April 15th-17th 2019 – There is no time like Spring

No deliveries on Chol Hamoed, so you will not be receiving your vegetables on Monday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 24. But… if the vegetables don’t come to you, you can come to them!

On Wednesday, April 24, don’t miss our traditional Pesach Open Day in the field between 2pm-6pm. Stay tuned for more details, coming soon.

_______________________________

There is no time like Spring,
Like Spring that passes by;
There is no life like Spring-life born to die, –
Piercing the sod,
Clothing the uncouth clod,
Hatched in the nest,
Fledged on the windy bough,
Strong on the wing:
There is no time like Spring that passes by,
Now newly born, and now
Hastening to die.

 – Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

There are years when the arrival of springtime is not a cause for celebration. When it follows a dry winter and we realize that this is it – the rainy season is over – we welcome spring with apprehension. Sadly, I’ve faced this haunting experience more than once in my life as a farmer: disappointment with the lack of precipitation in the previous winter and an acceptance of the spring season with a hopeful-but-heavy-heart.

But this year we’re greeting spring with sheer joy. All winter long we smiled and rejoiced with each additional dose of timely rain – in just the right measure and intervals – and alongside the clumps of earth in the field, we enjoyed a satiating and incredible winter. Thus, by springtime we may have even had enough of it. We’re fully ready for the dry season – body, heart and soul. Yes, we can gratefully bid winter farewell, and mean it when we say, Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day…

So now it’s official – spring made its grand entrance three weeks ago, and the weather decided to turn upside down and pull some spring pranks just to herald the arrival of the season. Astronomically speaking, spring begins on the day of the vernal equinox, where the length of day equals the length of night. Spring ends on the summer solstice, when the day is longest and the night is shortest. For us in the northern hemisphere, spring begins on March 21st and ends on June 21st.  Spring is traditionally known as a season for awakening, renewal and love. This is the season for wooing and romance, providing perfect weather for lovers. Or does it? Actually, the Israeli spring is not such a pleasant, temperate interlude at all.  When the European immigrants arrived here, however, they couldn’t face parting with the European season of rejuvenation and blossoming, so they simply inserted it into the Israeli calendar. But here, spring is the season of topsy-turvy weather—pleasant days which morph into rainy ones followed by a hazy heat wave, just like we’re seeing now. And indeed, regardless of the weather pattern, we know that “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”

In the Bible, the term spring (aviv in Hebrew) defines a particular stage in the development of grain, the start of ripening when the stalk begins to harden. In our region, the first grain to ripen is the barley, and the month of aviv is that month when barley reaches the stage of development called “aviv.” This “aviv” of the grain occurs when the rains have diminished, the sun is shining and the temperatures are on the rise. And so, in Hebrew, this transition time between winter and summer came to be called aviv. It is also the month that the Children of Israel came out of Egypt. The book of Exodus (9:31) recounts the effects of the plague of hail, saying, “And the flax and the barley were smitten; for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom. But the wheat and the spelt were not smitten; for they ripen late.”  The short spring of the month of Nissan is indeed a fine time to go out of Egypt for a sojourn in the Sinai Desert (as those Israelis congregating in Taba will certainly attest). Rashi even wrote, “This is what he indicated to them: See the kindness which He has done to you, for He brought you forth in a month in which it is fitting to go forth, not (too) hot and not (too) cold, and no rains.” (Commentary on Exodus 13:4)

There are those who claim that the word aviv derives from the word av, meaning father, the head of the family, the first in the family, denoting the very first ear of grain during the period of ripening. Others believe that the origin of the word comes from a different meaning of av – a fresh, young plant which is presently blossoming, such as ibei ha-nachal, the “green plants of the valley” mentioned in the Song of Songs, (6:11) and “odenu be’ibo,” (whilst still in its greenness), Job 5:12.

And blossoming does indeed provide the pervading hue of the spring season, as the writer Eliezer Smoli wrote, “Anyone who traverses Eretz Yisrael at this time of the year, whether on foot or even by car, will be met by a flowering abundance wherever his eye shall turn. Like one vast colorful carpet covering the flat land from the north to the Negev, from the east to the west, mountain and valley, hill and dell, immersed in a swell of every varied color. A true celebration of flowering at this season of the year. Spring in the very fullness of the word. Yet one who looks closely at the sea of bloom before him will discern, at the very outermost part, at the edge of the dotted tapestry, a withering that is slowly creeping up, and here and there are signs of balding. It appears that out of intention and knowledge, as it were, the abundance of flowering is concentrated in one short, finite period, for behold, the rains are over and gone and the sun has emerged from its sheath. The power of the east overcomes the west, day by day. The rainy season, which fought a diligent, daily all-out war, surrendered at last to the sunny days. Upon the horizon, a misty heat wave rises and an idle breeze breaks through to cross the Jordan and swoop westward—with the withering and wilting in its wake.”

Shepherds also celebrated at Pesach. A wet winter of rich pastures led to a season of birth for lambs and goats and an abundance of milk, labeneh, cheese and butter. Can you think of a better reason to hold a celebratory feast thanking the Almighty for having endured the winter, and to pray that the entire herd grazes safely and peacefully? To this day, Bedouin shepherds dedicate the first butter of the season to Moch’an, the patriarch of nomadic shepherds. Once milking season arrives, they use a leather pouch to collect the butter made from milk produced during the first three days. On the third day, they prepare a great feast in honor of Moch’an, highlighted by a delicious taste of their brand-new butter.

On the scene at the Izza Pziza goat pen, Moshav Tal Shachar

  

During this period, beekeepers rev up for their busy season of extracting the honey from the nectar gathered during the flowering from winter till now. We, too, eagerly await this season of honey gathering leading up to the heavenly final product – sweet, natural honey from the apiaries at Ein Harod and the Golan Heights.

In nature, breeding occurs during springtime, as one swarm gives life to another. During swarm preparation, the bee scouts set out in search of a nearby location for the swarm to colonize and embark on their new lives. At this stage, they are very exposed and vulnerable. Unfortunately, this time of year coincides with Pesach cleaning which leads us to places that are usually less-than-accessible. And thus, we’ll be merrily cleaning away when suddenly we’re face to face with a young bee swarm on the wall, in a hidden corner of the garden or in the window box. And no, not everyone is happy to coexist with bees, which is why the Magen Dvorim Adom organization was established. This volunteer bee rescue squad arrives at the site to skillfully transfer the swarm to a safe place, allowing the bees to survive and continue to play their crucial role in global existence.  Learn more about the organization here (Hebrew).

Pesach, the festival of spring, ushers in the parade of agricultural holidays in Eretz Yisrael, as Nissan opens the Hebrew calendar. During this festival, farmers are happily fortified with strength that’s been restored through many hours of sleep accumulated over the slow winter season (as their memories dimmed of last summer’s scorching heat…).

After sowing in tears, the barley has ripened, heralding the time to reap in joy. At the close of the first Pesach holiday, a celebration was held to mark the barley harvest season, by the ceremonial first binding of the sheaves. This ceremony and this season were also accompanied by great apprehension. As the entire season’s crops are about to ripen and become ready to harvest, the volatile weather placed tremendous pressure upon the farmers. In the words of the Yalkut Shimoni, “At Pesach, one will not find simchah (joy) written even once. Why? For at Pesach, the yield is judged, and no one knows whether this year will bring a yield or not.”

We join in the hope and prayers that this holiday and this coming season will be blessed with honey, milk and the fruit of the land, which will bring health, peace and happiness.

Chag sameach! See you at the Open Day!

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

________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S HOLIDAY BOXES?

Monday: Beets/zucchini, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower/cabbage, kale/Swiss chard, parsley root/celeriac, fresh fava beans, parsley/coriander/dill.

Large box, in addition:  Baby radishes/turnips, fennel/kohlrabi, green garlic/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Clementinot, oranges, bananas, apples.

Wednesday: Beets/zucchini, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower/cabbage, kale/Swiss chard, parsley root/celeriac, fennel/kohlrabi, parsley/coriander/dill.

Large box, in addition:  Baby radishes/turnips, fresh fava beans ,green garlic/leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Clementinot, oranges, bananas, apples.

March 26th-28th 2018 – Happy springy tasty Passover!

Note these delivery changes for the Pesach holiday:

During the week of Chol Hamoed Pesach (Monday, April 2 and Wednesday April 4), there will be no deliveries.

Those of you who receive bi-weekly boxes – note the three-week gap!

Open Day at Chubeza: In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.

The Pesach Open Day will take place on Wednesday, April 4, the 19th of Nissan, between 1:00 PM-6:00 PM.  In tradition, the Open Day gives us an ideal opportunity to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours, designed for little feet and curious minds, plus activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up.  (So can the adults…)

On the Open Day, we also set up a produce stand where you can purchase all you need to replenish your vegetable supply.

The festivities take place in the fields on the outskirts of Moshav Bin Nun. Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us”

We look forward to seeing you all!

________________________________________________________

A new date delivery has arrived from Samar, just when our supply of autumn dates was dwindling. All varieties are now replenished: Barhi, Dekel Nur and Zahidi, and all are Kosher for Pesach. You are welcome to sweeten your holiday with the healthy, tasty delight of Samar dates. Order via our order system today!

__________________________________________________

Not only are the dates kosher for Pesach. Lots of other Chubeza delicacies are available for you from our associates: Juices and date honey from Neot Smadar, Green crackers and vegetable crackers, date and walnut granola, cocoa, almond and berry granola, double chocolate cookies, and ginger and cinnamon cookies, walnut fudge and brownies from Shorshei Zion; all the excellent spices from Reach HaSade; olive oil and honey from Ein Charod, and Tamir’s honey from the Golan. Lots of goodies for your holiday table or gifts for those you truly love.

Find them all in our order system.

_________________________________________________

It’s all in the Family

In honor of the upcoming Festival of Matza, and in tribute to the first representatives of our yummy spring legumes that are ripening as we speak – the amazing peas and the fava bean – let’s dedicate some words to the general major confusion in the grains and legume world of chametz:

The Grain Family is a fundamental botanical family, the Poaceae family, or the Gramineae. It is one of the most important plant families to economics and human culture, essential for daily food consumption by humans (grains constitute almost every slice of bread) and animals (as fodder and pasture), as a chief source of sugar (sugarcane and corn), as building material (bamboo in Asia) and of course, as natural ornaments (lawns and more). It is a relatively young family (55-65 million years old), characterized by grass with hollow stems (canes) usually in a node formation, which grants stability and the ability to bend without breaking. As they are fertilized by the wind, grains have no need for any colorful prissy flower to attract pollinators; their flowers are characteristically green-brown-yellow, as the color of the plant itself. The grains are usually organized in spikes.

Graminae seeds are usually monocotyledon (meaning they have one-kernel sperm). This is demonstrated by the fact that their seed does not split in half. (Think about the corn or rice kernel, as compared to fava or pea seed.) Almost all of them are edible, but many varieties are so small that they’re not widely grown commercially. Another characteristic of grains, which is problematic in farming, is that most spread their seeds by bursting the spike and whirling their kernels to the wind, which becomes a problem for those who wish to reap or gather them. Over the years, (wo)man has selected and cultivated the non-explosive grains, attempting to develop larger seeds. This has resulted in today’s wheat, barley, corn and rice (as compared to the less-cultivated amaranth, for example, or even smaller species).

Within this important family, there is a “Jewish” sub-family, the one termed “the five species of grain.” These are the grains belonging to the “wheat tribe” (the Poaidae sub-family), characterized by their ability to leaven and swell. This is generated by gluten, a general term for some of the proteins typical in the various species of grain. Gluten is distinctive for its insolubility. The origin of the word “gluten” is the Latin gluttire, meaning ‘to swallow,’ because gluten changes its spatial structure when water is added and the dough is kneaded, giving the dough mechanical strength and the ability to hoard gas (created by yeast and enzymes). In the process of kneading, the gluten is developed, creating a three-dimensional structure of a net of thin elastic filaments that act to “trap” and “withhold” the gases and water vapors formed within the dough-hollow during the rising and subsequent baking.  (Further details on gluten can be found here)

This group has special laws in Judaism, including, aside from Pesach issues, the blessing of Hamotsi before eating, reciting the Birkat HaMazon afterwards, and the mitzvah of “taking Challah.”

wheat barley rye Spelt

The four species of grain we use for daily consumption belonging to the gluten wheat tribe are (right to left): wheat, barley, rye and spelt. Four? But what is the fifth? What about the oats? Well, here is the big surprise: Oats do not contain gluten, nor do they leaven or swell. Professor Yehuda Felix has identified the oats of “the five species of grain” with a species of barley. He argues that it is impossible that oat is in oatmeal, since oatmeal does not contain gluten and was not known to our sages during the Talmud and Mishna.

On the opposing side, other scholars (e.g. Moshe Sachs, Mordechai Kislev, Zohar Amar) claim that small quantities of oats grew scattered among wheat and barley fields, and though it is indeed gluten-free, it does in fact leaven and is therefore included in the original five species of grain. Thus – the popular equivalent is correct.

Our second family, the legumes (Fabaceae), is a very dear one to farmers. I will not extol its virtues here, but that will surely come in a future newsletter. For now, let me simply note that there is no botanical similarity between legumes and the Graminaes. When we discuss legumes on Pesach, we don’t really mean the legume family, but rather the Pesach Ashkenazi “small legumes,” a varied and odd group composed of rice, millet and corn (Gramineae family) as well as beans, hummus, fenugreek, soy, lentils, fava beans, white beans, Tamarindus Indica (Fabaceae family), sunflower seeds, mustard, buckwheat, kummel and sesame (which belong to various other families). In short, the prohibition of kitniyot on Pesach includes an assortment of all kinds of botanical grains and seeds, uncovered by any fruit skin.

And why is this? Traditionally, the prohibition dates back to a European Jewish custom over 700 years ago, whose reasons remain less than clear. This ban can be summarized by four main reasons, none of which derives from a direct Divine prohibition, but rather from doubts and misgivings:

* In Ashkenazi communities, kitniyot were used in cooking, and the rabbis did not trust the cooks’ ability to differentiate between rice and groats (women…)

* As there are various kitniyot that can produce flour, the rabbis worried that some Jews would allow themselves the use of chametz flour as well. Although in ancient periods the Rabbis were not concerned because the custom was very clear, the exile of the Jews caused sages to fear that lack of knowledge could lead to mistakes. (At least this time the woman is blameless…)

* The physical resemblance between grains and kitniyot: In both cases, these are grains stored in silos for relatively long periods of time, causing some concern that the kosher kitniyot would mix with wheat and barley seeds, and inevitably lead to cooking chametz on Pesach. The wagons leading the kitniyot to market were also used to transport grains, which might result in blending.

* Growth in the fields is related as well. Over the early Middle Ages, farmers in Europe transferred to a tri-annual crop rotation: one year they planted grains, the next legumes, and the third year the field was left fallow. This method must have created “voluntary” growth of some grains in the legume field, which might have entered the kitniyot sacks.

In light of these fears, the rabbis decided that Ashkenazim should be ‘better safe than sorry’ (I’m sure this sounds better in Yiddish), and prohibited legumes and other grains, seeds, kernels, granules and whatnot from the Pesach fare.

Thus considering that the word seder is Hebrew for “order,” in botanical terms, the Pesach Seder is far from literal. Instead of bringing order, Pesach brings a major balagan!

Hoping you are managing to find some moments of tranquility, rejuvenation, spring gaiety and joy in these pre-holiday days.

See you at the Open Day!

Chag Sameach from

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

_____________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/spinach/kale, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, garden or snow peas/Jerusalem artichoke, tomatoes, parsley/coriander/dill, green garlic, beets, leeks. Small boxes only: Celeriac/parsley root

Large box, in addition: Cabbage, fava beans, potatoes, onions.

Monday: Swiss chard/spinach/kale, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, garden or snow peas/potatoes, tomatoes, parsley/coriander/dill, beets, leeks, celeriac/parsley root, onions.

Large box, in addition: Cabbage.Jerusalem artichoke, green garlic, fava beans.

Aley Chubeza #332, April 3rd-5th 2017

Some Pre-Pesach Messages, Changes in Deliveries:

  • There will be no delivery over Chol Hamoed, Monday, April 10, and Wednesday, April 12.
  • Deliveries scheduled for the Monday after Pesach will be moved to Tuesday, April 18. Wednesday deliveries will remain as usual.

Bi-weekly recipients:

Since we do not deliver over Chol Hamoed, bi-weekly delivery recipients will be facing a three-week gap. Therefore, if you wish to expand your regular boxes or make a special order for the holidays, please contact us as soon as possible to give advance notice.

Open Day at Chubeza:

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.

The Pesach Open Day will take place on Thursday, April 13, the 17th of Nissan, from 1:00 PM -6:00 PM. For those of you who not yet haven’t experienced it, the Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours designed for little feet and curious minds, plus special arts and crafts and cooking activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up.  (So can the adults…)

On Open Day, we also have a stand for vegetable sales, so you can replenish your vegetable supply.

The festivities take place in the fields outside the moshav. Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure to check this out before heading our way.

Chag Sameach from all of us. We look forward to seeing you!

____________________________________

Pesach is Here/ Naomi Shemer

The fragrance of green stalks and sweet nut loaves
The scent of cleanliness, doves in the groves
Are a sign that Pesach is here

Chorus songs glide, a joyous groom and bride
Are a sign that Pesach is here

A desert breeze will blow, as autumn now will go
It’s a sign that Pesach is here

In the month of Spring
Child and father will sing
Psalms abound with light all ’round

The skies are blue, the days are long
It’s time to read the Song of Songs
New garments aired, matzah and honey paired
It’s a sign that Pesach is here

The table’s set with care, afikoman gifts we’ll share
With four cups of wine we sing and we dine
It’s a sign that Pesach is here

Listen to a nostalgic performance of this song by children of the Tel Aviv School for the Arts (our song starts at minute 17:00)

pesach plate

Well, it’s almost Pesach, a holiday that is not generally considered a culinary event. Most people think of it as a holiday of lotsa-matzah and meat, and depending on your tradition, rice or potatoes. But if we take a look at the Seder symbols and the little appetizer ceremonies that precede the great meal, one may notice that lots of vegetables and some fruit take an honored role in the celebration. This week’s Newsletter turns the spotlight onto them.

The first to tickle the taste buds is the Karpas, which is basically any vegetable. Customs vary among using celery, parsley, radish, potato or onion. All these vegetables are now in season (along with many others), and therefore they’re each a great nibble-nosh possibility. The vegetable is dipped in salt water to arouse interest and curiosity. Eating a vegetable at the beginning of the evening is an appetizer that calms the hungry belly and allows for some further conversation regarding the present Haggadah text, and more that’s yet to come. It is also a mark of liberty and abundance, as appetizers are served when a bounty of food is available and there’s time and serenity to sit around and converse over dinner.

veggie plate

The next “shmear” is the Maror, and it includes the rest of the Seder plate vegetables – maror, horseradish and haroset. Maror is usually lettuce, which in this cultivated day and age is no longer bitter, at times even sweet, but the wild lettuce – particularly the “prickly lettuce” variety – is certainly pungent and explains its choice as a symbol of bitterness. Other Maror options were chicory, sea-holly (probably a purple thistle) and the chervil herb, as well as horseradish. Today we usually are kind to ourselves and eat lettuce, which from the description of the others definitely sounds like the best option. There are those who add spicy horseradish to the lettuce, perhaps aiming for the bitterness or because pungency is one of the stronger, more severe flavors. As a fan of the spicy, adding horseradish is a treat. I love how the sweet leaves meet the bitter root and the nose joins the party when the powerful whiff of horseradish hits it.

At the beginning, the Maror is eaten alone, but in the next round, another flavor is added to the piquant bitterness – sweet Haroset, made of fruit and nuts. Basically an excellent natural energy bar. Some make it more liquid, resembling date honey, and other times it’s a pesto-like spread. Then there are those who make it the texture of a finely-chopped salad. This season we have not yet encountered fresh fruit, so use dry fruit: figs, dates, walnuts and almonds. There are those who add apples and other natural sweeteners.

When we learned about the Seder customs, my daughter Shahar wondered why we dip Maror in Haroset. As we explored the topic, we learned that some explain this is meant to lessen the bitterness of Maror. Others tie the bitterness of the slavery in Egypt to the Haroset, symbolizing the mortar used to adhere the bricks to each other, as the Israelites slaved away building the mammoth Egyptian monuments. Shahar thought that they are eaten together so we can taste the entire gamut of the story at once, the bitter with the sweet, the anxiety and happy end, the distress and happiness.

Another nice explanation we found belongs to Rabbi Avraham Eliyahu Ki Tov who ascertained that the Seder is comprised of a combination of enslavement and salvation. The combination of maror and charoset is one of bitter and sweet, teaching us that they both depend on us, on the way we view matters. One can see things like the Israelites in the desert – the maror (hardship) which lies within the haroset, or the world can be viewed, like Pollyanna, seeing the haroset (sweetness) with the maror (hardship). (Pollyanna is Shahar’s addition, not part of the original commentary…)

hillel-sandwich

The Seder is one busy evening, with a bevy of flavors sharing one table: salty, sweet, bitter and spicy. Different colors, multi-textures, varied desires… a colorful disarray. Sort of like a Chubeza box….

Wishing you a Chag Sameach! Enjoy the variety of flavors, enjoy the Seder and the disarray, the confused spring weather and the blessed renewal.

From all of us at Chubeza, Happy Pesach and a peaceful spring. Looking forward to welcoming you all to the Open Day!

_______________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S HOLIDAY BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/coriander/dill, potatoes, lettuce/curly lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower/broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, leeks/fresh onions, garden peas/snow peas/ fava beans, carrots.   Small boxes only: beets.

Large box, in addition: Kohlrabi/fennel, spinach/Swiss chard/broccoli leaves, cherry tomatoes/zucchini/white turnips, celeriac/ green garlic.

Wednesday: Snow peas/garden peas/fava beans, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, dill/cilantro/parsley, beets, leek/onion/green garlic, a gift: mizuna/New Zealand spinach. Small boxes only: potatoes.

Large box, in addition: White turnip/cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard/broccoli greens, broccoli/artichoke, kohlrabi/daikon.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, apple juice, cider and jams, dates silan and healthy snacks 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 #240, March 30th-April 1st 2015

Preparing-for-Pesach Messages:

Pesach delivery changes:

Next week, during Chol HaMoed Pesach, there will be no delivery. Monday recipients will not receive boxes on April 6th, and Wednesday recipients will not be receiving on April 8th.

The annual Pesach “Open Day” at Chubeza will take place on April 8th, the 19th of Nisan. This year we are delighted to welcome Talor who will host a “Pick and Tour” event followed by a field-cooking fest for all the goodies you gather. There will be creative activities for the kids, field tours for adults and children, and the traditional Chubeza Open Day stars, the “Hazel Hill” band, will fill the air with music to make our hearts rejoice and our feet to tap.

Next week we will send a full schedule of activities, but in the meantime – save the date. We would love to see you all!

_________________________________________

The month of March is nearing its end. This week we will bill your cards for this month’s purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by the end of the week. 

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

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

______________

THE RITES OF SPRING 

Spring

BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         

   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         

   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         

The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         

   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

Well, it’s official – spring is here. Astronomically speaking, spring begins on the day of the vernal equinox, where the length of day is equal to the length of night. Spring ends on the summer solstice, when the day is longest and the night is shortest. For us in the northern hemisphere, spring begins on March 21st and ends on June 21st.  Spring is traditionally known as a season for awakening, renewal and love. This is the season for wooing and for romance, providing perfect weather for lovers. Yet in Israel, spring is not such a pleasant, temperate interlude.  Yet, when the European immigrants arrived here, they couldn’t face bidding farewell to the European season of rejuvenation and blossoming, thus they promptly inserted it into the Israeli calendar. But here, spring is the season of topsy-turvy weather—pleasant days which turn to rainy ones followed by a hazy heat wave, just like we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks. And indeed, regardless of the weather pattern, as they say in Proverbs, “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”

 

In the Bible, the term spring (aviv in Hebrew) defines a particular stage in the development of grain, the start of ripening when the stalk begins to harden. In our region, the first grain to ripen is the barley, and the month of aviv is that month when barley reaches the stage of development called “aviv.” This “aviv” of the grain takes place at a time when the rains have diminished, the sun is shining and the temperatures are beginning to rise. And so, in Hebrew, this transition time between winter and summer came to be called aviv. It is also the month that the Children of Israel came out of Egypt. The book of Exodus (9:31) recounts the effects of the plague of hail, saying, “And the flax and the barley were smitten; for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom. But the wheat and the spelt were not smitten; for they ripen late.”  The short spring of the month of Nissan is indeed a fine time to go out of Egypt for a sojourn in the Sinai Desert (as those Israelis congregating in Taba will certainly attest). Rashi even wrote, “This is what he indicated to them: See the kindness which He has done to you, for He brought you forth in a month in which it is fitting to go forth, not (too) hot and not (too) cold, and no rains.” (Commentary on Exodus 13:4)

There are those who claim that the word aviv derives from the word av, meaning father, the head of the family, the first in the family, denoting the very first ear of grain during the period of ripening. Others believe that the origin of the word comes from a different meaning of av – a fresh, young plant which is presently blossoming, such as ibei ha-nachal, the “green plants of the valley” mentioned in the Song of Songs, (6:11) and “odenu be’ibo,” (whilst still in its greenness), Job 5:12.

And blossoming does indeed provide the pervading hue of the spring season, as the writer Eliezer Smoli wrote, “Anyone who traverses Eretz Yisrael at this time of the year, whether on foot or even by car, will be met by a flowering abundance wherever his eye shall turn. Like one vast colorful carpet covering the flat land from the north to the Negev, from the east to the west, mountain and valley, hill and dell, immersed in a swell of every varied color. A true celebration of flowering at this season of the year. Spring in the very fullness of the word. Yet one who looks closely at the sea of bloom before him will discern, at the very outermost part, at the edge of the dotted tapestry, a withering that is slowly creeping up, and here and there are signs of balding. It appears that out of intention and knowledge, as it were, the abundance of flowering is concentrated in one short, finite period, for behold, the rains are over and gone and the sun has emerged from its sheath. The power of the east overcomes the west, day by day. The rainy season, which fought a diligent, daily all-out war, surrendered at last to the sunny days. Upon the horizon, a misty heat wave rises and an idle breeze breaks through to cross the Jordan and swoop westward—with the withering and wilting in its wake.”

During this period, the beekeepers are preparing for their busy season to extract the honey that the bees prepared from the nectar gathered during the blooming season, from winter till now. At Chubeza, we’re also feeling the coming of the honey—our honey stock from last season is dwindling away. If you ordered a kilo of honey lately, you’ve heard that all we have left is a very limited assortment. Together with Daniella and Tamir, we await the bee season and the honey they will produce in another month and a half or two, from the wonderful flavors of their hives

 

Shepherds also celebrated at Pesach. Spring is the birthing time for lambs and goats, and there’s an abundance of milk, labeneh, cheese and butter. This is a good reason to hold a celebratory feast, to thank the Almighty that the winter has safely passed, and to pray that the entire herd—even the youngest animals—will go safely and peacefully to graze in the pasture.  To this day, a spring rite of Bedouin shepherds is to dedicate the first butter to Moch’an, their patriarch of nomadic shepherds. When the milking season comes, they use a leather pouch to collect the butter made from the milk produced during the first three days. On the third day, they prepare a great feast in honor of Moch’an, and only afterwards do the shepherds themselves partake of the new butter.

Pesach, the holiday of spring, ushers in the parade of agricultural holidays in Eretz Yisrael, with Nissan being the first month of the Hebrew calendar. During this holiday, the farmers are fortified with strength and many hours of sleep they accumulated during the slow winter season, where they were able to rest and restore their energy (and forget how hot last summer was…).

After sowing in tears, the barley has ripened, heralding the time to reap in joy. At the close of the first Pesach holiday, a traditional celebration was held to mark the barley harvest season, by the ceremonial first binding of the sheaves. A lovely description of this ancient ceremony and of its renewal by the Zionist Movement is depicted on this PowerPoint presentation by Machon Shitim (in Hebrew).

This ceremony and this season were also accompanied by great apprehension. As the entire season’s crops are about to ripen and become ready to harvest, the volatile weather placed tremendous pressure upon the farmers. In the words of the Yalkut Shimoni, “At Pesach, one will not find simchah (joy) written even once. Why? For at Pesach, the yield is judged, and no one knows whether this year will bring a yield or not.”

We join in the hope and prayers that this holiday and this coming season will be blessed with honey, milk and the fruit of the land, which will bring health, peace and happiness.

Chag sameach!

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

________________________________________

What’s Springing From this Week’s Boxes?

Monday: Leeks, fava beans/garden peas, kale/Swiss chard, tomatoes, kohlrabi/cabbage/cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, parsley/coriander, lettuce, beets. Small boxes only: celeriac/celery.

Large box, in addition: Parsley root, snow peas, green garlic, artichoke/zucchini

Wednesday: beets, leek, kale/Swiss chard, tomatoes, fava beans, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, celeriac/celery, parsley/dill, artichoke/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: fresh garlic, cabbage/cauliflower/kohlrabi, snow or garden 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, 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 #152 – March 18th-20th – Happy Pesach

Pre-Pesach messages:

§ There will be no delivery over Chol Hamoed, Wednesday, March 27, and Monday, April 1.

§ Deliveries scheduled for the Monday before Pesach will be brought up to Sunday, March 24.

Those who wish to expand your box or make a special holiday order, please inform us ASAP.

Subscribing to our weekly newsletter

The best way to receive messages and updates is via our weekly newsletter, which is published on our website and arrives directly to your email inbox. Those who do not receive the newsletter and wish to do so, please advise.  If you prefer to receive a hard copy along with your box, please notify me.

Open Day at Chubeza:

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.

The Pesach Open Day will take place on Thursday, March 28, the 17th of Nissan, between 1:00 PM-6:00 PM. For those who have not yet experienced it, the Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours, designed for little feet and curious minds, plus activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up.  (So can the adults…)

On the Open Day, we also have a stand for vegetable sales, so you can replenish your vegetable supply.

Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure to check this out before heading our way.

Chag Sameach from all of us at Chubeza! We look forward to seeing you!

_________________________________

Written in Early Spring

For the past few weeks, it’s been official: spring is here already. The weather is appropriately chaotic—hot, then cold, with heat waves and showers taking turns surprising us with their appearance. It’s been almost two months since we’ve had actual rain, and the wheat growers around us are worried. Wheat cannot grow with irrigation, and spring is the time when the grains in the spike become filled (barley precedes wheat by a bit; more about this later). Without water they cannot do so, and the spike will remain empty. We join the farmers in their prayers for some hearty showers over the next few weeks.

Astronomically speaking, spring begins on the day of the vernal equinox, where the length of day is equal to the length of night. Spring ends on the summer solstice, when the day is longest and the night is shortest. For us in the northern hemisphere, spring begins on March 21st and ends on June 21st.  Spring is traditionally known as a season for awakening, renewal and love. This is the season for wooing and for romance, providing perfect weather for lovers. Yet in Israel, spring is not such a pleasant, temperate interlude.  Here, spring is the season of topsy-turvy weather—pleasant days which turn to rainy ones followed by a hazy heat wave, just like we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks. Yet, when the European immigrants arrived here, they couldn’t face bidding farewell to the European season of rejuvenation and blossoming, thus they promptly inserted it into the Israeli calendar. And indeed, regardless of the weather pattern, as they say in Proverbs, “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”

In the Bible, the term spring (aviv in Hebrew) defines a particular stage in the development of grain, the start of ripening when the stalk begins to harden. In our region, the first grain to ripen is the barley, and the month of aviv is that month when barley reaches the stage of development called “aviv.” This “aviv” of the grain takes place at a time when the rains have diminished, the sun is shining and the temperatures are beginning to rise. And so, in Hebrew, this transition time between winter and summer came to be called aviv. It is also the month that the Children of Israel came out of Egypt. The book of Exodus (9:31) recounts the effects of the plague of hail, saying, “And the flax and the barley were smitten; for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom. But the wheat and the spelt were not smitten; for they ripen late.”  The short spring of the month of Nissan is indeed a fine time to go out of Egypt for a sojourn in the Sinai Desert (as those Israelis congregating in Taba will certainly attest). Rashi even wrote, “This is what he indicated to them: See the kindness which He has done to you, for He brought you forth in a month in which it is fitting to go forth, not (too) hot and not (too) cold, and no rains.” (Commentary on Exodus 13:4)

There are those who claim that the word aviv derives from the word av, meaning father, the head of the family, the first in the family, denoting the very first ear of grain during the period of ripening. Others believe that the origin of the word comes from a different meaning of av – a fresh, young plant which is presently blossoming, such as ibei ha-nachal, the “green plants of the valley” mentioned in the Song of Songs, (6:11) and “odenu be’ibo,” (whilst still in its greenness), Job 5:12. Other languages, too, tend to take words for “first” or “early” as their roots for the season’s name, like primavera in Spanish and Italian and printemps in French. The English word spring comes from the notion of the “spring of the year,” when plants “spring up.”

And blossoming does indeed provide the pervading hue of the spring season, as the writer Eliezer Smoli wrote, “Anyone who traverses Eretz Yisrael at this time of the year, whether on foot or even by car, will be met by a flowering abundance wherever his eye shall turn. Like one vast colorful carpet covering the flat land from the north to the Negev, from the east to the west, mountain and valley, hill and dell, immersed in a swell of every varied color. A true celebration of flowering at this season of the year. Spring in the very fullness of the word. Yet one who looks closely at the sea of bloom before him will discern, at the very outermost part, at the edge of the dotted tapestry, a withering that is slowly creeping up, and here and there are signs of balding. It appears that out of intention and knowledge, as it were, the abundance of flowering is concentrated in one short, finite period, for behold, the rains are over and gone and the sun has emerged from its sheath. The power of the east overcomes the west, day by day. The rainy season, which fought a diligent, daily all-out war, surrendered at last to the sunny days. Upon the horizon, a misty heat wave rises and an idle breeze breaks through to cross the Jordan and swoop westward—with the withering and wilting in its wake.”

During this period, the beekeepers are preparing for their busy season to extract the honey that the bees prepared from the nectar gathered during the blooming season, from winter till now. At Chubeza, we’re also feeling the coming of the honey—our honey stock from last season is dwindling away. If you ordered a kilo of honey lately, you’ve heard that all we have left is a very limited assortment. Together with Daniella and Tamir, we await the bee season and the honey they will produce in another month and a half or two, from the wonderful flavors of their hives

Shepherds also celebrated at Pesach. Spring is the birthing time for lambs and goats, and there’s an abundance of milk, labeneh, cheese and butter. This is a good reason to hold a celebratory feast, to thank the Almighty that the winter has safely passed, and to pray that the entire herd—even the youngest animals—will go safely and peacefully to graze in the pasture.  To this day, a spring rite of Bedouin shepherds is to dedicate the first butter to Moch’an, their patriarch of nomadic shepherds. When the milking season comes, they use a leather pouch to collect the butter made from the milk produced during the first three days. On the third day, they prepare a great feast in honor of Moch’an, and only afterwards do the shepherds themselves partake of the new butter.

Pesach, the holiday of spring, ushers in the parade of agricultural holidays in Eretz Yisrael, with Nissan being the first month of the Hebrew calendar. During this holiday, the farmers are fortified with strength and many hours of sleep they accumulated during the slow winter season, where they were able to rest and restore their energy (and forget how hot last summer was…). Now they’re tackling their spring tasks, one of them being… (you guessed right) – spring cleaning!.  In ancient Persia, the first month, corresponding to March-April, was Adukanaiša, which apparently means “Irrigation-Canal-Cleaning Month.”

After sowing in tears, the barley has ripened, heralding the time to reap in joy. At the close of the first Pesach holiday, a traditional celebration was held to mark the barley harvest season, by the ceremonial first binding of the sheaves. A lovely description of this ancient ceremony and of its renewal by the Zionist Movement is depicted on this PowerPoint presentation by Machon Shitim (in Hebrew).

This ceremony and this season were also accompanied by great apprehension. As the entire season’s crops are about to ripen and become ready to harvest, the volatile weather placed tremendous pressure upon the farmers. In the words of the Yalkut Shimoni, “At Pesach, one will not find simchah (joy) written even once. Why? For at Pesach, the yield is judged, and no one knows whether this year will bring a yield or not.”

Accordingly, the vegetables in our field are making staunch efforts to be able to show up at your holiday tables, without much help from the heavenly showers. The lettuce is adorning itself, boasting its importance as maror at the Pesach Seder. The celery is racing to grow nicely, to serve as your karpas; the fresh fava bean is grinning under its pod at the non-Ashkenazi Jews among us. Meanwhile, bursting with the scents and flavors of spring, the parsley and celery roots, carrot and other soup vegetables are anxiously awaiting their annual date with the kneidlach at those tables unvisited by the fava beans.

And before we part, we extend warm wishes and a message of love to Dror (Monday and Wednesday deliveries in Jerusalem) and Naomi on the birth of their son (in perfect timing with Chubeza deliveries. How thoughtful…);to Ya’ara, my assistant whom most of you have met, and Dotan on the arrival of sweet little Kim, and to our dear Lobsang, one of our most veteran workers, who finally received a teudat zehut and a permanent status in Israel.

We join in the hope and prayers that this holiday and this coming season will be blessed with honey, milk and the fruit of the land, which will bring health, peace and happiness. Chag sameach!

Alon, Bat-Ami, Yaara and the Chubeza team

________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S SPRING BOXES?

Monday: Lettuce, fresh garlic, snow peas, tomatoes, beets, fava beans, celery/celeriac, cucumbers, broccoli/ cauliflower, parsley, green cabbage/ purple cabbage

 In the large box, in addition: garlic chives, carrots, daikon

 Wednesday: beets, cabbage, cucumbers, cilantroqparsley, snow peas, lettuce, fava beans, celery/celeriac/parsley root, green garlic, carrots, tomatoes

 In the large box, in addition: broccoli/cauliflower, garlic chive, kale/Swiss chard