Aley Chubeza #285, March 28th-30th 2016

This week marks the end of March, and we will be charging your credit cards for this month’s purchases. As mentioned, your February 29th delivery will be added to this bill. 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!

Beginning this month, we have a new billing system. The invoices you will receive this week are from “Green Invoice” which produces one comprehensive invoice that includes all your monthly purchases instead of the two you have been receiving. It’s still us, don’t worry. Only our garments are new…


Dry-Moist-Wet: A Tale of Confusing Weather and Delightful Bulbs

Did we actually encounter heatwaves and did we greet the hot Israeli spring, or was this merely a dream? Because once again, a load of showers dropped upon us, temperatures plunged, and we’re rubbing one gloved hand to another to keep warm. Fat drops are pouring from the heavens, our shoes are still muddy – hey, it’s winter! And then the clock changes to “summer time,” but the packing house is dreary and grey….This morning I realized that had the second month of Adar not been tacked on, we would now be celebrating the spring holiday, Passover, in pouring rain.

Our field is hugely influenced by the longer days, and despite two days of winter, the field is dressed up as spring and preparing for summer. The first zucchinis have been harvested, the onions are thickening and ripening, and we have begun gathering them from the field. The garlic bulbs are also beautiful. They’re big and they smell great and ready for harvest. This season, prepare to receive Chubeza’s fresh onions and garlic, sometimes coined “moist.” Over the next few weeks, they’ll be arriving in your boxes in full glory, greens attached. With this bonus, you can use it all — garlic and onion bulbs, plus their greens!

The fresh moist onion is the same onion whose beautiful (and yummy) green leaves we usually ignore, allowing them to dry up so their liquids drain into the onion bulb to fortify it. The dry onion is harvested after the green leaves have dropped a little, after which we place them in the field, harvested and covered from the sun, to dry up a little more, develop dry skin and be preserved for many months. We do this in summertime as well, but this end-of-winter-beginning-of-spring onion yield is harvested for you fresh and green. The onion bulb has almost no dry skin, and it is juicy and actually fresh, distinctive and wonderful.

Another advantage is that along with the onion are the green leaves! So besides the bulb that you can use cooked or fresh (especially great chopped up in salad), you can also use its greens, exactly as you would the scallion. They are a little thicker, but still excellent and very tasty. Keep them separate. Cut off the onion, store it as a dry onion, and then place the greens in a plastic bag and refrigerate, like scallions.

This week we also harvest the garlic. It’s not the green garlic which is more delicate and small, but rather full-grown garlic that’s not yet been dried. It tastes a little like fresh garlic, but not quite, somewhere in between fresh and dry garlic. Garlic, too, is usually dried before marketing, but we are sending it to you fresh from the garlic bed. The “rusty” spots you sometimes see on the garlic stems are due to Rust disease, caused by a fungus which attacks the garlic every year. We usually send you the garlic when it’s tiny, at an earlier stage when it’s still “green” and before the fungus strikes. This year, to our delight, thanks to preventative measures we took, we were able to arrive at big beautiful garlic bulbs, but traces of Rust are sometimes still apparent on the stems.

Over the next few weeks you will be receiving garlic almost every week. We don’t expect you to use the whole quantity at once, but this way you will be able to get to know it from the fresh stage and dry it yourselves till the garlic reaches the dry stage. Drying does not require any special tools or actions. Simply place the bundle in a ventilated area (or hang it, if you wish) and let time and air do their job. In a few weeks, you will have your own DIY dry garlic (if you manage to restrain yourselves from using it all up beforehand).

The Alliaceae family, home of the garlic and onion, is a very prominent family not only in the realm of dry herbs but also for your health – the onion, leek, garlic, shallot, baby onions, scallions and chives are very good for balancing sugar levels in your blood, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol. They aid in preventing intestinal and prostate cancer (probably by protecting the intestine from cancerous material). They protect from viruses, ease the common cold and sore throats, and are considered to be “nature’s antibiotic.” So for those of you who caught a little cold from the unstable weather, slice an onion thinly and soak it overnight with 1 tsp of honey. When you wake up in the morning, devour the sweet-and-pungent mixture, and get well quick!

Wishing you good and strengthening days, despite the confusion, within the confusion, alongside the confusion….

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



Monday: Green lettuce/curly lettuce, dill/parsley, tomatoes, Swiss chard/spinach/kale/nana (mint), cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, fava beans, leeks/fresh onions, fresh garlic, beets.

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/snow peas, cauliflower/artichoke/zucchini, celeriac/parsley root/radishes

Wednesday: Green lettuce/curly lettuce, dill/parsley/cilantro, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale/nana (mint), cucumbers, potatoes, fava beans, leeks/fresh onions, fresh garlic, small boxes:  carrots/radishes, baby greens (mesclun mix).

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/cauliflower, artichoke/zucchini/radishes, celeriac, beets, carrots.

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, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products 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!