Aley Chubeza #288, April 18th-20th 2016 – Happy Passover, happy spring!

Very soon you will start receiving our products in new Chubeza boxes! After over twelve years of sending you vegetables in secondhand cartons, we have finally reached the point where we do not have enough boxes to reuse. Following deliberation, we decided to graduate to new boxes! Henceforth, you will be receiving your veggies in our very own Chubeza boxes.

Since we are still very keen on reusing (as many times as possible) these boxes, we will be grateful if you leave your empty boxes outside the door on the day of delivery. For your ease and convenience, the cartons can fully collapse. Just remove the sticker, unfold the cardboard, and keep the flat carton till our delivery person arrives.

Thank you for your cooperation!


In preparation for the Spring holidays, note these delivery changes for Pesach and Yom HaAtzmaut:

During the week of Chol Hamoed (Monday, April 25 and Wednesday April 27), there will be no deliveries.

On the Week of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Wednesday deliveries will be moved up to Tuesday, May 10th.

Those of you who receive bi-weekly boxes – note the three week gap!

If you wish to increase your vegetable boxes, or make a special delivery for the holidays, please advise ASAP.

Subscribing to our weekly newsletter: The best way to receive messages and updates is via our weekly newsletter, which is published on our website and, in most cases, arrives directly to your email inbox. Those who do not receive the newsletter and wish to do so, please advise.  If you prefer to receive a hard copy along with your box, please notify me.

Open Day at Chubeza:

In keeping with our twice-yearly tradition, we invite you for a Chol HaMoed “pilgrimage” to Chubeza to celebrate our Open Day.

The Pesach Open Day will take place on Wednesday, April 27, the 19th of Nissan, between 1:00 PM-6:00 PM. The Open Day gives us an ideal opportunity to meet, tour the field, and nibble on vegetables and other delicacies. Children have their own tailor-made tours, designed for little feet and curious minds, plus activities and a vast space to run around and loosen up.  (So can the adults…)

On the Open Day, we also set up a produce stand where you can purchase all you need to replenish your vegetable supply.

Driving instructions are on our website under “Contact Us.” Please make sure to check this out before heading our way.

We look forward to seeing you


Treasure Box – a FreeCycle market at the Bookstop

Jerusalemites, the Bookstop at Mekor Haim/Gonenim is hosting a new monthly FreeCycle market, every third Tuesday of the month, between 7-9 pm. If you’re not yet acquainted with the Bookstop, it’s a great initiative of a library open to all. The city’s two Bookstops, both on the Messila Park, are located on Massaryk and in Mekor Haim. The Bookstops are open to donate books and/or to take home whatever book you please. At the monthly FreeCycle market, it’s time to trade and recycle not only books, but good quality household items, used clothing, and more. The very first FreeCycle market took place on Tuesday, April 19th at the Mekor Haim/Gonenim Bookstop. Stay tuned for further details, or call Juda at 052-5587769 for more information.


“Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee – thorn is artichokes, thistles are cardoon”

(Bereshit Rabbah)

The cultivated cynara, aka “artichoke” has been visiting your boxes for some time now. In the beginning, we harvested only a small quantity, but as time went on, the yield grew and expanded. Generally there’s not enough for all boxes, so every week we try to make that everyone will get the opportunity for a tasty introduction. After (what some call) the Original Sin, one of the signs of the change in the laws of nature is the verse quoted above, which – when paraphrased – is actually “if you can’t have the fruit of paradise, let them eat thorns…” Well, apparently it’s not such a terrible threat, as thorns can prove to be quite tasty…

The Fall from Paradise brings to mind a legend from Greek mythology about how the artichoke was created. Zeus, ruler of the Olympians, known for his weakness towards women, went to meet his brother Poseidon, God of the Sea. The brothers met on the beach of the Aegean Zinari Island, and Zeus could not but notice a young local woman gathering shells on the shore. Without hesitation, he began a vigorous courtship. The girl, Cynara, followed Zeus to the top of the Olympus and received the status of Goddess, under the one condition that she give up her previous life with mortals. In the beginning, Cynara thrived on the love and fame she received, but after some time she started missing her parents and her small native village. She escaped her lover for a few hours only to visit her parents and embrace them. Upon her return, Zeus was so incensed by her disobedience that he hurled her off the Olympus to earth. He placed her back in her hometown village in the form of an ugly, thorny bush – the artichoke, or “Cynar” in Latin.

Our artichoke is planted in a difficult area of the field, a stone-ridden plot we weren’t sure had enough fertile earth to grow vegetables. After some deliberation, we decided to try to plant artichokes there. We had high hopes for this perennial plant to thrust its roots deep beneath the stony layer, and to put its renowned endurance to use to prevail over the difficult earth. We planted the artichokes two years ago from cuttings (twigs cut from mature plants) and waited patiently… The first year the yield was very small, as the plants still needed to establish themselves and acclimate to the field, but after a year we were already harvesting nice-looking artichokes in nice-looking quantities, and this year we even expanded its plot and moved some of its cousins next door.

The artichoke belongs to the Asteraceae family. Once it acclimates within the earth, the artichoke grows a great big thorny plant with a thick, hoarding root that can penetrate deep below, with huge leaves and the potential to climb to the lofty height of over two meters. Usually we eat the leaves of its thorny flower buds, specifically the soft “heart” at its core. A single plant can yield some 40 artichoke heads like this one:

As for the artichoke’s relatives we mentioned that live in a patch nearby, you already met its cousin this year, the cardoon (or artichoke thistle), grown for its wide leaves, of which the edible part is the central juicy wide spine which tastes just like…an artichoke. Here it is:

When the artichoke blooms, its purple thorny flower emerges from the familiar leafy inflorescence. It’s a beautiful sight, not unlike the artichoke’s cousin, the purple thistle. Here’s a glimpse of this glamorous beauty:

One of the ingredients responsible for the artichoke’s unique and somewhat bitter flavor is cynarin. This ingredient encourages urine flow through the bladder, thus preventing the accumulation of toxins and formation of gall stones. The artichoke enhances digestion and liver function. It helps decrease the level of cholesterol, fats and sugar in the blood. Artichokes contain such beneficial antioxidants as vitamin C, Kapith acid and Pirolit acid that protect against free radicals and reduce the risks of cancer.

A major residue of these ingredients remains in the artichoke cooking liquid, so do not toss it out! Refrigerate the liquid and drink it to improve your health, digestion and circulation.

Usually we cook artichokes in water and dip them in a sauce of our choice, but there are more sophisticated ways to prepare this wonder vegetable: stuffed, pickled, cooked or quaffing a fresh salad. You can find an elaborate list of artichoke recipes on the Chubeza website.

Wishing you a flavorable holiday of nutrients and health even among the thorny thistles of life…

Shavua Tov, happy Passover, happy spring! See you at the Open Day!

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



Monday: Green lettuce/curly lettuce, parsley/coriander, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale, cucumbers, leeks, carrots, beets, zucchini, kohlrabi/turnips, fennel

Large box, in addition: Onions, baby greens (mesculin mix), artichoke/potatoes

Wednesday: Green lettuce/curly lettuce, parsley/coriander, tomatoes, Swiss chard/kale, cucumbers, cabbage/carrots, beets, zucchini, onions, fennel, parsley root/celery

Large box, in addition: baby greens (mesculin mix), scalions/kohlrabi/turnips, artichoke/potatoes

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!