August 22-24 – Zigger Beans

The month of August is drawing to a close, and (hopefully) the new school year will soon begin. If you really try, you can feel autumn approaching, and this is the time to remind you of a very special and wonderful product that arrives at this time each year: The Shana Ba’Gina Calendar / A Year in the Garden created by artist and gatherer Ilana Stein. If you haven’t yet met this amazing creation, Shana Ba’Gina is a detailed, illustrated calendar that is also a monthly guide to domestic Israeli gardening and nature. This product celebrates the direct connection between time and seasons with local agriculture and gathering. Each month brings about changes – in the field and forest, in the garden, and in your food.

Every page of this calendar contains abundant information on vegetable cultivation in the home garden, seasonal recipes, tips, solar and lunar schedules and more… The beautiful calendar invites you to bring nature home, but also to take yourself out into nature. We highly recommend doing so! The calendar’s Eighth Edition is dedicated to the earth: growing vegetables, herbs, wildflowers and trees, as well as inviting butterflies into our environment. A good environment for butterflies is a good environment for all!

Shana BaGina calendars and other products are environment friendly: printed on ecological paper, with soy-based ink, zero-waste packaging, and most of all – a great deal of thought and love dedicated to nature and earth.

The Shana BaGina line includes: hanging or tabletop calendars, weekly schedules, and magnets with seed schedules. Take a look for yourself at Ilana’s beautiful creations.

Prices:

Annual calendar (hanging/tabletop/English language) – 79 NIS
Weekly calendar – 89 NIS
Two magnets (summer and winter planting schedule) – 25 NIS

Reduced prices for purchase of several products.

A beautiful, distinctive gift for the New Year to make your loved ones happy (and yourselves as well). Add these charming calendars to your vegetable boxes via our order system.

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LUBIA AT FIRST SIGHT

Our summer Pod Trio, which began with soybeans and moved on to okra, is ending  with a “backpacker” from Thailand. If you’re wondering why the green beans arriving in your boxes are rough-skinned, long and a bit strange, it’s because they’re not green beans! Meet the Thai lubia (yard-long beans) which arrive “gift-wrapped” in your boxes. They are indeed a present, albeit rather strange and unique. But don’t expect them to be green beans, because they are something else indeed:  Lubia (V. unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) is a relative of the common bean, chickpea, soy, fava bean and other members of the Faboideae family we so love to nibble.

Said Rabbi Yona:“How did beans get their name? They amuse the heart and tickle the intestines.” – Yerushalmi Talmud

The ancient bean that grew in the Land of Israel is, in fact, the cowpea. At the time of the Mishna, the common (fresh/dry) bean was still mainly found in South America and not yet known in our area, while the cowpea, which probably originated in Africa, was the most prevalent.

When Rabbi Yona says that the bean (shu’it) is amusing (mesha’a’sha’at), he must mean “filling and satisfying.” The verb sha’ah in Aramaic connotes plaster, meaning “filling and covering.”  The continuation of Rabbi Yona’s words refers to the other, less amusing part of the (dry) beans and cowpeas: their tendency to “tickle”, i.e., generate gas within, the intestines… Wordplay aside, the lubia was honored by our sages to merit a blessing at the Rosh Hashana table “to increase our merits and hearten us.”

For me, the amusement to the heart and tickling of the soul is reminiscent of the beauty and abundance the beans and cowpeas encompass – the bean plant is strong and beautiful, the gentle flowers resemble two butterflies fluttering between the leaves, and the green pods we pick are tasty, filling and heart-warming.

Both green beans and the cowpeas have fresh and dry versions, in a beautiful array of varieties. The green variety (or yellow, purple, etc.) is eaten fresh in long green pods, while in the dry version, only the dry seeds are consumed (they, too, come in an impressive array of colors: red, white, speckled, brown, black, spotted…)

At Chubeza, we host the green bean and its yellow sister in springtime. (This year, the green version did not grow well, but we enjoyed an abundance of yellow). As spring makes way for summer, along comes the Thai long bean, which grows upward and we trellis it on polls.

Thai lubia is known as the yard-long bean, bora bean, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean. All names relate to this bean’s various characteristics. It originates in Southeast Asia, hence the “Chinese” or “Thai” title, and can reach the hearty length of half a meter (though it’s generally harvested young, at approximately 30 cm. long and 1 cm thick). Lubia is similar to asparagus in diameter and length, and because of its flexibility may resemble a green snake (to those of you with overactive imaginations, at least). Its taste ranges between that of green beans and fresh green lubia, whilst the texture is less crunchy than the green bean and more flexible.

In its growth, lubia requires a great deal of heat and manages quite well throughout the sweltering months of summer (which certainly cannot be said of green beans who faint under the scorching sun). It is seeded in late spring, and we trellis it on poles with a net spread between the stalks on which the young plants climb adeptly and efficiently. We trellis it on either side of the pepper plants in order to stretch their shade nets along its polls. Within three months blooms appear on the net we spread, butterfly-like flowers, and a pair of beans ripens from two flowers, adjacent to each other at the ends, like a couple of twin green worms:

   

Contrary to green beans, the lubia grows slowly and yields pods only after more than three months (compared to two or less). But this has its advantages – we can harvest the lubia on and on, till the temperatures drop in wintertime. These beans must be harvested with care, as the bloom pole continues to develop flowers throughout the season.

The Thai yard-long bean can be harvested, like at Chubeza, at a young stage at less than 30 cm long and 1 cm thick, and be used in the same way as one would prepare fresh lubia or green beans. You can also allow the pods to mature on the plant and use the black, red or white (depending on the variety) seeds as you would use dry lubia pods or any dry bean.

At Chubeza, we grow the green variety which bears black seeds, but in Asia there is a magnificent array of colorful, bountiful types. On the outside, the pods come in green and various violets while the seeds can be black, white, brown or red.

Thai yard-long beans can be used in recipes calling for green beans or fresh lubia, including soups, quiches and fresh salads. In China, it is lightly stir-fried, and is actually the original bean to have been used in stir-fried dishes. It tastes wonderful with fish and even pickled. The yard-long bean is rich in Vitamin A and contains a good amount of Vitamin C, iron, folic acid and dietary fibers.

Of course, green beans and lubia can be cooked, steamed, roasted, pickled, added to pasta, rice, salad and any vegetable stir. They most certainly add taste, color and a festive flair to your meal.

The lubia recipes featured on our website range from easy to more complex, and are all delicious, of course. But if you don’t feel like firing up a cooking flame in this scorching heat, just help yourself to a long snake bean and nibble away!

Last but not least, we are delighted to wish a huge Mazal Tov and loving hugs to Orin and Yochai on the birth of their sweet little daughter. May the entire family enjoy  happiness and calm, as much sleep as they can manage, and wonderful, sweet family times always!

Enjoy a week full of summer abundance and a true feeling of vacation,
Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror, Orin and the entire Chubeza team

______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Red bell peppers, onions, parsley/coriander, garlic/scallions, cherry tomatoes, eggplant/potatoes, slice of pumpkin, Amoro pumpkin/butternut squash/spaghetti squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce. 

Large box, in addition: Okra/Thai lubia, chili peppers/sweet potatoes/ zucchini, New Zealand spinach.  

FRUIT BOXES:  Apples, mangos, grapes, nectarines.  Large boxes: Contain greater quantities of all the fruits above + pears.

Wednesday: Red bell peppers, onions, parsley/coriander, garlic/scallions, cherry tomatoes/okra/Thai lubia, eggplant/potatoes, slice of pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, corn. 

Large box, in addition: Chili peppers/sweet potatoes/zucchini, Amoro pumpkin/butternut squash/spaghetti squash, New Zealand spinach.  

FRUIT BOXES:Apples, mangos, grapes, nectarines.Large boxes: Contain greater quantities of all the fruits above + pears.

July 26th-28th 2021 – Zigger Beans

As summer fruits ripen in the orchard, warm fragrant breezes fill the air. Alongside, another seasonal fruit is ripening, one that has become a Chubeza tradition: The Shana Ba’Gina Calendar / A Year in the Garden created by artist and gatherer Ilana Stein. If you haven’t yet met this amazing creation, Shana Ba’Gina is a detailed, illustrated calendar that is also a monthly guide to domestic Israeli gardening and nature. This product celebrates the direct connection between time and seasons with local agriculture and gathering. Each month brings about changes – in the field and forest, in the garden, and in your food.
This will be the Shana Ba’Gina’s seventh birthday, and as always, it is replete with new illustrations, refreshing ideas, tips and new recipes. And of course, in deference to the upcoming sabbatical Shmita year, Ilana created a special seventh edition dedicated solely to indoor home gardening: vegetables on the windowsill, greens in the kitchen, hanging plants in the bathtub, hydroponics, terrarium and many other solutions to bring nature indoors.
This beautiful calendar invites you to bring nature in and get yourselves out. Perhaps in the spirit of Shmita, to change something in our fast-paced life, to allow a slowing down, to pay attention and open our lives to new, interesting things. A Year in the Garden comes highly recommended by the Chubeza staff!

A Year in the Garden products include a hanging/tabletop calendar, a weekly journal, and magnets with seeding schedules. Take a peek at the beautiful charm of Ilana’s calendar right here.

Prices:
Hanging/tabletop/English calendar: 79 NIS
Weekly journal – 89 NIS
Pair of seeding schedule magnets: 26 NIS
(reduced prices for quantity purchases)

A beautiful and distinctive gift for your loved ones (yourselves included…). Add these stunning calendars to your order via our order system.
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To celebrate sunny summertime, Samar’s organic dates are now on sale!

Don’t miss our last Barhi, Zahidi and Medjool dates of the season at very special prices! (The dates, refrigerated since their arrival, are absolutely delicious!):
Organic Barhi: 2 kg – 62 NIS 5 kg – 135 NIS
Organic Zahidi: 1 kg – 23 NIS 2 kg – 40 NIS 5 kg – 79 NIS
Organic Medjool: 1 kg – 40 NIS

Quick! Add these to your boxes via our order system

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It’s Raspberry Season!

Gadi and Tamir of Tekoa, renowned for their spectacular blueberries, have now added luscious red raspberries to their repertoire!

Raspberries require acidic soil in order to thrive, which is why they’re grown on a detached surface inside large containers. To adhere to the precise acidic level, the raspberries are fertilized (non-organically), but are not sprayed throughout their growth.

Like their fellow Berry Family members, raspberries are rich in antioxidants: Vitamin C, manganese, vitamins K, E and B, iron, magnesium, potassium and more, aiding in the  prevention of blood vessel inflammation, and helping to balance cholesterol and sugar for diabetics.

125 grams – 23 NIS

Raspberry season is short, so hurry and order via our order system

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LUBIA AT FIRST SIGHT

Over the past weeks, Chubeza’s Thai lubia has been ripening in abundant quantities, making a formal announcement that summer is at its peak. If you’ve been wondering why the latest green beans you’ve been receiving are so lengthy and coarse, well, it’s because they’re not green beans but rather… Thai lubia (yard-long beans) which arrive “gift-wrapped” in your boxes. They are indeed a present, albeit rather strange and unique. But don’t expect them to be green beans, because they simply are not…

The Thai bean/ lubia (V. unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) is a relative of the common bean, chickpea, soy, fava bean and other members of the Faboideae family we so love to nibble.

Said Rabbi Yona:“How did beans get their name? They amuse the heart and tickle the intestines.” – Yerushalmi Talmud

The ancient bean that grew in the Land of Israel is, in fact, the cowpea. At the time of the Mishna, the common (fresh/dry) bean was still mainly found in South America and not yet known in our area, while the cowpea, which probably originated in Africa, was the most prevalent.

When Rabbi Yona says that the bean (shu’it) is amusing (mesha’a’sha’at), he must mean “filling and satisfying.” The verb sha’ah in Aramaic connotes plaster, meaning “filling and covering.”  The continuation of Rabbi Yona’s words refers to the other, less amusing part of the (dry) beans and cowpeas: their tendency to “tickle”, i.e., generate gas within, the intestines… Wordplay aside, the lubia was honored by our sages to merit a blessing at the Rosh Hashana table “to increase our merits and hearten us.”

For me, the amusement to the heart and tickling of the soul is reminiscent of the beauty and abundance the beans and cowpeas encompass – the bean plant is strong and beautiful, the gentle flowers resemble two butterflies fluttering between the leaves, and the green pods we pick are tasty, filling and heart-warming.

Both green beans and the cowpeas have fresh and dry versions, in a beautiful array of varieties. The green variety (or yellow, purple, etc.) is eaten fresh in long green pods, while in the dry version, only the dry seeds are consumed (they, too, come in an impressive array of colors: red, white, speckled, brown, black, spotted…)

At Chubeza, we host the green bean and its yellow sister in springtime. (This year, the green version did not grow well, but we enjoyed an abundance of yellow). As spring makes way for summer, along comes the Thai long bean, which grows upward and we trellis it on polls.

Thai lubia is known as the yard-long bean, bora bean, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean. All names relate to this bean’s various characteristics. It originates in Southeast Asia, hence the “Chinese” or “Thai” title, and can reach the hearty length of half a meter (though it’s generally harvested young, at approximately 30 cm. long and 1 cm thick). Lubia is similar to asparagus in diameter and length, and because of its flexibility may resemble a green snake (to those of you with overactive imaginations, at least). Its taste ranges between that of green beans and fresh green lubia, whilst the texture is less crunchy than the green bean and more flexible.

In its growth, lubia requires a great deal of heat and manages quite well throughout the sweltering months of summer (which certainly cannot be said of green beans who faint under the scorching sun). It is seeded in late spring, and we trellis it on poles with a net spread between the stalks on which the young plants climb adeptly and efficiently. We trellis it on either side of the pepper plants in order to stretch their shade nets along its polls. Within three months blooms appear on the net we spread, butterfly-like flowers, and a pair of beans ripens from two flowers, adjacent to each other at the ends, like a couple of twin green worms:

   

Contrary to green beans, the lubia grows slowly and yields pods only after more than three months (compared to two or less). But this has its advantages – we can harvest the lubia on and on, till the temperatures drop in wintertime. These beans must be harvested with care, as the bloom pole continues to develop flowers throughout the season.

The Thai yard-long bean can be harvested, like at Chubeza, at a young stage at less than 30 cm long and 1 cm thick, and be used in the same way as one would prepare fresh lubia or green beans. You can also allow the pods to mature on the plant and use the black, red or white (depending on the variety) seeds as you would use dry lubia pods or any dry bean.

At Chubeza, we grow the green variety which bears black seeds, but in Asia there is a magnificent array of colorful, bountiful types. On the outside, the pods come in green and various violets while the seeds can be black, white, brown or red.

Thai yard-long beans can be used in recipes calling for green beans or fresh lubia, including soups, quiches and fresh salads. In China, it is lightly stir-fried, and is actually the original bean to have been used in stir-fried dishes. It tastes wonderful with fish and even pickled. The yard-long bean is rich in Vitamin A and contains a good amount of Vitamin C, iron, folic acid and dietary fibers.

Of course, green beans and lubia can be cooked, steamed, roasted, pickled, added to pasta, rice, salad and any vegetable stir. They most certainly add taste, color and a festive flair to your meal.

The lubia recipes featured on our website range from easy to more complex, and are all delicious, of course. But if you don’t feel like firing up a cooking flame in this scorching heat, just help yourself to a long snake bean and nibble away!

Enjoy a week full of summer abundance and a true feeling of vacation,
Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror, Orin and the entire Chubeza team

______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Red bell peppers, okra/Thai yard-long beans (lubia), parsley/coriander, green soybeans (adamame), cucumbers, tomatoes, leeks/scallions, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash/slice of Tripoli pumpkin, eggplant/carrots, corn/beets. Special gift for all: basil/New Zealand spinach.

Large box, in addition: Lettuce, melon/Amoro pumpkin, potatoes/ onions.

FRUIT BOXES: Plums/pears/nectarines, mango, grapes, apples. Large boxes: Contain greater quantities of all the fruits above

Wednesday: Red bell peppers, okra/Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/Amoro pumpkin, basil/coriander, green soybeans (adamame), cucumbers, tomatoes, leeks/scallions, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash/slice of Tripoli pumpkin, eggplant/carrots, corn/beets.

Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach, melon/onions, parsley.

FRUIT BOXES: Plums/pears, mango, grapes, apples. Large boxes: Contain greater quantities of all the fruits above.

 

August 10th-12th 2020 – Zigger Beans

The Shana Bagina (A Year in the Garden) calendar and weekly journal created annually by Ilana Stein, artist and gatherer, walk you through the direct connection between seasons and local agriculture and gathering. They serve as a unique, detailed guide to domestic Israeli gardening and nature, accompanied by beautiful illustrations, tips for home gardening and seasonal vegan recipes.

The focus of the newest (sixth!) edition, “Thinking Global, Eating Local,” is dedicated to our amazing local vegetation. Now is the time to get acquainted with the nutritious local plants in our surroundings, and to enjoy their availability and nutritional value.

A Year in the Garden products include a hanging/tabletop calendar, a weekly journal, and magnets with seeding schedules. Take a peek at the beautiful charm of Ilana’s calendar right here

Prices:
Hanging/tabletop calendar: 75 NIS
Weekly journal – 85 NIS
Pair of magnets: 27 NIS
(prices reduced for purchases in quantity)

A beautiful and distinctive gift for your loved ones (yourselves included…). Add these stunning calendars to your order via our order system.

 ______________________________________________

It’s a Yard-Long Road…

Said Rabbi Yona:
“How did beans get their name?
They amuse the heart and tickle the intestines.”
— Yerushalmi Talmud

Over the past weeks, Chubeza’s Thai lubia has been ripening in abundant quantities, making a formal announcement that summer is at its peak. If you’ve been wondering why the latest green beans you’ve been receiving are so lengthy and coarse, well, it’s because they’re not green beans but rather… Thai lubia (yard-long beans) which arrive “gift-wrapped” in your boxes. They are indeed a present, albeit rather strange and unique. But don’t expect them to be green beans, because they simply are not…

The Thai bean/lubia (V. unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) is a relative of the common bean, chickpea, soy, fava bean and other members of the Faboideae family we so love to nibble. Like them, the Thai lubia wears two outfits: the green cloak, eaten in long green pods, and the dry attire where only the dry seeds are consumed.

The ancient bean that grew in the Land of Israel is, in fact, the cowpea. At the time of the Mishna, the common (fresh/dry) bean was still mainly found in South America and not yet known in our area, while the cowpea, which probably originated in Africa, was the most prevalent.

When Rabbi Yona says that the bean (shu’it) is amusing (mesha’a’sha’at), he must mean “filling and satisfying.” The verb sha’ah in Aramaic connotes plaster, meaning “filling and covering.”  The continuation of Rabbi Yona’s words refers to the other, less amusing part of the (dry) beans and cowpeas: their tendency to “tickle”, i.e., generate gas within, the intestines… Wordplay aside, the lubia was honored by our sages to merit a blessing at the Rosh Hashana table “to increase our merits and hearten us.”

For me, the amusement to the heart and tickling of the soul is reminiscent of the beauty and abundance they encompass – the bean plant is strong and beautiful, the gentle flowers resemble two butterflies fluttering between the leaves, and the green pods we pick are tasty, filling and heartwarming.

Both green beans and the cowpeas have fresh and dry versions, in a beautiful array of varieties. Even in our field, we host the green bean and its yellow sister in springtime, both of which grow on bushes alongside the yard-long bean, also known as the asparagus bean or Chinese long bean (and in Israel as the “Thai bean”), with black seeds, which grows upwards. We usually trellis it on either side of the pepper plants in order to stretch their shade nets along its polls.

The climbing and bush species apparently developed separately and in parallel by different farmers in different areas. The bushy species developed in Peru contain a gene that makes them grow in miniature form by limiting the number of branch segments, while turning the plant tissues (the branches and leaves) to reproductive tissues (flowers and pods). The explanation for this is that in Peru, the cornfields were limited, making a climbing-specie an additional burden on local farmers needing to support the climbing plants. (We definitely understand them, as we annually insert the poles into the ground and spread the nets for vining). This is why Peruvian farmers must have chosen to raise plants from seeds that grew in the form of a bush, and those were the species that developed there.

In Mexico, however, farmers chose to grow species that tended to crawl, since the bean grew near the corn that was used as a natural trellising pole, saving the farmer some extra work. The climbing beanpole was immortalized in the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Here, a poor boy climbs a huge beanstalk that he grew from magic seeds, embarking on a search for his identity which ultimately brings Jack happiness and wealth as he triumphs over evil. The bean’s tendency to climb brought it much respect in ancient American farming, as one of the “Three Sisters” crop combination. Archeologists have frequently found ancient Peruvian and Mexican farming sites with remnants of bean seeds together with those of corn and squash. The bean was seeded there together with the corn and squash, while the corn plants were used as trellising poles for the climbing bean. The squash covers the earth as a living mulch that serves to prevent weeds and water drainage, and the bean fixates nitrogen (see explanation below,) providing nutrients for both of her sisters:

Here are some explanations on how to prepare a bed like this one in your garden (and even in containers on your porch).

The bean is indeed magical in another sense – as a member of the legume family, it has many characteristics that help improve the earth. In a symbiotic process with a certain bacteria, it can fixate nitrogen from the atmosphere and store it in the earth in a form that is available to plants that grow with it or afterwards; its long roots grasp the earth and assist in preventing erosion, a feature that makes the bean very easy to grow, as it will cling to difficult and barren earth as well. In South America these qualities make the local plant “worth its weight in gold.”

The bean is seeded in Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and other places as a “cover crop” in small, local farms on rocky mountain   slopes. The plants are cut and left in place while still green, and the next plants are planted in the organic matter (specifically corn). The result is a doubling and even tripling of the quantities of corn, and an improvement of the soil for years to come. Indeed, a magic bean!

Now let us focus just a bit on the lubia: In English, Thai lubia is known as the yard-long bean, bora bean, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean. All names relate to this bean’s various characteristics. It originates in Southeast Asia, hence the “Chinese” or “Thai” title, and can reach the hearty length of half a meter (though it’s generally harvested young, at approximately 30 cm. long and 1 cm thick). Lubia is similar to asparagus in diameter and length, and because of its flexibility may resemble a green snake (to those of you with overactive imaginations, at least). Its taste ranges between that of green beans and fresh green lubia, whilst the texture is less crunchy than the green bean and more flexible.

In its growth, lubia requires a great deal of heat and manages quite well throughout the sweltering months of summer (which certainly cannot be said of green beans who faint under the scorching sun). It is seeded in late spring, and we trellis it on poles with a net spread between the stalks on which the young plants climb adeptly and efficiently. Blooms appear within three months with butterfly-like flowers, and a pair of beans ripens from two flowers, adjacent to each other at the ends, like a couple of twin green worms:

      

Contrary to green beans, the lubia grows slowly and yields pods only after more than three months (compared to two or less). But this has its advantages – we can harvest the lubia on and on, till the temperatures drop in wintertime. These beans must be harvested with care, as the bloom pole continues to develop flowers throughout the season.

The Thai yard-long bean can be harvested, like at Chubeza, at a young stage at less than 30 cm long and 1 cm thick, and be used in the same way as one would prepare fresh lubia or green beans. You can also allow the pods to mature on the plant and use the black, red or white (depending on the variety) seeds as you would use dry lubia pods or any dry bean.

At Chubeza, we grow the green variety which bears black seeds, but in Asia there is a magnificent array of colorful, bountiful types. On the outside, the pods come in green and various violets while the seeds can be black, white, brown or red.

Thai yard-long beans can be used in recipes calling for green beans or fresh lubia, including soups, quiches and fresh salads. In China, it is lightly stir-fried, and is actually the original bean to have been used in stir-fried dishes. It tastes wonderful with fish and even pickled. The yard-long bean is rich in Vitamin A and contains a good amount of Vitamin C, iron, folic acid and dietary fibers.

Of course, green beans and lubia can be cooked, steamed, roasted, pickled, added to pasta, rice, salad and any vegetable stir. They most certainly add taste, color and a festive flair to your meal.

The lubia recipes featured on our website range from easy to more complex, and are all delicious, of course. But if you don’t feel like firing up a cooking flame in this scorching heat, just help yourself to a long snake bean and nibble away!

Our Thai workers are celebrating again this week, this time to mark the Mother Queen’s birthday. Congratulations to the queen and happy holiday to Tam, Hott, Montry, Vinay and Nopadol.

Enjoy a week full of summer abundance and a true feeling of vacation,

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

_______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Potatoes, lettuce, corn, lubia Thai yard-long beans/zucchini/okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, New Zealand spinach/basil, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander, eggplant, onions.

Large box, in addition: Butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, melon/bell peppers.

FRUIT BOXES: Plums, nectarines. Small box, in addition: Bananas, pears. Large box, in addition: Mango, grapes.

Wednesday: Potatoes, lettuce/basil, corn, lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers/zucchini, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander, eggplant, onions.

Large box, in addition: Butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, New Zealand spinach.

FRUIT BOXES: Plums, nectarines, grapes. Small box, in addition: Pears. Large box, in addition: Mango.

Aley Chubeza #300(!), August 1st-3rd 2016

minhatIn perfect timing with the summer break of our bread baker Manu –
Arik and Asaf, producers (grinders) of the high-quality “Minchat Ha’Aretz” flour have announced an August sale:
Wheat flour (70% whole wheat) – 8 NIS
Spelt flour (70% whole grain) – only 15 NIS
Whole rye flour – only 12 NIS

So don’t let the summer heat blind you from this super sale! At these prices, your baked goods will be all the tastier! Time to bake some bread and spread it with your homemade pesto………

Bon Appetit!

__________________________________

I Lubia Truly……..

Over the past weeks, Chubeza’s lubia has begun ripening in nice quantities, making a formal announcement that summer is at its peak. If you’ve been wondering why the latest green beans you’ve been receiving are so strange and coarse, well, it’s because they’re not green beans but rather… Thai lubia (yard-long beans), which appear to be “gift-wrapped” in your boxes, all tied up with a rubber band, making a rather strange and unique present. But don’t expect it to be a green bean, because it simply is not…

Thai bean/lubia (V. unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) is a relative of the common bean, chickpea, soy, fava bean and other members of the Faboideae family we so love to munch on. Like them, the Thai lubia wears two outfits: the green dress, eaten in long green pods, and the dry ensemble where only the dry seeds are consumed.

In English, Thai lubia is known as the yard-long beanbora beanslong-podded cowpeaasparagus beanpea beansnake bean, or Chinese long bean. All names relate to the bean’s various characteristics: it originates in Southeast Asia, hence the “Chinese” or “Thai” title, and can reach the lofty length of one meter (though it’s generally harvested young, at approximately 30 cm.,  measuring 1 cm in thickness). It is reminiscent of the asparagus in diameter and length, and because of its flexibility may resemble a green snake (to those of you with overactive imaginations). Its taste ranges between that of green beans and fresh lubia (not as sweet as the beans), whilst the texture is more akin to lubia, less crunchy than the green bean and more flexible.

The Thai yard-long bean needs more heat than the green bean, and manages quite well throughout the months of summer heat (which certainly cannot be said of green beans). It is seeded in late spring, and we trellis it like peas, on poles with a net spread between the stalks on which the young plants climb skillfully and efficiently. Blooms begin within three months with a couple of beautiful flowers on each pole, resembling two butterflies. A couple of beans ripen from those two, adjacent to each other at the ends, like a couple of twin green worms (I just managed to think up a new name!)

.   

These beans must be harvested with care, as the bloom pole continues to develop flowers throughout the season. Contrary to green beans or peas, the Thai lubia grows slowly and yields pods only after more than three months (compared to two or less), but we can harvest it on and on, till the temperatures drop in wintertime.

The Thai yard-long bean can be harvested, like at Chubeza, at a young stage at less than 30 cm long and 1 cm. thick, in the same way as one would prepare a fresh lubia or green bean. You can also allow the pods to mature on the plant and use the black, red or white (depending on the variety) seeds as you would dry lubia pods or any dry bean.

We grow the green variety with black seeds inside, but across Asia there are wide, colorful varieties. The pods themselves come in green and reddish-purple and the seeds are black, white, brown, red, and more…

The Thai yard-long bean can be used in recipes calling for green beans or fresh lubia, including soups and quiches. In China, it is easily stir-fried, and is actually the original bean to have been used in stir-fried dishes. It tastes wonderful with fish and even pickled. The yard-long bean is rich in Vitamin A and contains a good quantity of Vitamin C as well.

Some of the recipes featured on our website range from easy to complicated, all delicious, of course. But if you don’t feel like firing up a cooking flame in this scorching summer, you are welcome to grab a long snake bean and simply…nibble.

Enjoy a week full of summer abundance and a true feeling of vacation,

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: New Zealand spinach/basil/lettuce, nana mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, Tripoli/Provence pumpkin slice, okra/Thai lubia, corn, sweet red peppers/zucchini, onions.

Large box, in addition: Melon/butternut squash, leeks/scallions, parsley

Wednesday: Tomatoes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, Tripoli/Provence pumpkin slice, melon/okra/Thai lubia, corn, sweet red peppers/zucchini, onions, parsley, nana mint/cilantro.

Large box, in addition: Butternut squash, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard leeks/scallions.

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 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 #253, July 20th-22nd 2015

With summer vacation, this month we will be charging your cards this week, a bit earlier than usual. The bill will include boxes for the first three weeks of July. The last week will be included in your August bill.

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.”)

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The fast of Tish’a B’av falls on Sunday. In order to allow our office staff and deliverymen to prepare for their harvest day prior to the fast, the order system will close for changes (Monday deliveries only) on Thursday night! Please make the appropriate adjustments by Thursday at 9:00 PM.

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How Now Brown Cowpea (or: “Chubeza and the Beanstalk”)

Said Rabbi Yona:
“How did beans get their name?
They amuse the heart and tickle the intestines.”
— Yerushalmi Talmud

As we part from the green and yellow beans, and in honor of the first harvest of cowpeas (lubia) and flat beans, we are devoting this week’s Newsletter to discussing the wonders of this multi-branched, intricate family of beans.

In our field we have a host of members of this clan, the Leguminosae (Fabaceae) family and the Papilionaceae (Faboideae) sub-family. They arrive in the fields at various times of the year, from fall to winter, spring and even throughout the scorching Israeli summer. Like many families, their members have different preferences, different methods of adapting, and even a varied look and distinctive “physical fitness.”

Some of them love the cool weather of autumn (peas), while others prefer the chill of winter (fava beans). Still others will bloom in the spring sun (yellow and green beans), and there are even those who love the dry chamsin heat waves (various cowpeas and soy). Some of them are climbers, some grow in stocky bushes; others grow tall on lofty, erect vines. They all belong to the same family, but within the sub-family they branch off to different varieties and species.

Beauty queens amongst the flowers of the Faboideae sub-family:

      

To better understand what we’re talking about, let us look at the botanist “family trees” (so to speak…): the taxonomy, the way the world of nature is categorized:

 

Our Papilionaceae belong to the kingdom of vegetation, to the phylum of flowering plants (and they are beautiful flowers!), to the class of dicotyledons (when the seed sprouts, two little leaves emerge from within the hard seed,) to the order of Fabales, and of course, to the family of Fabaceae, the sub-family of Faboideae. Interestingly, there are two other sub-families that belong to the legume family. One is the Mimosoidea, of whom the acacia is a member, and the other is the Caesalpiniaceae, where the carob, redbud (Judas Tree) and Tamarindus are prominent members. When you look at the fruits of these trees, you can see the family resemblance: their fruits are all pods in which hard seeds grow, just like the Faboideae.

Back to the Faboideae: Within this family there are various genera, which divide our friends in the field into different groups: there are the green and yellow beans (Phaseolus), growing next to the short cowpeas (Vigna), which grow on bushes, and also the long, climbing yard-long bean (also a Vigna), and soon we will greet the soybean (Glycine) in its fresh form (AKA adamame). Other representatives are the peas (Pisum), the chubby garden pea, the snow pea, and finally of course, the Vicia genus, whose representative the fava bean commands a lot of respect in our field. Naturally there are many other types, including the chickpea, lentils, clover, the Lucerne and others.

This is the season of beans and cowpeas, our Newsletter stars of the week. They have a lot in common, and greatly resemble one another. The ancient bean that grew in the Land of Israel is the cowpea. At the time of the Mishna, the common (green/yellow) bean was still mainly found in South America and not yet known in our area, while the cowpea, which probably originated in Africa, was the most common here. When Rabbi Yona says that the bean (shu’it) is amusing (mesha’a’sha’at), he must mean “filling and satisfying.” The verb sha’ah in Aramaic has to do with plaster, meaning  “filling and covering.”  The other part of Rabbi Yona’s words is the other, less amusing part of the (dry) beans and cowpeas – their tendency to create gas in the intestines…

Both the green beans and the cowpeas have fresh and dry versions, in a beautiful array of varieties (the missing category in our little chart, which goes right under the species). Even in our field we host the green bean and its yellow sister, both of which grow on bushes; the Baladi cowpea (the one with the black eye) which grows on bushes, brought to us by Mohammed; a Thai variety, that grows on bushes, brought to us by Svet (with reddish-brown seeds); and Moshe’s (our landlord) cowpea— short but climbing, with brown seeds. Then there’s the yard-long bean (actually a cowpea variety), also known as the asparagus bean or Chinese long bean (and in Israel known as Thai bean), with black seeds, which grows upwards. We usually trellis it on both sides of the pepper in order to stretch their shade nets along its polls.

The bean and cowpea seeds come in a variety of colors. Sometimes their pods look a lot alike, but there are, of course, many other species that we don’t have in our field, like the spotted reddish cranberry beans, the light green flat (Romano) beans and even bright purple beans. Here’s a gallery of pictures, which I swear I didn’t touch up in any way:

 BeanRoyalBurgundy4   green and yellow

romanobeans  bean_italian_rose

beans seeds

The bean’s tendency to climb brought it much respect in ancient American farming, as one of the “Three Sisters.” Archeologists have frequently found ancient Peruvian and Mexican farming sites with remnants of bean seeds together with those of corn and squash. The bean was seeded there together with the corn and squash, while the corn plants were used as trellising poles for the climbing bean. The squash covers the earth as a living mulch that serves to prevent weeds and water drainage, and the bean fixates nitrogen (see explanation below,) providing nutrients for both of her sisters:

 3sisters

Here and here are some explanations on how to prepare a bed like this one in your garden (and even in containers on your porch):

The climbing and bush species apparently developed separately and in parallel by different farmers in different areas. The bushy species developed in Peru contain a gene that makes them grow in miniature form by limiting the number of branch segments, while turning the plant tissues (the branches and leaves) to reproductive tissues (flowers and pods). The explanation for this is that in Peru the cornfields were limited, which is why a climbing-specie would have provided another burden for local farmers needing to support the climbing plants. (We definitely understand them, as we annually insert the poles into the ground and spread the nets for vining.) This is why Peruvian farmers must have chosen to raise plants from seeds that grew in the form of a bush, and those were the species that developed there. In Mexico, however, farmers chose to grow species that tended to crawl, since the bean grew near the corn that was used as a natural trellising pole, saving extra work for the farmer.

The climbing beanpole was immortalized by the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, where a poor boy climbs a huge beanstalk that he grew from magic seeds, embarking on a search for his identity which results in Jack finding happiness and wealth as he triumphs over evil. The bean is indeed magical in another sense – as a member of the legume family, it has many characteristics that help improve the earth. In a symbiotic process with a certain bacteria, it can fixate nitrogen from the atmosphere and store it in the earth in a form that is available to plants that grow with it or afterwards; its long roots grasp the earth and assist in preventing erosion, a feature that makes the bean very easy to grow, as it will cling to difficult and barren earth as well. In South America these qualities make the local plant “worth its weight in gold.”

A mucuna bean is seeded in Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and other places as a “cover crop” in small, local farms on the slopes of rocky mountains. The plants are cut and left in place while still green, and the next plants are planted in their organic matter (specifically corn). The result is a doubling and even tripling of the quantities of corn, and an improvement of the soil for years to come. Indeed, a magic bean!

The bean is a vegetable very high in nutrients. It is rich in protein (the green bean even more so than the yellow), iron, vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fibers. It can be cooked, steamed, roasted, pickled, added to pasta, rice, salad and any vegetable stir—adding taste, color and festivity to your meal.

Wishing you all an amusing week,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror. Yochay and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Eggplant, melon/red bell peppers, lettuce, Provence pumpkin/Napolean pumpkin/butternut squash, tomatoes, spaghetti squash/Japanese pumpkin, corn, flat beans/ Thai lubia, cucumbers/fakus, cherry tomatoes. Small boxes only: parsley root/ scallions/leeks.

Large box, in addition: Parsley/coriander, onions, okra, zucchini

Wednesday: red bell peppers, lettuce, corn, flat beans/ Thai lubia, cucumbers/fakus, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, cilantro/parsley/mint, melon/eggplant, spaghetti squash, small boxes only: scallions/leeks

Large box, in addition: zucchini, slice of pumpkin/butternut squash, onions, okra.

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 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!