April 4th-6th 2020 – Welcome, New Zealand Visitors!

We’re picking up your empty boxes again!

As corona restrictions slacken, we are delighted to reassume the task of collecting your empty Chubeza cartons for us to recycle. Kindly leave them outside your door, and feel free to slit the tape and flatten them to save space. Our delivery people will pick them up when they deliver your boxes.

Thanks!

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Blueberries! Yummy!!!

Over the past three years, on a small plot of land in Tekoa, Gadi and Tamar have been growing blueberry shrubs that paint their surroundings in glorious hues of blue and purple. Gadi Afik, an agronomist specializing in growing blueberries, is responsible for mushroom growing on the Tekoa farm. He works together with Tamir Deutsch, an organic farmer and owner of Helkat HaSadeh, an organic vegetable garden CSA. The two joined forces to confront the tough challenge of growing blueberries in Israel.

Blueberries need special conditions to grow. They grow best in acidic soil, which is why they are grown on a separate surface inside very large containers. Cold weather makes them happy, so frost warms Gadi and Tamir’s hearts.

Their blueberries, pesticide-free, boast a very high nutritional value rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and K and various minerals. Blueberries are said to prevent inflammation of blood vessels, reduce cholesterol, and are recommended as a fruit portion for diabetics thanks to their ability to reduce sugar levels in the blood.

And we haven’t said anything the taste…Words just can’t describe the goodness.

Blueberries – 20 NIS for 125 gr

You deserve a blueberry treat! Order this minute via our order system

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How do we know that spring is here?

Well… one sure clue is the New Zealand spinach in your vegetable boxes.

The spring and summer spinach we eat in Israel is not actually spinach. It’s not even a relative or a local, and albeit an immigrant to boot, it is one of the few greens that actually survives the hot Israeli summer. Its  many names all indicate its origins: Sea Spinach, (Captain) Cook’s Cabbage, Warrigal Greens (named after an Australian wild dog, otherwise known as Dingo) and Botany Bay Spinach. In the native Māori language it’s termed Kokihi, and in South Africa it is known as Duneweed.

All of these names describe a bit of its nature: this is a leafy crawling plant that grows mainly on the coast. A native of Australia and New Zealand, it was used extensively by the natives, and Captain Cook himself brought it to the European world. But before we mix you up like a spinach salad, let’s start from the beginning:

The plant’s scientific name is Tetragonia tetragonioides, and it belongs to the Aizoaceae family, characterized by fleshy plants that thrive along the seashores, in sands and dunes, and also in the desert. It has been native to Australia and New Zealand for centuries, where the aborigines and native Maoris would gather it for food. When the Europeans reached the continent, they were taught which plants were edible, inside information which enabled them to survive. They coined the local plants and animals used for sustenance (including the wonder-plant tetragonia) “bush tuckers” (or as we say, Baladi).

Upon his fleet’s arrival to the Eastern coast of Australia in 1770, Captain Cook was justifiably concerned lest his sailors contract scurvy, a disease caused by lack of vitamin C. So whenever they reached shore, the captain would set out in search of good fresh leafy greens to boost their diets. In Australia, his botanist chef found the tetragonia, and after enjoying its taste and nutritious value, they brought it home to England.

The Brits, already very fond of greens, were delighted to receive this exotic plant, and by the beginning of the nineteenth century it was to be found growing in the finest of English vegetable gardens. Afterwards, there came a period when the tetragonia was passed over for hybrids and other “advanced” plants, but over the recent decades, in keeping with the worldwide trend for local, homegrown products, the venerable plant is experiencing a comeback. White-aproned Australian chefs now gather it in the fields or purchase it from gourmet farmers. In leafy-green-loving Asia, too, it was happily received, growing across Eastern Asia and used as a substitute for Asian greens in stir-fried vegetable dishes.

This is how it grows, spread out and sprawling:

Though genetically unrelated to spinach, tetragonia received its name because it is used as a spinach substitute—but with one major edge over its namesake: Unlike spinach, which requires a cold climate and will not germinate in extreme heat or will bloom prematurely, New Zealand spinach is heat-resistant. On the other hand, it is very sensitive to cold, and frost will completely destroy it. This special relationship resulted in the New Zealand spinach becoming a good substitute for spinach during summer, while true spinach assumes the stage in winter.

In Israel, the substitution game became even more complex, with a small link to our chubeza as well. During the siege of Jerusalem, the city’s residents were encouraged to plant rooftop vegetable gardens, using their sewage water for irrigation. This is when the idea arose to gather wild mallow (chubeza). Schoolchildren were organized to go out and gather mallow leaves, which were then passed on to Tnuva, which packaged and marketed them as “New Zealand Spinach.” Around the world in just a few words: a Jerusalem mallow, marketed as New Zealand spinach, serves as a substitute for true spinach (which has its origins in Iran).

If you wish to grow this wonder plant yourself, following suit of so many gardeners worldwide who have transplanted it into their plots of earth, there are several things you should know: First, it grows easily and enthusiastically, demanding no special pampering. So much so that in various parts of New Zealand and the United States it has become a weed which farmers try to get rid of, but usually it is very friendly. Like many other local “homegrown” plants, it is strong and does not attract too many pests or diseases, another reason for it to replace the sensitive spinach. Its seeds sprout slowly, due to an impenetrable seed shell (remember, it is accustomed to growing in moist areas in the southern hemisphere where the seeds’ problem was how not to go bad before sprouting…).  The best way to help it sprout is to soak the seeds in cold water for 24 hours prior to seeding, or in hot water for three hours.

The mildly salty taste of New Zealand spinach is similar to that of true spinach, making it a proper substitute. But they do not resemble each other one bit! Indeed, New Zealand spinach is green and edible, but this is as far as the resemblance stretches. The New Zealand mate’s diamond-shaped leaves are much smaller, fleshier and usually sport jagged edges. It can substitute for spinach in any recipe, and in some dishes can replace Swiss chard, with whom it shares a fleshy texture. This fleshiness of the New Zealand spinach leaves allows them to retain more volume in cooking, thus when substituting for spinach or Swiss chard, use only half the amount of leaves called for in the recipe. (Note that the recipes in our recipe section are original Australian recipes meant for New Zealand spinach, thus the quantities are correct).

When you cook New Zealand spinach, separate the leaves from the coarser-textured stems which can create uneven cooking. It is not recommended to consume these greens raw: the leaves contain cartonoid antioxidants which are important nutrients, but in their raw form they are oxalates which complicate digestion, particularly for those who are sensitive in that realm (e.g., gallstone or other kidney problem sufferers.) To remove most of the oxalates for easier digestion, blanch the New Zealand spinach for a few minutes, and then wash the leaves. Bon Appetite!

Wishing all a relaxed, pleasant and healthy week,

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

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

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Monday: Zucchini/bell peppers, potatoes, slice of pumpkin, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, leeks/onions, New Zealand spinach, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, celery/parsley root.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/kale, carrots, cabbage/garlic.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, nectarines, oranges/red grapefruit, apples.

Wednesday: Zucchini/bell peppers/turnip/Facus, potatoes, slice of pumpkin/cabbage/garlic, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh onions, New Zealand spinach/kale, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, celery.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard, carrots, parsley root.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, nectarines/avocado, oranges/red grapefruit, apples.

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New Zealand Spinach Recipes:

Pasta with Tetragon

New Zealand Spinach and Parsley Pesto

New Zealand Spinach Recipe From the Cauldrons of Captain Cook’s Chef

A Dip and a Pie (Rice Base)

Aley Chubeza #280, February 15th-17th 2016

Upgrading!

We are pleased to inform you that Chubeza’s Customer Relations efforts are making progress: this time in the area of bills and invoices. I know that some of you have been baffled in opening our invoices or understanding the two-invoice system. Moreover, our system was not secure enough to be able to trust it with your credit card details. Today, however, we embark upon a new era…

Our billing system has been upgraded and is now connected to the Ishurit Zahav system of CardCom, a secure system which encodes the details of payment with full safety. Soon we will graduate to an invoice program that will produce one comprehensive invoice which includes all your monthly purchases (taking into consideration the various VAT levels). The invoices should now be opened easily, with no further difficulties.

So, now that Chubeza has taken these giant steps, we need your help! Please visit your bill in our order system (instructions for using the order system can be found here), and click the “personal details” tab. On the bottom of the page, there should be a line saying (in Hebrew):הכנסת פרטי אשראי לחיוב חוזר: קישור לטופס מאובטח Click the link, then enter your credit card info. Now your card is encoded and saved in the secure system.

Only two weeks till the end of the month! We will be very grateful if you enter your payment details as soon as possible so we can bill your cards on time at the end of next week.

If you have any questions or could use some technical assistance, please call or email.

Thank you!

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A Wintry Sun

After many a cool and rainy week, we are now experiencing warm, sunny days with joyful rays of sun, although the sun disappears after a few hours in deference to cool temperatures. The earth in our field is already saturated and well-watered – six feet under – and the veggies are thankful to bathe in the good sun, giving hearty winter vegetables the exact quantity of warmth they need.

For us, this is perfect timing. After not planting for a month and a half, from beginning to mid-February is exactly the time we go back to plant the last winter rounds of celery, fennel, kohlrabi and more. And, too, we begin our spring planting. The first to go into the good earth is the zucchini, covered by clear plastic to warm and protect against cold times. This is the perfect week for them to get well acquainted in their beds.

Our greens, too, are loving the sun. The leaves are thirstily drinking up the sunrays, absorbing them in their bodies to generate energy for healthy growth. In their honor, and in honor of the month of Adar Alef, this week’s Newsletter is dedicated to our spinach contingent, one an actual spinach and member of the Amaranthaceae family, and the second, the New Zealand spinach from the family of coastal plants, who masquerades as spinach.

I decided to write about them again in response to the deluge of questions from you as to what these leaves are. Our response “Why, it’s spinach!” is met with such confused replies as, “but we thought spinach is the little green leaves on the long stem….??” So, here goes:

Meet Mr. Spinach:

spinach.jpg

The origins of spinach, a member of the Amaranthaceae family, are in central Asia: Afghanistan, North India, Uzbekistan, Southwest Asia and perhaps Persia. For years it was grown in the Mideast, in the central Orient and in China. A Chinese seventh-century source coins spinach “the Persian herb.” It migrated to Syria and Saudi Arabia and from there to North Africa. In the eleventh century, the North Africans Moors brought spinach to Spain and introduced it to the Europeans. A popular plant in the Holy Land, spinach is mentioned in the Mishnah and Talmud as a vegetable used for cooking and in soup.

Spinach provides a good opportunity to discuss the power of culture, of colorful stories and folk tradition vs. the power of exact sciences. Like many vegetables, spinach began its culinary life as a medicinal herb, used to treat constipation and digestive problems.

In Tractate Brachot, Rav Chisda notes: “A dish of spinach is good for the heart and for the eyes, and even more so, for the intestines.” I am always amazed at how precise folk medicine is without having the scientific tools to actually examine the medicinal herbs it recommends. Years of experience, perhaps, together with knowledge which is passed on from generation to generation, maybe even a tad of intuition or spiritual abilities, all come together to provide good health advice. For I am pretty sure Rav Chisda never entered the chemistry lab or studied biology or botany, and yet, he hit it right on the spot. Spinach is one of the richest antioxidant sources, especially high in lutein, which contributes to healthy eyes and can also reduce the danger of arteriosclerosis, heart disease and cancer. The high levels of oxalate are those responsible for its beneficial ability in regulating bowel movements (more about the health virtues of the spinach later).

The next thing I thought about while studying spinach is its best friend, Popeye the Sailor Man. When Popeye encounters trouble, he wolfs down spinach straight from the can, gaining immediate, incredible strength. The funny thing is, Popeye is the result of… a typo. In research conducted in 1870, a decimal point typo erroneously attributed its iron content to be ten times the actual value… But here comes the power of storytelling and the one-eyed sailorman. If you conduct a short survey among your friends and ask them which vegetables are richest in iron, they will probably name spinach among them.

And to complicate matters, though spinach is in fact rich in iron (not ten times richer, but still…) and also calcium, our ability to absorb these elements from spinach is rather limited, as the oxalate binds them together, preventing their absorption in the body.

But spinach boasts other advantages. Beyond the lutein mentioned previously, spinach is rich in vitamins K, A, C, beta carotene and folic acid. It is rich in chlorophyll, which contributes to protection from cancer-inducing substances (lung cancer, for instance). It contains Quercetin which is an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, and a specific enzyme that assists in lowering blood pressure. Spinach juice is the best vegetable juice to prevent cancerous cells.

There are two groups of spinach varieties: those with prickly seeds, considered to be more resistant to cold weather, and the smooth-seed varieties, which deal better with warm temperatures. The hybrid varieties we have today are suitable for different climates.

Another way to differentiate spinach types is by the leaves: there are the crinkled curly leaves (savoy spinach) and the flat, smooth ones, and there are some intermediate varieties (somewhere between smooth to crinkled). In Israel, spinach also grows in its wild form, from the center of the country to the north, in wintertime and spring. Its leaves are soft and milder, and they usually taste more refined. In northern markets, you can buy it fresh, and in Galilean restaurants this is a major ingredient in local dishes at this time of the year.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the New Zealand spinach:

New_Zealand_Spinach

The plant’s scientific name is Tetragonia tetragonioides, and it belongs to the Aizoaceae family, characterized by fleshy plants that thrive along the seashores, in sands and dunes, and in the desert as well. It has been native to Australia and New Zealand for many years, where the aborigines and native Maoris would gather it for food. When the Europeans reached the continent, they were taught which plants were edible, enabling them to survive. They coined the local plants and animals used for sustenance (including the wonder-plant tetragonia) “bush tuckers.”

Upon his fleet’s arrival to the Eastern coast of Australia in 1770, Captain Cook was justifiably concerned lest his sailors contract scurvy, a disease caused by lack of vitamin C. At sea, the crew was nourished solely from preserved food, so whenever they reached shore, the captain would set out in search of good fresh leafy greens to boost their diets. In Australia, his botanist chef found the tetragonia, and after enjoying its taste and nutritious value, they brought it home to England.

The Brits, already very fond of greens, were delighted to receive this exotic plant, and by the beginning of the nineteenth century it was to be found growing in the best of English vegetable gardens. Afterwards, there came a period when the tetragonia was passed over for hybrids and other “advanced” plants, but over the past decades, in keeping with the worldwide trend for local, homegrown products, the venerable plant is experiencing a comeback. White-aproned Australian chefs now gather it in the fields or purchase it from gourmet farmers. In leafy-green-loving Asia, too, it was happily received, growing across Eastern Asia and used as a substitute for Asian greens in stir-fried vegetable dishes.

Though genetically unrelated to spinach, the New Zealand spinach received its name because it is used as a spinach substitute—but with one major edge over its namesake: Unlike spinach, which requires a cold climate and will not germinate in extreme heat or will bloom prematurely, New Zealand spinach is heat-resistant. On the other hand, it is very sensitive to cold, and frost will completely destroy it. This special relationship resulted in the New Zealand spinach becoming a good substitute for spinach during summer, while true spinach assumes the stage in winter, and does well in Israeli winters as well.

In Israel, the substitution game became even more complex, with a small link to our Chubeza as well. During the siege of Jerusalem in the 1948 War of Independence, in an attempt to find dietary solutions for the besieged residents, the idea arose to gather wild mallow (chubeza). Schoolchildren were organized to go out and gather mallow leaves, which were then passed on to Tnuva, which packaged and marketed them as “New Zealand Spinach.” Around the world in just a few words: a Jerusalem mallow, marketed as New Zealand spinach, serves as a substitute for true spinach (which has its origins in Iran).

And what’s it really like? Does it work as a true spinach substitute? The mildly salty taste of New Zealand spinach is similar to that of true spinach, but they do not look alike. The New Zealand mate’s diamond-shaped leaves are much smaller and fleshier. It can substitute for spinach in any recipe, and in some dishes can replace Swiss chard, with whom it shares a fleshy texture, definitely fleshier than that of the thinner spinach. This fleshiness allows it to retain more volume in cooking, thus when substituting for spinach or Swiss chard, use only half the amount of leaves called for in the recipe.

When you cook New Zealand spinach, separate the leaves from the coarser-textured stems that are harder to cook. It is not recommended to consume these greens raw: the leaves contain cartonoid antioxidants which are important nutrients, but in their raw form they are oxalates which complicate digestion, particularly for those with gallstones or kidney problems. To remove most of the oxalates for easier digestion, blanch the New Zealand spinach for a few minutes, and then wash the leaves.

At this time of the year, both varieties of these greens are growing at Chubeza. Sometimes you receive the winter spinach (as we call it), while at other times you get the New Zealand spinach and a chance to enjoy the “original” and its dressed-up counterpart…. You can find recipes for both these guys in the recipe section on our site.

Cut the spinach! And enjoy the sunny week,

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Some of the tomatoes this week look different from those you have become accustomed to. They’re good and tasty, but nonetheless they’re a little pale. Although the tomato bushes were hurt by the frost and their foliage was damaged, they are still strong and yielding fruit. Lots of fruit. In order to help the bushes survive, we lopped them from above and anxiously await their renewal from the sides of the stems. In addition, with the tomato plants bereft of foliage which protects the fruit from the damages of solar radiation, we stretched a shade-net over the tunnel in which the tomatoes grow. Though this net does protect from damage, it also creates an uneven ripening among the vegetables. Please accept these tomatoes with understanding and joy. Take a bite! They’re delicious and thirst-quenching. (Our thanks.)

Monday: Broccoli, coriander/dill/mint, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach/kale/Swiss chard, cucumbers/long Dutch cucumbers, carrots, onions, potatoes, baby radishes/purple radishes/daikon (long white radish), beets. Small boxes only: leeks.

Large box, in addition: Baby greens (mesclun mix), celeriac, cauliflower, cabbage.

Wednesday: Broccoli, coriander/dill/mint/parsley, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach/kale/Swiss chard, cucumbers/long Dutch cucumbers, carrots/bell peppers, onions, baby greens (mesclun mix), potatoes. Small boxes only: beets/celeriac

potatoes, baby radishes/purple radishes/white turnip, leeks, cabbage, fava beans/peas.

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 #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.”)

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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!

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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

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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 #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.

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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 #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