October 11th-13th 2021 – I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers


Autumn’s here!
The organic fruit selection is already transforming from autumn to winter with pomegranates, apples, persimmon, bananas, avocado, mango and a wide array of citrus fruits. And, even better: prices for winter fruit are much lower than summer, thus you can get a well-stocked fruit box for less!
From this week, the price for fruit boxes (one size) is 70 NIS – no more big or small boxes. Enjoy each morsel of these absolutely delicious, super-juicy fruit boxes.
Enjoy a sweet and pleasant autumn!
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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?
Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill—several thrills? I’m going to decorate my room with them…

-Ann Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

They say that we have no autumn in this country, that we have only two seasons, summer and winter. They claim that autumn and spring are fictitious seasons imported by Europeans who were pining for home… And yet, it is hard to let go of them. It’s hard to resolve that we’re only willing to live within two opposites, two extremes. We would like to taste some soft middle ground, something variable and fickle, not as fixed, not as acute, not as decisive.
In our household, the closet is now a gentle autumn collaboration of good ol’ summer clothes alongside those winter clothes we dragged down from the top shelves. We wear long-sleeved shirts in the mornings and late afternoons. In the heat of the day, we even find the sun pleasant. Who would have believed this only a few short weeks ago? For me, this is proof that even in our decisive, definite and always unequivocal country, there is, after all, autumn.

The Hebrew for autumn is stav, and its Biblical connotations most likely referred to cloudy days:

For behold, the winter (stav) is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
(Song of Songs, 2:11)

The Aramaic word stava means winter, while the Arabic shita is used for both winter and rain. In searching for a word for this season falling between summer and winter, for those days when the heat is diminished and the clouds begin to gather, they took the word stav and changed it to mean autumn. These are the days in which we rediscover how beautiful the skies look when they are adorned with clouds, and how irresistible sunsets can be in those “in-between” days.

Our field is teeming with many, many weeds that are soaking up the moisture and dew and irrigation, as well as those last daytime hours of soothing sunbeams. And we lean over our field beds and pluck the weeds meditatively. The insects have sprung back into action, after overcoming the shock of the Israeli summer. They are punching gaping holes into our greens. Here and there, aphid colonies are attempting to suck something out before their natural enemy, the parasitic wasp who always follows them, gets comfortably settled in. Birds are crossing our skies again, this time on their journey south. And these same skies are no longer a blinding white, but sport a rather bluish hue, dotted by clouds. Like we said: autumn.

The field is slowly bidding the summer veggies farewell, and happily welcoming the ripening of autumn vegetables. The greens that have begun occupying your boxes will continue to do so over the next few months: Swiss chard, mustard, arugula, tatsoi and, coming soon, kale. The herbs continue to grace our presence. Dill and cilantro are recovering from the heat and are nimbly growing. The lettuce – some of you met with its bitter summery side — will grow sweeter as the temperature falls, for they no longer have to fight for their life. They can now breathe, calm down and grow with less effort.

And under the earth, protected from the heat of summer by a thick layer of dirt, the first autumn roots are growing round/long/chubby. Autumn and winter are a celebration of roots. The plants shoot their nutrients to these underground storehouses for protection and storage, while we, in our unmitigated chutzpa, rob them a bit to enjoy the nutritious culinary wealth of these bunkers. This week, we continued to pull out sweet potatoes, joined by Jerusalem artichoke, purple beets and first little radishes. The radishes are particularly piquant this season due to the heat, but as it cools down they will become less tear-inducing and tongue-burning, and milder tasting. For those of you who prefer them spicy, now is the time to take a bite. If you like them milder, wait patiently–they promise to mellow soon.

There are some other hidden roots, already planted and seeded, whose maturing we patiently await. For some, we will have to wait at least two months; others will be ready very soon: celeriac, parsley root, turnip, daikon, potato and garlic. The latter we will only meet at the end of winter, just before spring. In the meantime, lots of cute, tiny garlic stems have sprouted in our beds, peeking from the ground to check out the situation as they begin their long journey. They can take heart from the Jerusalem artichoke, which spent a similar length of time in the ground during the opposite season, and now its flowers have dried up and he is slowly marking his territory in your boxes.

The broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and cabbage are no longer invisible. The first round is already strong and impressive. We will give them the time they need to develop the inflorescence scalps we’ve missed so much. For the time being, the plants themselves must strengthen and grow, after a not-so-easy time over the end of summer. When we plant them in mid-August, we spread a net over the saplings to provide relief from the scorching sun. By the time we plant the Autumn Brassicaceae’s, we no longer need artificial shade. The wispy clouds and lower temperatures make their acclimation easier. Right now, the field is hosting several rounds of kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages, and soon-to-come are other members of this joyful autumny-wintery family.
The last of the summer vegetables still occupy the field, somewhat startled by the cool air but holding on, albeit slowing down a bit. They will remain till the arrival of the cold weather and rain. Splendid eggplants are ripening on the plants, and short and long lubia continue to yield till they hand over the torch to the next runners in the legume relay race: the green bean and pea, both already blooming in good health. The okra is making its final attempts to produce pods and seeds, but its sojourn at Chubeza is already short-lived. Now is the time to blanch and freeze the okra for wintertime use. The red bell peppers are squeezing out every drop of heat and sun, to spur their efforts to redden and ripen.

We’ve harvested our last popcorn bed and are distributing these tough little cobs. Do not be confused– these are not sweet corn cobs, and even a long and stubborn cooking won’t soften them. Details and recipes for popcorn can be found in this newsletter.

Take a look at your boxes: The corn dwells with the Swiss chard and the pumpkin lies down with the beet. What an enchanting season! The field is verdant, with the transformation from summer to winter quite palpable in the air. The renewal and energy of the new vegetables infuses us with new energy as well (as will a drop in temperature, we must admit…) We are bidding farewell to a flaming summer, hoping to be met with a rainy winter, satiated by timely showers of the right quantities at the proper intervals.
May we all be blessed with a great month of Cheshvan, full of happy new beginnings, the pleasures of a temperate season and the first baby steps into a New Year, and a smooth Acharei HaChagim entry into this season of change and renewal.

May we have only good, healthy days,
Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror, Orin and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Bell peppers, cherry tomatoes/Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/okra/short Iraqi lubia, arugula/tatsoi/basil, bunch of radishes/red beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, slice of Neapolitan pumpkin/carrots, sweet potatoes, corn/ potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Eggplant, popcorn/Jerusalem artichoke, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples/persimmons, avocados, mangos/pomegranates, oranges.

Wednesday: Bell peppers/eggplant/onions, Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/okra/short Iraqi lubia/Jerusalem artichoke, arugula/tatsoi, bunch of radishes/red beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley/coriander/dill, slice of Neapolitan pumpkin, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Carrots/cherry tomatoes, lettuce/basil, corn.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, avocados, mangos, oranges.

October 12th-14th 2020 – Here Comes Autumn

Autumn / Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.


Winter fruit has taken its place in your fruit boxes, with an assortment of delicious pomegranates, apples, pears, bananas, avocadoes and plenty of citrus. What’s even better is that the price of winter fruit is much lower than summer fruit, allowing us to assemble an impressive fruit box for less.

Beginning this week, the price for a box brimming with luscious fruit is 70 NIS! (One-size boxes)

May we have a sweet, pleasant sweet autumn!


The Rose is Out of Town

The holidays are now behind us, including the Harvest Festival of Sukkot. The days are growing shorter, the nights are extending, and the heat of the day gradually lessens.… In our field, Sukkot is a holiday of transformation from summer to autumn. Our tradition at Chubeza is not to deliver vegetables during the week of Chol Hamoed, but rather have you come to visit us on Open Day. Usually, we devote the time that frees up (from harvesting, packing, delivering, etc.) to all sorts of maintenance projects in the field, those that are always being put off due to the busy autumn planting schedule. Mainly weeding, weeding, and weeding. The vegetables, too, are happy to spend the whole week growing in peace, without being constantly tugged and pulled at.

This week is the one in which we cross the threshold from the End of Summer into the Autumn vegetable-boxes. True, you started getting cooler-season vegetables even before the holiday: sweet potatoes, baby greens, Swiss chard (returning after a short break), and carrots. But mainly, the feeling was that the boxes don’t change much from week to week, accompanied by their familiar, constant summer soundtrack: corn, bell peppers, okra, lubia, eggplant and pumpkin. Over the next weeks, once the vegetables have rested and grown, more young and fresh autumn vegetables will be joining, including radishes, arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, beets, Jerusalem artichokes, celery, turnips and more… Little by little, the small, delicate stems turn the page for us from summer to autumn. What joy!

Usually, the post-Sukkot newsletter is filled with thank you’s to the many people who worked hard to make the Open Day a success… But this past year has been strange in so many different ways. Among other global catastrophes, we at Chubeza went through a whole year without seeing you at our Open Day. A whole year without a visit from you, without celebrating nature’s constant, soothing rhythm together with you. And our charming vegetables did not get a chance to show off their beauty in their natural habitat. How we miss the Chubeza Festival and its joyous air of celebration!

For now, our days in the field are jam-packed with one chore after another: planting, seeding, weeding, fertilizing, trellising, spreading plastic covers or nets, fixing the irrigation, preparing lists, making phone calls and writing emails, harvesting, packing, delivering…. On Open Day we relish the chance to meet you in person, see for real the people behind the names on the stickers, and take you for a stroll around the field for an exciting close-up view of the vegetables. This year we had to forgo this traditional togetherness, and our hearts ached. Not an easy year for anyone…

Our vegetables, too, were not happy at all about this cancellation. We just happened to eavesdrop on a conversation between them as they discussed… well, you! (We included this personal message from Chubeza vegetables in last week’s newsletter, but I think it may have gotten a little lost.)

Thank you to my very own dubbers of the Sorek-Dancziger household, and a thousand thanks to the one and only Aliza who helped create this cute message from us.

We wish you a great week, one in which we gently see our way back to routine, activity, movement. And one last panoramic glance at the field being weeded away…

From all of us at Chubeza


WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday:  Basil/Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, lettuce, corn, arugula/mizuna/totsoi, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers/zucchini, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley/dill, eggplant/potatoes, sweet potatoes.

Large box, in addition: Baby radishes, lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra, leeks.

FRUIT BOXES: Green apples, pears, pomelit, pomegranates.

Wednesday: Swiss chard/arugula, lettuce, corn/potatoes, New Zealand spinach/totsoi/bokchoi, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, slice of pumpkin, coriander/parsley, sweet potatoes. Small boxes only: eggplant/zucchini.

Large box, in addition: Baby radishes, lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra/Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, basil/dill.

FRUIT BOXES: Green or red apples, pears/avocado, orange/pomelit, banana/pomegranates.

November 18th-20th 2019 – Craving rain

TO YOUR HEALTH!

Rose of “Shoreshei Tzion” sends you this easy recipe for pure and tasty Almond Milk using Shoreshei Tzion’s outstanding Almond Butter.

Most of the packaged almond drinks on the market are essentially filled with rice milk, sunflower oil, sugars and other low-cost fillings. The healthiest and purest almond drink is the one you prepare at home!
Try this wonderful 2-minute, super easy recipe today:

Ingredients:
4 T. almond butter (Shoreshei Tzion’s Almond Butter is 100% sprouted and cold-pressed)
3 cups water
2 – 4 seeded dates (optional)

Preparation:
Pour the water into a blender, add the almond butter and dates. Mix until smooth, making certain that the dates are well blended.
Pour the Almond Milk into an insulated container and keep refrigerated for up to four days.
Delicious with grains, granola, chia pudding and/or cashew butter.
This recipe is ideal for use with Shoreshei Tzion’s other spreads, including Hazelnut Butter of Cashew Butter.
For a sweeter, more chocolaty drink, try Shoreshei Tzion’s Hazelnut Chocolate Butter.


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It’s not over till the old man is snoring

The Rain

Pitter-patter, raindrops,
Falling from the sky;
Here is my umbrella
To keep me safe and dry!
When the rain is over,
And the sun begins to glow,
Little flowers start to bud,
And grow and grow and grow!

– Anon

If there was anything we wished to shout out to the strong winds of this past week, it’s Raindrops, please come pitter-patter on our umbrella! Now!!!

Aside from warmer-than-usual temperatures (which have thankfully dropped a bit this week) and a critical shortage of moisture from the skies, the past few weeks have flown by – literally. Everything flew: the plastic crates piled high near the packing house, the crates that collect our harvested veggies, the empty cartons you returned to us. The shade nets still protecting several vegetable beds and the plastic covers over the growth houses sway noisily in the strong gusts, and anything we put down on the ground immediately fills up with dust and sand.  There were moments last week when we felt that the air was so thick that we’d have to physically force it open to walk through.

Aside from the discomfort, these winds are also drying up our greens, most of which are already winter vegetables which desperately need moisture and are painfully grappling with the dryness. Every ounce of morning dew dries up in just moments due to the winds. We open the irrigation system to water those plants who need to grow even if the weather is not cooperating, and pine away for a change of winds (literally!) and the blessing of rain, which unfortunately is nowhere on the horizon of the current forecasts. So far, we have had 18 mm of precipitation, not enough for autumn in the field. W we desperately need hydration. We can only dream of watching little flowers starting to bud “and grow and grow and grow.”

But since we plant by calendar, our fields are switching from summer to winter, with only a few summer crops still waiting to be picked. The eggplants, peppers and lubia black-eyed peas are producing their final yields, the okra is nearly gone, as are the cherry tomatoes whose quantity lessens by the day. The pumpkins from which you receive slices were gathered at the end of summer into our cute little pumpkin shed at the end of the field. Each week we grab another group of them and share slices with you, as the pile dwindles away. Sweet potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes, both of which we began harvesting at the end of the month, have hit the season half-way mark and will join the boxes in month or two, after which they too will bid us farewell for now.

On the other end of the field, the winter veggies are celebrating as they take over the surface in the form of cabbages and broccoli in various states of growth – from baby plants to mature ones that will crown with their beautiful buds or head of tight curls for you to nibble on. Fennel and kohlrabi, celery and scallion – themselves thin and gentle (picture the wild wind blowing a bed of such wispy, delicate plants) while a small distance away their older brothers are thickening and fattening up, rounding and accumulating the crunchiness indicating they are ready to be picked. Meanwhile, six feet under, the various summer root vegetables lie in waiting: carrot and beets, celery root, parsley roots, turnips and radishes. At least they are somewhat protected within the soil as they shoot out their green tendrils to face the winds.

The winds are supposed to die down a tad over the next few days, and hopefully the ensuing silence will allow our cry to echo loud and clear: Raindrops, please come! NOW, ALREADY!!

Although we’ve lacked being showered us with actual rain, unfortunately last week we were “showered” by unheavenly cascades when sirens wailed in the Ayalon Valley preceeded by actual hits. We pray and long for quiet to return, and for only raindrops to descend upon us from the skies.  Wishing everyone a calm, relaxed weekend,

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Beets, sweet potatoes/pumpkin, eggplant/red bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower/broccoli/cabbage, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce/mizuna, scallions/celery, fennel/kohlrabi. Special gift: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach.

Large box, in addition: Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia/Jerusalem artichoke, totsoi/arugula, baby radishes/daikon/turnips.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranates, apples, clementinas, oranges.

Wednesday: Beets, eggplant/red bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower/broccoli/cabbage, carrots, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce/arugula, scallions/celery, fennel/daikon/turnips. Small boxes only: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach.

Large box, in addition: Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Iraqi lubia/Jerusalem artichoke, sweet potatoes/pumpkin, totsoi/mizuna, baby radishes/kohlrabi.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranates/avocado, apples, clementinas/banana, pomelit, oranges.

October 28th-30th 2019 – Let There Be Rain!

Message from the Izza Pziza Dairy

Dear Customers, As always, at the beginning of wintertime our goats gradually stop producing milk as they prepare for the upcoming whelping season. During this time, the variety of products we can supply becomes decreased. We will make certain to update you on what is and is not available in our present stock.

From the month of December, you are cordially invited to come visit us and see the newborn kids.

For any questions, phone us at 08-6192876.

Thank you for your understanding!

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As autumn descends upon us, the Mitsasa team is delighted to announce the return of fresh  organic pear juice and truly delicious fresh apple juice (in 1 liter bottles). These two goodies join the delicious Mitsasa line of cider, jams and apple vinegar, all hand-produced in the Jerusalem Hills from the delectable fruits of the Kibbutz Tzuba orchards.

Order these products today via our order system!

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The first rain reminds me
Of the rising summer dust.
The rain doesn’t remember the rain of yesteryear.
A year is a trained beast with no memories.
Soon you will again wear your harnesses,
Beautiful and embroidered, to hold
Sheer stockings: you
Mare and harnesser in one body.

The white panic of soft flesh
In the panic of a sudden vision
Of ancient saints.

Yehuda Amichai   Translated from the Hebrew by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav

As the first rain fell in our field on Sunday night, the thirsty earth lapped up approximately 15 mm of water, with a huge smile spreading across its face, and ours… What a delight to see the rain arrive just as  daylight saving time ended, at the close of Shabbat B’reshit which tells of the creation of the world, the separation of light and darkness, and the water on high and below, just as we were viewing a live show of water, light and a new beginning.

Though in days of old this kind of rain would have drenched the pilgrims on their long journey home, these days, when almost all vacationers have returned from their holiday travels (by car or plane), this timing for the first rain is perfect. Which is also a perfect opportunity to sum up our reflections on the past year, especially the rainy winter we were kindly granted.

As farmers, when we hope for rain we’re actually aiming towards a very specific target: Timely rain, i.e., not too early or late, not too heavy or too light, and evenly distributed, meaning not too close in succession or too stormy but not too sparse or too distant from the previous rain. Last winter’s rains fell in the proper quantity at the right time. Everything was perfectly balanced: with temperatures that were not too high or low, a balance was created in the quantity and timing of the pests that arrived as expected (we weren’t happy to greet them, but definitely understand that they are part of the field’s nature dance) and did not overstay their welcome.

The bountiful rainfalls presented a major challenge: the field was drenched, and some of the crops “choked” on the excess water in the earth that blocked the oxygen and ventilation to the roots. Our potatoes suffered damage from the dampness, while almost all the plants grappled with the wintery cold and frequent rains which hindered their growth. We field laborers were also challenged by the wet, frigid weather as our feet sunk in the mud and the damp body under our raincoats had to be in constant movement in order to warm up. Our favorite days were when we got to work in the growth tunnels…

However… After-the-winter is basically the time of the agricultural field’s pregnancy, culminating in the birth of one the most joyful spring seasons in the annals of Chubeza. This spring’s yields were lush, vigorous and healthy, the likes of which we don’t often see, marked by a bounty of excellent vegetables from the invigorated earth. The melons and watermelons were wonderful and their plants were almost completely intact, unfettered by the common spring leaf diseases we are used to encountering. Overall, Chubeza’s spring field yielded quantities more abundant than ever. Such a tasty, sweet and juicy experience! The sweet potatoes, too, planted in springtime on lively and joyful microbes partying in the soil, grew into a dense green carpet now yielding plentiful amounts of big, healthy, beautiful roots.

The summer that followed was also outstanding. Although the field got mighty hot, after such a remarkable winter and spring, the heat was bearable, understandable and more possible to accept. The summer yield, too, grew well with fewer problems than usual. The peppers were hardly damaged, the eggplants grew huge, handsome-looking bushes, and the lubia effortlessly climbed the trellises and yielded a bounty of green pods. A field day for plentiful, good-quality produce that continues through the autumn crops being harvested as we write.

Thank you, Lavie, for these beautiful pictures of our field at the start of autumn.

And now, facing a new winter, we fervently hope that last year’s winter was not a fluke but rather the beginning of a return to balance and to blessedly rainy years.

Wishing everyone a year of renewal, growth, deep breaths of clean air, the joy of bloom, the wonder of blossom, the sweetness of fertility and the maturity of ripening.

May the crucial cycle of balance return to habitants of Israel and the world. May you enjoy a good weekend and an easy return to the blessed routine!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra/Iraqi lubia, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander/dill, lettuce, beets/kohlrabi. Free gift: mizuna/arugula/tot soi.

Large box, in addition:  Cauliflower/cabbage, carrots/leeks, turnips/daikon/baby radishes.

FRUIT BOXES: Pomegranate, avocado, persimmons. Small boxes, in addition: Red pomelos/oranges. Large boxes, in addition: Green apples

Wednesday: Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach/kale, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes/Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes/cherry tomatoes, cauliflower/cabbage, slice of pumpkin, arugula/parsley/coriander, lettuce, beets. Free gift: mizuna.

Large box, in addition:  Lubia Thai yard-long beans/okra/Iraqi lubia, carrots, turnips/daikon/baby radishes.

FRUIT BOXES: Red pomelos/oranges, avocado, persimmons. Small boxes, in addition: Pomegranate. Large boxes, in addition: Green apples.

October 22nd-24th 2018 –  Autumn thoughts

Pleasant Sounds

 John Clare

The rustling of leaves under the feet in woods and under
hedges;
The crumpling of cat-ice and snow down wood-rides,
narrow lanes and every street causeway;
Rustling through a wood or rather rushing, while the wind
halloos in the oak-toop like thunder;
The rustle of birds’ wings startled from their nests or flying
unseen into the bushes;
The whizzing of larger birds overhead in a wood, such as
crows, puddocks, buzzards;
The trample of robins and woodlarks on the brown leaves.
and the patter of squirrels on the green moss;
The fall of an acorn on the ground, the pattering of nuts on
the hazel branches as they fall from ripeness;
The flirt of the groundlark’s wing from the stubbles –
how sweet such pictures on dewy mornings, when the
dew flashes from its brown feathers.

Autumn is a time of awakening in our field. The ants recognize the drop in temperature and are feverishly busy marching to and fro in long processions. In a like manner, we at Chubeza are scrambling to keep up with the very long list of Autumn tasks: clearing out plots of vegetables who have retired for the season, moving irrigation pipes in preparation of tractor cultivation work, spreading compost, loosening earth, preparing beds, re-laying irrigation pipes, planting, seeding, and in the more mature plots – weeding, weeding and yet more weeding. The drop in temperature is good for us, reminding us that autumn is here and there’s lots to get done before the weather turns cold, but mostly – it relieves us from sweltering in the heat of the field.

During summertime, the plants remind me of a hike in the desert on a scorching hot day. Remember how you drink and drink but your thirst will not be quenched, and you feel the liquid evaporate from your bodies the second it’s gulped down? That’s the way I see our vegetables during summertime: they’re hanging in there, thirstily drinking up every single droplet, hiding under foliage or a shade net, passing out from the heat.

From the middle of July till the middle of August, we put a hold on new planting, as there is a limit to what you can ask of tiny seedlings. We also worry about them not liking their new habitat in its summery conditions, and prefer to just cancel their checks and let them take their business elsewhere. In the middle of August we take the chance, beginning with initial plantings of stronger autumn varieties, almost entirely under shade nets. But we promise them upon arrival that it’ll be hard at first, but if they persevere till autumn, things will be just peachy!

And now, walking through the field, I feel like I’m in an enormous delivery room, cuddling babies as they pour in on the scene. Each week we receive seedling-filled trays from the nursery, and the beds are now dotted with thousands of tiny plants taking their first steps in the earth of the Ayalon Valley, enjoying the cloud cover floating slowly across the sky, the gentle ventilated earth nice and loosened up for them, indulging themselves in the aroma of compost and a quaff of trickle-irrigation. The general atmosphere is one of fresh beginnings after desperately surviving the summer, reducing all vital signs to save energy for endurance. At last, the fields abound with a huge breath of fresh air in a merry dance of movement.

The field is beginning to remember the beloved acquaintances it bade farewell to several months ago: broccoli, cauliflower, green and red cabbage, kohlrabi, carrot, beets, big and small radishes, turnip and daikon, peas, fava beans, green beans, garlic, yellow and red potatoes, onion and scallion, leek, fennel, celery, parsley and celery roots, juicy winter lettuce and a bevy of greens in a verdant spectrum and marvelous shapes: arugula, totsoi, mizuna, Salonova lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, spinach… each at its time, making its entrance when it’s ready, almost like a class reunion. Those who arrived at the party earlier greet them with a wink and a smile from the adjacent beds, filling the newcomer in on the location of the refreshments and entertainment schedules and who to turn to in times of need. Welcome back, old friends!

Rumor has it the much-anticipated rain will arrive this Thursday. We so need that First Rain! We’re all set and ready for it. The plants stand erect, stretching their little heads to get a better look at the distant clouds and make sure they’re nice and gray and heavy with precipitation so they can hurry up and tell their buddies that the big day has arrived. We share their sentiments and excitement.

Join us for a personal and communal rain prayer – pleading with the rain to come and wash the dust off the leaves, quench the root’s thirst, awaken the earth’s teeny tiny microbes, and resuscitate the field that craves it.

One of our delivery people is ill this week, therefore some of the delivery routes in Tel Aviv will be manned by substitutes. We appreciate your patience and understanding. We wish our loyal delivery man, Amit, a full recovery and good health.

Wishing you a pleasant autumn week. Here’s hoping it will culminate in glorious, plentiful rain!

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

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BETWEEN-SUMMER-AND-FALL BOXES?

These days, there’s an abundance of greens in our boxes. To help identify them, see our Green Newsletter

And, once again, there’s popcorn in the box. Don’t cook it – pop it!!  Here are some words of explanation about this champion nosh.

Monday: Corn/eggplant, potatoes/sweet potatoes, lettuce, zucchini/ beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin/carrots, bell peppers,   New Zealand spinach/ kale/Swiss chard/ totsoi, parsley/coriander/dill, arugula/red mizuna.

Large box, in addition: Thai yard-long beans/okra, baby radishes/daikon, popcorn.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apples, avocados.    Small boxes: Oranges. Large boxes:Pears, clementinas.

Wednesday: Potatoes/eggplant, sweet potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, bell peppers, New Zealand spinach/kale/Swiss chard/ totsoi, coriander/dill, arugula/red mizuna. Small boxes: beets/radishes/daikon

Large box, in addition: Corn/zucchini, Thai yard-long beans/okra/carrots, beets and radishes/daikon.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apples, avocados.    Small boxes: Clementinas. Large boxes:Oranges, yellow plums.