December 6th-8th 2021 – A NEW LEAF

A poster published by the Teachers’ and Kindergarten Council for the JNF. The poster was designed by Iza Hershkovitz and quotes a poem by Levin Kipnis (from the National Library collection)

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This past several weeks, we began harvesting new greens that we’ve been pampering in our net house. In Israel they are marketed as “baby greens” (a mesclun mix) because they are young and tender. Besides being low-calorie and high in nutrition, they are truly delicious, a perfect nosh, great in salads, in your sandwich and even stir-fried (but very lightly).

Here they are:

Growing these specialty greens requires much precision: they grow very fast, and we have to grow them clean, i.e., prevent the greens from getting mud-filled, as they are not to be washed till just before you use them. On the other hand, we cannot wrap up and send you muddy baby greens, especially since they’re so small, and it doesn’t make sense to perform a general cleaning. In the past we attempted to grow such greens as mizuna, cress and others, but only the arugula and the tatsoi survived. And we started growing even those as full-sized greens, not the “mini” varieties. Apparently, the open field is not the place for young greens…

But several winters ago, things changed. We built a net house, whose raison d’etre is to open up growing options which did not exist in the past: growing summer tomatoes over a longer season and with greater success (open field tomatoes are quickly damaged by diseases and viruses, and their season is very short), and growing cucumbers and zucchini in the summertime, protected from the nasty fly and other insect-transmitted viruses. Over time, we have discovered that other crops enjoy the comfort of protection provided by the net house, be it because of warmer temperatures in wintertime or some shade in the summer. The net house protects against insects that nibble on the young plants (the kohlrabi, for example) before they even grow, and protects against flying insects that penetrate the leaves (like in beets and arugula). It now appears that the net house can be more efficient than we ever imagined.

But, of course, the space is very limited, as opposed to the open fields where the rounds easily rotate and there is absolutely no problem (quite to the contrary) to leave a certain field fallow for several months. In the net house we grow fewer varieties of crops, and thus look for the types that can grow in-between seasons, for short periods of time, and have the ability to improve the soil.

And this is where the Brassicaceae’s come into the picture. Members of this family are able to cleanse the earth and purify it from diseases and fungi. It’s still unclear exactly how this process, termed “biological disinfection” or “biofumigation” occurs, but apparently when the green content of the Brassicaceae decomposes inside the earth with the help of enzymes, some volatile matter is set loose that is poisonous to pathogens and decreases their presence. To enjoy these advantages, you can combine the Brassicaceae in your seeding rounds and upon harvest, to plow them under the earth, growing them as green-manure cover crops (i.e., without harvesting, but rather stuffing the whole plant into the soil) or even use the remains of plants that grew in a different bed and were plowed into the earth, in order to cleanse the earth before growing an exceptionally vulnerable crop.

This is a process that occurs naturally, as part of the amazing ability of nature to balance the unbalanced and stabilize conditions. It’s no wonder that we see mustard bushes taking over every available piece of earth. They must be in charge of cleaning, purifying and restoring the earth with its powers and living forces. As farmers, we know we do not work the way nature does. Farming is forever an artificial act forced upon the earth, and yet, as organic farmers we try to learn as much as we can from nature in how to tone down the extreme and bring back some balance.

And thus, several years ago, as we prepared to grow tomatoes in the net house, a newly-available in-between-period of empty soil inspired us to plant young greens from the Brassicaceae family to speedily grow, enjoy a protected and clean environment in the net house, and prepare the earth for our next crops. The endeavor went well, proving itself to be yummy, efficient and successful. Since then, we’ve continued to repeat this process several more times.

These crops grow really fast, and at times we find it hard to keep up. The first “baby greens” we sent you a few weeks ago were indeed true to their name: – babies. But in the meantime, aided by the many sunny days between the last few showers, these babies sprouted, grew, and turned into young teens. So this week, you will be receiving more substantial greens. They are still tender, soft and tasty, though they are quite big.

The mizuna, bok choy, arugula, rucola, garden cress and broccoli leaves are the representatives of this generous Brassicae family. Some of them are of Asian origin. The mizuna is Japanese (Brassica rapa var japonica), and the bok choy is Chinese (rassica rapa var chinensis). The garden cress, arugula and rucola (a species of very thin arugula leaves) grow wild in Israel as well and are popular in Middle East and Mediterranean cuisine. The broccoli leaves are simply that – the first tender leaves of the broccoli plants, which will not reach their peak of glory, as they will be harvested young. The only ones who are non-Brassicae’s in this varied mixture are the Swiss chards (beet leaves) from the Flavesenc group. The broccoli leaves, green mizuna and bok choi are definitely mustardy, but not sharp. Their flavor is exotic and fresh, with a hint of sweetness. The garden cress, arugula, rucola and red mizuna add piquancy to the mix which turns out absolutely delicious!

Bon Appetit!

Wishing you a good week and a gentle settling-back-into-routine,

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES? 

Monday: Turnips/daikon/baby radishes, scallions/celery or celeriac, slice of pumpkin/arugula/tatsoi, Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach or winter spinach, cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower, lettuce, beets/fennel/kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, parsley/dill/coriander. Free gift for all: “Baby” greens mix.

Large box, in addition: Sweet potatoes, bell peppers/eggplant, Jerusalem artichoke/short Iraqi lubia/Thai yard-long beans (lubia).

FRUIT BOXES: Apples/kiwi, clementinas, avocado, oranges/pomelit, bananas.

Wednesday: Turnips/daikon/baby radishes, slice of pumpkin/cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower, Swiss chard/kale//tatsoi, lettuce, beets/fennel/kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, parsley/dill/coriander, Jerusalem artichoke/short Iraqi lubia/Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/peas, sweet potatoes/bell peppers/eggplant. Free gift for all: “Baby” greens mix/arugula.

Large box, in addition: Scallions, celery or celeriac, New Zealand spinach or winter spinach.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, clementinas, avocado/kiwi, oranges/pomelit, bananas.

November 8th-10th 2021 – Green Leaves Was My Delight

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

We anxiously await the rain. Sukkot has come and gone, the tabernacles have been disassembled, and though we were rewarded with a few nice downpours, they are but a mere appetizer for the Real Thing. Now it’s high time for the main course! The fall seesaw is here with the weather rapidly changing from surprising heat and humidity to days of mild weather and cool mornings. Some days, the skies are beautifully adorned with clouds, in place of the very light blue skies of summer, and every so often a breeze will move them to and fro, scattering dry leaves and lovingly teasing the greens in our field.  But alas, the actual rain has not yet graced us with its appearance, and it is thus time for our little Chubeza Rain Dance to beseech the skies to shower us with their treasure!

The last of the summer crops are marking their final weeks and passing on the relay-race stick to the new winter crops – carrots, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, radishes and turnips, already skipping and hopping to our packing house.

I always know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the subject, “What ARE the green leaves in my box this week!?”  Indeed, winter generates a broad variety of greens dotting the Chubeza clods, filling up your boxes. Some of you are delighted with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we avoid removing the beet and turnip leaves so as to make use of them as well. Yet others of you are a bit overwhelmed, and wonder what can be done (again) with all those greens. This year we’ve even expanded the shades of greens, making the realm even more confusing. So for those who are still miffed, I am proud to present:

“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed”

Swiss Chard:

   

A sibling of the beet, differing by growing huge leaves instead of a thick root. This year we are growing a colorful variety named “Bright Light” boasting stems in a wide variety of colors and leaves that are just a tad curlier than traditional chard.

Swiss chard is perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even tossed fresh in a salad.

Here is a wide variety of recipes.

 

Tatsoi (Spinach mustardSpoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy)

    טאטסוי

A native of the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae dynasty. This year we are growing two varieties of tatsoi in two different colors: the familiar and beloved green, and a yummy, stunning red.

Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy, but very distinctive. Excellent when served with piquant flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and sweet fruit varieties.

Like mustard greens or Swiss chard, tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, in soup, quiches, omelets, and more.

Here are some thoughts about tatsoi, and a recipe. Scroll down and you’ll find some links to other recipes.

New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in New Zealand and Australia. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken along on voyages to fight Vitamin C deficiency-caused diseases (i.e., tetanus). New Zealand spinach is ideal for our local climate, thanks to its penchant for warm weather. Sporting small and meaty leaves, it enthusiastically sprawls and spreads.

New Zealand spinach can be used in any recipe calling for mustard greens, but is definitely suitable as a Swiss chard replacement. To prepare for cooking, one must remove the leaves from the stem which is hard and inedible. Unlike regular mustard greens or Swiss chard, eating New Zealand spinach raw is not recommended. First soak it in hot water for several minutes, then wash with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

 

Winter Spinach

Depending on the season, the bed in which it’s grown, and the timing of its harvest, spinach can sport huge leaves or resemble “baby” spinach.

It definitely tastes green (I used to be surprised when people described a flavor as “green”), just slightly bitter and then just a little sweet, chockful of rain and freshness flavors.

Like its cousin Swiss chard, spinach can be served fresh in a salad or can be cooked, added to soup, a quiche, dumplings, an omelet or warm salads. They all work.

Here are some examples

 

Arugula

This yummy green goes by many names: arugula, rucola, roquette and rocket lettuce. Its flavor is piquant, typical of the Brassicaceae family. Like spinach, arugula can come in many forms, from huge and meaty to small and dainty.

The arugula leaves are spicy, but they have their own distinctive type of piquant flavor which can add a dash to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well with arugula, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness.

You can find many recipes if you search the internet for “arugula” or “rocket lettuce.”

 

Kale

   

A green belonging to the Brassicaceae family, considered to be one of the healthiest foods around. An acquired taste, but definitely worth getting used to and falling for.

After many years in which we grew only one kale variety (the Russian Red Kale, as seen above on the left), this year we opted to add the curly kale. It comes in a lighter shade of green, and as of now seems to be a runaway success.

Due to its relatively rigid texture, kale is usually cooked or added to a green shake, but you can make chips from it or eat fresh in a salad—-it’s great!

Songs of praise and kale recipes to be found here

Mizuna

A green member of the Brassicaceae family, otherwise known as Japanese spinach or Brassica rapa. Mizuna sports long, thin leaves with serrated edges. The plant was cultivated in Japan back in ancient times, but probably originated in China.

The green mizuna’s flavor is bland, making it a perfect decorative addition and basis for appetizers and main dishes, as well as a great salad herb. It tends to star in the “baby” mesculun mixes (ours as well), but also stands on its own and is even great stir-fried.

Mizuna and daikon salad (thank you to Julie from Tel Aviv)

Mizuna salads recepies from Mariquita Farm

and a stir-fry option

Vegetable greens like being connected to their roots and the earth. When you want to store them after harvesting, you should attempt to prevent two unwanted side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, to prevent rotting, avoid moistening the greens and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, tatsoi, spinach and mustard greens should be wrapped (unwashed) in cloth or paper and placed in a plastic bag in order for the moisture to be absorbed without actually drying up.

By the way, lots more recommendations on how to store the various vegetables are found on our website under Storage Tips.

But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! Now, with the 7th of Cheshvan behind us and the pilgrims of old having long returned, you’re all encouraged to pray, hope, beg, insist or practice the steps to your rain dance till that rain comes to grace us with its presence.

That’s all for now! I hope the green picture is a bit clearer for you all. But never fear. Should an unrecognizable guest arrive in your boxes, we are just a phone call away for clarification. You are always welcome to pose questions by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com). Our loyal Facebook page of Chubeza members is always helpful as well for information or suggestions.

May we all enjoy a week of good fortune, health and growth!

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

_____________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Kohlrabi/cabbage/carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, red bell peppers, Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach/winter spinach, cauliflower/eggplant, lettuce, turnips/daikon/fennel/radishes/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of Neapolitan pumpkin. Small boxes only: Celery/scallions.

Large box, in addition: Jerusalem artichoke/Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/okra/short Iraqi lubia, sweet potatoes, arugula/baby greens/ tatsoi,broccoli.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranates, bananas, green or red apples, avocados, pomelit/oranges/clementinas.

Wednesday: Cabbage/cauliflower, carrots/slice of Neapolitan pumpkin, parsley/dill, red sweet peppers/eggplant/potatoes, Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/winter spinach,, lettuce, turnips/daikon/fennel/radishes, broccoli/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Jerusalem artichoke/Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/okra/short Iraqi lubia, celery/scallions, tatsoi/kale.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranates, bananas, green or red apples, avocados, pomelit/oranges/clementinas.

October 19th-21st 2020 –  A Different Renewal

After the holidays, all will renew
Even those weekdays you thought that you knew
Air, dust, fire and rain
Even you will start over again

  • Naomi Shemer, Hitchadshut

 Together with you all, we anxiously await the arrival of Routine. Expecting life to go back to normal is a yearning for renewal and an awakening to life, sort of like waiting for rain at the end of summer. I feel like we’re all going through some kind of parched dryness, a personal and social drought… Even here at Chubeza, although there is always work, the general mood of heaviness cannot help but permeate. And now, as summer has made its way to autumn, how appropriate would it be to feel some drops of normality splatter across our lives, along with the actual rain that we’ve been waiting for from the minute we put away our Sukkah.

Easing the lockdown and going back to normal will be gradual and hesitating, just like the beginning of autumn: a roller coaster of weather, from hot and humid surprising days to moderate and even cool temperatures. But it’s definitely on its way, slowly but surely. Let us hope together that the season of dryness will be replaced by a wet, rainy season of life filled with friends, extended family, cultural events, movement, unintimidating breaths and growth.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens – they’re already so beautiful, with gentle clouds lining the clear translucent blue, where an occasional breeze propels them from side to side, whooshing leaves and tousling leafy green beds. We are hoping against hope that their wings bring changes as well.

For now, the last of the summer crops are celebrating their final weeks with us, handing over the stick in this relay race to vigorous winter veggies: carrots, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, radishes and turnips that are already skipping happily to the packing house.

We tried valiantly to send you the cute little movie that our Chubeza vegetables made for you in honor of Sukkot, but somehow I couldn’t link it to email. Now I am trying a different method. Click this link to watch. I hope this time it works!

COLOR YOUR BOXES GREEN

I always know for a fact autumn is in full blast when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the subject, “What ARE all the green leaves in my box this week!?”  Indeed, winter generates a broad variety of greens dotting Chubeza’s fields, filling up your boxes. Some of you are delighted with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we avoid removing the beet and turnip leaves so as to make use of them as well. Yet others of you are a bit overwhelmed, and wonder what can be done (again) with all those greens. This year we’ve actually expanded the shades of greens, making the realm even more confusing. So for those who are still miffed, I am proud to present:

Swiss Chard

   

A sibling of the beet, differing by growing huge leaves instead of a thick root. This year we are growing a colorful variety named “Bright Light” boasting stems in a wide variety of colors and leaves that are just a tad curlier than traditional chard.

Swiss chard is perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even tossed fresh in a salad

Here is a wide variety of recipes.

Tatsoi

    טאטסוי

A native of the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae dynasty. This year we are growing two varieties of tatsoi in two different colors: the familiar and beloved green, and a yummy, stunning red.

Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not sharp, but very distinctive. Excellent when served with piquant flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and sweet fruit varieties.

Like mustard greens or Swiss chard, tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, in soup, quiches, omelets, and more.

Here are some reflections on tatsoi, and a recipe. Scroll down and you’ll find some links to other recipes.

 Bok Choy

An immigrant from China (rassica rapa var chinensis) belonging to the esteemed Brassicaceae family. Bok choy comes in green or reddish-purple, and its unique flavor is fresh with a tinge of sweetness. Somewhat similar in flavor to cabbage (like his brother, the totsoi) bok choy is less sharp than mustard greens, and simply delicious.

Sometimes we harvest it mature, as a great big head sliced close to the earth like celery stalks or lettuce. At this stage it is perfect for light steaming or stir fries and combines well with such flavors as soy sauce, mirin, or ginger. But these past weeks we have been harvesting it young, allowing it to grow once more for an additional harvest. Bok choy’s tiny little leaves are ideal for giving every salad a boost, and blend splendidly with such sweet and sour flavors as oranges, fennel, kohlrabi, apples, cranberries, etc. Perfect!

Three recipes by Yael Gerti, Ynet (Hebrew)

 

New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in New Zealand and Australia. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken along on voyages to fight Vitamin C deficiency-caused diseases (i.e., tetanus). New Zealand spinach is ideal for our local climate, thanks to its penchant for warm weather. Sporting small and meaty leaves, it enthusiastically sprawls and spreads.

New Zealand spinach can be used in any recipe calling for mustard greens, but is definitely suitable as a Swiss chard replacement. To prepare for cooking, one must remove the leaves from the stem which is hard and inedible. Unlike regular mustard greens or Swiss chard, eating New Zealand spinach raw is not recommended. First soak it in hot water for several minutes, then wash with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

    

Arugula

This yummy green goes by many names: arugula, rucola, roquette and rocket lettuce. Its flavor is piquant, typical of the Brassicaceae family. Like spinach, arugula can come in many forms, from huge and meaty to small and dainty.

The arugula greens are spicy, but they have their own distinctive type of piquant flavor which make them a distinctive addition to a salad, even combined with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well with arugula, and a very light cooking can temper its sharpness a bit.

You can find many recipes if you conduct an internet search for “arugula” or “rocket lettuce.”

Mizuna 

  

 

A green member of the Brassicaceae family, otherwise known as Japanese spinach or Brassica rapa. Mizuna sports long, thin leaves with serrated edges and a gentle, sweet-like flavor. The plant was cultivated in Japan back in ancient times, but probably originated in China.

Mizuna’s flavor is neutral, which is why it goes well as a decorative addition and basis for appetizers and main dishes, as well as a great salad herb. It tends to star in the “baby” mesculun mixes (ours as well), but also stands on its own and even is great stir-fried.

Mizuna and daikon salad (thank you to Julie from Tel Aviv)

Mizuna salads recepies from Mariquita Farm

and a stir-fry option

Vegetable greens like being connected to their roots and the earth. When you want to store them after harvesting, you must attempt to prevent two unwanted side effects: drying up and rotting. There are several methods for long-term storage. First, to prevent rotting, avoid moistening the greens and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, tatsoi, spinach and mustard greens should be wrapped (unwashed) in cloth or paper and placed in a plastic bag in order for the moisture to be absorbed without actually drying up.

By the way, lots more recommendations on how to store the various vegetables are found on our website under Storage Tips.

But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! You are all encouraged to not only reflect but also to implore, plead, insist, beg, pray, hope or practice the steps to your rain dance till that rain comes to grace us with its presence.

That’s all for now! I hope the green picture is a bit clearer for you all. But never fear. Should an unrecognizable guest arrive in your boxes, we are just a phone call away for clarification. You are always welcome to pose questions by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com). Our loyal Facebook page of Chubeza members is always helpful as well for information or suggestions.

May we all enjoy a week of good fortune, health and growth!

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

_____________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday:  Basil/Swiss chard, lettuce, arugula/mizuna/totsoi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley, potatoes, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra/leeks.

Large box, in addition: Daikon/beets, bell peppers/Jerusalem artichokes, New Zealand spinach, zucchini/carrots/onions.

FRUIT BOXES: Green or red apples, pears, oranges, pomegranates.

Wednesday: Basil/arugula/mizuna, lettuce, New Zealand spinach/totsoi, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley, potatoes/carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers. Small boxes only: lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra/leeks/Jerusalem artichokes.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard, eggplant, Daikon/beets/turnips, zucchini/onions.

FRUIT BOXES: Red apples/banana, pears/avocado, oranges, pomegranates.

March 2nd-4th 2020

Changes in deliveries next week:

– Clients from Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Herzlia, Rechovot, Gush Ezyon, Rishon L’Zion and the area, Nes Harim – Deliveries as usual (Monday/Wednesday)
– Those who collect their boxes personally from Kfar Ben-Noon – no change
Modi’in and Mevasseret area – Deliveries will take place on Sunday afternoon/evening
Jerusalemites who receive their boxes on Wednesday (Ein Kerem, Kiryat HaYovel, Beit Hakerem, Givat Massuah, Malcha, Kiryat Moshe, Nachlaot, Shaarei Chesed, Mishkenot Hauma, Nayot, Rechavya, Talbiye, Katamon, German Colony, Baka/Talpiyot, Arnona) will receive them on Thursday.

Orders for sprouts, mushrooms and dairy products will close by this Sunday morning (as opposed to evening). Please remember to make your orders on time.

Wishing you all a silly, fun Purim!

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Eat, Drink and be Merry… In honor of Purim (but not only…)  “Hamatsesa” is offering the following treats:

– Three mini-ciders – Dried apple, half-dried apple and half-dried pear (in bottles of .330 or .750 liter)
– Two types of fresh squeezed juice – Apple (gold and green) and pear (in bottles of 1/2 or 1 liter)
– Superb apple cider (in .250 or .750 liter)
– Fruit delicacies (pear in wine and apple)

Purim Sameach!

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I’m a be-leafer

Over the past few weeks there are fewer greens dotting the field: the arugula, misuna and totsoi already bloomed (when the light hours get longer, the brassicas tend to blossom), the New Zealand spinach awaits warmer weather, and the celery stalks that have been with us for awhile have taken a break till the next batch ripens. We are left with only the most sustainable of the bunch – lettuce, Swiss chard and kale, parsley and cilantro – which loyally stick around all year long. During this present season, we attempt to augment the green part of your boxes with greens that come along with root and stem veggies. Thus, you get to meet kohlrabi leaves, beet and fennel leaves, and of course radish leaves.

This week your boxes include bunches of small fennels along with their lovely, fragrant leaves. These are fennels that re-sprouted out of stems that had already been cut down in the previous harvest, and they are even sweeter and milder than the big fennel that preceded them. This year we are attempting for the first time to send them to you in one big fresh bundle. We anxiously await your feedback!

There is something beautiful and wholesome about vegetables that are joined in a bundle, leaves included, so that you can get a close look at the entire plant – head to root – rather than its more familiar form, shorn of leaves and amputated. As a rule, when harvesting vegetables for marketing, the leaves are removed from the vegetables to prevent them from eventually sucking out the moisture and turning soft and sallow. This phenomenon occurs because even though we harvested the plant out of the earth, it still tries to preserve its strength, and the leaves demand priority over the root or stem. But why?

The leaf is one of the plant’s organs, used primarily to absorb light and energy from the sun, and transform them into glucose. This is the process of photosynthesis, enabled through chlorophyll. The leaves are the power suppliers to the plant – other parts of the plant (stem, flower, root) do not contain chlorophyll and at times are not exposed to the sun, which is why their existence depends upon the energy (and the sugars) produced in the leaves.

Leaves exist in nature in many shapes and forms: narrow and wide, short and long, tiny and huge, serrated, round, paper-thin, fleshy or feathery (like the wispy dill and fennel leaves). The leaf is composed of two parts: the petiole and the blade. The blade is the flat, broad part of the leaf. Because of its (usually) wide surface area, it is the main creator of photosynthesis, and its tissue arrangement is tailored to absorb sunlight. The petiole is the narrow part of the leaf, that little point connecting the body of the leaf to the branch or the main stem.

In order to provide nutrients to the entire plant, the leaves are the top priority in the main growth stage of the plant. Upon transferring the center stage to blossoming and fruit-bearing, the leaves shrink and sometimes wither, and the plant reaches the end of its life cycle. Consequently, though we try to give you vegetables as close to their natural stage as possible and thus do not cut off the leaves from radishes, beet, fennel or kohlrabi (as well as parsley and celery roots), when they arrive in your kitchen, separate the leaves from the root or stem so they don’t drain out its vitality:

  1. Remove the vegetable’s leaves, leaving a centimeter or two of stem, and do not cut the root itself.
  2. Keep the leaves wrapped in a plastic bag or plastic bowl and place the roots or stems in the cold part of the fridge, in the low vegetable drawers. Best to place radishes in a sealed plastic bowl.
  3. Do not place hard vegetables in close proximity to apples or other fruits (banana, avocado, melon, peach, pear and tomato) which emit ethylene, expediting the ripening of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Radishes, beets and withered carrots can be revived in a bowl of ice water. And of course, hold onto the greens. They are more than just decorative, and are easily edible.
  • You can use beetroot greens just as you would Swiss chard (the beet’s older brother) or spinach. They are also milder in flavor, thus more suitable for a fresh salad than their elder sibling’s.
  • Add radish greens to a salad, or as you would any other “green”– in soup, in a quiche or a sandwich, along with the radishes themselves. If you want to eat them fresh, use the younger and milder leaves. Chop the mild leaves very finely, grate radishes, add to butter with some lemon zest and salt, and you have a perfect spread for your bread.
  • Kohlrabi and broccoli greens are equivalent to their cousin, the kale, and may be used similarly. They, too, are mild and ideal for a fresh salad or sandwich.
  • Fennel greens are sweet and mild, perfect for dressing fish, meatballs, salads, and sandwiches. For a great pesto, combine and grind pistachio, garlic, parmesan, fennel greens, and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Green garlic leaves, making their debut this week, are mild and wonderful when added to salads, omelets, pastries and dough, pesto, sandwiches, soup and more.

In the spirit of elections, may we remember that the plant is comprised of many parts, each of which has a place and an advantage, and that growth is only possible with every part doing its job and all parts working together for the benefit of the whole…

Wishing you a good week,

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Potatoes, broccoli, snow peas/green fava beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower/cabbage, carrots, parsley/coriander, lettuce, scallions/leeks. Small boxes only: Jerusalem artichokes/garden peas.

Large box, in addition: Beets, Swiss chard/kale, daikon/bundle of fennel, celeriac/parsley root.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, orange/pomelit, avocado clementinot, lemons. 

Wednesday: Potatoes, broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage, peas/green fava beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, , carrots, parsley/coriander, lettuce/red mizuna, scallions/leeks/green garlic, Swiss chard/kale/mallow greens (Chubeza), daikon/bundle of fennel,

Large box, in addition: Beets, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac/parsley root.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, orange/pomelit, avocado clementinot, lemons. 

November 4th-6th 2019 – Green Leaves Was My Delight

To celebrate autumn, Kibbutz Samar’s delectable, distinctive Barhi dates are now on sale for Chubeza clients:

5 kg box – 130 NIS
1/2 kg boxes – 13 NIS

Stock up today!
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Shorshei Tzion is proud to introduce three new flavors to their line of outstanding natural chocolates. Mexican (72%), hazelnut (67%) and 100% cocoa now join the splendid lineup of raspberry, orange, coffee, ginger and turmeric and 85% chocolate, all produced from high-quality raw cocoa. Here’s to a sweet, nutritious autumn!

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

We anxiously await the rain. Sukkot has come and gone, the tabernacles have been disassembled, and though we were rewarded with a few nice downpours, they are but a mere appetizer for the Real Thing. Now it’s high time for the main course! The fall seesaw is here with the weather rapidly changing from surprising heat and humidity to days of mild weather and cool mornings. Some days, the skies are beautifully adorned with clouds, in place of the very light blue skies of summer, and every so often a breeze will move them to and fro, scattering dry leaves and lovingly teasing the greens in our field.  But alas, the actual rain has not yet graced us with its appearance, and it is thus time for our little Chubeza Rain Dance to beseech the skies to shower us with their treasure!

The last of the summer crops are marking their final weeks and passing on the relay-race stick to the new winter crops – carrots, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, radishes and turnips, already skipping and hopping to our packing house.

I always know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the subject, “What ARE the green leaves in my box this week!?”  Indeed, winter generates a broad variety of greens dotting the Chubeza clods, filling up your boxes. Some of you are delighted with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we avoid removing the beet and turnip leaves so as to make use of them as well. Yet others of you are a bit overwhelmed, and wonder what can be done (again) with all those greens. This year we’ve even expanded the shades of greens, making the realm even more confusing. So for those who are still miffed, I am proud to present:

“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed”

Swiss Chard:

   

A sibling of the beet, differing by growing huge leaves instead of a thick root. This year we are growing a colorful variety named “Bright Light” boasting stems in a wide variety of colors and leaves that are just a tad curlier than traditional chard.

Swiss chard is perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even tossed fresh in a salad.

Here is a wide variety of recipes.

 

Tatsoi (Spinach mustardSpoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy)

    טאטסוי

A native of the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae dynasty. This year we are growing two varieties of tatsoi in two different colors: the familiar and beloved green, and a yummy, stunning red.

Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy, but very distinctive. Excellent when served with piquant flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and sweet fruit varieties.

Like mustard greens or Swiss chard, tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, in soup, quiches, omelets, and more.

Here are some thoughts about tatsoi, and a recipe. Scroll down and you’ll find some links to other recipes.

New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in New Zealand and Australia. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken along on voyages to fight Vitamin C deficiency-caused diseases (i.e., tetanus). New Zealand spinach is ideal for our local climate, thanks to its penchant for warm weather. Sporting small and meaty leaves, it enthusiastically sprawls and spreads.

New Zealand spinach can be used in any recipe calling for mustard greens, but is definitely suitable as a Swiss chard replacement. To prepare for cooking, one must remove the leaves from the stem which is hard and inedible. Unlike regular mustard greens or Swiss chard, eating New Zealand spinach raw is not recommended. First soak it in hot water for several minutes, then wash with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

 

Winter Spinach

Depending on the season, the bed in which it’s grown, and the timing of its harvest, spinach can sport huge leaves or resemble “baby” spinach.

It definitely tastes green (I used to be surprised when people described a flavor as “green”), just slightly bitter and then just a little sweet, chockful of rain and freshness flavors.

Like its cousin Swiss chard, spinach can be served fresh in a salad or can be cooked, added to soup, a quiche, dumplings, an omelet or warm salads. They all work.

Here are some examples

 

Arugula

This yummy green goes by many names: arugula, rucola, roquette and rocket lettuce. Its flavor is piquant, typical of the Brassicaceae family. Like spinach, arugula can come in many forms, from huge and meaty to small and dainty.

The arugula leaves are spicy, but they have their own distinctive type of piquant flavor which can add a dash to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well with arugula, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness.

You can find many recipes if you search the internet for “arugula” or “rocket lettuce.”

 

Kale

   

A green belonging to the Brassicaceae family, considered to be one of the healthiest foods around. An acquired taste, but definitely worth getting used to and falling for.

After many years in which we grew only one kale variety (the Russian Red Kale, as seen above on the left), this year we opted to add the curly kale. It comes in a lighter shade of green, and as of now seems to be a runaway success.

Due to its relatively rigid texture, kale is usually cooked or added to a green shake, but you can make chips from it or eat fresh in a salad—-it’s great!

Songs of praise and kale recipes to be found here

Mizuna

A green member of the Brassicaceae family, otherwise known as Japanese spinach or Brassica rapa. Mizuna sports long, thin leaves with serrated edges. The plant was cultivated in Japan back in ancient times, but probably originated in China.

The green mizuna’s flavor is bland, making it a perfect decorative addition and basis for appetizers and main dishes, as well as a great salad herb. It tends to star in the “baby” mesculun mixes (ours as well), but also stands on its own and is even great stir-fried.

Mizuna and daikon salad (thank you to Julie from Tel Aviv)

Mizuna salads recepies from Mariquita Farm

and a stir-fry option

Vegetable greens like being connected to their roots and the earth. When you want to store them after harvesting, you should attempt to prevent two unwanted side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, to prevent rotting, avoid moistening the greens and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, tatsoi, spinach and mustard greens should be wrapped (unwashed) in cloth or paper and placed in a plastic bag in order for the moisture to be absorbed without actually drying up.

By the way, lots more recommendations on how to store the various vegetables are found on our website under Storage Tips.

But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! Now, with the 7th of Cheshvan behind us and the pilgrims of old having long returned, you’re all encouraged to pray, hope, beg, insist or practice the steps to your rain dance till that rain comes to grace us with its presence.

That’s all for now! I hope the green picture is a bit clearer for you all. But never fear. Should an unrecognizable guest arrive in your boxes, we are just a phone call away for clarification. You are always welcome to pose questions by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com). Our loyal Facebook page of Chubeza members is always helpful as well for information or suggestions.

May we all enjoy a week of good fortune, health and growth!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale/totsoi, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes/cherry tomatoes, cauliflower/cabbage/Jerusalem artichokes, slice of pumpkin/carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, turnips/daikon/baby radishes. Special gift: mizuna

Large box, in addition:  Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia, scallions/arugula, beets/kohlrabi/fennel.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranate, apples, pomelit, oranges.

Wednesday: Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale/totsoi, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, cauliflower/cabbage, Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia/okra/Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, turnips/daikon/baby radishes. Special gift: mizuna

Large box, in addition:  slice of pumpkin, scallions, beets/kohlrabi/fennel.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranate/avocado, apples, pomelit, oranges.