June 17-19, 2024 – The King of Summer


With the joyful arrival of summer fruits, the fruit assortment takes on new varieties and the prices of Chubeza’s summer fruits are often higher.

To enable us to continue to give similar amounts of fruit as in our Winter Fruit boxes, we have added the option for a Summer Fruit box for 100 NIS. It is still possible to order a Summer Fruit box at the previous 70 NIS price, containing a smaller quantity of fruit.


The blueberry season in Tamir’s blueberry patch has ended (but the wonderful raspberries are still available). But never fear: to delay our farewell to the blue delights, we are beginning to offer delicious blueberries from the very special Kaima Beit Zayit farm. The Kaima farm uses organic fertilizer for its plants, thus the price is slightly higher: 20 NIS per 150 gm package (larger than the previous 125-gram package) and 65 NIS per half-kilo package.

Don’t delay! Order a Summer Fruit box, blueberries and/or raspberries (and other wonderful delicacies) now via our order system.


Over these past few weeks, your boxes have proudly hosted the sovereign of summer, his royal highness King Corn. Each year he accompanies us from June to December, joins us as we bid the schoolyear farewell, dives in the pool over summer vacation and goes back to school with us in fall. This year, he eagerly started ripening even earlier than usual, at the beginning of June. He will now faithfully stand at our side into the unbearable heat of July-August, take a break in September (more about that soon), breathe a sigh of relief along with us in October, ascertaining that the weather has regained its sanity, and only then bid us farewell in December. Now that’s what I call a king!

Corn is one of the first crops the Americans learned to grow. Some 7,000 years ago, gleaners (from Central America) noticed a spontaneous mutation among the weeds, a teosinte, with a cob that was longer and filled with seeds larger than in your average ancient weed. Something sparked their intuition, and they tasted it – to their great delight. They also discovered that seeds which fell to the ground germinated to become a mature plant that yielded more cobs. After some time, they learned that if they saved and seeded the best choice seeds, the next crop would be even better! Thus, in the process of selecting the optimal plants to grow and harvest from year to year, the “cultured corn” developed sporting large, juicy kernels securely attached to the cob. Today, corn is one of the few plants which cannot reproduce without human aid, since manual separation of the kernels is a must for germination.

To your left is the ancient corn, and to your right is today’s corn:

At the next stage, American farmers discovered that if they grow corn, beans and squash, they could make a decent basic diet out of the three. The plants also grew well together: the corn acted as a supporting pole for the bean to climb upon, and the squash grew on the earth as live mulch, preventing weeds and sealing in the moisture.

This threesome, which earned the title “three sisters,” is an excellent example of the plant guild/community: a group of plants which gain added value when grown together. The key to their success is their positive reciprocal relationships: each plant contributes to its neighbors, and receives from the neighbors in return. And as in human communities, a good plant guild is a more independent entity, stronger, healthier and easier to maintain than growing plants lacking mutual relationships. This agricultural development proved to be so time-efficient that it gave the growers enough spare moments to build houses, weave rugs and baskets, develop astronomy and math, and of course – to party…

Native Americans used corn in a variety of ways. They ate it fresh or cooked, dried the cob and ground it into flour, ground the fresh kernels to make the moist corn porridge Polenta, decorated their homes with colorful corn, popped the kernels for popcorn, fed the cobs to livestock, and more. Each part of the corn plant had its advantages and uses. The tall corn stalks’ stature enabled trellising beanstalks, the corn stem poles were used for building, fishing and more, and the corn silk to treat kidney ailments and to weave mats, baskets, crafted masks, moccasins and corncob dolls:

Over the years, many changes occurred in the cultivation and uses of corn – once so substantial in the lives of the ancient inhabitants of America – transforming it to an industrialized product, engineered and empty.

Today, too, we are dependent upon corn in every realm, especially food: Almost every processed food contains corn, but corn of a very limited genetically-engineered variety that appears in its processed, worn, squeezed and abused form, totally bereft of nutritional value, and of course, a product which demands an excessive, unnecessary expenditure of energy.

We use cornstarch for thickening and gluing, and corn syrup for sweetening. Leavening agents, emulsifiers, food coloring, and citric acid are all derived from corn, as is most of the animal fodder in the meat industry. Corn also serves as a basis for plastic and oil production. (To learn more about corn and food in our world, I highly recommend Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.)

And yet, simple, good corn will forever promise the sheer joy of sinking your teeth into a fresh corncob. At Chubeza, we begin seeding corn at the end of March. As a rule, the first round of corn we sow suffers from the cold, and thus poor germination. This year, we opted for a bold experiment: we dug a furrow deeper than usual, sowed the corn, and covered the row under a transparent sheet. The mini-greenhouse we created greatly improved the germination and even speeded up the process. Thus, this year we proudly succeeded to pick corn at the beginning of June, a full two weeks ahead of this mark in previous years.

The first two seeding rounds are around one month apart. A short two-three weeks later it’s time for the next round of seeding, and two weeks later another round. Then begins a weekly seeding schedule. The reason for this fluctuation is the change in seasons and the rising summer temperatures. If the first round took between 100-110 days to reach ripeness, the last rounds ripen within 80-90 days. Thus, these intervals between seeding rounds enable us to distribute sweet, juicy corncobs almost every week during the season.

Each seeding, we plant two beds (4 rows) of yellowish, hard, wrinkled kernels into the earth. After many attempts to sow the corn with a seeder, we realized that nothing beats doing it by hand. We notch furrows in the earth and scatter the seeds at around 10-15 cm apart. Afterwards, we cover and water the furrow, praying fervently for healthy, abundant growth.

After the initial sprouting, the corn grows rapidly, producing beds of tall, strong, erect stalks through which you can actually get lost. A group of intrepid young visitors to Chubeza took their own exploration of the corn jungle:

Since we seed the corn repeatedly at relatively short intervals, a tour of the field reveals corn plots of varying heights, from 20 cm munchkins, through 50, 80 and 150 cm tall guys, all the way to towering stalks of 2 meters and more! Meanwhile, the plants that have already been harvested are now pensioners who have pulled out of the race, paying no attention to humans, and blissfully yellowing away in the summer sun. (I like them the most…)


But…In the late summer months, we (together with you) suffer with growingly frequent visits by the dreaded corn-borer worms. And since corn is one of our most looked-forward-to veggies, the disappointment in discovering that the worms beat us to it and gnawed through the cob is incredibly annoying. That’s why we are taking a break from sowing corn now, in June, to prevent the eager corn-borer worm from multiplying and partying at the expense of our sweet, yummy ears of corn. We will resume seeding again in early-to-mid-August as the worms kindly decrease their seasonal pastime. This means that there will be a break in corn picking, probably from August. During October, the new corn will ripen and we will cheer your boxes with the newly-picked corncobs. Due to the delayed arrival of cold weather over recent years (winter keeps arriving later and later), this year we will also extend the seeding by several weeks, hoping to harvest corn by December. 

Apart from the nasty corn-borers, other partners have also discovered the wondrous Chubeza corn: wild animals in the area – probably wild boars and jackals – have converged on our cornfields (as soon as the rumor of delicious corn went viral), wreaking havoc. After several years of suffering considerable damage, we found an effective solution by fencing off the plot with an electric fence that deters the scavengers from entering and destroying our corn. We stretch three electric wires on metal poles placed around the plot. At night, we switch on the electricity. If wild nibblers try to encroach, they receive a short shock that promptly changes their dinner plans. The wires are stretched rather low, at nose-height of these four-legged creatures, enabling us to smoothly step over the wires as we pick the corn. Here, this is what this looks like:

The types of corn now growing in Chubeza belong to the Super Sweet varieties (super sweet – Sh2) and they are indeed super sweet, thanks to… a mutation. This is not genetic engineering, but a natural mutation, later developed by normal hybridization, like other hybrids. A unique feature of corn is that it is unstable. Corn is a crop that is sensitive to mutations and changes (occurring in nature) to its genetic structure, resulting in a wide, sweeping genetic diversity of corn varieties in different colors, shapes and levels of sweetness. Thus, corn holds a place of honor in scientific research. Corn plants have enabled some of the most important genetic discoveries, such as that of transposons, “jumping genes.”)

Most of the corn seeded in the world is not sweet (field/dent corn), but is produced primarily for animal fodder, cornflower production, producing ethanol for fuel, for the plastic industry, corn oil and various other food additives. This is also the ancient corn grown in Central and South America thousands of years ago.

Sweet corn has been known to Western culture from 1770.  It is not clear when this (natural) mutation that led to its creation first occurred, but it caused a double amount of sugar to be stored in the storage tissue (endosperm) of the seed-kernels to make them sweet. There are hundreds of sweet corn varieties in this group, including the fresh corn (on the cob) so common here in Israel. Yet the corn’s sweetness is living on borrowed time. Corn is a grain that from the moment it ripens, and particularly from the moment it is picked, the process of turning the sugars into starch begins. In this process, the corn loses its sweetness and becomes mealy and starchy, thus corn that has been harvested for several days will have already lost much of its sweetness.

In recent years, two additional groups of sweet corn varieties have been developed, both based on genetic mutations that occurred naturally in corn, which were then carefully developed to create stable varieties for agricultural use. One group is the “sugar enhanced” (SE) corn, boasting a higher sugar content than traditional sweet corn, thus when refrigerated, it retains its sweetness for two to four days after harvest. The second group is Super-Sweet Corn (SH2), three times sweeter than the other varieties, whose process of transforming sugar to starch is far slower, allowing it to remain sweet for up to ten days after harvest (when refrigerated). This has great economic value for export to distant markets – but we at Chubeza can enjoy the extraordinary delight of corn that was just now picked: triply sweet and fresh. 

May this be a quiet week!

Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror, Einat, and the entire Chubeza team



Monday: Cabbage/beets/slice of pumpkin, acorn squash/butternut squash/ Amoro pumpkin, lettuce/Lalique lettuce, green or yellow beans/lubia/okra/leeks/scallions, zucchini/squash, potatoes, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/kale/basil, parsley/coriander/nana, tomatoes, cucumbers/fakus, eggplant/bell peppers.   

Large box, in addition: Melon/watermelon, cherry tomatoes, corn.     

FRUIT BOXES:  Grapes, pears/bananas/avocados, plums/apples. Large box: Larger quantities of the above, plus mangoes.

Wednesday: Cabbage/beets/corn, slice of pumpkin/acorn squash/butternut squash, Amoro pumpkin/melon/watermelon, lettuce/Lalique lettuce,  zucchini/squash, potatoes, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/kale, parsley/coriander, tomatoes, cucumbers/fakus, eggplantA gift for all: nana/basil

Large box, in addition: Cherry tomatoes, green or yellow beans/lubia/okra/leeks/scallions, bell peppers.     

FRUIT BOXES:  Grapes, bananas/avocados, plums/pears/apples. Large box: Larger quantities of the above, plus mangoes.