Aley Chubeza #127, September 3rd – 5th 2012

Changes in delivery dates over holidays:

  • During the week of Rosh HashanahThere will be no Monday deliveries.  Wednesday deliveries will be moved to Thursday, September 20.
  • On the week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: Monday deliveries as usual. Wednesday deliveries will be moved to Thursday, September 27.
  • During Chol HaMoed, there will be no deliveries, i.e. you will not be receiving boxes on Monday and Wednesday, the 1 and 3rd of October.
  • The week after Simchat Torah, Monday deliveries move to Tuesday, October 9. Wednesday deliveries as usual.

If you wish to increase your vegetable boxes before the holidays, please let me know as soon as possible.


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. Those of you who still do not receive the newsletter and wish to, please contact me. 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 “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.

The Sukkot Open Day will take place on Wednesday, October 3, the 17th of Tishrei (second day of Chol HaMoed), between 11:00-16:00. 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…)

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

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


In honor of the New Year we have renewed our honey supply from Daniella and Tamir of Moshav Sha’al in the Golan. As a beekeeper, Tamir is continuing the heritage of his father in Ethiopia. If you haven’t yet savored his outstanding honey, we highly recommend ordering it for a sweet and healthy year.

And those of you who have waited so patiently, I am happy to announce the return of the raspberry flower, eucalyptus flower and jujube flower honey. For more details, please refer to our order system.


And now, for a very special announcement:

From next week you will be able to receive Freedom organic eggs from the Bentovich farm in Nir Zvi. Alex and Devora Bentovich established an organic farm on the moshav 25 years ago, and today they continue to run an impressive organic shop, together with their children, Erez, Orit and Eldad. This is what they have to say:

“Our organic eggs come from hens raised naturally, without any chemical food additives meant to accelerate the egg laying process. The organic method is very different from the regular industrial chicken breeding: they are raised in an open space, in small flocks, and are fed vegetables and organic wheat seeds. Our grandfather always says: ‘a stressed hen lays a stressed egg; a free hen lays a healthy and happy egg.”

Try for yourselves.  Please order eggs by Sunday morning so we can get them from Eldad. We cannot promise to supply later orders.  For more details, consult our order system.


A hint of autumn

Last Sunday afternoon Mohammed and I took a late afternoon ride. A gentle breeze was blowing; we breathed in the scent of autumn and smiled. For a week now Mohammed has been arguing that winter is right around the corner. The mornings are actually cold, and a slight breeze graces the field from around 3 PM. And this is the sign that once again, here at Chubeza, we hit the restart and refresh buttons. The cauliflower and cabbage are already planted, and along with them we seeded carrots and beets and green beans (who unlike their sister, the cowpea, cannot tolerate the summer heat, preferring the moderate spring and autumn.) This is the time of year we plant the winter greens: Swiss chard, spinach and kale. Maybe winter really is around the corner!

In the harvest department all is quiet this time of the year. There are fewer vegetables ripening this season. Some of them have already retired for the season (like the sweet melons and watermelons). Others, like the pumpkin, were collected to the warehouse and are distributed to you weekly. In addition, during this season there are usually also failures that cannot always be explained. For instance, our current lettuce bed simply did not grow. The onion was scarce this year, so we finished distributing it some weeks ago, and the corn has not been great (in quantities, not in taste, of course), though it will continue to arrive in your boxes for at least another month (albeit sparsely). Usually, this season is not one for new vegetables, and many times we are required to buy from other farms. In these cases, we prefer to complement with basic vegetables we don’t always carry ourselves: carrots, potatoes, etc.

In a short while, all this will change. As the holidays approach, in a few weeks time, we hope to harvest our sweet potatoes and Jerusalem artichoke (and by then I promise to solve the mystery of its strange name). At that time, we will also be receiving our old leafy friends we missed so much: Swiss chard, mustard, arugula and others. In the meantime, we are enjoying long and short cowpeas, okra, red pepper at its juicy prime, and the seasoning herbs which compensate a little for the lack of “big” greens. For next week we are planning a festive box, with holiday symbols and joyful seasonal surprises.

The month of Elul is a transitional month. It brings with it the scents of change and the expectation of autumn. In Elul we prepare for the New Year and its chain of holidays (and the students prepare for another slight intermission in their school year), and we anticipate with excitement the beginning of the new cycle. In the field we too look forward to the new season with excitement and anticipation. We are excited by the familiar young plants of the Brassica family, the freshness of Swiss chard and mustard plants and the surprising minuteness of the arugula and carrot seeds.

Elul is also a month of observation and retrospection, and we’re doing a lot of that, looking at the past year and what we went through, how much we have changed, wherever we succeeded and what we haven’t… we slowly bid the crops farewell, even those who are hard to part with (last week we finally devoured the last melon which waited patiently at the back of our fridge, bringing back memories of the blazing summer). This look backward is needed in order for us to learn what should be repeated, what should be avoided, and what we should be aware of in the future, while remembering that there are always surprises (this year, for instance, we did not encounter our pumpkin fly and our squashes grew without any disturbance, while the onion fly had a party in the onion beds!)

We hope you feel the boxes reflect what has been and what is soon to come, and wish you fruitful and wise “before” and “after” days.

Wishing you a great week and gentle breeze,

Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza crew


What’s in the box this week?

Monday: scallion or chives, parsley or cilantro, carrots, popcorn, green cowpea (lubia) or Thai yard long beans or okra or leeks, tomatoes, cucumbers,  a slice of pumpkin, red and green peppers, potatoes, butternut squash

In the large box, in addition: corn, eggplants, basil

Wednesday: red and green peppers, cilantro, carrots, popcorn, or leeks, corn or cherry tomatoes, cucumbers,  a slice of pumpkin, , potatoes, butternut squash, basil or New Zealand spinach

In the large box, in addition: green cowpea (lubia) or Thai yard long beans or okra, eggplants, zucchini


Lots of pumpkin and butternuts these weeks – here’re some receipes:

Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Salad – Hila Kariv, My bissim

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Cilantro, Lime & Green Chile – Yotam Ottolenghi

Roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar – Yotam Ottolenghi

Pumpkin,  chickpea and coconut curry – Jamie Oliver