Aley Chubeza #109 – April 2nd-4th 2012 – Passover

Delivery changes over the holiday:

During Chol Hamoed there is no delivery, so we will be skipping Monday, April 9th, and Wednesday, April 11th.

Those who receive a box every other week, please note that this means a three-week gap in delivery. If you receive your vegetables every other week, and your recent delivery was this week, April 2 or 4, your next delivery will only be in three weeks’ time on April 23 or 25. If you wish to change delivery dates to prevent this long absence of Chubeza vegetables, please contact me ASAP.


Open Day:

In the grand Chubeza tradition, we invite you for the annual “Pesach Pilgrimage” to the field to celebrate our Open Day. This year the festivities will take place on Tuesday, April 10, the 18th of Nisan, between 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM. On the Open Day we get a chance to meet you, and you get a personal tour of the field and a great opportunity to socialize as you nosh on vegetables. The kids have their very own tour of the field, tailor-made for small feet and curious minds, plus creative activities, cooking, and a wide, open space to run free.

Yesterday, Howard informed me that the amazing Hazel Hill String Band, who have been delighting us with their joyful music for the past few years, will be performing at our Open Day once again! Don’t miss them!!

The Open Day features a vegetable stall where you can purchase vegetables, in the absence of Pesach deliveries.

Before you set out for Chubeza, please check the updated travel instructions on our website, under the category “contact us.”

Wishing you all a Chag Sameach!


Spring is Here!

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 season of aviv is that time when barley reaches the stage of development 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.”

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 the 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.”

Here in Chubeza, the spring holiday is ushering in a harvest of a new and different type of yield. As we speak, we are apprehensively beginning to use our new computerized billing system. When I started managing our customers’ accounts again some four years ago, we had 300 members. Today (touch wood!) this number has almost doubled, and still Alon and I are running things together, wondering how on earth the time flies so quickly, and how is it that we are not able to tend to all the things we could once take care of… The job has also become more complex, with so many other excellent products you can add to the boxes. This is definitely joyful to the palate, but more arduous to the management.

In short, it seems like the barley of bookkeeping at Chubeza has reached its “aviv” stage. It has matured and hardened, and requires a different type of treatment than when it was young and tender. There have been too many nights this year when I could honestly recite “and it came to pass at midnight.” It was time to find a solution…

For some years now, I have been “practicing” to be a farmer, and I have become experienced at worrying about young seeds and plants on frosty nights. By now I’m able to put even these worries to rest, trust the weather and its causes, and believe everything will be ok. But with the God of Computers, I have not established a steady relationship just yet. These past weeks have slung many a test to my faith in the world of computers and its ability to be considerate and resist sending plagues my way in the form of system errors and calculation failures.

So I try to comfort myself, and am actually excited by the chore-load that may have been lessened. But we’re still taking baby steps, the system, me, and Amir the programmer (who is always ready to help and solve problems and explain everything… in conversational Chinese!). But we hope it won’t take us 40 years to reach the Promised Land. Put in a prayer for us…

And now, to business: these days you will be getting your March bill via email. For those of you who have received it three times already, I do apologize. Of course you are only charged once. Some important comments:

If you had any “remains” from last month, whether in your favor or ours, they will not be included in the itemized bill, which must start anew. So some of you were billed a little differently than what you actually paid. If you have any questions, drop me a line.

  • From this month, you will be billed for your vegetables and fruit in one invoice, without VAT, and you will be billed separately for your deliveries in an invoice that does include VAT. Billing for your additional products will also take place at the end of each month.
  • To send this type of bill, we require your current email address. If you do not receive our invoices and messages to your most updated email, kindly inform us of the details at: [email protected]
  • And most importantly, I will be very grateful if you go over your bill and make sure it is correct and clear. Your feedback will assist us in discovering any possible errors and improving the system.

Thank you so very much for all your support and patience, even on our very stressful days.

We wish you all a wonderful Spring holiday, full of warm family moments, blossoms and nature, great food, and lots of deep breaths of fresh air.

Looking forward to seeing you next week at our Open Day!

Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team



Monday: Potatoes, lettuce, cabbage or cauliflower, celery, garden peas, tomatoes, Dutch cucumbers, carrots, beets, cilantro, fresh fava beans

In the large box, in addition: Swiss chard, red peppers, parsley roots

Wednesday: kale or Swiss chard, lettuce, garden peas or sugar snap peas, parsley or cilantro, beets, fresh fava beans, cucumbers or Dutch cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, celery or celeriac, potatoes

In the large box, in addition: parsley roots, cauliflower or cabbage or broccoli, red peppers

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: granola and cookies, flour, sprouts, goat dairies, fruits, honey, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers and organic olive oil too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. The attached order form includes a detailed listing of the products and their cost. Fill it out, and send it back to us soon.