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

_______________________________________

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

_____________________________________

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.

October 8th-10th 2018 – Green green grass of home

Post-holiday Rebirth

The holiday season is over and Tomer and Chamutal’s Apples are introducing a brand new product – natural apple juice, joining its predecessor the yummy organic pear juice.

For now, the apple juice is available only in 1 liter bottles, while the pear juice comes in 1 or 2 liter sizes. In addition, their extraordinary apple vinegar has been joined by a little brother – apple vinegar in a small 250 ml bottle, for those of you who wish to give it a try and fall in love…

All these treasures join the rest of Tomer and Chamutal’s excellent products – apple and pear alcoholic ciders and apple, pear and nectarine jams.

Order now via our order system.

____________________

Assaf Nov, the flour grinder of Minchat HaAretz, is a dreamer. I have known him for almost a decade, and every time we talk, he throws out some vision sentences. Half of his mind is consumed with the daily operation of the excellent flour mill he co-owns with Arik in Hadera, while the other half is busy planning ahead, veering into the future. He arrived at the flour grinding concept when he wanted the finest quality flour in order to bake homemade bread. When he couldn’t find any, he decided to make it himself.  Just as he took a bite of his own delicious Shabbat Chalot, his eyes met

 the wine goblet…and off raced his mind in pursuit of another enterprise. He searched, wandered, examined, studied and then located an old industrial juice maker that had seen many a fruit in its day.

 Assaf was determined to introduce it to grapes from the neighboring Zichron Ya’akov vineyards. And thus, for some years now he has been making his very own natural grape juice – 100% fruit, unpasteurized so as to preserve the nutritious goodness of the fruit. Finally, he is willing to share with us.

Beginning this week, you will be able to order (white or red) grape juice – deliciously fresh. Upon preparing the juice, it is kept in the freezer, defrosting on the way to you. The juice may be refrozen in a closed bottle with no problem. After it is defrosted, it’ll keep in the refrigerator for 4-6 days. A 1 liter bottle costs 36 NIS. Order via our order system under the name Mechol HaKramim.

_______________________

And in the spirit of renewal, autumn and the post-holiday season, we invite you to a writing workshop in our field led by Liran, a veteran client and friend, on October 26th. Here are the details (Hebrew):

We will be very pleased to host you for a different kind of growth experience in our field. For questions or other thoughts, speak to Liran at 054-2400408  lirankeren1@gmail.com

_________________________________________

Forty Shades of Green

We anxiously await the rain. Sukkot has come and gone, the tabernacles are down, and though we were rewarded with a few raindrops here and there, they were 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 moderate 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 wealth!

The last of the summer crops are marking their final weeks. We will soon be parting from the Thai lubia, okra, eggplants and pumpkins. The corn will strike it parting chord over the next few weeks. These veggies will be passing on the relay race stick to the winter crops – beets and radishes, already skipping and hopping to our packing house, while the kohlrabi is fattening up in the field alongside the fennel, carrots and turnips.

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.

For those who are still wondering, 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. Perfect in soup, quiches, and stuffing, as well as steamed or tossed, and even used fresh in a salad.

Here is a wide variety of recipes.

Tatsoi (Spinach mustardSpoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy)

A traveler from the Far East, member of the choy or soy family, belonging to the Brassicaceae dynasty. Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy, but very distinctive. Goes perfectly well 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, etc.

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 on voyages to fight Vitamin C deficiency-caused diseases. New Zealand spinach is ideal for our local climate because it loves warm weather. It sprawls and spreads, and its leaves are small and meaty.

New Zealand spinach can go with 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, it is not recommended to eat New Zealand spinach raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed 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 go 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 give 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 conduct an internet search 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.

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 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, 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 wetting 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.

But for all this green abundance to actually grow, we desperately need winter showers! Now, after the 7th of Cheshvan has passed and the pilgrims of old have 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, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/kale/mizuna/totsoi, sweet potatoes, lettuce, radishes/beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/potatoes, bell peppers, arugula, parsley/coriander/dill, eggplant/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, corn, onions/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apples, avocadoes. Small boxes: oranges. Large boxes: pears

Wednesday: Swiss chard/kale/totsoi, sweet potatoes, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/potatoes, bell peppers, mizuna/arugula, parsley/coriander, eggplant/corn.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra/cherry tomatoes, zucchini/beets, onions/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, avocadoes, pears. Small boxes: bananas. Large boxes: oranges and pomelo.

Aley Chubeza #219, October 20th-22nd 2014

Thank you!

First and foremost, it is a pleasure to thank all of you who helped out with the Open Day: Maya, the arts and crafts wizard; Mama Devora and sister Tzipi, who kneaded the dough and baked the pitot; Mohammed, who manned the vegetable stand, Majdi, at the nosh table and various other jobs he took upon himself throughout the day; to Poom, Ding, Vinai and Poyo who harvested the vegetables for sale and nibbling, to Manu, Puah and Oded, Melissa, Yoav and Galia, who offered their yummy and/or fine products for sale (baked goods, goat cheeses, dried fruit leather, olive oil and second-hand clothing items…), and last but not least, to the one and only Hazel Hill Band that livened up the atmosphere with great, joyful and festive music. And to all of you who came to celebrate with us and all the visitors, to meet us and hear about what’s going on at the farm, to put in a good word, ask questions, take a tour of the field, and help out during the day.

It is such a pleasure to feel this supportive and stable community that has built up around the farm over the past decade. Your ongoing loyalty and support – in buying vegetables, visiting on  Open Day, rejoicing and celebrating with us and lending a hand when requested (and just going to help wherever you saw the need)  – all make our efforts worthwhile and pleasurable. We are blessed with a fine field, great neighbors and wonderful partners in this endeavor. Thank you all!

Lost and Found at the end of the Open Day: Sunglasses, baby bottle, baby hat and pacifier. If you identify any or all of these as your own, let us know and we will send them in your next vegetable box delivery.

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Sometimes “back to normal” is in itself a reason to celebrate. Efrat from Jerusalem invites you all to a celebration of sidewalk chalk drawing at the Jerusalem Messila Park this Wednesday (today) from morning to evening. Weather forecast is for a nice, clear day. Come one, come all! See this link for more details.

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Hillel from the Ein Harod Organic Field finally arrived at Chubeza, bringing with him their excellent almonds as well as a renewed supply of organic hummus and olive oil. This year, the almonds and chickpeas are sold in pre-weighed packages (chickpeas in 1 kg packages, almonds in 200 gr). Add these delectable delicacies to your boxes via our order system.

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Greens, Glorious Greens

Our back-to-routine week commenced with joyful rain. Though, as usual, Kfar Bin Nun gets only a small quantity of showers. We already know that here the rain always arrives fashionably late, so even today (Sunday), as the rains came pouring all around us, we only received scattered showers. Still, we were all excited about it. Rain!!

So yes, it is indeed autumn, and to all you “doubting Thomases” who claim there is no autumn in Israel, let me guess that none were pregnant at this precise time between summer and autumn. For any average expectant mama can tell you the exact moment when the miracle occurred and the heat burden eased, the weather gliding between heat and chill, cloud and shine. And yes, over the past few weeks it is evident that autumn has indeed arrived, nicer and better than ever (proclaimed the pregnant maiden)… The temperatures dropped a bit, a nice breeze began blowing, and autumn veggies started to ripen one after the other.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the change in your boxes. After a few monotonous weeks at the end of summer, over the past weeks we have begun harvesting sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, beets, daikon, kohlrabi, turnips, joined this week by beets and carrots as well. And of course, so many new leafy green veggies have arrived, from the smaller ones who are literally jumping out of the earth headed for your boxes, to the bigger ones, who take their time…

And if all of the above hasn’t convinced you yet, I know for a fact that it is fall when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the common subject, “What are those greens in my box this week?”  So many greens are now growing happily in Chubeza. Some of you are very happy with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we not remove 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. So this week we will start to tell you a little about some of the greens you will be meeting over the upcoming season, beginning with several members of the Brassicaceae (aka Cruciferae) family: mizuna, tatsoi, pak choi/bok choy and arugula.

Members of this esteemed family are able to cleanse the earth and purify it from diseases and fungi. The jury is still out on 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 diminishes them. In order 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.

When I worked in California, I learned of research regarding the growing of broccoli, cauliflower and mustard (all members of the Brassicaceae family) as a type of earth cleansers prior to growing strawberries. The outcome was good, and the method was adopted by non-organic farmers as well, since they grow other crops in the field when no strawberries are planted, so why not grow something that will eventually help and ease the life of the pampered strawberries?

This is a process that occurs naturally, as part of the amazing ability of nature to unbalance the balanced and stabilize conditions. It’s no wonder that we see mustard plants taking over every available piece of earth. They must be in charge of cleaning, purifying and restoring the earth by 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 return some balance.

And thus, during in-between periods of empty soil in the net house, we grow young greens from the Brassicaceae family which will speedily grow, enjoy a protected and clean environment in the net house, and prepare the earth for our next crops. The mizuna, the bok choi and the arugula are the representatives. All of Asian origin, the mizuna is Japanese (Brassica rapa var japonica) and the tatsoi and bok choi are Chinese (rassica rapa var chinensis).

These greens are definitely mustardy, but not sharp. Their flavor is exotic, fresh, slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious! The arugula leaves are a bit sharp, but their distinctive type of piquant flavor adds zest to a salad, even combined with sweet fruit. They enhance cheeses, and a very light cooking can slightly temper the spiciness.

Check out their “selfies”…

mizuna 
Tatsoi (Spinach mustard, Spoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy):
Tatsoi (Spinach mustard, Spoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy):
pak choi / bok choy
Arugula

The nutritional value of the Brassicaceae is similar to that of the cabbage and other upstanding members of their prominent family. They are rich in vitamin C, fiber and folic acid, as well as calcium and beta carotene. They can be used like other greens, Swiss chard or mustard: in cold or hot salads (steamed or stir-fried), combined with rice or pasta, as a green addition to soup, or simply as a crunchy bite in a sandwich. In any case, they are not to be overcooked. One to two minutes are more than enough.

Have a good autumn week, and an easy return-to-routine. Bon appétit, and Livriut

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Mizuna/tatsoi, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, okra/green and yellow beans/Thai beans/lubia, coriander/dill, cucumbers, eggplant, arugula, radishes/daikon.

Large box, in addition: Red bell peppers, leeks, sweet potatoes

Wednesday: cilantro/dill, mizuna/tasoi, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra/beans/lubia (fresh black eye pes), red, yellow & green bell peppers, radishes/daikon, beets, arugula, sweet potatoes, small boxes only – lettuce.

Large box, in addition: scallions/leek, piece of pumpkin, white turnip/kohlrabi, eggplants

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, pomegranate juice 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!