Aley Chubeza #183, December 30th 2013 – January 1st 2014

Lots of messages this week, please be patient…

Ring out the old! Ring in the new! On Monday we will bill your cards for December purchases, and we will attempt to have it updated by Tuesday.

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!

The billing is three-part: one bill for vegetables, fruits and dates which you purchased over the past month (Of course, if you only received vegetables, you will only be billed for vegetables. Not fruit or dates…) The second part is the bill for delivery, which includes VAT, and the third is for extra non-Chubeza products you purchased through our Internet order system.

Beginning next month, we shall begin billing the non-Chubeza products in a slightly different manner. Henceforth they will be purchased directly from us (as opposed to purchasing directly from the producers), and will be included in the end-of-the-month bill. (Products which include VAT will appear in the delivery invoice; VAT-free products will be included in the fruits and vegetable invoice). For this reason, we’ve received an updated price list for the various products, and consequently updated your prices. We are attaching a detailed document with all the new prices. Please check this out. These prices are effective from Wednesday, January 1, 2004.


This week we are pleased to introduce a new family of farmers, the Zukker’s from Kibbutz Merav in the Gilboa. They grow organic pomegranates, and squeeze them into delicious pomegranate juice. Here’s an explanation from Yiftah:

We live in Kibbutz Merav on the Gilboa Mountain. Ten years ago, our family decided to plant a pomegranate orchard. We leased some agricultural land from the kibbutz and began working–and quickly learning that growing pomegranates is both a task and a privilege. And we fell in love. We meet once a week, the entire clan–siblings and parents–for a workday, strengthening our connections with each other and the land.

When we saw the huge amount of (chemical) fertilization the pomegranates undergo, we decided to go organic, and we are pleased by our decision. Five years ago we began squeezing the fruit and marketing the juice as well. It is delicious and so healthy.

We love selling products that we’ve given our hearts and souls to producing, but what’s even better is that we are selling something that is genuine and vital to good health.”

The juice is kosher under the supervision of Badatz Rabbi Rubin, and organically supervised by Skal. One liter of pomegranate juice costs 22 NIS.


And in honor of the upcoming Tu B’Shvat celebration, Melissa of “mipri yadeha” renews her tradition of offering a delectable assortment of leather bits, organic dates, whole chubby carobs, local unshelled nuts (almonds and pecans), naturally sun-dried raisins and dried fruits, dates, carobs, and unshelled nuts for 60 NIS per basket. Please hurry and make your order (you can email us ahead of time) to give Melissa ample time to assemble the packages.


Man, It’s Cold!

The year 2013 is ending in bright, chilly cold. At the beginning of this month it was still hot and dry, with eastern winds blowing fiercely.  A few days later, this was all a memory. The rain poured, followed by the hail, more rain, more and more rain, and snow. And ever since, it has been dry and bright and ever-so-cold. The vegetables in our field are acting as if they have been placed in the refrigerator. Well, it’s not really “as if.” Chubeza temperatures are similar to those in the refrigerator, and sometimes when we open our big fridge, it almost feels like there’s no change. This Sunday we were hoping the rain would come and break the frost a bit, but aside from a short downpour in the morning, the rest of the day the skies were dry and cool.

So how does the lettuce deal with the cold weather? Much like the bears. It withdraws into itself, expending as little energy as possible and goes to sleep… The vegetables are growing sooooo slowly that it almost looks like nothing has changed from week to week. The lettuce crop injured by the hail is recuperating slightly and sprouting some green leaves, but it’s almost happening in slow motion, as if something is slowing down the screening speed. Alon and I walk through the field in wonder at the lack of change. We are patiently waiting for the lettuce to awake, cuddling it, patting it, encouraging it, hoping it will soon respond. This week we harvested the lettuce heads in pairs, because though small, they are mature and liable to begin blooming.

We have halted our planting and seeding. There is no sense in placing new plants or seeds into the cold earth (even if it’s at an underground temperature of approximately 10 degrees). They won’t be hurt, but they definitely won’t advance. It makes no difference if we plant them now or in January. So we wait and try to remember that the days are (slowly… you get the picture) getting longer, and soon there will be more light hours and maybe the days will even get warmer. In the meantime, the cold weather is making it easier for us to weed, because even the weeds are a little slower, giving us the opportunity to try to vanquish these critters that got so spoiled and nurtured by all that rain a couple of weeks ago.

We try to keep moving, because it really is so cold. The clear skies of the past two weeks are particularly cold. We have moved our lunch hour to the packing house. Not that it’s particularly warm inside, but we do have the illusion of the walls. In the meantime, we take advantage of winter for the inner crafts: as the Chubeza community has expanded, we’ve enlarged the packing area, and added shelves for more boxes.

And yet some small movement is taking place. The cucumbers we missed so much lately (not only because of the hail damage, but also because of a major cold-weather-driven slowdown in growth) will be returning to your Monday boxes. We hope to have cucumbers for Wednesday boxes as well, and are encouraged by the movement, albeit in wintery, snail’s pace, sleepy steps. The garden peas are beginning to ripen, and we will start harvesting them this week. The snow peas are also due soon, but both their beds are not in great condition. Because of its relatively shallow roots, the pea suffers when the earth is over-saturated. Too much water in the earth suffocates it and blocks the air and space it needs. The bushes look a little too yellow to us, but we are hoping they recover. Despite it all, they are rewarding us with sweet green pods.

The sweet potatoes are also sensitive to the cold weather. They are an end-of-the-summer growth, and do not enjoy such chilly sub-earth temperatures. They are really suffering now. Up to this point they’ve enjoyed the protection of the earth above them, but now the earth has become so cold that we actually noticed frostbite on the sweet potatoes we harvested this week. We attempted to slice and clean those parts that were hurt, so you may notice they are somewhat amputated this week. Eat these sweet potatoes quickly. They won’t keep as long as the warmer season variety.

The winter root vegetables are doing better, as are the other “regular” vegetables. The carrot, fennel, kohlrabi, radish, turnip, leek, broccoli, cauliflowers and greens are still happily with us. We are waiting for the slow-growing celery to join, followed quickly by the parsley roots. The fava beans are on their way, depending upon the speed at which their scenes will be filmed… A true winter!

May we all have a warm week, and may we begin 2014 at the most suitable pace.

Wishing you a good week and a happy 2014, from all of us at Chubeza!



Monday: Coriander, lettuce, kohlrabi/fennel, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, daikon/ turnips/radishes, leeks/scallions, kale, cauliflower/broccoli, cucumbers. Small boxes only: celery

In the large box, in addition: Helda (flat) green beans/garden peas/Jerusalem artichoke, parsley, beets, carrots

Wednesday: spinach/Swiss chard, daikon/turnips/radishes, cucumbers, cilantro/parsley, Jerusalem artichoke/fava beans/snow peas, carrots/sweet potatoes, kohlrabi/fennel/beets, lettuce, leeks/green onions, tomatoes, in small boxes: broccoli or cauliflower.

In the large box, in addition: broccoli and cauliflower, arugula, green or red cabbage

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