once again I am left to quietly ponder the problems of totality, extremism, exaggeration and wholeness, as I share with you the enjoyment of nibbling on some delicious green soybeans, the Oriental snack, and vote for moderation.

Check our recipe section for some great edamame recipes

Holiday greetings for Id El Adha and Tu B’av, both taking place this week. May we enjoy many celebrations, love, moderation, happiness, and of course – good health!

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

______________________________________

WHAT’S  IN THIS WEEK’S SUMMER BOXES?

Monday: Melon/Amoro pumpkin, lettuce, parsley/basil, green soybeans (adamame)/okra/Thai yard-long beans (lubia), cucumbers, tomatoes, onions/leeks/scallions, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash/slice of Neapolitan pumpkin, eggplant, corn. Special gift for all: New Zealand spinach.

Large box, in addition: Potatoes, beets, bell peppers.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, mango, Anna apples, green grapes. Large boxes contain greater quantities of all the fruits above

Wednesday: Lettuce, parsley/basil, green soybeans (adamame)/okra/Thai yard-long beans (lubia), cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, leeks/scallions, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash/slice of Neapolitan pumpkin, eggplant/parsley root, corn. Special gift for all: New Zealand spinach.

Large box, in addition: Melon/Amoro pumpkin, potatoes/beets, bell peppers.

FRUIT BOXES: Pears, mango, Anna apples, green grapes. Large boxes contain greater quantities of all the fruits above.

July 24th-26th 2017

Summer fruits are ripening in the orchards, and sweet fragrances fill the sultry air. And right along with them, another seasonal fruit is maturing, one that has become a Chubeza tradition: the Shana Ba’gina calendar (“Home Garden”), created by the very gifted Ilana. For those as yet unacquainted, this beautifully detailed and illustrated calendar walks you through the year, describing in pictures and words the annual cycle in your home garden and surrounding nature. Each month introduces the changes in the field and forest, garden and nutrition.

Ilana is a collector, cook, gardener and very talented illustrator. These talents all come to the fore in her calendar, chockful of information, ideas, recipes and fun, accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations. All you need to do is to pick and harvest from the abundant store of information presented.

Now in its third year, the new edition of Shana Ba’gina is, as always, brand new, with new illustrations, innovative professional tips, recipes you haven’t yet encountered and new topics such as growing vertical plants, succulents and cactus and more.

In our family, this calendar has become a permanent resident for the past three years, accompanying us in its colorful beauty every day, bringing the outside world indoors and taking us outdoors as well, changing something about the feverish pace of life to allow a slowing-down, grabbing our attention and steering our glance to new and exciting activities. We highly recommend it.

This year Ilana offers two editions in two different languages: a new “Friends in the Garden” calendar for 5778 with new content, illustrations and recipes, as well as a new and special English edition “The Porcupine Calendar”.

For further details, check out the Shana Ba’gina website.

Prices:

Shana Ba’Gina calendar: 75 NIS each
Two calendars: 140 NIS
Three calendars: 205 NIS
Five calendars: 340 NIS
Eight calendars: 488 NIS
Ten calendars: 600 NIS

You are welcome to make your orders via our order system (under “Chubeza vegetables”). The calendars will arrive during August.

_____________________________________________

Days of Farewell

Manu, our baker par-excellence is relocating to the north, and we must bid her and her talented products farewell.

This week will mark the final week in which Manu’s products will be delivered, and we will greatly miss her.

We are now in touch with various bakers from the area, and hope to be the bearer of good news regarding a new cooperative effort with a local baker as we near the High Holidays.

In the interim, I’m sure I speak for you as well as I thank Manu for years of excellent cooperation, with wonderful baked goods, professionalism and true integrity. We wish Manu, Yoni and the kids a smooth move and integration in Kiryat Tivon, and if you have friends and acquaintances you love – tell them about the wonderful baker moving near them, so others can enjoy her too.

Thank you so much, Manu, and good luck from all of us!

And also – renewing acquaintances:

The Ein Harod farmers are joyfully harvesting their chickpeas, and Hillel brought us a wonderfully fresh stock of excellent organic chickpeas.

If you haven’t yet experienced it, this is a whole new experience to cook with fresh, homegrown chickpeas, nourished from the Jezreel Valley earth, which absorbed the abundant winter rains and then dried up in the summery Israel sun.

I highly recommend giving them a taste, but beware – once you try it, there is no going back. You will no longer be able to eat any other kind of chickpeas….

____________________________________________

 Mama Edamame

The green soy, or edamame, has been with us from the very beginning of Chubeza’s days. I had successfully grown it in California, and thought it would be no big deal growing it here as well. Turns out, we had to endure quite a few years of failed attempts till we were able to successfully grow edamame in the Holy Land. Initially, we imported seeds from the U.S. and seeded them over the hot summer months, just as I had done in the States. Success was partial, not amazing. Though the pods were green and beautiful, they only half filled with the round peas we worked so hard for. Many of the pods remained green, hairy, flat, and sadly – empty.

Henceforth, we attempted to treat the edamame like her cousin, the green fava bean. We purchased organic soy seeds at the store and tried to seed them, hoping they would yield chubby green pods. The pods were indeed chubbier, but the soy dried up easily and very soon developed a yellowish hue. Even the peas within them aged slightly. After a few unsuccessful years, we decided to give up and take a little break…

Until last year when one of the seed companies we work with suggested we try a better variety of green soy, we decided to give it another chance. Only one or two beds to begin with. We also changed the date of seeding. Turns out, green soy prefers to be seeded at the beginning of spring or the end of summer/beginning of autumn. In the past, we aimed for growth at the heart of summer’s heat. We thought that was how she liked it. (Wrong.) Which teaches us a lesson about always reexamining presumptions and impressions. Last year we seeded the edamame towards the second half of summer, and surprise, surprise:  it grew strong green bushes, yielding green, chubby pods!

So we stuck with this successful new variety, and seeded it in early spring (with a reasonable though not exceptional yield), and we are continuing with more consecutive seedings all the way to the end of summertime so we can prolong our edamame enjoyment. It is such a beautiful, green and vital vegetable, resembling the green bean though its leaves are different – rounder and not sharp-edged. Here, take a look for yourselves:

soy-field

We will be harvesting edamame in bunches, and you will need to separate the pods from the branches, but this is most certainly a worthwhile task.

In China, soy has been considered one of the five most sacred types of grain for some 5,000 years, essential to Chinese culture (together with rice, wheat, barley and millet). It was actually deemed essential by the legendary Caesar Shennong, the divine farmer, considered to be the father of Chinese agriculture. Its origins are in North China, from a wild plant named Glycine Ussuriensis.

The process of soy domestication, probably one of the first crops to be cultivated by man, began around the 11th century BC, both as food and for medicinal purposes. By the first century, soy arrived to South and Central China and to Korea. By the 7thcentury, it could be found in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal and North India. It took till the 18th century to arrive in the West.

It’s fascinating to ponder what this ancient crop had to endure from the time it was grown in Chinese fields over 5000 years ago, mainly to be used as green manure to improve the soil and enrich the earth for future crops. Today soy is also used as glue, dye, synthetic fiber, soap, ink, candles, lacquer, a rubber substitute, and of course, biodiesel fuel. From a sacred and dignified seed to a genetically-engineered, labeled, patented prisoner.

Like corn, almost everything we eat contains soy, from baby formula to the popular soy oil, through meat and fish (soy is one of the components in animal and fish food),  soy flour in various pastries, soy protein in milk substitutes, soy fibers and soy lecithin in virtually every processed food that requires pasting, inflating and “modeling.” It is almost strange to say that food “contains” soy, as in truth it contains various separated components, taken apart and processed to their final drop of protein. Can this actually be called soy? I don’t know. Too philosophical a question for these scorching days… To me it sounds more like amputated, soul-less body parts…

Soy belongs to the legume or Faboidae family, whose distinguished members include beans, peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas (lubia), fava beans and others. It takes around four months for the plant to fully ripen, harden, dry up and produce brown seeds that look like this:

At this stage they are picked to begin their final journey, during which they will be disassembled, extracted, bloated, fermented, ground, distilled and submitted to other tortures.

But most of our little soy poles are picked when they are green and still deserving of the title edamame (eda- twig, mame- bean).

edamame-bunch

Soybeans in their natural, original form abound in health benefits: they are rich in protein, containing 60% of the recommended daily consumption (and this protein is similar to that of meat). Such protein is responsible for stabilizing blood sugar levels and aids in reducing the risk of diabetes. In addition, edamame contains vitamins C, A and K, and such minerals as iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is rich in dietary fibers (40% of recommended daily consumption) that can latch onto toxins and cleanse them from the body. Soy contains lecithin, which assists in balancing cholesterol levels and can prevent arteriosclerosis. Lecithin is also an important component for weight loss, as it helps break up fats. In addition, soy contains choline and inositol, elements which improve memory function and the smooth transmission of receptors within the nervous system.

Soy protein also includes sapogenins, renowned for being effective in preventing cancer and cardiac diseases. Edamame is rich in isoflavones, the plant-form of estrogen, and can improve such menopause-related symptoms as hot flashes, heart disease and the loss of bone density, specifically in the spine and thighs. In addition, edamame includes a peptide called lunasin which reduces cholesterol levels in the body by both delaying the production of cholesterol and working to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Upon its arrival to Western World, soy achieved a place of honor in the realm of natural food, and like many trends, became most admired and considered a “health bomb,” and a punch line in cholesterol and tofu jokes. Can billions of Chinese be wrong?

Over the past several years, some controversy has developed between the soy advocates, supported by the good health of Chinese and Japanese (and lots of cash… over 50% of the world’s soy is produced by American companies; over 70% of the products in your local supermarket somehow contain soy) and the scientists who wonder whether so much hormone, even if it is vegetal, is indeed healthy. The latter blame soy for increasing various types of cancer (alongside those it prevents), changes in the function of the thyroid gland, harming fertility and brain activity in men, causing congenital defects and even the early sexual development of girls in Western countries.

Part of the blame is placed on the genetic engineering of the majority of the soy grown worldwide (most of which is intended to bolster soy against various herbicides), and the resulting excessive spraying. Although others claim that the fermentation process most soybeans undergo in the Far East to produce such products as tempe, tofu, miso, etc., actually destroys many of its naturally detrimental components, making it safer for use. The jury is still out on this debate, and the evidence is not conclusive enough to make the call.

And once again I am left to quietly ponder the problems of totality, extremism, exaggeration and wholeness, as I share with you the enjoyment of nibbling on some delicious green soybeans, the Oriental snack, and vote for moderation.

Check our recipe section for some great edamame recipes

________________________________.

Wishing our Majdi hearty congratulations on his birthday and best wishes for the upcoming birth of his firstborn daughter, together with his beloved Saffa. May all go well and joyfully.

After a week of tragedy and upheaval, may we be blessed with calm, safety, and peaceful days for all.

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

WHAT’S  IN THIS WEEK’S SUMMER BOXES?

The recent heatwave literally burned our cucumber bushes, and we are experiencing a cucumber shortage, as is apparent in the entire market these days. This dearth is felt everywhere, but even more in the organic market, and we are finding it hard to purchase supplementary cucumbers to make up for this shortage. For this reason, you will be receiving a smaller quantity than usual in the cucumber department. We hope that our later-planted cucumber bushes will quickly grow and ripen so we can soon restore your usual quantity of bountiful summer juicy cucumbers.

Monday: Coriander/dill, Japanese squash, yard-long beans/okra, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, edamame, melon, lettuce/ New Zealand spinach. Special gift: nana mint.

Large box, in addition: Parsley/ parsley root, potatoes/pumpkin, cherry tomatoes.

Monday: Parsley/dill, Japanese squash, yard-long beans/edamame, okra/cherry tomatoes, cucumbers/peppers/onions, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, eggplant,  melon/potatoes, lettuce/ New Zealand spinach. Special gift: nana mint.

Large box, in addition: Coriander, parsley root/leek, butternut squash/sliced pumpkin.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, 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!

June 26th-28th 2017 – Summertime, and the livin’ ain’t so easy…

Last week, June 22, marked the formal start of summer. We were rewarded with a few days of not-so-hot weather, but this week summer has hurled its scorching heatwaves straight at us.

The livin’ ain’t that easy for the withering potato plants that stood green and erect only a few weeks ago, as summer signals us to pull up the last of them, already. It urges the corn stalks to valiantly stand upright, flying, fighting to fertilize and produce oh-so-sweet cobs. Old Sol is rapidly ripening the cucumbers and fakus, causing the tomatoes to blush furiously. Meanwhile, at the same pace the viruses are quickly spreading to our zucchini, warping the shape of the elder portion of the crop. (Not to worry: these are plant viruses, not human!)

The loquat tree near our packinghouse yielded fruit a while ago, leaving those fruits remaining on the tree to dry and become carved into the branches. The grapes covering the shed by the office are already clustered, heavy and bountiful, winking at us from above as we wait for them to become plump and soft.

The Chubeza team gets very hot by the middle of the day. Our water containers empty quickly, and we remind each other to drink. We all work with long-sleeved shirts to protect us from the relentless sun, and for some time now we have the blower in the packinghouse working heroically to suck out the hot air and slightly cool off the facility. It’s still not oppressively hot, we know, and we’re appreciative of the mild, temperate summer we’ve had till now. And yet, the body that still recalls the pleasure of the cool winter and spring must now get used to the burden of summer. This is why it’s harder for us now than during the peak of the season when were already accustomed to the heat.

This season is full of beginnings, reflected in the changing composition of your boxes. After remaining fairly constant from week to week with only minor changes, it’s time to greet the array of happy newcomers who arrived over the past few weeks. Let’s hear your applause for: The corn! The acorn squash and other squash varieties! The eggplant! The melon! And the watermelon and even the soy bean, signaling our summer makeover! In close proximity, our tomatoes are ripening nicely, along with the okra. Coming very soon: more pumpkins, peppers, yard-long beans, lubia and other happy summer vegetables.

The melons are ripening rapidly, juicy and sweet with a heavenly scent, and they have already graced your boxes. On harvest days our packinghouse is filled with the fragrance of melons. This year we are growing the elliptical pineapple melon, with light orange-tinted flesh.

 

The first watermelons have ripened as well. How do we know? We watch the blackbirds. These intelligent birds are the first to identify good, sweet watermelons. They never touch one that’s not ripe, but they adore plunging their beaks into the sweet ones. For this reason we’ve rushed to cover the watermelon bed with netting to keep out the birds and call off the big watermelon bash they were planning. Stay tuned, coming soon to your boxes! (the watermelons, not the birds…)

The eggplants, too, are ripening slowly, as is their wont. This year we planted our first eggplant bed at the end of March, when winter was still there in full blast. These brave summery fellas are placed in the earth and try to grow and flourish despite the low temperature. Since then, the weather has become warm and summery, and the eggplants have shown their appreciation by turning plump and soft. What a pleasure to harvest summer eggplants again, which absorbed the sunny warmth into their soft skin and show their thanks with their shiny black-purple mane and an absolutely delectable summer savor in your plates. Welcome Mr. Eggplant!

Our tomatoes have begun ripening quickly, and more and more tomato crates are piling up in our packing house. Our first cherry tomatoes were harvested today. They’re still rather large compared to other varieties, but they’re super sweet and taste great! Summer helps them ripen easily. We pick our summer tomatoes red and ripe so they reach maximum sweetness, which is why they are sometimes softer than the winter tomatoes you are used to. Don’t let that bother you – just dig in!

This year we planted six varieties of winter squash and pumpkins, now ripening according to their sizes, with the small acorn squash coming in first. Next in line are the bright orange Amoro pumpkins and the creamy butternut squash. Some of the Provence pumpkins have already turned color and are ready to be harvested, along with a new type we’re trying out this year – round, cute orange pumpkins with edible green seeds (but most of them still need some more time in their royal beds). You’ll get the full pumpkin/squash story in the very near future.

This week we harvest a brand new interesting squash – the squash mashed potato (how cute and tempting is that name?). It’s very white, inside and out, and has a very delicate not-too-sweet taste that combines smoothly with salty fare, and a very unique texture – one that is truly reminiscent of mashed potatoes! This is what it looks like:

Our big Tripolitania pumpkins still aren’t ready, so we’re giving them all the time they need (till midnight, of course, when they turn into royal coaches…).

This year we are adding the green soy, aka edamame, to the beginning-of-summer vegetable collection. Usually we grow it in the throes of summer for a very short period. This year, we are experimenting by seeding it early, at the beginning of May. The first seeds enjoyed the spring weather, not the usual summery heat it is used to, and over time it yielded pods that filled up with chubby peas. Last week we began harvesting bunches of those yummy green pods. We seeded more rounds, testing its ability to deal with various stages of the season. At the end of the season we will be able to report on our results. As a summer tenant, soy beans will be with us all the way to autumn.

And the happiest, most joyful beginning: a brand new beautiful Chubeza baby girl born to Yochai, our loyal Jerusalem delivery person, and his wife Oryn. Some of you will remember Yochai and Oryn from the first welcoming phone call you received as new Chubeza members. We are now overjoyed to greet tiny Yaela with a warm embrace. Much love to Yochai, Oryn, Lavie and Yaela!

These days of beginning are also days of endings – Last week the high school students completed their schoolyear and this week marks the end of the schoolyear for the elementary and kindergarten set. Wishing all the hardworking students a well-earned break and a happy, relaxing summer vacation full of fun.

Shavua Tov from all of us – Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/coriander, acorn squash/yellow beans, lettuce, fakus/cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, edamame, eggplant, potatoes, melon/water melon, corn.

Large box, in addition: Parsley root, butternut squash/Amoro pumpkin, beets.

Wednesday: Parsley/coriander, acorn squash/white winter squash, lettuce, fakus/cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant/green beans, potatoes, melon/water melon, corn. Small box only: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard.

Large box, in addition: Cherry tomatoes/edamame, parsley root, Amoro pumpkin, beets.

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 #310, October 10th-13th 2016

New Year Preparations – Changes in delivery dates over the holidays: 

The Week of Yom Kippur:

  • Monday delivery as usual (October 10th)
  • Wednesday delivery moves up to Thursday, October 13th and the ordering system for that Thursday closed on Monday, October 10th.

During Chol HaMoed Sukkot:

  • There will be no deliveries, thus you will not be receiving boxes on Monday and Wednesday, the 17th and 19hof October.

On the week after Sukkot and Simchat Torah:

  • Monday deliveries move up to Tuesday, October 25th and the ordering system (for that Tuesday) closes on Sunday, October 23rd at 9:00.
  • Wednesday deliveries as usual (October 26th)

Open Day at Chubeza
In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.
The Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, October 20th, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed), between 12:00- 5:00 PM. The Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nibble 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.  (So can the adults…)

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

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

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Oh, The Boxes They Are A-Changing…

9-sep-end-corn

Well, autumn has definitely reached us now. In the morning as we start our workday, and once again at the end of our workday as evening descends, we all don long-sleeve shirts. Harvesting greens in the early morning results in wet hands and drenched shoes, as the leaves are soaked with morning dew. The vivid blue skies now boast glimpses of clouds and migrating birds crossing the firmament, and Chubeza’s young beds – home to brand new plants – fill up with weeds at the blink of an eye…. Moshe’s small citrus orchard adjacent to our office is green and orange with clementines, oranges, pomelos and lemons showing off a yellow cheek.

The Hebrew calendar is at one with the rhythm of seasons. The year renews at a time when everything arises from the dead after a long, scorching summer. A host of new beginnings are now awakening in the field, with plants making their first steps as they send their roots within the autumn earth, sustaining a strong gust of late afternoon wind or a sudden heatwave, yet stubbornly sticking around, determined to settle in their new home. Green, tender sprouts cracking open out of seeds buried in the earth now open one eye, getting to know their neighbors: many strange sprouts, some  veterans of last season still in the same bed, and others which are weeds wildly celebrating their time of the year! Sometimes when you glance at a bed, the first few minutes are a guessing game of what belongs and what does not, what we keep vs. what we pull out. Who by harvest/who by being plucked…

The autumn veggie “early birds” are already here. The sweet potato is now being picked, and last week the good ol’ kale joined us. This week, you’ll be visited by beets and zucchini, with the carrot waiting in the wings. Another vegetable that relocated to autumn is the green soy that will be visiting regularly over the next few weeks. It’ll be a short visit, as we are experimenting with this vegetable this year. After a few hearty attempts at growing edamame in Chubeza’s early days followed by a few unsuccessful years, due perhaps to the variety of soy we grew or maybe to our flawed timing combined with a difficulty in finding good seeds, we decided to give up. But the edamame’s memory lingered…

This year one of the seed companies we work with suggested we try a better variety of edamame, and we decided to give it another chance. Only one or two beds this time, and we changed the date of seeding. Turns out, green soy is more like green beans, preferring its seeding at the beginning of spring or end of summer/beginning of autumn. In the past, we aimed for growth in the midst of summer’s heat. We thought that was how she liked it. (Wrong.) Which teaches us a lesson about always reexamining presumptions and impressions. This time, the edamame which was seeded in the second half of summer grew strong green bushes now yielding green, chubby pods.

soy-field

We will be harvesting it in bunches, and you will need to separate the pods from the branches, but this is most certainly a worthwhile task.

In Chinese culture, edamame has been considered one of the five most sacred types of grain for some 5,000 years, essential to Chinese culture (together with rice, wheat, barley and millet). It was actually deemed essential by the legendary Caesar Shennong, the divine farmer, considered to be the father of Chinese agriculture. Its origins are in North China, from a wild plant named Glycine Ussuriensis.

The process of soy domestication, probably one of the first crops to be cultivated by man, began around the 11th century BC. Soy is both food and a medicinal plant. By the first century, soy arrived to South and Central China and to Korea. By the 7thcentury, it could be found in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal and North India. It took till the 18th century to arrive in the West.

It is amazing to ponder what this ancient crop had to endure from the time it was grown in Chinese fields over 5000 years ago, mainly to be used as green manure to improve the soil and improve the earth for future crops. Today soy is also used as glue, dye, synthetic fiber, soap, ink, candles, lacquer, a rubber substitute, and of course, biodiesel fuel. From a sacred and dignified seed to a genetically engineered, labeled, patented prisoner.

Like corn, almost everything we eat contains soy, from baby formula to the popular soy oil, through meat and fish (soy is one of the components in animal and fish food),  soy flour in various pastries, soy protein in milk substitutes, soy fibers and soy lecithin in virtually every processed food that requires pasting, inflating and “modeling.” It is almost strange to say that food “contains” soy, as in truth it contains various separated components, taken apart and processed to their final drop of protein. Can this actually be called soy? I don’t know. Too philosophical a question for these days of atonement… To me it sounds more like amputated, soul-less body parts…

But everything starts in the green fields. Soy belongs to the legume or Faboidae family, whose distinguished members include beans, peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas (lubia) and others. It takes around four months for the plant to fully ripen, harden, dry up and produce brown seeds that look like this:

At this stage they are picked to begin their final journey, during which they will be disassembled, extracted, bloated, fermented, ground, distilled and submitted to other tortures. Some of our plants in Chubeza will also be left to mature to this dry state, but for an opposite aim: to preserve the seeds and produce seeds for next year, which will be planted to yield more green elevated plants that will grow to take their part in improving the soil. Instead of sophisticated processing, we are preserving the simplicity. Instead of disassembling, we are promoting the wholeness of the plants.

But most of our little soy poles are picked when they are green and still deserving of the title edamame (eda- twig, mame- bean).

edamame-bunch

Soybeans in their natural, original form are abounding in health benefits: they are rich in protein, containing 60% of the recommended daily consumption (and this protein is similar to that of meat). Such protein is responsible for stabilizing blood sugar levels and aids in reducing the risk of diabetes. In addition, edamame contains vitamins C, A and K, and such minerals as iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is rich in dietary fibers (40% of recommended daily consumption) that can latch onto toxins and cleanse them from the body. Soy contains lecithin, which assists in balancing cholesterol levels and can prevent arteriosclerosis. Lecithin is also an important component for weight loss, as it helps break up fats. In addition, edamame contains choline and inositol, elements which improve memory function and the smooth transmission of receptors within the nervous system.

Soy protein also includes sapogenins, renowned for being effective in preventing cancer and cardiac diseases. Edamame is rich in isoflavones, the plant form of estrogen, and can improve such menopause-related symptoms as hot flashes, heart disease and the loss of bone density, specifically in the spine and thighs. In addition, edamame includes a peptide called lunasin which reduces cholesterol levels in the body by both delaying the production of cholesterol and working to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Upon its arrival to Western World, soy achieved a place of honor in the realm of natural food, and like many trends, became most admired and considered a “health bomb.” Can billions of Chinese be wrong?

Over the past several years, some controversy has developed between the soy advocates, supported by the good health of Chinese and Japanese (and lots of cash… over 50% of the world’s soy is produced by American companies; over 70% of the products in your local supermarket somehow contain soy) and the scientists who wonder whether so much hormone, even if it is vegetal, is indeed healthy. The latter blame soy for increasing various types of cancer, changes in the function of the thyroid gland, harming fertility and brain activity in men, causing congenital defects and even the early sexual development of girls in Western countries. Part of the blame is placed on the genetic engineering of the majority of the soy grown worldwide (most of which is intended to bolster soy against various herbicides), and the resulting excessive spraying. Although others claim that the fermentation process most soybeans undergo in the Far East to produce such products as tempe, tofu, miso, etc., actually destroys many of its naturally detrimental components, making it safer for use. The jury is still out on this debate, and the evidence is not conclusive enough to make the call.

And once again I am left to ponder the problems of totality, extremism, exaggeration and wholeness, as I share with you the enjoyment of nibbling on some delicious green soybeans, the Oriental snack, and vote for moderation.

Check our recipe section for some great edamame recipes (Heb)!

Before we part, we owe Majdi belated congratulations (missed due to the holiday flurry) on his marriage to his beloved Saffa two weeks ago. May you enjoy many wonderful years of love and partnership together!

Wishing you all a peaceful and safe week, and joyous holidays. See you at the Open Day!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Coriander/dill/mint (nana), kale/basil, edamame/pumpkin, sweet potatoes/potatoes, cucumbers, corn, New Zealand spinach/ Swiss chard, bell peppers, lettuce, Thai lubia/lubia/okra, tomatoes.

Large box, in addition: Scallions/leeks/onions, beets/zucchini, eggplants.

 

Thursday: Edamame/pumpkin, potatoes/onions, lettuce, coriander/dill/mint (nana), beets/ zucchini/ sweet potatoes,  eggplants/bell peppers, corn, kale/ New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard/ basil, cucumbers, tomatoes.

Large box, in addition: Scallions/leeks, Thai lubia/lubia/radishes, okra/ cherry tomatoes.