Aley Chubeza 205, June 30th-July 2nd 2014

The Month of June has ended. At the beginning of this week we billed your cards for this month’s purchases and will endeavor to have the billing updated by the middle of this week. Though the billing was made prior to Monday delivery, it includes all deliveries of this month, including that of June 30th.

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 and fruits 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.”).

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Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Family 

As heat and summer vacation bring about more family time, which is – just like summer itself – lots of fun, yet sticky and crowded at times… I thought I would remind you of some extended families that we’re encountering along this scorching summer.

Take a quick look at the list of vegetables populating your box and you’ll discover that summer has indeed arrived in all its glory. The Solanaceae’s are almost all here, which is a party in itself. The potato gets to meet his cousin, Mr. Pepper, for only a short period of time every year, at the beginning of summertime. The potato grows mostly during wintertime, so those being picked now are at the end of their term, while the pepper is the late bloomer of the family. We got to play with the other two clans, the tomato and eggplant, some time ago. In the first harvests of the season, we harvest the light green peppers, which acts to thin out the plant to an extent. We remove some of its heaviness, allowing the pepper to invest more energy into the full ripening of the rest of the plants, till they become nice and red. The Solanaceae’s received their name from the sun (Solanum), which they love and need. Summer types.

Another sun-loving family is the Cucurbitac, which ripens in an orderly manner, from little to big. First, the cucumbers, fakus and zucchini, in a host of varieties that remain with us from spring (enjoy the fakus while it lasts, it’s nearing the end of its term…). Then it’s time to enjoy the sweet melons and watermelons which will soon be starting another round, and lastly, a parade of pumpkins and squashes in glorious shapes, sizes and colors. They, too, commence with the small squashes, like the acorn squash you have already met, the spaghetti squash some of you have already received, then the butternut, the kury and kabocha which will soon arrive, the province pumpkin, and last but not least, the wonderful and mighty Tripolitanian pumpkin that can comfortably transport Cinderella, the prince, and even an occasional stepsister to the ball. Some of the family members are harvested early, while they’re still young at heart (cucumbers, zucchini, fakus), others get to enjoy full ripening (melon and watermelon), while we let the squashes and pumpkins harden and build up a nice, strong cloak around themselves that allows them to sustain weeks and even months after they leave the comfort of earth.

The third family is not necessarily a summer family. Actually, it is with us all year long, but during summer it sends some of its colorful members for short guest appearances. Meet the Legume family.

In our field, the legumes only come in fresh and green, still packed in their pods, their seeds still young and tender. In spring and the beginning of summer, we enjoy the beans which usually include three types: green, yellow and big flat green which grows in the net house on trellises. The bean does not like heavy heat, and makes room for her summery sister, the beautiful black-eyed pea, which we grow in two types: short (not really that short, longer than the green bean), and long Thai (really long, 20-30 cm). Both of them sprawl in our field on the trellising nets, usually acting as “head-guards” for the peppers, that grow in between two black-eyed pea beds, joined together by a shade net. At the peak of summer, we are sometimes visited for a very short time by the adamame, the green soy beans. But the black-eyed pea will continue to stride along with us till the end of summer and the depth of autumn, continuing to yield more and more sweet, juicy pods.

Before I go spend time with my own family: one last word about the king of the road, a single child to a family which is not usually represented in the vegetable fields, though we are surrounded by fields that grow it periodically. Welcome the Gramineae family and its beloved representative, the sweet, sweet corn, perfect for a family gathering on the beach or a light dinner at home. We have already begun harvesting the second seeding of this lovely corn, which looks nice and caterpillar-free. Should you happen to find a hungry caterpillar that indeed got to your corn first, greet it graciously and send it away, then cut off the part it gnawed at. The rest should be just fine.

Wishing you a lovely, safe vacation, full of happiness and nice family moments. Don’t forget to drink up!

Have a good week, a good month of Tamuz and Ramadan Qarim.

And a belated happy 40th to Dror. May you celebrate many more good and happy years!

WHAT’S IN OUR SUMMER BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/garlic chives/dill, red potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, melon, eggplant/fakus, cucumbers, scallions/leeks, corn, zucchini, Small boxes only: spaghetti squash.

Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, watermelon, cherry tomatoes/light bell peppers/Hilda pole beans, sage/thyme.

Wednesday: Parsley/cilantro, red potatoes, tomatoes, melon, eggplant, cherry tomatoes/fakus, cucumbers, corn, zucchini, Small boxes only: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, Small boxes only: scallions/leeks/garlic chives.

Large box, in addition: lettuce, watermelon, light bell peppers/Hilda pole beans, sage/thyme, spaghetti squash/acorn squash.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, 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!