Aley Chubeza #38 – October 11-13 2010

Last week, for reasons we cannot fathom, the English newsletter was not sent to you. To read Introspections- Part II (one week later), press here. We apologize for this glitch.


Ruth Mason, a veteran Chubeza customer and an active supporter of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, sent me information about an important movie that will be screened next week:

We are happy to announce the Israeli premier of These are my Names A 30-minute documentary film by Ruth Mason and Naomi Miller Altaraz who will answer questions Jewish Eye World Film Festival, Monday, October 18, 2010 at 6 p.m. International Convention Center, Ben Tzvi 2, Ashkelon “Rich in meaning and stories, Ethiopian Jewish names connect the bearers to their families, their villages, their history. What happens when these names are heedlessly changed upon arrival in the land of their dreams?” Link to the movie trailer Ticket reservations (NIS 25; NIS 15 for groups of 10). For reservations:  08-678-9246 There will be a shuttle from Jerusalem (NIS 35), for details contact Ruth: [email protected]

________________________________ Our profuse apologies to those of you who expected a box last week. As we cautioned, the break during Chol HaMoed creates a three-week gap in the bi-weekly box schedule. Every six months, during Chol HaMoed, we call this to your attention and seek to provide solutions, but apparently some were still taken unaware (sometimes the many holiday messages make it hard to notice each individual one). We shall endeavor to find a better solution of preparing you for the next holiday (Passover). Your suggestions are quite welcome.


Acharei HaChagim Renewals:

“Acharei HaChagim” is a good time to remind you that we offer the purchase of a delicious array of very special “extras” to spruce up your veggies: honey, organic crackers, organic flours, fruits, goat cheese, sprouts, granola, cookies and sprouted bread. Details on each yummy product are here (in Hebrew).

This week Danny and Galit from “Granula” added new flavors and changed sizes, as detailed on a flyer enclosed in your boxes. Here is the e-version (in Hebrew).

From this week, you can receive sprouts from Maggie. If you wish to order, please tell us or Maggie, by email or phone.

Orders for Yiftah’s bi-weekly sprouted bread are being taken this week. Please order by Friday. Yiftah will sprout and bake by next Wednesday, and you will receive the scrumptious loaves next Wednesday and Monday.


One Final Introspection: Is the CSA for the Rich Only?

This Sukkot we celebrated our seventh birthday. Seven is a respectable age: by then children can read and write and even surf the Internet, and dogs are considered middle- aged. An organic farm is also no longer an infant at this age. We feel secure and experienced (of course, there is always more to learn), and feel that we have also reached a level of maturity with members of our community, i.e., you.

Now it’s high time to ask ourselves some questions about life. From the time Chubeza was established, I have been bothered by the question that we grow food for the well-off. When we started, organic food was still considered a luxury designed for health nuts and the very wealthy – the kind who don’t mind going out of their way to a distant health food shop and spending 20 NIS on three pitiful tomatoes that won’t last more than a day. Seven years later, you can find organic food almost anywhere. It’s delivered, and sold in farms, farmers’ markets, small CSA’s, community gardens and even large supermarkets. It can be found almost anywhere in Israel, and even the price is becoming more and more reasonable, although organic food is still generally more expensive.

The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movement, to which Chubeza belongs, is part of the general organic trend. Yet we attempt to offer an alternative to industrial farming (even organic) by creating both farming and a community based upon sustenance and cooperation. (See previous newsletters for background on this very special movement.: #3 and #4) From the beginning, these farms have aspired to do business in a different way, to create a list of priorities that doesn’t have “money-making” at its top, and to create a farm-based community. One of the important issues dealt with was “food security” – the obligation to provide healthy, safe and nutritional food to all, not only the rich.

And thus, it appears that the method of buying directly from the farmer, cutting out the middle men and service charges, is successful and worthwhile to both customers and farmers: the price is lower, and all the money goes to the farm. On the farmer’s end it certainly proves to be beneficial– research shows that small farm operators who sell directly to the consumers usually reap good earnings, which allows for fair employment and decisions made for considerations other than commercial aspects. The clientele, too, is varied, and not everyone who joins a CSA is well off. And yet, the price is still expensive for the weaker strata of society. At the end of the day, the vegetables at the supermarket are cheaper than organic vegetables, one reason for justifying industrial agriculture: to be able to supply everyone with inexpensive food.

Alon and I were troubled by this from the start, as are with the majority of small organic farmers (locally and internationally) concerned by this issue and seeking creative, practical solutions to envelop all levels of society. Over the past years we’ve tried to do this in various ways: donating vegetable surplus to organizations that distribute food to the needy, donating boxes to needy families (a “tithe” of the total quantity), allowing a “work share” in which people can work for their vegetables, and sometimes giving a price discount to certain clients.

An additional option concerns you and our conviction that a community has formed through Chubeza, the kind that is willing to assume responsibility to society. The initiative was Yuda’s, from Jerusalem, another veteran customer, who wrote us a while ago, “For some time now I have been thinking of an idea that you may want to implement. Perhaps you could allow the addition of X amount of shekels to the payment, depending on the willingness and ability of the individuals, and the money will pay for boxes distributed for free (or for a low price) to those in need of vegetables who cannot afford the purchase.”

When Yuda brought this up last year, I was touched and happy, but I think I was reluctant to raise the subject for fear of being too aggressive. But last week Yuda brought it up again, and now I feel more mature and rooted and ready to discuss this. How will it work? If you want to take part, decide how much money you would like to add to your standing order (5/10/15 or more NIS per week). When the amount reaches 90 NIS, we will make up the difference and send a large box to a needy family. (We presume most of the donations will be of big-family boxes, but if a small box is requested, we will collect 70 NIS). Your donation will be added to your monthly bill (unless you prefer otherwise).

If you are interested, please let us know via email or phone and we will proceed.

Thank you, Yuda, for initiating and persisting, and allowing us the opportunity to invite all of you to expand the Chubeza community.

Wishing you all a fortuitous Fall, Alon, Melissa, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team ___________________________________

What’s in our Fresh Fall Boxes?

Monday: pumpkin, parsley, leeks, lubia (cowpea) or green beans, corn, eggplants, dill, tot soy, red beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes.

In the large box, in addition: yard long beans or okra, lettuce or arugula, red kale

Wednesday: pumpkin, cilantro, cucumbers, parsley, potatoes, radish or daikon (white long radish), green onions, tatsoi or arugula, sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes.

In the large box, in addition: okra or lubia (cowpea) or yard long bean, red neets or leek, kohlrabi



The eggplant season is nearly at its end, yet just before they disappear, Melissa succeeded in finding a great recipe for pickled cucumbers that she tasted lately at a fair. The kindly, talented pickler Alon Pe’er (pema) agreed to share his delicacy with us:

Pickled Eggplant

-Place eggplant in a pot with boiling water. Cook over low heat until eggplant softens (but not too soft). -Drain and remove eggplant to a glass jar. -Fill with boiling water to cover 2/3 of the eggplant. -Fill the remaining one-third with regular 5% vinegar. -Add fresh garlic, dried red-hot peppers (Sudanese), salt to taste

-Store in refrigerator.

And, once again, from the cookbook that Nati gave me, The Vegetarian Soul Food Cookbook by Angela Shelf Medearis:

Caribbean Sweet Potato Bisque

700 grams sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 4 ½ cups vegetable stock ½ t. ground turmeric ¾ c. unsweetened coconut milk 1 t. salt ½ t. sugar ¼ t. Cayenne pepper ¼ t. ground white pepper 1 ½ T. olive oil 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced 1 T. fresh lime (or lemon) juice


Bring sweet potatoes and vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot over high flame. Add turmeric. Lower flame, cover and lightly boil for 15-18 minutes, till sweet potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Cool potatoes and transfer to a food processor, keeping vegetable stock in reserve. Process potatoes, adding one-tablespoon stock for each pulse of food processor. Pour potatoes back into pot. Add coconut milk, salt, sugar, Cayenne pepper, white pepper, and mix. Boil 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high flame. Add onions and fry for around 10 minutes till golden brown. Add onion and lime (or lemon) juice. If soup is too thick, add several more spoonfuls of vegetable stock till desired texture is reached. Serve lukewarm.

And two tatsoi recepies:

Tatsoi with pasta

Tatsoi with tofu