Changes in deliveries due to Shavuot:
Due to the holiday, next Wednesday’s deliveries will be moved to Thursday, June 5. Monday deliveries as usual.
The Month of May is nearing its end. Over the week we will bill your cards for this month’s purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by the end of this week.
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, fruits and sprouts 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.”).
News about our other products:
This year’s Barhi date supply has come to an end. Those sweet things will return in early fall, around November, following the date harvest at the end of the summer. In the meantime, there are still Dekel Nur dates on hand, which you may order via our order system.
Tamir the Honey Man has renewed our stock of wildflower honey and blueberry blossom honey in 1 kg jars. There is also jujube blossom honey in 1 kg jars, and 1/2 kg packages of blueberry blossom. The 1 kg honey is new and more fluid; the 1/2 kg is thicker.
Eliezer of Shorshei Zion is launching a new type of nut – cashew, pistachio and pumpkin seed nuts in basil and lime. The walnut flavored buckwheat granola is back as well, joining a distinguished group of fresh nuts as well as olives and excellent probiotic pickles. We will inform you as soon as they are available to order via our order system.
And of course, you can also order organic flour, organic olive oil, breads and pastries, pomegranate juice, goat milk products, fruit leather and dry fruits, organic crackers, organic fruit, organic tahini and excellent coffee, all made by local small manufacturers.
Please note: you can choose the language of your personal account – if it’s easier for you to deal with an English-speaking order system – you can switch the language to English: go to “פרטים אישיים”, the most bottom option is “שפה מועדפת” – and you can change it to English here.
Weeds, Glorious Weeds
Spring has come in the blink of an eye We know that for sure, and here is why- All our backs are bent round Plucking weeds from the ground Which, my friends, is the story Of spring’s arrival in full glory.
In a well-remembered admonishment delivered by my high school principal to me and my girlfriends, she declared that we were growing like wild weeds.
And ever since then, I’ve held a strong affinity for weeds.
Ten years ago, when we searched for a name for our new organic farm, my husband suggested “chubeza,” after the lovely, albeit pesky and vigorous weed. I took to it immediately. Remember, I love weeds.
As organic farmers, our attitude towards weeds is complex, depending, of course, on the battle for resources and the question of where the spirited young weed has opted to grow. It’s kind of like the attitude you would have towards a very tall person who walks into your movie theatre. If s/he sits right in front of you, it will be disturbing and you will probably request s/he move over, but if the person sits beside you, or better- behind you, you wouldn’t have any problem.
Such is our life with the weeds. Those that situate themselves on the outskirts of the field or beds usually do not bother us at all, and even provide temporary shelter for pollinators and beneficial insects, and add beauty. But weeds that stake out their territory too close for comfort, right beside the scallions or the brand new cucumber sprouts, must make room– and are plucked out. In springtime, due to the sun’s rays and long hours of light, there are lots and lots of these candidates, and we find ourselves weeding and weeding and weeding.
We make an effort to weed while our crop is still young and needs all the attention and support it can get to utilize the surrounding resources (water, sun, nutrients). Usually, when a plant we planted or seeded arrives at maturity, it creates foliage that shades the earth around it, thus lessening the amount of weeds in the immediate vicinity. At this stage, its roots are already strong and long enough to reach the nutrients and water in the earth. Sometimes mature growths suffer the nuisance of aggressive weeds, and we need to clear them in order to allow the plant to continue yielding, particularly if it grows over a long period of time.
And just like those tall movie-goers, there are weeds that come out easily, and we are grateful to them, and then there are those who fight us with thorns, or stubbornly dig their roots into the earth and pretend not to hear our plea or feel our tap on their shoulder. So we approach them with gloves or sharp objects. Some of the roots, like those of the Aleppo millet grass or the coco grass (nutgrass) are root stems, meaning they have growth limbs in their roots as well. When we pull them out or cut them, their bulbs and roots remain in the earth, sprouting new, strong stems soon afterwards. In any case, at least till the crops grow stronger and can fight them on their own, we will have to weed the beds over and over again.
Like our vegetables, our weeds are periodic. The winter weeds left and made room for summer weeds, which will bid us farewell at the end of the summer, making way for their wintery brethren. Here is a short compilation of (some of) Chubeza’s current weed population:
Dwarf Chicory- a member of the Asteraceae family, and a common guest since wintertime when it looked very different- with long, green, sharp leaves shaped like a wreath. Doron, who comes to Chubeza to buy vegetables, would always stop at a significant gathering of Dwarf Chicory to chop off a bundle for himself. A few weeks ago, when he came to look for his favorite weeds, he found that they had undergone a transformation: the leaves dried up, the plant grew long split stems, and has bloomed into a beautiful purplish-bluish flower:
Another uninvited guest in our field this time of the year is the Aleppo millet grass, from the Poaceae family, i.e., a Graminae. We try hard to dig it out from under the earth before it blooms, but we don’t always succeed. It reproduces via seed distribution, but also, as noted above, by its roots splitting up under the earth, which is why even if it is cut before blooming, we are looking at a long battle.
The “corn bind” is a member of the Convolvulaceae family. It’s so beautiful that it’s really is a pity to have to get rid of. The corn bind is relatively friendly to the plucking hand, easily removed from the earth, without pricking or taking revenge on us. Other members of his family: the morning glory and our friend, the sweet potato, which crawls upon the earth and whose beds we began preparing this week. But unfortunately, the corn bind has got to go when it makes its home next door to our plants, due to its tendency to lovingly strangle its buddies, climbing over them, intertwining and winding around them tightly. Too bad…
And last but not least, a beautiful and poisonous plant, the “silverleaf nightshade.” I’m always upset to see kindergartens and public areas adorned with silverleaves and oleanders, which some view as beautiful (I find the oleander incredibly ugly, but that’s just me), since they are toxic and contain very unfriendly material in most parts of the plant. A curious child who wishes to chew a leaf or taste a fruit may soon end up having his stomach pumped in the emergency room. The silverleaf nightshade belongs to the Solanaceae family, which has respected family members growing in our field, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and also the potato, nearing the end of its season. But the Solanaceae family-member-from-the-wild-side growing in our field is indeed the silverleaf nightshade, poisonous, prickly and very beautiful. It blooms in purple with a yellow center, and when it flourishes at the outskirts of the field we are happy for its decorative flair. But when it is in the beds and adjacent to our crops, we use gloves to protect against thorns and weed it out.
Wishing us comfortable days and pleasant spring weather, as we weed away in the field.
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Maya and the Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: New Zealand spinach, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, garlic/onions, cucumbers/fakus, parsley, zucchini. Small boxes only: leeks.
Large box, in addition: Beans/artichoke, scallions/chives, beets, nana (mint)
Wednesday: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, green/yellow beans/artichoke, cucumbers/fakus, parsley/cilantro, zucchini, leeks/scallions, melon.
Large box, in addition: garlic/onions, beets, nana (mint)
And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, 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!