In preparation for the Spring holidays, note these delivery changes for Pesach and Yom HaAtzmaut:
During the week of Chol Hamoed (Monday, April 25 and Wednesday April 27), there will be no deliveries.
On the Week of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Wednesday deliveries will be moved up to Tuesday, May 10th.
Those of you who receive bi-weekly boxes – note the three week gap!
If you wish to increase your vegetable boxes, or make a special delivery for the holidays, please advise 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, in most cases, 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 Wednesday, April 27, the 19th of Nissan, between 1:00 PM-6:00 PM. 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.
Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure to check this out before heading our way.
We look forward to seeing you
We are happy report the creation of a new CSA vegetable field. We have been assisting Tzvika and Aviel from Nir Akiva with this for some time. They dreamt and dared and sweat diligently and stubbornly to set up their field, and now they are fulfilling the dream by harvesting their newborns at “Vesamta BaTene.” They deliver to the northern Negev cities (Sderot-Netivot-Beit Kama and the area) all the way to Beer Sheva.
Anyone you love down South who you’d like to share this info with?
Send them to Aviel 054-3299940 or Tzvika 054-2122646
A Wet Spring
The past few days have been making our hearts leap with joy at the plentiful showers. Down south there was a real storm, the Zinn River overflowed its banks and flooded the road, the usually-dry desert waterfalls are flowing gloriously, and the Arava is boasting actual lighting and thunder. Even here in Kfar Bin Nun, short wonderful rains fell and more are predicted to come water our smiling vegetables in the field. People ask me if these surprisingly late showers damage or injure our vegetables. Definitely not! On the contrary, they freshen the crops, providing them with another wave of moisture before the great heat which we will contend with in a few weeks, and all the way till autumn. In tribute to this late rain and the clouds it brought along, we dedicate this newsletter to tardiness and rain showers.
In Hebrew, the last rain of spring is called מלקוש (Malkosh.) Usually it comes in April or May, coinciding with the Hebrew month of Nissan, marking the end of the rainy season and the beginning of summer. The Malkosh is unique to the Mediterranean climate and the dry summer. In other climates, the rain does not cease for such a significant portion of the year, which is why the last rain of spring is of no interest. Malkosh is an interesting name, for it is only retroactively proclaimed, as you cannot know, of course, that this is the last rain shower until time passes and summer rolls around. Only then can you look back and remember that last spring shower and name it.
Where does this word derive from? “Malkosh” is mentioned in Deuteronomy in one of the blessings God promised the Israelites if they fulfill His commandments: “…I will give you the rain of your land in its season, the first rain [Yoreh] and the latter rain [Malkosh], that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full…” (Deuteronomy 11, 14-15)
It is hardly surprising that our arid country designates special words for the different types of rain: Yoreh for the first rain and Malkosh for the last. Sometimes abundance creates nuances in words, like the many titles of snow in Eskimo language. In our case, it is probably the yearning, the need and the absence that created special words for the very important rains of the season: the first and last.
Many interpretations were given to this word, Malkosh, and I think they contribute to its many faces.
The first has to do with the Aramaic root of the word, Lekesh, meaning: late, like late- born sheep (Lekish”); grass which grows late (Lekesh); a late yield (Lakish), and hence Malkosh = late rain, the rain at the end of the season.
Three other explanations given by the Talmud in Tractate Ta’anit treat the word as a combination of two words: Mal from lemolel – crushing between fingers, softening, taking apart; and kash from koshi, the hardness of heart. The last rain is not a bonus or nice little prize, it is crucial (you’ll find out why in a minute). When it desists to arrive, the farmers pray for its coming and open their hearts.
So why is it crucial? Because the Malkosh provides the finishing touch to the stalk of grain after it sprouted, grew and was fertilized during the winter rains. The spring rains that follow make the stalk swell and fill up, just before it dries and wilts. Wheat farmers can testify to the importance of the end-of-season rains in order to insure bountifully heavy stalks. The third interpretation describes this rain not from a moral or botanical aspect, but rather a straightforward, simple stance. At the beginning of the rainy season, after the dryness of summer and autumn, the first rain falls upon the dry, bare, hardened earth, and upon the cracked furrows thirsting for water. The last rain bathes the plentiful field with showers. It is no longer the empty field of the beginning of winter, but one full of Melilot (stalks of fresh edible wheat) and hay (Kash), characterizing spring.
Three interpretations dealing with the three prongs of the existential triangle: man-land-rain. And just before we dry up in the heat of summer, the Malkosh reminds us of all the facets of water: of our emotional need for fluidity, and the physical need for precipitation to nourish and satiate the earth, human beings, animals and plants. Yet rain is very much its own entity, as it pours, drizzles, sprinkles and storms without too much ado or talk about why or when.
At times one could get the feeling that the Malkosh is ruining this lovely sunny spring. Unlike the first rain that we anxiously await after a scorching summer when the fields are thirsty and the empty oceans long to be filled, the Malkosh comes late, after all the other rains when we are already tired of them and waiting for spring. Hands down, the notorious latecomer Malkosh is my representative in the Rainfall Committee. I rejoice in it, fully enjoy it, receive it with happiness and couldn’t be less bothered about the wet slides in the playground and the overcast skies. Somewhat like a belated birthday gift that is always such a pleasure to receive. Here’s to tardiness!
Our springtime field receives the Malkosh with all parties in attendance: the last cabbages, cauliflowers, celery and parsley roots, as well as the kohlrabi and fava, who are almost ready for check-out; the artichokes, zucchini, radishes, fresh garlic and fresh onion who are already filling your boxes, and the summer crops who’ve been seeded, planted, and are growing nicely — tomatoes, cucumbers, fakus, peppers, eggplant, green beans, squash, melons and watermelon. May it be for a blessing!
This week we extend hearty holiday wishes to our Thai workers, celebrating the Thai New Year which falls in spring. May you be blessed with a wonderful year, full of great surprises and happiness!
Hoping the spring renewals are making your hearts joyful and your palates water, and wishing you pleasure from the last rains and other latecomers,
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team, breathing in relief with every day that doesn’t bring along a heatwave…
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S RAINY BOXES?
Monday: Green lettuce/curly lettuce, parsley/coriander, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale, cucumbers, leeks/fresh onions, carrots, beets, zucchini. Small boxes only: Parsley root, cabbage/cauliflower
Large box, in addition: Fresh garlic, kohlrabi, fennel/turnips, fava beans/ artichoke, potatoes
Wednesday: Green lettuce/curly lettuce, parsley/coriander, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale, cucumbers, leeks/fresh onions, carrots, beets, zucchini, kohlrabi/turnips, baby greens (mesclun mix).
Large box, in addition: Fresh garlic, fennel/fava beans, artichoke/potatoes.
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!