Aley Chubeza #265, October 26th-28st 2015

At the end of this week we will be charging your cards for October purchases and will update your bill on our order system.

 You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!

Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables &  fruits you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is “תוצרת אורגנית”, organic produce). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases. (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”)

_______________________________________

wheatThe organic spelt flour has returned!

This week we welcome back the reasonably-priced organic spelt flour of Minhat Ha’aretz: whole spelt for 18 NIS and 70% spelt (30 % of the spelt is sifted) for 21 NIS. We will discontinue the sale of non-organic spelt in order to avoid mistakes and confusion.

To your good health and good harvest!

________________________ _________________

It’s not easy being green…

At the start of the week, the weather forecast predicted local showers. Sure enough, dark clouds decorated the skies in the morning and a vigorous wind scattered dry leaves from the grapevines to stir up a green wave in our vegetable beds. Just moments later, showers poured across our field. Welcome!!

The last of our summer crops are celebrating their final weeks in the field. We will soon bid farewell to our eggplants, black-eyed peas, okra and peppers. The corn, too, is striking its final chords. Meanwhile, across the field, the Brassicaceae’s have burst joyfully onto the scene to take over, sending us their first representative (kohlrabi). For their part, the beets, radishes and turnips are skipping happily over to the packing houses, with the carrot and fennel  not far behind.

I always know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the common 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 very happy 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 are all sorts 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 with piquant flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and the sweetness of fruit.

Like mustard greens or Swiss chard, tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, in soup, quiche, 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 Australia and New Zealand. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken on journeys to fight diseases resulting from a vitamin C deficiency. New Zealand spinach is suitable 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 raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed 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 leaves are spicy, but they have their own distinctive type of piquant flavor which can make them an interesting addition to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go quite well, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness a bit.

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, 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” mixes (ours as well), but also stands on its own and even is great stir-fried.

Mizuna salads recepies from Mariquita Farm

and a stir-fry option

Mustard Green /Chinese Cabbage

Abounding with medicinal and flavor value, mustard greens are among the healthiest of foods. They aid in cleansing toxins from the body, boast anti- inflammatory components, and are very rich in Vitamins B, minerals and iron. Mustard greens are used to heal the common cold, pneumonia and to reduce mucus. As an airway cleaner, mustard greens and honey are great to ease a hoarse throat.

Mustard greens run the gamut from very spicy varieties to those with a lightly delicate flavor. There are the coarse types, the smooth, the stiff and soft, and green and purple. In the past we grew the purple spicy Osaka variety. This year we attempted a new type, the Tokyo bekana with green, pale leaves, similar to lettuce, and quite mild. It is great in a salad, sandwich, or even tossed or as a stuffing.

Here are some Tokyo bekana recipes from Tucson CSA

As for the “baby leaves” (mesclun mix), re-read our Newsletter from three weeks ago for all the fascinating details.

All vegetable greens like being connected to their roots and the earth. When you want to store them after harvesting, you should aim to prevent two side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, in order to prevent rotting, avoid wetting the greens, and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, 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! After this week’s good start, don’t forget to keep up your prayers (from the 7th of Cheshvan), practice the steps to your rain dance, etc.

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).

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

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

___________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

The tomato plants are gettin’ there…..Hopefully we will very soon be able to restore their honored place in your boxes.

Tuesday: Lettuce, parsley/coriander/dill/mint (nana), slice of pumpkin, Thai beans/ okra/Jerusalem artichokes, leeks/scallions, Swiss chard/kale/mustard greens, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, baby greens (mesclun mix)/mizuna/totsoi, corn, turnips/beets.

Large box, in addition: Arugula, tomatoes/kohlrabi, eggplant

Wednesday: Lettuce, parsley/coriander/dill/mint (nana), slice of pumpkin, Thai beans/ okra/Jerusalem artichokes, Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, pac choi/mizuna/totsoi/arugula, corn, potatoes/carrots/tomatoes, small boxes only: white turnips/red beets.

Large box, in addition: Leeks/scallions, mustard greens, green bell peppers/eggplants, kohlrabi/radishes

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, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy products too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. Our order system also features a detailed listing of the products and their cost.  Make an order online now!

Aley Chubeza #229 December 29th-31st – bye bye 2014, Happy new year!

The month of December is nearing its end, as is 2014. At the end of this week we will bill your cards for this month’s purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by the beginning of next week. Make note that this month had five Mondays and five Wednesdays, so your bills will most likely be higher than usual. 

You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!

Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables, fruits and sprouts you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is “תוצרת אורגנית”, organic produce). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”).

________________________________________

Eliezer, of the distinctive Shorshei Tzion Raw Food Medicine, has informed us that he must raise his prices due to the rise in raw material costs. There are also new products that will soon be available. Check our online order system for details!

_______________________________________________

A Family Tale

Lately I have been thinking a lot about differences and development, learning how much patience, time and slow rhythmic pace must be devoted to the changes we undergo as human beings, specifically those dealing with repair: growth, opening up, connecting and healing. It seems so often that destructive actions are fast and immediate, while building and repairing require placing stone upon stone, moment by moment, demanding diligence and perseverance as well as faith and hope.

These thoughts, together with the birth of our fourth daughter Noga almost two weeks ago, brought to my mind a newsletter I wrote a decade ago about the beloved Brasiccae family that is in our boxes throughout the whole winter. It dealt with the changes the Brasiccae underwent over many years, thanks to the curiosity and self-confidence of loyal farmers. So here it is, in a renewed version. For me, this family newsletter is my own circle closing, as I wrote it right after the birth of my eldest, Neta, almost ten years ago…

Every once in awhile, we hear about the scientific development of a new vegetable or other edible plant. It’s possible that the pace of change is much faster now than in the past, yet even in the distant, primitive past, farmers constantly refined their crops. Actually, many of the most amazing changes in species development came not as a result of structured research, but rather out of the simple act of a farmer’s choosing and collecting seeds from the plants he favored over seeds from less-desired plants. This straightforward action of promoting one plant over another had a huge effect on the improvement and change of a specific harvest or species. Long before man understood the genetics of plants, his actions caused small, slow variations in the crops, which compounded over time until they brought about actual results.

The Brassicaceae family (or “cabbage family”) is a perfect example. All family members derive from one wild plant, the brassica oleracea, which originated in the Mediterranean area and resembles the canola in appearance. Sometime after the plant was domesticated, people began growing it for its leaves. Since they consumed the leaves, it made sense to choose the plants that produced the biggest leaves. As a result, those leaves became bigger and bigger, eventually creating the plant we now know as kale or collards. Kale’s botanical name is var. acephala, translating to “a headless cabbage.”

Others preferred plants that produced small, denser and more delicate leaves in the center of the plant at the head of the stem, hence advancing plants with those characteristics. Over the seasons, the process of compacting became more and more prominent in those plants. Over the years, it grew and evolved into a real “head of leaves” which we call cabbage. Its actual title is var. capitata, meaning “a cabbage with a head.”

Around the same time, in today’s Germany, farmers preferred short and thick-stemmed kale. They ate the actual stem, and gradually, in choosing plants with a tendency for thick stems, caused the former cabbage to alter its greatly-thickened stem. This turned into kohlrabi, which earned the name var. caulorapa, meaning “a stem turnip.”

Over the past thousand years, man also developed a passion for the undeveloped flower buds of the cabbage, and chose the plants that produced large bloom heads. This is how we got cauliflower and broccoli, both different variations of an undeveloped cabbage plant. The cauliflower is var. botrytis, meaning “cluster,” for its resemblance to a cluster of grapes. The broccoli, which was developed in Italy, earned the title var. italica.

And the last member of this extended family: we each have our own taste, and apparently there were those (most probably the Belgians) who preferred plants that developed an assembly of dense leaves along the stems. They chose and re-chose plants that produced this sort of leaf shape, and thus brought the world Brussels sprouts, titled var. germmifera “the cabbage with gems.”

In summary, this long, winding familial tale demonstrates that without a systematic education in genetics or plant propagation, but via a simple process of seed selection and a lot of patience, more than six unique vegetables have developed over the past 7000 years. It happens in the best of families. 

Wishing us all a week of wonder and variety, of patience and faith,

Enjoy the dry sunny days till the blessed rain returns, hopefully at the beginning of next week!

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

_______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Scallions/leeks, spinach/kale, tomatoes, fennel/kohlrabi, cauliflower/ cabbage, parsley, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce/arugula, celery/celeriac, beets/ carrots. Small boxes only: pumpkin/sweet potatoes

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/totsoi, garden peas/Jerusalem artichoke, coriander/nana (mint), daikon/radishes

Wednesday: spinach/kale, tomatoes, fennel/kohlrabi, cauliflower/ cabbage, parsley, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce/arugula, celery/celeriac, pumpkin/eggplants, beets/ carrots. Small boxes only: scallions/leeks

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/totsoi, garden peas/Jerusalem artichoke, coriander/nana (mint), daikon/radishes/turnip

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, garbanzo beans, 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!

Aley Chubeza #225, December 1st-3rd

Samar dates are here!

This monday afternoon we recieved the very much aticipated delivery of this season’s dates harvest from kibbutz Samar in the Arava.

Those sweet fellows come in three varieties: Barhi, Zahidi and Dekel Nur. You can add them to you order via the online order system.

__________________________________

Get into the Green Scene…

Last week’s downpours quenched our earth in great measure. Melissa, our neighbor at Kibbutz Gezer, gave me the measurements taken by Lee Sigal chalking up some 120 mm rain in five days for us last week (most of it on Tuesday and Wednesday!).  Friday’s skies were already clear, but the earth is still muddy and the nighttime dew still serves up good quantities of moisture for the plants (and the hems of our pants…). Along with the great showers, the nice sunny days we are expecting this week will give another boost to our winter crops now abundantly filling your boxes. The last of the summer crops have been celebrating their final weeks with us. Soon we will bid farewell to the eggplants and black-eyed peas. We already parted from the corn and peppers, who all made way for the Brassicaceae family and lots of sweet, spicy, juicy, colorful roots, and…

Just as the color green is now everywhere in sight outdoors, your boxes are abounding in bright edible greens. To give you a new appreciation for the verdant vegetables, as well as a delicious host of serving ideas, we are proud to present Part 2 of the recently-begun action series (you can find part 1 here)

“Chubeza Winter Greens – A Guide to the Perplexed” – part 2:

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 are all sorts of recipes.

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, chockfull 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

New Zealand Spinach

As indicated by its name, its origins are in Australia and New Zealand. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken on journeys to fight scurvy resulting from a vitamin C deficiency. New Zealand spinach is suitable for our local climate because it loves warm weather. It sprawls and spreads, and its leaves are 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 raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

Kale

A green belonging to the Brassicaceae family, considered to be one of the most healthy 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

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 side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, in order to prevent rotting, avoid wetting them and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, 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.

That’s all for now. I hope the green picture is a little clearer now. You are always welcome to question unrecognizable varieties in your boxes by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com).

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

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

 _______________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Slice of pumpkin, kohlrabi, kale/spinach, tomatoes, fennel/daikon/turnips, cabbage/broccoli, parsley/dill/coriander, cucumbers, Swiss chard/totsoi/arugula, scallions/leeks. Small boxes only: beets

Large box, in addition: Celery, curly lettuce/mizuna, eggplant/Jerusalem artichoke, sweet potatoes

Wednesday: Slice of pumpkin, kohlrabi, spinach, tomatoes, fennel/daikon, cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower, parsley/dill/coriander, cucumbers, scallions/leeks, sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichoke, beets

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/totsoi/kale, arugula/mizuna, celery

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, garbanzo beans, 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!

Aley Chubeza #190, February 24th-26th 2014

Well, February is at its close. At the end of this week we will bill your cards for February purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by Sunday.

You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!

Reminder: The billing is two-part: one bill for vegetables, fruits and sprouts you purchased over the past month (the produce that does not include VAT. The title of that bill is “תוצרת אורגנית”, organic produce). The second part is the bill for delivery and other purchases (This bill does include VAT. The title of the bill is “delivery and other products.”).

_____________________________

Manu, our expert baker, is back from a very short maternity leave, with the help of Tamar. From this week, you may resume your orders for her breads and pastries. Glad to have you back, Manu!

___________________________________

At the end of this week we will be launching a new, improved order system. As with every change, here too we are hopeful yet a bit wary. We hope the change will go smoothly. On your end, there will be no major changes, but internally the new system should bring improvements and fewer (technological) bugs.

In order to transfer all the data, we will be closing the system for several hours this Thursday. Upon completion, it will be accessible once again for you to update your orders as usual.

Thank you, Amir, the man behind it all, for all your efforts, ongoing availability and constant readiness to always help and fix. And thank you all for your patience.

_________________________________________

With the month of Adar upon us, let’s hope it will bring joy and gladness to all!

Melissa from Mipri Yadeha is preparing a special, creative line of yummy products for Mishlochei Manot:

  • The Scroll of Esther–distinctive, hand-fashioned leather scrolls in a royal package: fruit leather in select flavors: peach, clementine, apple-ginger, persimmon-carrot, guava, pomegranate, apple-date, orange-apple and more. 10 NIS per scroll.


 


A Tale of One Family

Over the past few weeks, our lists look like a jigsaw or crossword puzzle– this vegetable or that one, one type for the small boxes, another for the larger ones… This has resulted from our attempt to juggle between the large varieties of this season’s vegetables with those which grow in smaller quantities, as is characteristic of the end of the season. This month’s sunny weeks made the vegetables ripen nicely, thus catching up on the two preceding months, which were frozen and slow. But the unpredictable weather disrupts our plans, where beds ripen one after another. We make our plans to coincide with cool and wintery weather, and this spring leap changes our rhythm.

So some of the vegetables ripened quickly and were harvested, but the next bed we planted thinking we would be returning to in two weeks’ time, is not yet ready for harvest. On the other hand, other beds quickly ripened, and other vegetables which we did not expect to harvest just yet are smiling at us, ripe and happy. This mess, on top of the fact that the end of winter is nearing and the yield is changing, leads to a large variety of vegetables ripe and ready for your boxes.

For example, the arugula and daikon are back this week, and the fava is back for a short while. Celery stalks are replacing their cousin the celeriac, which has been accompanying us thus far. So you may not all be getting all of the vegetables, as the quantities are not sufficient for all the boxes. Our two varieties of peas are enjoying the dryness. Usually the surplus of water in the earth, causing a tightening and saturation around the pea’s roots, makes it weak and yellow, and it is prone to various diseases. This year, the earth is not at all saturated, to our great sorrow and the pea’s great joy, which is why it has been abundant over the past few weeks.

To the contrary, the carrot, beet, fennel and kohlrabi have been consistently with us, but their quantities are not large, thus you have been getting a little of each. So too the cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, which were planted in November and are only now beginning to finally ripen (in cold months it can take up to four months). We try to vary the family members, so usually you receive two out of three.

In honor of the Brassicaceae family, which has been with us for some months now, I now bring its story once more. Yes, it happens in the best of families…

Every once in awhile, we hear about the scientific development of a new vegetable or other edible plant. It’s possible that the pace of change is much faster now than in the past, yet even in the distant, primitive past, farmers constantly refined their crops. Actually, many of the most amazing changes in species development came not as a result of structured research, but rather out of the simple act of a farmer’s choosing and collecting seeds from the plants he favored over seeds from less-desired plants. This straightforward action of promoting one plant over another had a huge effect on the improvement and change of a specific harvest or species. Long before man understood the genetics of plants, his actions caused small, slow variations in the crops, which compounded over time until they brought about actual results.

The Brassicaceae family (or “cabbage family”) is a perfect example. All family members derive from one wild plant, the brassica oleracea, which originated in the Mediterranean area and resembles the canola in appearance. Sometime after the plant was domesticated, people began growing it for its leaves. Since they consumed the leaves, it made sense to choose the plants that produced the biggest leaves. As a result, those leaves became bigger and bigger, eventually creating the plant we now know as kale or collards. Kale’s botanical name is var. acephala, translating to “a headless cabbage.”

Others preferred plants that produced small, denser and more delicate leaves in the center of the plant at the head of the stem, hence advancing plants with those characteristics. Over the seasons, the process of compacting became more and more prominent in those plants. Over the years, it grew and evolved into a real “head of leaves” which we call cabbage. Its actual title is var. capitata, meaning “a cabbage with a head.”

Around the same time, in today’s Germany, farmers preferred short and thick-stemmed kale. They ate the actual stem, and gradually, in choosing plants with a tendency for thick stems, caused the former cabbage to alter its greatly-thickened stem. This turned into kohlrabi, which earned the name var. caulorapa, meaning “a stem turnip.”

Over the past thousand years, man also developed a passion for the undeveloped flower buds of the cabbage, and chose the plants that produced large bloom heads. This is how we got cauliflower and broccoli, both different variations of an undeveloped cabbage plant. The cauliflower is var. botrytis, meaning “cluster,” for its resemblance to a cluster of grapes. The broccoli, which was developed in Italy, earned the title var. italica.

And the last member of this extended family: we each have our own taste, and apparently there were those (most probably the Belgians) who preferred plants that developed an assembly of dense leaves along the stems. They chose and re-chose plants that produced this sort of leaf shape, and thus brought the world Brussels sprouts, titled var. germmifera“the cabbage with gems.”

In summary, this long, winding familial tale demonstrates that without a systematic education in genetics or plant propagation, but via a simple process of seed selection and a lot of patience, more than six unique vegetables have developed over the past 7000 years. It happens in the best of families. 

Wishing us all a week of wonder and variety, of patience and faith,

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

______________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Broccoli, fennel/kohlrabi, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots/ beets, cucumbers, parsley, arugula/kale, potatoes.  Small boxes only: cabbage/cauliflower, snow peas/fava beans.

Large box, in addition: Daikon, leeks, celery, garden peas/ snow peas, fava beans

Wednesday: potatoes, fennel, cucumbers, red or green cabbage or cauliflower, parsley, broccoli, snow peas, kohlrabi/daikon, lettuce, tomatoes, kale – in small boxes only

Large box, in addition: leeks, cilantro, celery, garden peas/fava beans

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

Aley Chubeza #177 – November 18th-20th 2013

Last week we bade farewell to Ya’ara, who worked with us diligently and professionally over the past year. In my name and yours, I would like to thank her for her excellent work. I cannot imagine how we would have gotten through the expansion of our clientele and other changes over the past year without her fantastic efforts. Thank you so much, Ya’ara, and good luck in your new endeavors.

Ya’ara will be replaced by Maya, Alon’s charming wife, who has been with Chubeza from Day One. She will work with me in the office and the packing house, and this is a great opportunity to remind you that we do need your cooperation in order to get the job done in a relaxed, organized manner.

We would appreciate if you could make your any changes to your standing orders via our Internet system. Those of you who haven’t yet experienced it are welcome to take a look and make your acquaintance. Changes for your upcoming delivery can be made by noon of the day before delivery! If you still wish for us (humans) to order these changes, we would be happy to help, but your request must arrive by the morning before delivery day so we can update the order on time. We cannot make any promise to accept late changes. After 4:00 PM our phones are off the hook, we go off to our life-outside-of-Chubeza, and do not take messages. Thank you very much for your cooperation!

_________________________

It’s not easy being green…

Though the weather forecast predicted local showers, our Sunday was bright and dry, albeit cool. Winter should have been here by now….Our mornings are chilly and evening creeps up fast, but midday is still sunny and the skies are dry. Our last summer crops are celebrating their final weeks in the field. We will soon bid the eggplants and black-eyed peas farewell, and the sweet potatoes and squash are becoming scarce as the Brassicaceae’s burst joyfully onto the scene to take over!

 

I know its wintertime when my green-o-meter shows a dozen emails with the common subject “What are the green leaves in my box this week?”  Some of you are very happy with the plethora of greens over the winter, and even request we do 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.

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 are all sorts 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 or חרדליים dynasty. Its flavor is just slightly bitter, not spicy but very distinctive. Goes perfectly with spicy flavors (mustard and black pepper), ginger, sesame and the sweetness of fruit.

Tatsoi can be used fresh in salads, tossed or cooked, like mustard greens or Swiss chard, in soup, quiche, omelets, etc.

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

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, chock full 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

New Zealand Spinach

 

As indicated by its name, its origins are in Australia and New Zealand. Discovered by Captain Cook on the beaches of New Zealand, this green was harvested, cooked and even taken on journeys to fight tetanus resulting from a vitamin C deficiency. New Zealand spinach is suitable for our local climate because it loves warm weather. It sprawls and spreads, and its leaves are 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 raw, but rather first soaked in hot water for a few minutes, then washed with cold water.

Recipes for New Zealand Spinach

Arugula:

 

It goes by many names: arugula, rucola, roquette and rocket lettuce. Its flavor is spicy, typical of the Brassicaceae family. Like the 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 make them an interesting addition to a salad, even together with sweet fruit. Cheeses go very well, and a very light cooking can temper the spiciness a bit.

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 most healthy 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

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 side effects: drying up and rotting. There are a several methods for long-term storage. First, in order to prevent rotting, avoid wetting them and only wash them prior to use. To keep them moist, large leaves like lettuce, Swiss chard, 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, when it has been a month since the 7th of Cheshvan and the pilgrims of old have returned home dry and safe, you are all welcome to mention the rain in your personal prayers. But don’t stop at that: do a rain dance! Beg, nag, insist, hope, and pray for the rain. Whatever it takes!!

That’s all for now. I hope the green picture is a little clearer now. You are always welcome to question unrecognizable guests in your boxes by phone (054-653-5980, although often it’s hard to get ahold of us) or by email (csa@chubeza.com).

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

Alon, Bat Ami, Maya and the Chubeza team

____________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/coriander/dill, sweet potatoes/pumpkin, broccoli, tomatoes, tatsoi/Swiss chard/kale, lubia/green beans/Jerusalem artichoke, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, kohlrabi/daikon. Small boxes only: beets

In the large box, in addition: Arugula, corn/cabbage, leeks/garlic chives, eggplant/ cauliflower

Wednesday: arugula/spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage/eggplants, dill/parsley, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale/Swiss chard, kohlrabi/turnip, tomatoes, small boxes only: green black eye peas/green beans/Jerusalem artichoke.

In the large box, in addition: corn, beets, broccoli/pumpkin, leeks/chive