April 24-25 2023 – Thoughts about Earth Day and an Israeli Week


With summer on the horizon (Spring is so short in these parts….), the extraordinary blueberries in Tamir’s farm in Tekoa have begun to beautifully, sweetly ripen. We’ve waited patiently for them since last year, and they’re here at last!

Blueberries need special conditions to best grow, including acidic soil and especially beneficial cold spells. To maintain an ideal level of acidity in the soil, Tamir’s blueberries are grown on detached beds inside large containers, receiving (non-organic) fertilization, but never sprayed.

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamins C, K, and other minerals. They are known to prevent inflammation in blood vessels and to lower cholesterol. They are recommended as a fruit portion for diabetics, as these berries can lower sugar levels in the blood. And we haven’t even mentioned their tantalizing flavor…

Price: 18 NIS per 125-gram package (a money-saving 500-gram package will be available as soon as the yield increases)   

Blueberry season is short! (Only two months, and then followed by the raspberry season, inshallah). So, hurry and add blueberries to your boxes now via our order system.


Last Shabbat, the world marked Earth Day. For the past 50 years, this Earth Day has aimed to raise consciousness, education and action for the benefit of the health and wellbeing of our earth and our life upon it. The concept was initiated in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. That year, twenty million Americans took to the streets, kindergartens and institutions to teach, study, demonstrate and support this important cause.

In the history of the world’s ecological movement, the first Earth Day marked a major milestone. It occurred nearly a decade after the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s revolutionary, thought-provoking book which sparked awareness to the threat of pollution. The first Earth Day also came one year after a major gas leak in Santa Barbara caused profound ecological damage. It was clear that a crisis was brewing between us and our globe, and that action had to be taken. The historical importance of the Earth Day observance was bolstered by the fact that people of all strata took part in that event: rich and poor, rightists and leftists, village folk and city people, capitalists and labor union members. Thus, this day became a symbol of camaraderie.  We are one people on the face of the same earth, where environmental threats do not differentiate between skin color, language or borders.

And there is something so natural about this. Sometimes Nature is perceived as a battlefield in which the strong overcomes the weak, and only the battle is supreme (think of the expression “law of the jungle”). Yet this conception is totally removed from reality. Within the interrelationship between the species, competition is the most destructive: both sides lose. Yet the relationship from which all sides benefit is… surprise! Cooperation and reciprocity. And this is scientific, rational and quantifiable research we’re talking about, not rainbow- colored slogans painted by tree huggers…

This week we mark Israeli Memorial Day and Independence Day, interwoven like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And particularly in today’s turbulent, complex and arduous period in Israeli society, replete with polarization and anger, protests and struggles, and no lack of disdain, contempt and hatred, I remind myself that now, as always, Nature has lessons to teach us: Cooperation and reciprocity are the wise, correct choice to empower prosperity, growth and profit for both sides. And this choice lies in our hands. In my eyes, this begins with the ability to listen to the other side with an open heart and a listening ear.

I’m convinced that if we stop to think, we will unanimously agree that the reality is complex, with multiple facets.  As farmers, we experience this complexity every single day. The growth houses protect vegetables from pests, but risk creating a more humid climate which fosters dangerous plant fungi. The heavy rains are wonderful, but they also cause soil erosion and sometimes flooding. And other countless examples…

The reality is complex and constantly changing, but for some reason, amidst a conflict we tend to hunker down into a position that excludes complexity and the ability to change. When we are cocksure that we and only we are right (and Facebook and the other social networks only repeatedly reinforce this stance, so of course we’re right!), we’re hard-pressed to find a reason to listen to what the other side has to say. When we ourselves are so overwhelmed by our own hardship, anger and pain, it’s hard to dare to feel the pain, fear and distress of the other side. And then we all lose. Someone once wrote me that she hopes she’ll never feel that she’s doing everything right. Once you start feeling that you are acting perfectly, or almost perfectly, you risk losing the ability to look at yourself critically and objectively and continue to change and aim to improve. This aspiration is one that I wish for us in Chubeza as farmers each and every season. Once again, the choice is in our hands.

Apropos, I recalled a beautiful story from a book of fairy tales given to me by Maya, Alon’s wife: Every Blade of Grass Has its Angel. These are tales told by Rabbi Shmuel Avidor-Hacohen and illustrated by Ora Eitan.

A Wooden Handle

“And Tzila gave birth too, to the child named: Tuval-Cain, the (first) grandmaster of  working with iron and copper.”
Genesis 4, 22

Tuval Cain began making iron axes and copper knives. The trees heard and started crying and shaking with fear. God asked them, “Why are you so agitated?”

Said they, “We stand in the heat of the sun and the fierce storms and give shade and cover to man and animals. Birds nest among our branches and little rodents build their homes in our trunks. Now along comes Tuval Cain and creates deadly weapons in order to cut us down, branch and trunk and all!”

Said God to the trees, “If none of you becomes a handle to iron, the iron cannot chop you down. If you help the iron, it will rule you in evil, but if not, there will be no danger to your lives. For iron has no value if it has no wooden handle.”

And thus is man. It is not only weapons he can make of iron, but also a plough or a hammer. If it is life he seeks, let him make from the iron these tools which lengthen and improve his life. But if he craves weapons, why, then, would he complain about the iron?

Wishing you all a great week, one of beating swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning-hooks. Why stop at a week? May we have a year of this, a decade, a millennium! Amen.

Alon, Bat-Ami and the entire Chubeza team, working those ploughshares and pruning-hooks



Monday:  Lettuce, celery stalk/parsley root, zucchini, beets/sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, parsley/coriander, Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic/onions.  

Large box, in addition: Turnips, fennel/eggplant/snow peas, cabbage.   

FRUIT BOXES:  Oranges/clementinas, red apples, avocados, bananas, pomelit.

Tuesday: Lettuce, turnips/cabbage, zucchini/snow peas, beets, carrots, potatoes, parsley/coriander, Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic/onions.  

Large box, in addition: Celery stalk, parsley root, fennel/eggplant/sweet potatoes.   

FRUIT BOXES:  Oranges/clementinas, red apples, avocados, bananas, pomelit.