Gadi and Tamir are celebrating this year’s abundant blueberry crop by lowering the prices yet again!
17.5 NIS for 125 grams | 65 NIS for 500 grams
Work fast! The blueberry season is short – just one month left this year. (And then the raspberry season is due to begin!)
Add these mouth-watering blueberries to your boxes TODAY via our order system
Summer fruits are here in all their color and glory.
The price of summer fruit is usually more expensive, and for us to be able to provide you with our wintertime quantities, beginning next week we will add an option for a box of delectable summer fruit for 100 NIS.
The 70 NIS summer fruit box will carry the same fruit in smaller quantities.
Updste your fruit order via our order system or just let us know and we’ll do it for you.
Cucumber, my number You have it, it’s true In slumber I wonder With you what I’ll do Slice you up thin in the Julienne style Make cucumber cookies Stacked high as a mile Salt you and dress you in E.V.O.O.* Add cherry tomatoes A colorful show Another idea Won’t cost but a nickel Bathe you in vinegar Make you a pickle!
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(from Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies, by Judith Natelli McLaughlin)
The time has come to turn our attention to a permanent guest in your boxes that is usually taken for granted and certainly deserves some special attention: the incredible cucumber! You’ve been receiving quite a bit of them lately thanks to a joyful abundance in our field (more on that later).
Cucumbers grow in our greenhouse all winter – a single winter child of the Cucurbit family. By now they’ve been joined by all the cousins, nieces and nephews from this very prominent family – the first to visit us in springtime, i.e., fakkus, melon, various squash varieties, and even a watermelon waiting to join the ride just around the corner. So, although he is smothered with hugs and sticky kisses from those who missed him over winter, we’re happy to provide the cucumber with its seven minutes of solo fame.
Cucumbers originated in the heart of the Indian subcontinent. This very ancient domesticated vegetable has been raised by the human farmer for over 3,000 years. By virtue of being so ancient, today there is almost no place in the world where a wild cucumber grows. This versatile veggie spread to China, North Africa, Europe and the Middle East even before written documentation could be had. The Biblical Hebrews craved it when they went out of Egypt—their mouths watered as they “remember… the squash,” but they actually are referring to “cucumbers” and not the squash we know today. But this is not the only complicated part. The Hebrew word Melafefon derives from the Greek melopepon – meaning ‘an apple melon,’ which probably refers to squash or melon…
The cucumber is a vegetable that needs warmth in order to grow and yield fruit, which is why during wintertime it can only be grown in greenhouses. (Our greenhouse is not heated, but the growth houses’ plastic covering gives the cucumber cover from the winter’s fierce cold). Another advantage of growing cucumbers in the growth houses is protection from viruses and insect bites, the cucumber’s worst enemy in the open field, where cucumber plants spread out in all directions just like their aunt Squash or cousins Melon and Watermelon. Within the greenhouse, the cucumber is grown by trellising – i.e., climbing on strong strings which stretch upward, allowing the cucumber to curl itself around them all by itself using its tendrils (curly stems growing from the leaf’s bottom). Thus, we can grow many plants in a way that allows for cross ventilation among the stems, while the cucumber can do its growing and climbing and yielding of beautiful, bountiful elongated fruit.
The original cucumber is monoecious, meaning the male and female flowers grow on the same plant. The “traditional” summer cucumber species start by producing male flowers, which then are combined with female flowers to create bi-gender flowers, concluding with only female flowers. These cucumber species require pollination by pollinating insects that transfer the powder from the male to the female flowers. In breeding the species by crossbreeding and selection, new gynoecious hybrid cultivars were developed that produce almost all female blossoms which are parthenocarpic (virgin fruits, without fertilization or formation of “real” seeds). These varieties do not need to be fertilized, an act that might even hurt the quality of the fruit, which is why growing them in a greenhouse where they are isolated from pollinating insects is beneficial.
Greenhouse cucumbers look somewhat different from the open-field varieties: they are smoother and more uniform in appearance, and they have round edges, as compared to the little point at the ends of the open-field cucumbers. There are also open-field cucumbers grown in Israel, but those are aimed mostly towards the “industry,” i.e., pickling.
There are many varieties of cucumbers in the world, of course, other than the “Israeli” cucumber we discussed. There are also huge greenhouse cucumbers, sold in Europe and the United States, individually Saran-wrapped, called “Dutch” “British” or “European.” There are the long, thin Asian species, and tiny white cucumbers. There is even a “lemon cucumber” which grows to be round and yellow. Its seeds are big, and its taste is a bit sour.
In order for you to receive cucumbers yearlong, we plant them over the year – a different type for every season: from fall to winter, we plant Romba, more suitable for the chillier weather. Approaching spring, we plant a spring variety named Senyal, and over summer the plants are a heatproof type whose flowers pollinate well even in high Israeli temperatures. This year we tried a recommended new spring variety named Nana. Since it was only an experiment and spring is not always kind to cucumbers, we went along and planted the usual Senyal as well. The famous Israeli spring seesaw can be stressful to cucumbers, especially during the crazy spring heatwaves that bring in tow an outbreak of such harmful insects as the Acarid or the Tobacco Whitefly.
However…. this year, in addition to the almost double planting, spring was kind to us – balanced and temperate, without long heatwaves (maybe one or two here and there), and still-cool, nice nights all allowed the cucumbers to enjoy this moderateness and grow beautifully. Thus, with no damage or major issues, we found ourselves with hefty quantities of handsome, tasty cucumbers. We share this abundance with you, and after distributing generous quantities, we share the remains with Leket Israel who pick from the cucumber patch weekly to donate to the needy. And once again, we marvel at the benefits of the power of balance and restraint…
A popular use for cucumbers, other than happily devouring them, is cutting them in circles and placing them on the eyes. What do cucumbers actually do for the eyes? They cool and freshen them. Underneath the peeling, the cucumber is seven degrees cooler than the outside world. The fresh juice of the vegetable cools down the skin, cures it and flexes it. For treatment of light sunburn, it is recommended to place cucumbers slice on the damaged area, or to gently smear cucumber juice. Cucumber strips on the forehead are a classic folk cure for headaches. So are cucumber strips on aching feet, as well as 30 minutes of rest…
People tend to peel the cucumber, but this is really unnecessary. Basically, it is recommended to eat as many fruits and vegetables with their peeling intact, which adds dietary fibers to the food and slows down the release of sugar from the food into the blood (vital for those who suffer from such sugar issues as diabetes, Candida, fungus, sugar addiction, etc.). Also, leaving the peeling keeps the vitamins close at hand, especially the antioxidants. The cucumber is considered a cooler in Chinese medicine: a diuretic thirst-quenching vegetable that helps cleanse the body of toxins. It is considered to be a sweet vegetable that assists the digestive organs, rich in high-quality water (because plants purify their own water), containing calcium, potassium, beta carotene C and a trace of vitamin B.
in all honesty, even vegetable-fussies are usually willing to take a bite out of cucumbers, which sometimes marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Scour our vegetable recipe section for many interesting, innovative cucumbers delights. Totally worth a peek!
May we all enjoy a satiating, cleansing, and refreshing week, chockful of juice.
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and the Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES (BESIDES LOTS OF CUCUMBERS)?
Monday: Zucchini, lettuce, parsley/coriander, scallions/onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, butternut squash/slice of pumpkin, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, carrots.
Large box, in addition: Fakus (Armenian cucumber)/melon, acorn squash/spaghetti squash, cabbage/bell peppers/eggplant.
FRUIT BOXES: Bananas/lemons, red apples/pears, peaches, nectarines.
Wednesday: Zucchini, lettuce, parsley/coriander, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, butternut squash/slice of pumpkin, carrots, fakus (Armenian cucumber)/peppers/eggplant. Small boxes: scallions/onions. Special gift for all: Romaine lettuce hearts.
Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, acorn squash/spaghetti squash, scallions, onions/cabbage/melon.
FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, red apples/pears, peaches, nectarines.