February 22nd-24th 2021 – V’Nahafochu – hopefully soon: The Purim Newsletter

To enhance your Purim, Chubeza’s amazing associates offer a wonderful assortment of Mishloach Manot treats. Mipri fruit leathers are dressing up as edible Scrolls of Esther, especially suited for Mishlochai Manot. Feel free to add dried fruit. Plus, other excellent products to add include seasoned ciders, jams, cakes and chocolates, crackers, hyssop and carob syrup, honey and dates, and many more choice items. Including, of course, the charming Shana Bagina calendar.

All these goodies (and more) can be purchased via our order system.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Purim!

_________________________________

On organic agriculture, the weather and… joy…

This week began with the ecological contamination disaster of our seas and beaches along the coastline following last week’s storm. That same storm was not so kind to our vegetables either, and yet – Purim – shouldn’t we dwell on happiness?

This got me thinking about the half full/half empty glass and the imperative to be happy. Is this even possible? Can one actually instruct someone to be happy? Perhaps it’s a question of character –some are born happy and positive, while others are naturally pessimistic. Or maybe it’s a matter of choice – do we see the contamination and mourn the massive damage incurred, or enjoy the blue horizon and count on Nature’s great power of renewal to eventually return the vitality and growth and balance?

The contamination is worrisome. Our shores require very meticulous cleaning, and great injury has been caused to shore and sea animals. In a tough year like the one we just experienced, this adds to the already-heavy burden. And yet, spring is around the corner, the winter showers were abundant and we didn’t suffer too badly from floods or droughts. Nature indeed possesses the power of renewal and revival. And perhaps this disaster will make us concentrate on the more important issues in life, those that are more important than (another round of) elections and political battles from which we are all so weary.

The storm did indeed wreak havoc at Chubeza by blowing away some of the protective covers over the vegetable beds, bringing along heavy hail. The Chinese peas were damaged, and the Swiss chard chopped and punctured. Some of the small lettuce and beets were hit by great balls of hail, as were the scallions. On the other head – despite the winds, our hothouses did not bow, or lose their covers. Many beds, among them the spring growths already planted and more sensitive, remained tightly covered in protective plastic. And the large quantities of rain (over 100 mm) are saturating the soil, permeating deep and collecting in the reserves of local ground water just waiting to help us out, come summer.

And that’s the thing about happiness. It’s not that reality is bereft of joyful things, rather it has many painful, sorrowful sides that we allow to prevail more often than not. This week we received a gift in the form of a beautiful article about Chubeza and the greater story of small community-based farms that are becoming more and more prevalent. You, too, are in the article, of course…. When I told the journalist how I first started out at Chubeza and how I dared to create the whole enterprise, I remembered that after I returned from two years in California, I was American-style starry-eyed, believing all you have to do is dream to make it happen. I always say it’s a good thing I started this project immediately, because if I had waited just a few more months, the Israeli cynicism and criticism would have done me in and Chubeza would never have happened.

It’s not that only one of the concepts – Israeli or American – is true: dreams do not always come true, but many times they do. There’s always some of this and some of that. When we plant a wide variety of vegetables in the field at different times and many rounds, some are very successful while others fail miserably. The question is what do we remember, how happy are we with the success and how upset we remain about what did not happen. Are we distressed by three rainless weeks that forced us to irrigate more often, or happy about the window of time we could use to culture the soil and prepare it for spring planting?

To be organic farmers means we constantly must see the half-full side of the glass. Much is in the hands of nature, and sometimes we must gracefully accept a bed drowned under neglected weeds, or the fact that we do not have a solution to protect us from the Dacus ciliatus (lesser pumpkin fly) pest, or that a fungus has yet again struck the cabbage, or that the neighborhood dogs got a little wild and tore the cover we stretched over the greens. We’re aware of and continually experience our limited control over what happens in the field, and must decide how to relate to failures, mistakes or unexpected, unknown problems. Should we give up sadly or see how much is still left in the remaining parts of the field? Or focus on new experimental varieties and discover that they grow easily and excellently, and rejoice in all the goodness the plot is producing and our privilege to work in this very place?So, despite the fact that the clouds of gloom still prevail, and sometimes conceal the wonderful abundance of the field and surrounding nature, and despite the fact that we are living in a challenging, scary and fatigued Covid era, I try to remind myself (and you) that sometimes the abundance and beauty and variety are hiding in the dark, concealed, covered. The question is whether we continue to believe that they are there, if we make the effort to find them, and if we believe that if nothing is working, something needs to improve. As I pondered these questions on my way home, I heard this song by Arik Einstein informing me that something good has to happen! I agree.

May we enjoy a joyful, hopeful Purim abounding with many half-full glasses, lots of rain, sun, blossoms and clean fresh air and water.

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and the entire Chubeza team, praying hard that Nahafochu is just around the corner!

_______________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Carrots/Jerusalem artichokes/potatoes, lettuce, celery/celeriac/parsley root, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, white or purple cabbage, parsley/coriander/dill, snow peas or garden peas/green fava beans, cauliflower, leeks/green garlic.

Large box, in addition: Broccoli, daikon/turnips, Kale/Swiss chard.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas/lemons, red apples, pomelit, oranges.

Wednesday: Carrots, lettuce, beets/potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, white or purple cabbage, parsley/coriander/dill, snow peas or garden peas/green fava beans/Jerusalem artichokes, leeks/green garlic, kale/Swiss chard/Chubeza (mallow) greans. Small boxes: Broccoli/cauliflower

Large box, in addition: Broccoli and cauliflower, small radishes/turnips, celery/celeriac/parsley root.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas/lemons, red apples, pomelit/clemantinot, oranges.

!March 8th-9th-11th-12th 2020 – Happy and healthy Purim!

This week we’re sending an “oldie” newsletter from several years ago, which happily and surprisingly (or not) is suitable for this year – with one small addition.

Chag Sameach!

——-

Purim’s Here!

In the Hebrew calendar, Purim is not considered one of the agricultural holidays. At first glance, Purim seems to be a holiday unrelated to nature and agriculture, rather an urban holiday devoid of customs for harvesting or seeding, and a costume carnival seemingly unattached to a specific season. But anyone who tends the field during this time of the year realizes exactly how much Purim is suited for this season, especially in our tiny little country.

The weather is acting as if it’s guzzled down a bottle of wine or two or three, staggering in its walk, driving itself into a drunken stupor. After a cold, rainy winter, suddenly the weather ups and changes, thrusting itself between summer and winter, cold and warm, wet and dry. Three summer days, then one rainy day, followed by two dusty heat waves and then some more fog and cold weather. What a mess!

Our winter field is contemplating dressing up in a spring costume, a salad mix of winter and summer. The cauliflower, broccoli, peas, fava, greens, beets, carrots, leeks and scallions, celeriac and parsley roots, artichoke and garlic, veteran tenants going way back to wintertime, have been lounging in their beds, chatting away for months. Suddenly, from beneath the plastic covers emerge new saplings peeking out at the world! There’s squash, butternut, pumpkins, melons, fakkus, beans…

Along with the field, we, too, are getting excited about the transformation: almost like the butterflies in our tummy as we don our costumes. One minute it’s my daughter checking herself out in the mirror, and suddenly she disappears and someone else appears, familiar but new. And it’s her, but she too is now different, and her appearance transforms the way she feels. Walking around the field that has been wintery for a good while evokes similar excitement as the gourds make their appearance and the beans are sprouting. Change is in the air, and it’s a joyful change.

And the joy and laughter are accompanied by a sense of unease as well: somewhat of an embarrassment to be seen outdoors wearing the costume, hoping all goes well, that nothing falls apart and the smile remains on our made-up face. In the transformational field as well, our heart skips a beat as the field slips into its summer costume, mostly because of the drunkard weather that can keep making us crazy. Thus, we send out our children and vegetables all dressed up and neat, and hope we meet them at the end of the day in good spirits, their makeup a bit smeared and their mouths chocolaty, but with laughing eyes.

In honor of Purim, we suggest such distinctive and merry mishlochei manot from your vegetable boxes as:

Carrot Cake

Chocolate beet cake

Parsley pesto

Green curry

Green fava spread

Tomato jam

Green Tahini

Tzatziki Dip

Beet spread

Vegetable fritters

Kale chips

Or simply a fresh bag of delectable snow peas!

Wishing us all a happy and silly Purim, full of embraces and calm. And good health to all!
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin, Yochai and the Chubeza team

______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Sunday-Monday: Swiss chard/kale/chubeza (mallow) greens, potatoes, cauliflower/broccoli, green fava beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, parsley/coriander, lettuce, leeks/green garlic. Small boxes only: Bundle of beets or daikons with greens

Large box, in addition: Peas, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac/parsley root, cabbage.

Fruit boxes: Banana, orange, clemantinot/apples, pomelit/red grapefruit.

Wednesday-Thursday: Swiss chard/kale/chubeza (mallow) greens, potatoes, cauliflower/broccoli/cabbage, green fava beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, parsley/coriander, lettuce, leeks/green garlic. Small boxes only: Jerusalem artichokes.

Large box, in addition: Peas, bundle of beets or daikons with greens, celeriac/parsley root, fresh onions.

Fruit boxes: Banana, orange, apples, pomelit/red grapefruit.

March 4th-6th 2019 – Adar is in the air…

V’nahofocho

In two weeks, during the week of Purim, we will be creating delivery havoc for some of you. Due to the Fast of Esther which falls on Wednesday, 20.3, the delivery schedules will be as follows:

Wednesday, March 20th Tel Aviv, Herzlia and Gush Etzion: Deliveries as usual.

Jerusalem: Ein Kerem, Kiryat Hayovel, Beit Hakerem, Rehavia, Nachlaot, Kiryat Moshe, Malcha, Katamonim and Katamon, Bak’a, Talbiye, Talpiyot and Armon Ha’Natziv  – Deliveries will be brought up one day earlier, Tuesday, March 19th.

Beit Choron, Ramot, French Hill, Giva’t Hamivtar, Abu Tor, central Jerusalem, Gilo and parts of Bak’a and Talpiyot – deliveries as usual, Wednesday, March 20th.

We hope you take this change in the spirit of the merry holiday. To clarify which day you will be receiving your delivery, if needed, please contact us.

Chag Sameach!

___________________________________

“Feasting and joy, and sending Mishlochei Manot  one to another, and gifts to the poor”

As Purim approaches and Mishlochei Manot are in order, we are delighted to offer a variety of yummy products so healthy and joyful to the belly and soul that even Shushan residents would have loved to receive them:

Melissa of Mipri Yadeha is offering Book-of-Esther-like scrolls made of natural, delectable fruit leather, free of additives. The beautifully packaged scrolls come in a range of fun flavors at only 10 NIS per scroll!

The Tahini makers from Tahi-Na are offering their excellent product in a cute little jar, perfect for a holiday gift – 200 gr for 15 NIS.

As part of the Food Festival of Mate Yehuda, over the next three weekends they will be opening their doors to you, inviting you all to visit their wonderous sesame room, inhale the fragrance and enjoy the surprising flavors!

 Ido and Carol from the Ish shel Lechem bakery offer extraordinary vegan Hamentaschen, not too sweet and just delicious! Choose from Tahini and Halva or chestnut chocolate fillings. A 220-gram package (13/14 pieces) sells for 28 NIS.

“Lev HaTeva” (The Heart of Nature) offer a range of outstanding crackers made from whole organic wheat, spelt or rye flour at 17 NIS per package. A gluten-free variety is available as well, made from potato, rice, corn or hummus flour at 15 NIS per package. Kosher for Pesach packages available as well! Please make sure to state your preference in your orders.

Orly and Shachar’s delectable honey candies are a sheer delight! Don’t miss their homemade, nostalgic natural candies made of pure honey. Flavors available: natural, ginger and coffee, at 38 NIS per box.

Dani and Galit are expanding their range of products, adding granola cookies (19 NIS) and more protein cookies (22 NIS). These newbies join the long-loved salted pretzel sticks (18 NIS), crispy crackers (22 NIS) and gluten-free cookies (25 NIS). All products are vegan, cholesterol free with no additives or artificial flavoring, and made with lots and lots of love.

Beyond these delicious wares, don’t miss the many other products made by the very special small manufactures who are Chubeza associates:

Our website contains a full, detailed description of all these products.  Make your order via our order system, and your purchases will be delivered to your door right in your boxes. If you are not internet-savvy, you are welcome to contact us via email or text message and we will do our best to oblige.

May we enjoy more rain and then some gentle, warm and growth-inducing sunshine, the earth in its beautiful bloom, and the shift from Adar Alef to the happy and liberating Adar Bet!

Shavua Tov,

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

______________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Snow peas or garden peas, leeks/fresh onions, broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, fresh fava beans, kale/chubeza (mallow)greens/broccoli greens. Small boxes only: Parsley root.

Large box, in addition: Celeriac/celery, parsley/coriander, cauliflower/cabbage, bell peppers/ beets.

FRUIT BOXES:  Bananas, pomelit, clementinot, strawberries.

Wednesday: Snow peas or garden peas, leeks/fresh onions, broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, fresh fava beans, kale/chubeza (mallow)greens/broccoli greens, parsley/coriander.

Large box, in addition: Celeriac/parsley root, cauliflower/cabbage, bell peppers/ beets.

FRUIT BOXES:  Bananas, pomelit, clementinot, red grapefruit, strawberries.

February 26th-28th 2018 – Happy smiley purim!

Reminder – changes in delivery schedule:

Monday Deliveries
Tel Aviv– deliveries as usual, except for the following neighborhoods:
Florentine/Shapiro/Kiryat Shalom/Jaffa received their boxes on Tuesday, February 27.
Deliveries to Rehovot, Nes Ziona, Rishon L’Zion, Mazkeret Batya, Mevasseret Zion and neighboring communities were carried out as usual.

Wednesday Deliveries
Tel-Aviv, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Gush Ezyon – as usual.
Beit Horon, Ramot, French Hill, Sheich Jarach, downtown Jerusalem – as usual.
Ein Kerem, Kiryat Hayovel, Beit Hakerem, Rechavia, Nachlaot, Kiryat Moshe, Malcha, Katamonim, Katamon, Bak’a, Talpiyot and Armon Hanatziv –received their boxes yesterday, Tuesday, February 27.

_____________________

Musical Vegetables

Purim is the holiday where we are encouraged to exit our comfort zone and shed our usual presumptions and predictable opinions to scrutinize the familiar from a brand new point of view, daring to transform the custom – by costume.

Thus, in honor of Purim, we are happy to bring a different angle, a vegetable Nahafochu, sharing the stories of a troupe of special musicians who produce music…from vegetables!

Using vegetables to make music is nothing new. Coconuts or dried pumpkins, for instance, have been used as percussion instruments in South America and Africa for many years. What’s different about the music I’m sharing with you is that it is produced from super fresh vegetables to produce a distinctive, surprising tone.

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra is a unique ensemble that plays music on instruments made exclusively from fresh vegetables. Using carrot flutes, pumpkin tubas, leek violins, celery guitars and pepper trumpets, they make highly unusual vegetable-like music. Take a look at the instruments:

gurkophon.jpg

 Cucumber-Phone

karottenfloeten.jpg

Carrot Flutes

kuerbis.jpg

Percussion Pumpkin

lauch.jpg

Leek Violin

melanzaniklappe.jpg

Eggplant Castanet

paprikatroete.jpg

Pepper Trumpet

zellerbongos1.jpg

Celeriac Bongo

salat.jpg

Ratchet Salad

zwiebelschalen.jpg

Onion Peels

The orchestra was established in Vienna, Austria, in 1998. It works as an ensemble with 12 musicians who play modern music, beat, house, electronic, jazz and all sorts of other types. They constantly invent and develop new instruments, and then create the music to match.

Their concerts are a sensual celebration: as the music fills the room, so do fragrances of celery and onion. Musicians sport visible vegetable stains as the music reaches a crescendo. At the close of the concert, the audience is rewarded with an encore of… fresh vegetable soup!

According to one musician, “We chose the vegetables as instruments for their living testimony to these qualities: they can be smelled and tasted, they have a wide variety of shapes and color, and they can be found anywhere.” Before each concert, the merry musicians go shopping in the market, searching for the vegetables to be used in their performance. It is very important to make the instruments out of fresh vegetables, they say, since the freshness of the vegetable influences the sound it produces, and its stamina. Not-so-fresh vegetables tend to crack or break when they hit the high notes. Nor do the supermarket varieties packed in plastic bags produce instruments of high quality.

The orchestra members will not be pleased to hear that they are the honored guests of our Purim Newsletter. They don’t like being seen as a funny or strange phenomenon, and disdain invitations to an event as comic relief. Above all, they are indeed serious musicians. To date, they have produced three CDs to rave reviews, and they give 20-30 performances every year in Europe and Asia. Truth be told, in order to perform as they do, they need to deal with non-conventional problems, like when a local market does not carry carrots of the right thickness, or big enough pumpkins or any leeks at all  outside of leek season! The instruments are sensitive to the heat of the bright stage lights, and sometimes the sound changes throughout the performance due to the vegetable drying up…

But really, the message these musicians convey is this: millions of vegetable orchestras exist worldwide. For those of you who seek local vegetable music, they suggest you stop at the nearest market and listen carefully. Within a few seconds, they assure you that you’ll begin hearing the gentle sounds produced by vegetables, fruit, bread and cans.

The second Purim artist we are featuring is an Australian woodwind musician, a very serious one who in fact loves to emphasize the humoristic side of his performances.

Picture credit Stephen Jaquiery

His name is Linsey Pollak, and he plays various “musical instruments” we never imagined had it in them, such as rubber gloves, garden funnels, chairs, brooms, an inflatable frog (!) and – in our common interest – carrots. Watch this video to see him preparing a flute from a carrot and then coaxing a tune out of it – accompanied by his alluring Australian accent.

As music and vegetables span cultures and borders, so we will share a zany video involving vegetable music in a Chinese talent show.

Whether you are eating your vegetables or making beautiful music from them (perhaps pop them in your mouth for an encore?), we wish you a happy and joyful Purim with lots of masks and rattles, songs and dances.

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

______________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S PURIM BOXES?

Monday-Tuesday: Broccoli/cauliflower, carrots, leeks/onions/scallions, bell peppers/ cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, beets, garden or snow peas. Small boxes only: Swiss chard/spinach/ kale.

Large box, in addition: Fava beans/Jerusalem artichoke, parsley/dill/coriander, celeriac, kohlrabi/turnips/daikon.

Tuesday-Wednesday: Broccoli/cauliflower, cucumber, peas, cabbage, tomato, potato, kohlrabi/beets, celeriac, lettuce, carrots. Small boxes only: Parsley/cilantro/dill.

Large box, in addition: Kale/Swiss chard/spinach, Jerusalem artichoke/fava beans, radish/turnip/daikon, leeks/scallions.

Aley Chubeza #328, February 27th-March 1st 2017

neot-smadarAfter a temporary shortage, Kibbutz Neot Smadar has renewed Chubeza’s stock of their excellent date honey (now in a handy squeeze bottle) and a variety of delicious health bars. You are most welcome to order these wonderful products and more via our order system.

_______________________________

megila close 2016-reduced“Is it not for this very moment that you became queen?!”

In honor of Purim, Mipri Yadeha is delighted to present Megillat Esther: all-natural fruit leather scrolls in select flavors, perfect for holiday food exchanges and a sweet reminder of what one brave woman can do! (Only 10 NIS apiece!) place your orders via our order system.

_______________________________

“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…” The team at Minhat Ha’aretz is already gearing up for the month of Nisan and their unique Matzah baking.

Whole wheat spelt – Shmura L’mhadrin from the time of harvest!!!195  Nis per kg (15-17 pieces)

matza spelt

Organic Israeli whole wheat – Shmura L’mhadrin from the time of harvest!!! 135 NIS per kg (15-17 pieces)

matza wheat

This is a limited run, so please make your orders on time. Email or text us with your orders by Purim. Final deadline to place your order: March 10

The matzah will be sent to you over the two weeks preceding Pesach (last week of March, first week of April).

_____________________________

It’s the month of Adar

And we are instructed to be happy. Contrary to other Jewish statutes so carefully prescribed, there are no rules or definitions for happiness, not even a general direction to follow. As Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro comments, “Anything that makes us happy – this will be the commandment, and all should explore their own personal ways of making themselves happy.” So we should just figure out what makes us happy, what motivates us to feel good, optimistic and positive, focus on this and be happy.

To inaugurate this joyful month, we shall devote this Newsletter to the Chubeza angle on happiness. We asked you to tell us what makes you happy about the Chubeza boxes, and you sent us beautiful, happy, funny and smile-inducing responses. Here they are, for all of us to rejoice:

משמח אותיeng

And Jenia wrote:

jenia-eng

And she sent some photos:

jenia1 jenia2

What makes us happy? We are overjoyed to our tippy-toes and our hearts make a jump and a thump when we receive your positive feedback and kind words. So we started our month of Adar with a great big smile. Hopefully, you’re smiling now too.

Have a great month!

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

____________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/ coriander, spinach/ Swiss chard/broccoli leaves/mizuna, celeriac/leeks, cucumbers, cabbage/cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, peas/Jerusalem artichoke, fresh onions, potatoes, carrots.

Large box, in addition: Beets, lettuce, fava beans.

Wednesday: potatoes, beets/kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, fresh onions, parsley/dill/cilantro, broccoli, cabbage/cauliflower, cherry tomatoes/fava beans, spinach/broccoli greens/kale/Swiss chard.

Large box, in addition: celeriac/leek, lettuce/mizuna, snow peas.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, apple juice, cider and jams, dates silan and healthy snacks 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!