Aley Chubeza #242 April 27th-29th 2015

The month of April is nearing its end. At the end of this week we will bill your cards for this month’s purchases and endeavor to have the billing updated by the beginning of next 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 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.”)


Avshi and Bar Ya’aran are friends, and the parents of Yam (wife of our Shachar), who live in an ecological autarkic (self-sufficient) goat farm on Mt. Ya’ala, above Beit Shemesh. If you’re not yet acquainted with them and their farm, it’s time to meet them! The farm is a very special place, boasting maximum integration within nature and a minimum use of nonrenewable energy, thanks to solar electricity, grey water recycling, cooking gas obtained from animal-waste-to-energy, and more.

For years now, Avshi and Bar have been trying to cooperate with the establishment in seeking a creative solution to prevent the destruction of this unique enterprise. The green organizations support the search for a solution (defining them as a farm designated to protect the forest and brush). Bar and Avshi do not wish to obtain ownership of the land, but rather a solution that will allow them to continue with their life work, an outstanding example of caring for the environment, for us all.

Lately they have initiated a petition addressed to the Head of the Mateh Yehuda Council Mr. Moshe Dadon, requesting his assistance towards this goal.

I feel that it is in the interest of us all to support the existence of the farm and its prosperity, thus supporting protection of the environment not only by opposing any threats, but by standing together with those who protect nature.

The petition is here And here you can find an article (Hebrew) about Bar and Avshi and their story

Our support is important!


A message from a good friend, Yiftach Bareket, aka “Yiftach Bread,” named for the legendary sourdough bread he used to bake. But he does other things as well:  he is a great cook and knows lots about wonderful food. Today Yiftach is launching a series of vegan cooking demonstrations at the farm of another friend, Helaf (aka Melo Hatene). What a great opportunity to get to know them both, and to see the unique enterprise Helaf has created! Here’s their description:

We invite you to a new series of four vegan cooking sessions on the following topics:

  • 27.4:  Spreads, dips, appetizers
  • 4.5:    Salads
  • 11.5:  Main dishes
  • 18.5:  Desserts

In each session, we will present you with a diverse vegan cuisine that is both healthy and creative. Plus, we’ll provide an abundance of tools and inspiration for methods and raw materials that bring new vitality to cooking for healthy living!

The sessions feature hands-on preparation of the portions, under the careful guidance of Yiftach. Best, we’ll conclude with a hearty, delicious meal made up of all the dishes we’ve prepared.

You are invited to take part in any and all of the sessions in the series. All sessions will take place at beautiful Melo HaTene, near Karmei Yosef, between 6-9 pm. For further details, please contact Yiftach.


It’s Mint to be Touched (and smelled and tasted)

Over the past few weeks we have been sending you the gift of bouquets of fragrant mint. In springtime, our mint beds flourish anew, and they now need frequent trimming. Which is the reason that even though the harvest is abundant and the boxes are overflowing, we’re including a complimentary fresh, aromatic mint visitor in your boxes as well. At Chubeza, mint is a an unmistakable sign of spring, and the very proof that the winter slumber is over (even if a shower may creep up here or there) and spring is here in all its glory!

Mint belongs to the Lamiaceae family, a prominent tribe containing such other important seasoning and medicinal herbs as hyssop, thyme, sage, Melissa, rosemary, white-leaved savor, basil and more. This family has an interesting characteristic: their square stem. If you haven’t yet noticed this phenomenon, it’s simply fascinating. Take a branch and look at it closely. The round part is not round like you would expect, but rather with sharp edges that create a square.

Mint is perennial, growing again and again from year to year. Occasionally it may take a short leave of absence and close itself off for the winter, but once spring arrives, that mint is totally out there. When you raise mint in a little house garden, it is recommended to limit its growth so that it doesn’t take over the rest of your plants. Mint is bounding with energy, strength and chutzpah.

At Chubeza, the mint bed belongs to the single perennial beds. In wintertime we mow it down and place a white Agril covering over it to allow the mint a good winter’s rest. In springtime, it bursts out in vivid fragrance and color that warms your heart.

In Israel there are four types of mint: horse mint, squaw mint, water mint and fragrant mint. As a cultivated growth, many different varieties of mint have already been developed, with soft or hard texture, round or elongated leaves, plants that grow high or those that spread out. In cooking, there are those who differentiate between nana and mint, but this is definitely an artificial distinction between the more mild-flavored types coined nana and the piquant variety, rich in menthol, coined mint. Menthol comes in assorted concentrations in the leaves of the various mint types. The menthol molecule works on the ends of cells that are sensitive to temperature and increases their sensitivity to cold weather. This is a small molecule that can penetrate the epithelium layer of the human pharynx and reach the nerves responsible for the sensations of warmth and cold. The slight cooling that occurs when inhaling after the menthol acts on the nerve endings will intensify and cause a strong cold sensation. The mint piquancy is “cold,” thus differentiating it from other sharp flavors that usually cause a sensation of burning and warmth, while the cool sensation received by chewing mint is considered more of a “refreshing” feeling.

The myth about the creation of mint stars a sharp-tongued girl named Minthe who lived in the underworld of the dead and demons. Minthe was the first girlfriend of the king of the dead and demons. She loved him a lot, but he preferred the prettier Persephone.

One day, the king invited Persephone to his castle, kindling Minthe’s anger. “Who is this ugly witch?” she yelled at the king. “Am I no longer good enough for you?”

“And you,” snapped Minthe as she turned to Persephone, “You get the *** out of here or I shall personally rip you into small shreds!” Beautiful Persephone was most offended by Minthe’s nasty verbiage, so she proceeded to slug Minthe and tore her to pieces. The king of demons regretted the misfortune he had caused to Minthe, and turned her into a fragrant plant with a red-hot flavor that bears her name to this day.

Minthe’s power which she channeled to seething anger is now channeled to healing, relaxation and health. Mint is known as a plant that can aid digestion (drink mint tea at the end of a meal), great for vanquishing heartburn and easing pain and spasms in the digestive system. Like the rest of its family members, mint is also an anti-bacterial plant and is thus an important component in the oral hygiene industry (toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.). It helps alleviate headaches, toothaches, earaches, stomach and joint pains by increasing blood flow to the painful area. (For that very reason, mint may stimulate contractions and therefore is not recommended in large volume for pregnant women.)

 This is a long list of medicinal uses of mint (Hebrew).

On the culinary end, we enjoy drinking mint in tea (or adding some tea to our mint, as a friend of mine likes making fun of her mother’s tea) but also adding it in cooking, baking, salads, desserts, etc. Mint will always enhance and enliven boring and all-too-familiar recipes, adding a touch of mischief and an unexpected twist. Check out our recipe section and also recipes on the net for a wealth of ideas.

Wishing you days full of daring, freshness and renewal!

Shavua Tov,

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


What’s in This Week’s Boxes?

Monday: Zucchini, kale/Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, tomatoes, leeks/onions/scallions, carrots, celeriac/parsley root, cucumbers, coriander/dill, lettuce, beets. Small boxes only: garlic, and a gift of mint

Large box, in addition: Artichoke, parsley, cabbage/broccoli/fennel, red bell peppers

Wednesday: beets, kale/Swiss chard/spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, celeriac, leek/onions, small boxes only: parsley, small boxes only: garlic/turnips, and a gift of mint

Large box, in addition: sweet red peppers, artichoke, garlic chive/thyme, parsley root, cilantro