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February 5-7 2024 – The Root of Things

In honor of the green fava bean and the festive bevy of peas over the past few months, I’ve decided to present an in-depth exploration of the roots of this privileged, wonderful clan that these pods claim – the Legume family. The expression “in-depth” is not accidental, for indeed the heart of their activity lies deep underground, close to the roots
Let’s get acquainted with the clan:

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January 29-31 2024 – No Wallflower

A green wicker basket
A flower that’s white
Red wine
A slice of bread with salt
That’s what we’ve got
Won’t you join us…

Naomi Shemer (translated noncommittally by A. Raz-Melzer)

These days, when our hearts beat with longing to see all the kidnapped and all our soldiers return home safely, this song describing the open door and the simple meal awaiting at home, takes on a new meaning.

Chubeza boxes over the past weeks have been graced by white flowers which may be difficult for you to recognize as flowers, but that’s precisely what they are: a very dense tuber of flower buds that have not yet bloomed. You know them well as a head of cauliflower: 

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January 22-24 , 2024 – HIDDEN TREASURES

This week we will discuss what transpires beneath the earth – not with roots, but with tubers. If the roots are the foundations of the house anchoring it to the earth, the tubers are the basement where important things are stored for time of need. The base of the tuber shoots out roots, while its top sends stems, branches and leaves upward.

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January 15th-17th 2024 – A Wintery Hand and Green Arm

Over the past several days, gentle, plentiful rains have been falling on Chubeza’s field. Countless drops make their way from above to the earth below, without whipping fiercely, but rather falling steadily to be absorbed into the ventilated clods of earth awaiting them. The cold, too, has arrived with temperatures (finally) plunging, as we begin to feel the winter. These good, satisfying winter days are a perfect reason to turn over the Chubeza Newsletter stage to a real winter vegetable embodying within it a green delight which absolutely adores the cold. Meet the incredible Broccoli!

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January 8-10 2024 – The onion, now that’s something else…

In the difficult times we now face, as my soul is tormented and pained, I gaze frequently upon the vegetables growing peacefully and indifferently in the field. Amidst all the human upheavals, they continue to do what they know and always do – grow, thicken, take root, photosynthesize, bloom, yield and wither. The simplicity of nature offers me a measure of stability, which we’ll try to send your way as well. May it bring you a measure of comfort!

The onion is a fundamental vegetable in our kitchen, our culture and probably in human existence. We attribute to it an inner essence cloaked in hiding, associate it with tears and sorrow, courage, audacity and eternal life. And on the other hand – simplicity, the elementary basics of the common people. Of course, the onion has no clue of this. He’s totally indifferent to the big fuss, absorbed in tending to his own growth, making every effort to just be… well, an onion…  

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January 1-3 2024 – An important message, please read!

FROM JANUARY 15, 2024

we are compelled to raise the price of our vegetable boxes
Small Boxes will now cost 100 NIS; Large Boxes 125 NIS

Delivery prices remain unchanged.

We’ve now been raising organic vegetables for 20 years in our field in Kfar Bin Nun. We’ve grown, slowly but steadily, so as to coordinate the growth in the fields to the number of Chubeza customers. Throughout the years–to this very day— we’ve endeavored to act with moderation and financial caution, taking modest, well-considered decisions to enable sustainability for both the crops growing in Chubeza’s field and the economic realm as well. Over these 20 years, including the complex, perilous times we now face, we’ve continued with stubborn persistence each and every week to bring you vegetable boxes teeming with fresh, delectable produce, bringing greetings from the open spaces and clear, crisp air.

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December 25-27 2023 – Deep roots

December 21 

From this point onward 
Darkness will decrease
And the light will increase.
Not because I made a decision 
Or that this is my heart’s desire 
It is simply the way of the earth and the sun. 
They have been here long before me. 

 – Matan Porat

English Translation: Aliza Raz-Melzer

_______________________ 

In these stormy, turbulent times we face, I find solace in the field. The simple renewal of nature and growth, completely indifferent to human chaos, calms me. And I try to learn from Mother Nature. I look at the plants that cling to the earth with healthy, branching roots, and I recall my own strong roots embedded in the soil of this country and the life upon it. So, this week: a reflection on roots…

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December 18-20 2023 – A healing vegetable

The Night, It Lasted a Lifetime

Afterwards, the door opened
And the sun, like a good doctor Invited me to enter
out

It tapped my back, the sun
Breathe deep

All clear, he said
Shining light into me
To my depths

Still, he prescribes
Lots of soil and water
And once a day, to lift my gaze
And focus on the light
to tears

Sivan Har Shefi 

(English: Aliza Raz-Melzer)

_____________

When I was a child, my classmates at school were the old-fashioned, innocent type, and the stories we read were in old-time, vintage Hebrew with naive drawings in bright colors. I don’t remember any of the characters from one particular story, but I do recall that it was about turnips. The children in the story sowed turnips in the garden, or ate them for lunch. I can’t remember the plot, but I vividly recall our astonishment and wonder as children: what is this turnip?! It looked to us like some exotic European vegetable, grown in harsh winters (maybe the children in the painting were wearing coats?) with a heavenly taste (the children evidently looked pleased with their meal).
The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was known in gardens of old in Greece, Rome, China, and ancient Egypt, after originating in China, Central Asia and the Near East. In Israel, turnips have been grown for some 2000 years, at least since the era of the Mishnah, which repeatedly mentions turnips as a common garden vegetable. In his book The Origin of Words, Avraham Shtal notes that the word “turnip” was apparently a general term for all vegetables, not merely the turnip we know today. Vegetables were once eaten together with bread to season and pique its taste. 

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December 11-13, Hanukkah 2023

These are the days when the end of the harvest season is celebrated, when the fruit of probably the most modest and self-denying tree is gathered to the olive press. This is a tree that hardly requests a thing, satisfied with the little that is at hand. A tree that needs nearly nothing at all, maintaining its quality for years on end, whether scorched or rainy, hot or cold – the durable, resilient olive tree will endure and grow and and produce olive oil from which we can kindle a light, consume for our health, soften our skin, and heal our wounds and diseases.
Humbly, silently we harvest these hard fruits, which will burst with juice if we press hard on them, but not the kind of juice you want to lick off your fingers, like grapes, figs, pomegranates, or dates. This is a strange, bitter juice which will strengthen our bodies in the long run, much more than the sugar of sweet fruits. It is the one that will illuminate the long winter nights now upon us. In its humility and simplicity, the olive tree needs no sweet festivals; this is a time of winter and introspection, in the quiet calming silence that a thin, flickering candle flame brings us in the dark of night.

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