December 7th-9th 2020 – Orange, The Color of Happiness

In honor of the upcoming Chanukah festival celebrating the victory of light from locally-produced olive oil that vanquished the darkness, this week we are happy to share with you a nice article (Hebrew) on a Chubeza associate, Sindyanna of Galilee. You’ll have a chance to read a bit about the history of this praiseworthy enterprise and also about the olive groves from which their outstanding oil is produced. Go directly to Chubeza’s online Order System to add the fruit of Sindyanna’s labors to your own box: za’atar, carob syrup and olive oil.

B’teyavon! Chag Sameach! Have a Joyous Chanukah!

__________________________________________

Regards from Mother Earth

Over the last couple of months we’ve been harvesting beautiful orange tubers – sweet potatoes – and storing them in our packing house. Sweet potatoes were the first to reconnect us to the earth, after a summer in which we ate mostly fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, melon, corn) and pods (yard-long beans, okra, edamame) abounding with juice and seeds, grown hanging from bushes, trellised or lying on the ground. And now come the tubers to bring us back down to earth to the roots, the stability, and the blessing in the clods of soil that even in heavy heat above remain ever-cool below.

In Hebrew, the word for orange is כתום (Katom) from the word for gold (Ketem, also “stain”) because of the golden color comprised of red and yellow. For me, the orange deserves its royal name, and the synergy of cooling weather and the warmth of the orange hue are a perfect balance for this amazing season.

This week we dedicate our newsletter to the pleasant, rooted sweet potatoes which – contrary to most roots – grows in summertime and autumn, not winter, loves heat and hates cold weather (see below. Though the Chubeza sweet potato crop is being harvested now, it commenced its journey about five months ago on the day that Oded of Moshav Yesha came to deliver bundles of green twigs – sticks really, most of them bereft of leaves – bundled together with a rope. We took these twigs (cuttings) and inserted them in the damp mounds of earth we’d prepared. Then we took one step back. Once again, as every year, we were astonished anew by the strange view of dozens of sticks standing in the brown mounds of earth. Sometimes agriculture can seem so weird…

After a few days, the sticks started blooming. Green leaves sprouted from them, and they looked like they were rising from the dead. After a few weeks, a green stripe of plants spread across the bed, and after two months, the whole area was one crowded, tangled carpet of branches, leaves, and lilac-looking flowers. Over 4-5 months, underneath this green entanglement grew chubby orange roots, so sweet and satisfying. Sweet potatoes! A few weeks ago I prepared a newsletter featuring photos of the sweet potato’s journey from a naked stick to that very delicious root hidden under the crowded carpet. This is it.

The origin of the sweet potato lies in tropical South and Central America. The most ancient evidence of sweet potatoes was found in Peru, from where they mysteriously traveled to the rest of Central and South America, all the way to Polynesia. Some say sweet potato seeds were carried from America to Polynesia by birds or by sunken ships that drifted away. Another assumption is that the sweet potato seeds floated along ocean currents from South America to Polynesia, as they can sprout after having been immersed in sea water. Columbus found sweet potatoes in Cuba, brought them along on his journey to Europe, and from there they travelled together with the European conquerors to Africa, India and Asia.

The sweet potato is a member of the renowned Convolvulaceae family, related to the wild field bindweed, the Cuscuta (dodder) and sister to the lovely morning glory found in nature and in your garden. Formally known as Ipomoea batatas, the sweet potato is one of the only members of this large family that is edible, and definitely the only one to be industrially grown for food, a truly unique phenomenon. Like other members of her family, she tends to send out tendrils and twigs far and wide. If allowed, she will climb all over the nearest fence, covering it with a layer of heart-shaped green leaves and beautiful light-purple flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon sun.

Years of careful selection of sweet potatoes by farmers and nature have made today’s sweet potato very strong and resistant to (or at least tolerant of) diseases and pests. Sometimes the plants can be carriers of various pathogens that are not actively expressed and do not prevent the plant from growing or developing. Basically, the sweet potato hardly suffers from any problems, and usually grows nicely over a few months’ time. After four months we begin digging them out. First we fumble around, digging in one of the far corners to see what’s hiding down there. Are there any orange tubers? How many? How large are they? Do they seem healthy? Then, if they’re nice and ready, we gradually start digging them out.

When the time has come to harvest, there is no urgency to remove the sweet potatoes from the earth right away and store them. They are well-protected in the earth, even during cold winters, due to the warmer temperature underground. If you remove the sweet potatoes from the earth, they should be brought indoors so they’re not too cold. When the outside temperature falls below 13 degrees Celsius, the storage refrigerator should be at a temperature of 13-15 degrees so the sweet potatoes do not catch cold.

This is also the reason that they should not be stored in your home refrigerator. The sweet potato that grows primarily in warm seasons dislikes cold weather, and refrigeration impairs its taste. Store them in a cool, ventilated place, not in a bag or a sealed container, in order to prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. They need not be hidden from light, because (like radishes and beets) sweet potatoes are roots that contain no chlorophyll, therefore will not turn green (contrary to the dense-stem potato which turns green when exposed to light and should be stored in dark places). High temperatures will make the sweet potato sprout or ferment, thus warmth should be avoided (unless you wish to make liquor).

We keep our harvested sweet potatoes in the packing house for only a short time before sending them to you. Sweet potatoes that are mass-produced for industry and kept till the end of wintertime undergo a process called “curing.” They are pulled from the earth and warmed up in a room that is temperature and moisture-controlled. This process thickens their peelings and they grow scab-like skin to cover areas bruised during the digging-out process. Sweet potatoes which have undergone curing can be stored for longer periods of time.

The luscious, soothing taste of sweet potatoes is an especially great blessing in the cold evenings of autumn, when your sweet tooth craves attention. You can eat sweet potatoes without feeling an iota of guilt, as they are bursting with benefits to your health. The orange color assures high levels of beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A when consumed, a multi-armed warrior for battling cancer in various forms, essential for good eyesight, strengthening your immune system, keeping your skin healthy and contributing to proper growth.

Despite its sweet taste, the sweet potato is considered an “anti-diabetic” vegetable, recommended for diabetics because of its contribution to the balancing of sugar levels in the blood and to reducing the resistance of the cell to insulin – perhaps because of its rich carotenoid content. Along with our friend A, the sweet potato also contains good levels of vitamins B6 and C rich in potassium, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber. This team works to control blood pressure, strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, and allow for proper brain function and the development of learning skills in children and babies.

In Chinese medicine, the sweet potato is recommended for weight loss. It strengthens the spleen, which according to Chinese medicine regulates metabolism and our need for sweet foods and food in general. A weak spleen will create a strong need for sweets, and an inevitable weight gain. According to this approach, the body must receive naturally sweet food, i.e., there is no harm in a sweet diet, on condition that the quantity of sweets is limited, natural, and does not derive from processed foods like white sugar or candies. A medium-sized sweet potato contains 150 calories (equivalent to two slices of bread), but it is very filling. Chinese medicine perceives the sweet potato to be one of the most balanced foods and therefore can be eaten by almost anyone. According to the Chinese, the orange color ties it to earth, making it a warming, strengthening food.

So what can you do with your fresh, delicious sweet potatoes? No need to work hard at peeling them. Many of the vitamins and dietary fibers are in the peeling, so don’t pare them—just scrub well. The sweet potato should be cooked immediately after being cut in your kitchen, as its skin will oxidize and blacken once it comes into contact with the air. If you must wait, keep them in a bowl of water to prevent blackening. See our recipe section for more ideas of how to enjoy those autumn sweet potatoes.

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror and the entire Chubeza team

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Two notes:

* This Week’s Cauliflower: This year in Chubeza’s early-cauliflower patch, we are meeting black “rot spots” we’ve never before encountered. We are sorting out and removing the badly-injured cauliflowers, but in the interest of saving at least some of the crop, we’re sending you those cauliflowers with only slight damage spots. Just slice those away and enjoy using the rest of the cauliflower.

* This week’s boxes carry the last of the year’s eggplant and bell pepper crop. We bid these veggies farewell with great appreciation for the bountiful yield they brought over this complex, heavy year we’ve endured. This week’s peppers are green, since the plants have been removed and the beds stripped and cleared, thus even those peppers who didn’t have time to redden were picked and packed into the boxes. Enjoy!

Monday: Swiss chard/kale, lettuce, slice of pumpkin/broccoli/lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant/green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions/celery, beets/fennel/kohlrabi, coriander/parsley/dill, carrots, sweet potatoes. Special gift for all: arugula/mizuna.

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/cauliflower, baby radishes/daikon, totsoi/New Zealand spinach or winter spinach.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, red apples/kiwi, oranges/pomelit, clementinas, avocado.

Wednesday: Lettuce/arugula, slice of pumpkin/broccoli, eggplant/green peppers/Jerusalem artichokes, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions/celery, beets/fennel/kohlrabi/turnips, coriander/parsley/dill, carrots, sweet potatoes, New Zealand spinach/winter spinach. Special gift for all: totsoi/mizuna.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard/kale, cabbage/cauliflower, baby radishes/daikon.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, red apples/kiwi, oranges/pomelit/red grapfruit, clementinas, avocado.

September 16th-18th 2019 – How sweet it is to be loved by you…

NEW YEARS 5780 – CHANGES IN CHUBEZA DELIVERY SCHEDULES:

DURING THE WEEK OF ROSH HASHANAH:

  • There will be no Monday deliveries (We will be unable to deliver a vegetable box this week to some of you.)

Deliveries to Rechovot, Nez Tziona, Rishon Lezion, Mazkeret Batya, Gush Etzion, Jerusalem, Kfar Bin Nun and in certain neighborhoods in Tel Aviv will be moved to Thursday October 3. An email message as well as SMS message will be sent to all those whose Monday delivery will be transferred to Thursday during that week.

  • Wednesday deliveries will take place on Thursday October 3.

DURING THE WEEK OF YOM KIPPUR:

  • Monday deliveries as usual on October 7.
  • Wednesday deliveries will take place on Thursday October 10.

DURING THE WEEK OF CHIL HAMOED SUKKOT, THERE WILL BE NO DELIVERIES, i.e. no deliveries on Monday October 14 or Wednesday October 16.

DURING THE WEEK OF SIMCHAT TORAH:

  • The Monday delivery will be transferred to Tuesday October 22.
  • Wednesday delivery (October 23) will take place as usual.

DURING THE WEEK FOLLOWING SUKKOT AND SIMCHAT TORAH, ROUTINE DELIVERY RETURNS!

Those who wish to increase the size and/or contents of your pre-holiday box, please inform us as soon as possible.

OPEN DAY:

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza’s field to celebrate our Open Day.
This year’s festive Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, October 17, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed) from 12:00 noon – 5:00 PM.

The Open Day gives us a chance to meet, tour the field, and nosh on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours designed for little feet and curious minds, plus special activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up. (Open to adults as well…)

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

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

In the spirit of the upcoming New Year, here’s some great new offers from our associates:

  • Ilana and Davidi have released the English version of their amazing “Shana Bagina” Calendar-Farmer’s Almanac. From this week, you can order it from the Chubeza Order System!
  • Didi and Shira, producers of prize-winning “Tene Yarok” olive oil from Rotem, are offering a very special sale on their entire line of oil. Each variety is now available at the reduced price of 46 NIS per bottle! And – you may now purchase their high-quality oil in 2 and 4-liter cans.
  • Kibbutz Naot Smadar has developed new additional flavors for their delectable, healthy (and we mean healthy…) snacks: date with cocoa beans and date with goji berries! Order single packages to sample these delicacies. And, their incredible olives are now available in small 180 ml. jars that make perfect holiday gifts to delight the heart and the palate!

All of these products and a treasure of distinctive others as well are available for purchase and delivery in your boxes via the Chubeza Order System.

_______________________________________________________

Ain’t She Sweet?!

Though she’s frequented our boxes for several weeks now, she actually started out with us four months ago (perhaps more). For our part, we’ve been at her side observing the various stages of her growth and snapping shots for her fashion model portfolio. So, this week’s Newsletter is devoted to giving you a glossy look at our glamorous redheaded friend – the sweet potato (aka yam).

Growing sweet potatoes is a lesson in faith, imagination and hope. This is how it works:

In the beginning of May we received a package from Oded of Moshav Yesha, which we opened to find this treasure:

“Well, hey there, Georgia!” we greeted our sweet potato, and happily placed the cuttings into the pre-dug mounds we’d prepared in the ground, separated from one another by 15 centimeters. Here’s how it looked like when we were done:

And close up:

A few days later, we started to notice tiny little leaves growing on those branches, and then, lo and behold – this is the scene just one week later:

Remember that naked branch? Look how well dressed she  is now!

Then, the young seedlings begin stretching out their beautiful arms, on their way to a bountiful future:

Only two weeks later, the field looks like a sea of green, with densely assembled leaves, branches and a vibrant, verdant carpet of blooms:

Posing up close:

…and zooming in even closer: look at these gorgeous little flowers, with their characteristic Convolvulaceae family purple hue at the center. The sweet potato is practically the only edible plant in this extended family that includes such decorative and wild plants as the morning glory and the bindweed.

In a neighboring bed, a wild cousin comes to visit (there’s one in every family…), extending his arms and beautiful white flowers which have an intoxicating scent. Take a whiff (and FYI – place them on your nose and inhale. They’ll stick right to it!):

And underneath this green carpet, silently and surely, the sweet potato plant sends out roots which thicken to store within them nutrients for wintertime. Four months after we first began the process, we start checking out what’s happening underground. If needed, we turn off the irrigation, causing the sweet potatoes to grow just a little more, and begin pulling out the luscious orange roots.

Bon appetite to you all! May we enjoy a week of faith, imagination, hope and deliciousness!

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

___________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Potatoes, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, lettuce, parsley/coriander. Small boxes only: leeks.

Large box, in addition: Cherry tomatoes, okra/Iraqi lubia, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, corn.

FRUIT BOXES: Mango, pomegranates, grapes. Small boxes: Pears. Large boxes: Peaches

Wednesday: Potatoes, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, lettuce, parsley/coriander. Small boxes only: leeks.

Large box, in addition: Cherry tomatoes, okra/Iraqi lubia, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, corn.

FRUIT BOXES: Mango, pomegranates, grapes. Small boxes: Bananas. Large boxes: Kubo

November 5th-7th 2018 – Orange is the New Green

Beginning this week, there will be a temporary reduction in the number of yogurts being produced. But this is for a good reason, as Alon of Izza Pziza explains:

During this time of the year, our small goat farm reduces milk production in preparation for whelping season. Since we do not use hormones and breeding is carried out naturally, the whelping period is a relatively long period of time (January to April.)

We take this opportunity to remind you that our nurturing system is unique – we do not separate the young kids from their mothers. Over the next couple of months there will be a gradual decrease in our product assortment, but we will make sure that the supply is not completely cut off. Each week we will inform you of the products omitted.

You are welcome to pay us a visit! Beginning January, you will be able to see the brand new baby goats and many other wonders, large and small.

Always at your service, Alon and the Izza Pziza team

___________________________________

Good news from the Ish Shel Lechem bakery as well:

Ido and Carol’s excellent granola has been joined by a sugarless granola, sweetened only by natural apple concentrate. Just like her sister-granola, nearly all its components are organic and all ingredients are high-quality, healthy and delicious.

Both granolas contain oats (organic), pumpkin (organic), sunflower seeds (organic), flax (organic), whole sesame (organic), natural ground coconut, natural walnuts, natural hazelnuts and natural cashew. One granola is sweetened with organic date honey while her sister is sweetened with natural apple concentrate.

The bakery has lowered the prices of their excellent organic loaves of bread made from such flours as wheat, wheat and seeds, spelt and gluten-free bread.

It is well worth your while to take a look at the entire list in our order system and add a delicious, fragrant loaf of bread to your vegetable boxes.

__________________________________________

Regards from Mother Earth

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been harvesting beautiful orange tubers – sweet potatoes – and storing them in our packing house. Sweet potatoes were the first to reconnect us to the earth, after a summer in which we ate mostly fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, melon, corn) and pods (yard-long beans, okra, edamame) abounding with juice and seeds, grown hanging from bushes, trellised or lying on the ground. And now come the tubers to bring us back down to earth to the roots, the stability, and the blessing in the clods of soil that even in heavy heat above remain ever-cool below.

In Hebrew, the word for orange is כתום (Katom) from the word for gold (Ketem, also “stain”) because of the golden color comprised of red and yellow. For me, the orange deserves its royal name, and the synergy of cooling weather and the warmth of the orange hue are a perfect balance for this amazing season.

This week we dedicate our newsletter to the pleasant, rooted sweet potatoes which – contrary to most roots – grows in summertime and autumn, not winter, loves heat and hates cold weather (see below. Though the Chubeza sweet potato crop is being harvested now, it commenced its journey about five months ago on the day that Oded of Moshav Yesha came to deliver bundles of green twigs – sticks really, most of them bereft of leaves – bundled together with a rope. We took these twigs (cuttings) and inserted them in the damp mounds of earth we’d prepared. Then we took one step back. Once again, as every year, we were astonished anew by the strange view of dozens of sticks standing in the brown mounds of earth. Sometimes agriculture can seem so weird…

After a few days, the sticks started blooming. Green leaves sprouted from them, and they looked like they were rising from the dead. After a few weeks, a green stripe of plants spread across the bed, and after two months, the whole area was one crowded, tangled carpet of branches, leaves, and lilac-looking flowers. Over 4-5 months, underneath this green entanglement grew chubby orange roots, so sweet and satisfying. Sweet potatoes! A few weeks ago I prepared a newsletter featuring photos of the sweet potato’s journey from a naked stick to that very delicious root hidden under the crowded carpet. This is it.

The origin of the sweet potato lies in tropical South and Central America. The most ancient evidence of sweet potatoes was found in Peru, from where they mysteriously traveled to the rest of Central and South America, all the way to Polynesia. Some say sweet potato seeds were carried from America to Polynesia by birds or by sunken ships that drifted away. Another assumption is that the sweet potato seeds floated along ocean currents from South America to Polynesia, as they can sprout after having been immersed in sea water. Columbus found sweet potatoes in Cuba, brought them along on his journey to Europe, and from there they travelled together with the European conquerors to Africa, India and Asia.

The sweet potato is a member of the renowned Convolvulaceae family, related to the wild field bindweed, the Cuscuta (dodder) and sister to the lovely morning glory found in nature and in your garden. Formally known as Ipomoea batatas, the sweet potato is one of the only members of this large family that is edible, and definitely the only one to be industrially grown for food, a truly unique phenomenon. Like other members of her family, she tends to send out tendrils and twigs far and wide. If allowed, she will climb all over the nearest fence, covering it with a layer of heart-shaped green leaves and beautiful light-purple flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon sun.

Years of careful selection of sweet potatoes by farmers and nature have made today’s sweet potato very strong and resistant to (or at least tolerant of) diseases and pests. Sometimes the plants can be carriers of various pathogens that are not actively expressed and do not prevent the plant from growing or developing. Basically, the sweet potato hardly suffers from any problems, and usually grows nicely over a few months’ time. After four months we begin digging them out. First we fumble around, digging in one of the far corners to see what’s hiding down there. Are there any orange tubers? How many? How large are they? Do they seem healthy? Then, if they’re nice and ready, we gradually start digging them out.

When the time has come to harvest, there is no urgency to remove the sweet potatoes from the earth right away and store them. They are well-protected in the earth, even during cold winters, due to the warmer temperature underground. If you remove the sweet potatoes from the earth, they should be brought indoors so they’re not too cold. When the outside temperature falls below 13 degrees Celsius, the storage refrigerator should be at a temperature of 13-15 degrees so the sweet potatoes do not catch cold.

This is also the reason that they should not be stored in your home refrigerator. The sweet potato that grows primarily in warm seasons dislikes cold weather, and refrigeration impairs its taste. Store them in a cool, ventilated place, not in a bag or a sealed container, in order to prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. They need not be hidden from light, because (like radishes and beets) sweet potatoes are roots that contain no chlorophyll, therefore will not turn green (contrary to the dense-stem potato which turns green when exposed to light and should be stored in dark places). High temperatures will make the sweet potato sprout or ferment, thus warmth should be avoided (unless you wish to make liquor).

We keep our harvested sweet potatoes in the packing house for only a short time before sending them to you. Sweet potatoes that are mass-produced for industry and kept till the end of wintertime undergo a process called “curing.” They are pulled from the earth and warmed up in a room that is temperature and moisture-controlled. This process thickens their peelings and they grow scab-like skin to cover areas bruised during the digging-out process. Sweet potatoes which have undergone curing can be stored for longer periods of time.

The luscious, soothing taste of sweet potatoes is an especially great blessing in the cold evenings of autumn, when your sweet tooth craves attention. You can eat sweet potatoes without feeling an iota of guilt, as they are bursting with benefits to your health. The orange color assures high levels of beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A when consumed, a multi-armed warrior for battling cancer in various forms, essential for good eyesight, strengthening your immune system, keeping your skin healthy and contributing to proper growth.

Despite its sweet taste, the sweet potato is considered an “anti-diabetic” vegetable, recommended for diabetics because of its contribution to the balancing of sugar levels in the blood and to reducing the resistance of the cell to insulin – perhaps because of its rich carotenoid content. Along with our friend A, the sweet potato also contains good levels of vitamins B6 and C rich in potassium, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber. This team works to control blood pressure, strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, and allow for proper brain function and the development of learning skills in children and babies.

In Chinese medicine, the sweet potato is recommended for weight loss. It strengthens the spleen, which according to Chinese medicine regulates metabolism and our need for sweet foods and food in general. A weak spleen will create a strong need for sweets, and an inevitable weight gain. According to this approach, the body must receive naturally sweet food, i.e., there is no harm in a sweet diet, on condition that the quantity of sweets is limited, natural, and does not derive from processed foods like white sugar or candies. A medium-sized sweet potato contains 150 calories (equivalent to two slices of bread), but it is very filling. Chinese medicine perceives the sweet potato to be one of the most balanced foods and therefore can be eaten by almost anyone. According to the Chinese, the orange color ties it to earth, making it a warming, strengthening food.

So what can you do with your fresh, delicious sweet potatoes? No need to work hard at peeling them. Many of the vitamins and dietary fibers are in the peeling, so don’t pare them—just scrub well. The sweet potato should be cooked immediately after being cut in your kitchen, as its skin will oxidize and blacken once it comes into contact with the air. If you must wait, keep them in a bowl of water to prevent blackening. See our recipe section for more ideas of how to enjoy those autumn sweet potatoes.

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

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Over these last weeks, our boxes abound with “either/or” – the emblem of transitional seasons. Summer vegetables are tuckered out and yield less and less, and winter vegetables have just reached adolescence, not yet able to produce at full output. This is the time to just sit on the autumn fence, one leg straddling the other ­– a little winter, a little summer – and enjoy something from all the seasons. Bon appetit!

Monday: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots/zucchini, bell peppers, New Zealand spinach/ Swiss chard, parsley/coriander/dill, arugula/mizuna. Small boxes only: radishes/daikon/baby radishes.

Large box, in addition: Slice of pumpkin/Thai yard-long beans/okra, kale/totsoi, kohlrabi/fennel, celery/eggplant.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, avocado, kiwi.    Small boxes: Oranges. Large boxes: Green apples

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers/Thai yard-long beans, New Zealand spinach/celery, parsley/coriander/dill, arugula/mizuna, radishes/daikon/baby radishes, kohlrabi/fennel/beets.

Large box, in addition: Potatoes. Swiss chard/kale/totsoi, broccoli/eggplant.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, kiwi, green apples.    Small boxes: Avocado. Large boxes: yellow plum.

 

September 17th-20th 2018 – How sweet it is to be loved by you….

HOLIDAY DELIVERY SCHEDULE FOR THE NEW YEAR:

This week’s Wednesday deliveries have been moved to Thursday, September 20th

During Chol HaMoed Sukkot: There will be no deliveries, thus no boxes on Monday and Wednesday, September 24th and 26th.

Over the week of Simchat Torah:
Monday deliveries move to Tuesday, October 2
Wednesday (October 3) deliveries as usual.

Back to normal schedule after Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

 DON’T MISS THE EXCITING CHUBEZA “OPEN DAY,” THURSDAY, SEP’T 27TH!

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.
The Sukkot Open Day will take place on Thursday, September 27, the 18th of Tishrei (third day of Chol HaMoed) from 12:00 noon – 5:00 PM.

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 activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up. (So can the adults…)

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

Wishing you a Chag Sameach and Shana Tova. We look forward to seeing you all!

___________

LAST CHANCE to Order Ilana’s Amazing Shana Bagina Calendar:

You were going to order it, but never got around to it? Now is the time! The New Year is here to stay, and our calendar stock is quickly dwindling.

Order via our ordering system under Chubeza Fruits and Vegetables. You’ll love the calendar!

_______________________________________________________

Ain’t She Sweet?!

Though she’s frequented our boxes for several weeks now, she actually started out with us four months ago (perhaps more). For our part, we’ve been at her side observing the various stages of her growth and snapping shots for her fashion model portfolio. So in the spirit of these days, characterized by less talk and more silence, this week it’s a glossy look at our glamorous redheaded friend – the sweet potato (aka yam).

Growing sweet potatoes is a lesson in faith, imagination and hope. This is how it works:

In the beginning of May we received a package from Oded of Moshav Yesha, which we opened to find this treasure:

“Well, hey there, Georgia!” we greeted our sweet potato, and happily placed the cuttings into the pre-dug mounds we’d prepared in the ground, separated from each other by 15 centimeters. Here’s how it looked like when we were done:

And close up:

A few days later, we started to notice tiny little leaves growing on those branches, and then lo and behold – this is the scene just one week later:

Remember that naked branch? Look how well dressed she  is now!

Then, the young seedlings begin stretching out their beautiful arms, on their way to a bountiful future:

Only two weeks later, the field looks like a sea of green, with densely assembled leaves, branches and a vibrant, verdant carpet of blooms:

Posing up close:

…and zooming in even closer: look at these gorgeous little flowers, with their characteristic Convolvulaceae family purple hue at the center. The sweet potato is practically the only edible plant in this extended family that includes such decorative and wild plants as the morning glory and the bindweed.

In a neighboring bed, a wild cousin comes to visit (there’s one in every family…), extending his arms and beautiful white flowers which have an intoxicating scent. Take a whiff:

And underneath this green carpet, silently and surely, the sweet potato plant sends out roots which thicken to store within them nutrients for wintertime. Four months after we first began the process, we start checking out what’s happening underground. If needed, we turn off the irrigation, causing the sweet potatoes to grow just a little more, and begin pulling out the luscious orange roots.

Bon appetite to you all!

And may we enjoy a holiday week of faith, imagination, hope and deliciousness!

See you at the Open Day!!

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

___________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/mizuna/arugula, sweet potatoes/zucchini, onions/garlic, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, Thai yard-long beans/okra, lettuce,  parsley/coriander/dill, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: Leeks, potatoes/cherry tomatoes, eggplant.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apples, plums. Small boxes: pears. Large boxes: peaches

Thursday: Tatsoi/mizuna/arugula, sweet potatoes, potatoes/zucchini/eggplant, leeks/garlic, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, lettuce,  parsley/coriander/dill, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, onions/cherry tomatoes.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, peaches, pears. Small boxes: plums. Large boxes: apples.

Aley Chubeza #263, October 12th-14th 2015

Dora has informed us that a limited number of copies of the “flavor calendar,” an Israeli-seasonal-vegan calendar, are available. To purchase, contact Dora: 054-3074930 or via Facebook

_______________________

As the seasons change from autumn to winter, Eliezer from “Shorshei Zion” is offering probiotic food workshops on fermenting, preserving and preparing food brimming with life and health. The first meeting takes place this week. More details on Facebook.

______________________

meshek 42Over the next few weeks, expect a shortage of dairy products available through “Meshek 42”. Many pregnant goats are not producing milk at this time as they are currently on their annual vacation. They are not being milked but rather resting in the yard or pavilion, basking in the sun or shade and slowly fattening up. This is why their milk is now scarce and being divided among the many needs of the farm. Milk deliveries are anticipated in November and then will be readily available.

________________________________________

tahanat kria EnglishCalling all Jerusalemites, book and humankind lovers: This Thursday at 5 pm, come celebrate the festive opening of the new reading station/lending library at “Park Hamesilah – The Train Track Park” at the new Gonenim-Mekor Chaim location! The new Book Swap Station offers a free lending library as well as free community literary events. Where? At “Park Hamesilah – the Train Track Park,” between 48 Mekor Chaim Street and Nehorai Street (opposite the soccer field, just before Rami Levi).

These community book stops are the brainchild of a joint effort by active residents, literature lovers, Bezalel students, community centers and the Jerusalem Municipality. Old bus stop shells have been pulled out of retirement to be transformed into lively, dynamic book stations, open 24-hours.

At this Thursday’s launch, we’ll all bring books and arrange them on the shelves, participate in an arts and crafts project, enjoy a live musical performance, share ideas for future events at the station, and of course – pick out books to take home and read.
Light refreshments will be offered in cooperation with the Harakevet Community Bar Cafe, located on the Train Track Park.

Come dressed up as your favorite book-inspired character!

Security will be provided for the event.

Share widely and invite friends! https://www.facebook.com/events/818194648278466/

____________

In the spirit of this week’s nice autumny feel, and in anticipation of more to come, we proudly bring you the orange autumn newsletter published last year:

Orange is the New Green

Over the past few weeks we have been digging up delectable long, orange sweet potatoes. They are joyfully welcomed by the pumpkins who were harvested over the summer, and the long carrots we plucked out last week (some slightly spindly and crooked. But in a cute kind of way…) And, lest we forget, the lovely oranges and tangerines ripening away on the trees add their tangy tints to this lovely orange array. Indeed, autumn is here. Nights are cool, and by all means, it is high time to start cooking up that orange soup. In Hebrew, orange is katom from the word ketem meaning “gold,” after the deep golden hue created when red meets yellow. I think orange is definitely worthy of this royal connotation, especially when linked to the weather cooling off.  The warmth this color radiates is perfect to represent this enchanting season.

This week we dedicate our newsletter to the lovable, demure sweet potato. Contrary to most roots, this autumn beauty grows in summertime, not winter, loves heat and hates cold weather (see below). Though the Chubeza sweet potato crop is being harvested just about now, it commenced its journey four to five months ago on the day that Oded of Moshav Yesha came to deliver bundles of green twigs–sticks really, most of them bereft of leaves–bundled together with a rope. We took these twigs (cuttings) and inserted them in the damp mounds of earth we’d prepared. Then we took one step back. Once again, as every year, we are astonished anew by the strange view of dozens of sticks standing in the brown mounds of earth. Sometimes agriculture can seem so weird…

After a few days, the sticks started blooming. Green leaves sprouted from them, and they looked like they were rising from the dead. After a few weeks, a green stripe of plants spread across the bed, and after two months, the whole area was one crowded, tangled carpet of branches, leaves, and lilac-type flowers. Over 4-5 months, underneath this green entanglement, grew chubby orange roots, so sweet and satisfying. Sweet potatoes! Five years ago I prepared a newsletter featuring photos of the sweet potato’s journey from a naked stick to that very delicious root hidden under the crowded carpet. This is it.

The origin of the sweet potato is in tropical Central America. The most ancient evidence of sweet potatoes was found in Peru, from where they mysteriously traveled to the rest of Central and South America, all the way to Polynesia. Some say sweet potato seeds were carried from America to Polynesia by birds or by sunken boats that drifted away. Another assumption is that the sweet potato seeds floated along ocean currents from South America to Polynesia, as they can sprout after having been immersed in sea water. Columbus found sweet potatoes in Cuba, brought them with him to Europe, and from there they travelled along with the European conquerors to Africa, India and Asia.

The sweet potato is a member of the renowned Convolvulaceae family, related to the wild field bindweed, the Cuscuta (dodder) and sister to the lovely morning glory found in nature and in your garden. Formally known as Ipomoea batatas, it is one of the only members of this large family that is edible, and definitely the only one to be industrially grown for food, a truly unique phenomenon. Like other members of her family, she tends to send out tendrils and twigs far and wide. If allowed, she will climb all over the nearest fence, covering it with a layer of heart-shaped green leaves and beautiful light-purple flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon sun.

Years of careful selection of sweet potatoes by farmers and nature have made today’s sweet potato very strong and resistant (or at least tolerant) to diseases and pests. Sometimes the plants can be carriers of various pathogens that are not actively expressed and do not prevent the plant from growing or developing. Basically, the sweet potato hardly suffers from any problems, and usually grows nicely over a few months time. After four months we begin digging them out. First we fumble around, digging in one of the far corners to see what’s hiding down there. Are there any orange tubers? How many? How large are they? Do they seem healthy? Then, if they’re nice and ready, we gradually start digging them out.

When the time has come to harvest, there is no urgency to remove the sweet potatoes from the earth right away and store them. They are well-protected in the earth, even during cold winters, due to the warmer temperature underground. If you remove the sweet potatoes from the earth, they should be brought indoors so they’re not too cold. When the outside temperature falls below 13 degrees, the storage refrigerator should be at a temperature of 13-15 degrees so the sweet potatoes do not catch cold.

This is also the reason that they should not be stored in your home refrigerator. The sweet potato that grows primarily in summertime dislikes cold weather, and refrigeration impairs its taste. Store them in a cool, ventilated place, not in a bag or a sealed container, in order to prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. They need not be hidden from light like potatoes, because (like radishes and beets) they are roots that contain no chlorophyll, therefore will not turn green. This is in contrast to the potato, which is a dense stem, and consequently turns green when exposed to light. High temperatures will make the sweet potato sprout or ferment, thus warmth should be avoided (unless you wish to make liquor).

We keep our sweet potatoes in the packing house for only a short time before sending them to you. Sweet potatoes that are mass-produced for industry and kept till the end of wintertime undergo a process called “curing.” They are pulled from the earth and warmed up in a room that is temperature and moisture-controlled. This process thickens their peelings and they grow scab-like skin to cover areas bruised during the digging-out process. These potatoes can be stored for longer periods of time.

So what can you do with your fresh, delicious sweet potatoes? No need to work hard at peeling them. Many of the vitamins and dietary fibers are in the peeling, so don’t pare them—just scrub well. The sweet potato should be cooked immediately after being cut in your kitchen, as its skin will bleach and then oxidize once it comes into contact with the air. If you must wait, keep them in a bowl of water to prevent browning.

The luscious, soothing taste of sweet potatoes is an especially great blessing in the cold evenings of autumn, when your sweet tooth craves attention. You can eat sweet potatoes without feeling an iota of guilt, as they are bursting with benefits for your health. The orange color assures high levels of beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A when consumed. Beta carotene is a multi-armed warrior for battling cancer, maintaining good eyesight, strengthening your immune system, keeping your skin healthy and contributing to proper growth.

Despite its sweet taste, the sweet potato is considered an “anti-diabetic” vegetable, recommended for diabetics because of its contribution to the balancing of sugar levels in the blood, and to reducing the resistance of the cell to insulin– perhaps because of its rich carotenoid content. The sweet potato also contains good levels of vitamins C and B, potassium, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber. This team works to control blood pressure, strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, and allow for proper brain function and the development of learning skills in children and babies.

In Chinese medicine, the sweet potato is recommended for weight loss. It strengthens the spleen, which, according to Chinese medicine, regulates metabolism and our need for sweet foods and food in general. A weak spleen will create a strong need for sweets, and an inevitable weight gain. According to this approach, the body must receive naturally sweet food, i.e., there is no harm in a sweet diet, on condition that the quantity of sweets is limited, it is natural, and does not derive from processed foods like white sugar or sweets. A middle-sized sweet potato contains 150 calories (equivalent to two slices of bread), but it is very filling. Chinese medicine perceives the sweet potato to be one of the most balanced foods and therefore can be eaten by almost anyone. According to the Chinese, the orange color ties it to earth, making it a warming, strengthening food, suitable for winter.

We anxiously await the arrival of winter. Last week we were graced with short, refreshing showers, and beginning next Tuesday (the 7th of Cheshvan), Jews formally begin praying for rain. No beating around the bush. Let it pour! Join us in fervent wishes, prayers, and hopes for wonderfully wet showers filled with great big chubby, saturating raindrops.

We send our condolences to Melanie and Aliza, our excellent Hebrew/English translators, on the death of their mother and Bubby. May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and the world.

And despite the difficult days, we hope for a season of great big breaths, growth, flourishing, life and good,

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

_______________________

What other colors are joining the orange sweet potatoes?

Unfortunately, not red… The tomato shortage continues. Once again, this week’s boxes are tomato-less. But with just a drop more patience, we are in hopes that they will return in full red glory in the very near future

Monday: baby greens mix/mizuna/pac-choi, mint/cilantro/parsley, pumpkin, mustard greens/arugula/tatsoi, potatoes, kale/New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, corn. Small boxes only: leek, eggplants.

Large box, in addition: red/green peppers, Thai long beans/okra, Swiss chard, radish/beets, scallions

Wednesday: sweet potatoes, cucumbers, mint/parsley, corn, eggplants/red or green peppers, kale/New Zealand spinach, mustard greens/arugula, pumpkin, baby greens mix/tatsoi/pac-choi, potatoes, small boxes only: leek.

Large box, in addition: Swiss chard, Thai long beans/okra/carrots, scallions/garlic chive, radish/beets

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!