Good week everyone,
I am begining with notifications:
1. We are still looking for help delivering the boxes. Anyone who knows someone that is looking for a gratifying parttime job working with nice friendly people (that is us) on Wednesday and/or Thursday, please connect between us.
2. There will be changes in delivery days during the next month due to the holidays: From the week of Rosh Hashana (next week) until the end of September, those of you who usually receive boxes on Wednesdays will receive them on Mondays, and those who receive them on Thursday will get their boxes on Tuesdays. I'll try to write the weekly newsletter before the weekend, but I may need to complete the expectation list as late as Sunday, depending on the garden. I will need to receive your updates/changes/cancellations by Sunday at 11:00 am.
3. On Friday this week I will be at the Green Fair at Shtilei Har plant nursery, located at the Ein Hemed intersection. You are all invited, of course. I'll be delighted to meet and chat with you!
. 4I will be pleased to prepare gift-boxes for you for the holidays. We will (I hope) include apples, pomegranates, natural honey and, of course, produce from the garden. Gift boxes will cost 160. You can also add a greeting card and tell us to whom to deliver them, or you can receive them yourselves. I'll post a more accurate expectation list for the gift boxes as soon as possible.
5. The honey in the gift boxes is produced by bees that visit our garden. In fact, they are the main fertilizers of the fruits and veggies that you eat! Their hive is near us, on the Zalabani, and they visit the garden daily. Their beekeeper is Ido, who is a supervisor of the company AgriOr, the organic supervision organization of our garden. The honey is natural, pure, with no additives and does not undergo heating. There are no chemicals or pesticides used. Also, since the bees feed off the same plants that you do, there is no pesticides in the nectar that they ingest.. Ido's honey is currently under consideration to be certified organic. The final approval should be in March 2011.
You may also order honey separately, 1 kg - 46 nis, half kg - 26 nis, quarter kg -19 nis.
6. Other great products by an excellent organization that contributes to the community are natural soaps and spa products produced by special people. Es-sense is a social services project that integrates autistic people with High School students who work shoulder to shoulder to manufacture high quality natural soaps and spa products while exercising tolerance and acceptance of the other. Es-sense has a workshop established last year that operates in the agricultural school in Ein Karem.
All of their soaps and products are constituted of olive oil and other natural oils and butters. They, of course, have no SLS or other chemicals! Their process of making soap is the traditional cold method, which requires at least an entire month during which they do something to it every other day until it reaches its final perfect state.
They are offering us gift packages or you can order the following products: (there are more on their website, or you can contact me regarding this)
• soap 100 gr - pure olive oil, lavender or vanilla (also available with goat milk)- 29 nis
• soap/ shampoo - lemon grass or rosemary - 29 nis
• shampoo or liquid soap 400 ml - 49 nis
• Shia butter 50 ml - 30 nis
• Scrubbers 250 ml - vanilla, lavender or cucumber - 35 nis
• Oils 100 ml - vanilla, lavender or lemon grass - 30 nis
• Massage candle (pleasant and calming lighting) - 50 nis
The principle that governs this project is that all people, of all ages and levels of functioning, are able to work together, can live full lives and can contribute to the community. This project allows its participants to be part of the daily life of the Israeli community and to be engaged in productive and useful economic activities. You are invited to watch a program about this project on Channel 2 at the following link:
For more info, here is a link to their website. http://www.es-sense.co.il/
7. Maya Karni, a recipient of our garden's produce, wishes to invite us to her new center. See the poster below.
Enough with the notifications ... now to the garden:
Ecclesiastes said "for everything a time, and a time for every purpose under heaven." This may be true, but it is worthwhile to keep squash, potatoes onions, root vegetables, etc. in a cool shady place, because their time will pass...
I know some of you are disappointed with the lack of cucumbers lately. Last week lettuce was also missing, very much to our dismay. Despite the fact that cucumbers are a summer crop, they are very sensitive to heat. I am trying to supplement from other organic growers but it's a hard cucumber year for everyone. This is a very challenging period of time. Please be patient, it will soon pass and we will resume having all kinds of greens that we long for.
This is how it works in the natural organic world. It's currently hot, hot hot hot hot very hot! and this is part of the beauty and the fun - everything is always changing. I personally have had enough and I am looking forward to wearing my boots in the mud in the garden. Right now this sounds so far away, but it will come quickly. In the meantime, Kol haKavod to all of the plants that are standing upright, lying, crawling or sprawling in the heat all day, diligently producing their fruits for us. We have great respect and love for all of them!!
Splendid Thai beans
Tomatoes - a cycle about to end
Eggplants, squash - a cycle continuing, more eggplants and a new cycle of peppers.
In addition to cyclical heat or the ambient temperature in general, the plants also relate to the length of the day in order to determine their life cycle and how to behave - when to give fruit, when to seed, when to grow more branches, vines, leaves, etc ... So despite this heat, that right now feels like it will never end, with one exceptional heat wave after another, we are approaching the Autumnal Equinox.
On this day, due to the location of the earth in its orbit around the sun and the angle at which the sun's rays hit the earth, the length of the day and the night are equal. After this date autumn officially begins on our hemisphere of the globe.
The equinoxes and the solstice days (the shortest and longest days of the year), have always been reference points for the cultures and civilizations that have inhabited the earth.. In ancient Egypt, Mexico, China and other cultures, the equinox symbolizes the balance between darkness and light, and was believed that this day enabled broader observation and reflection. On this day it was possible to get rid of unnecessary energies, initiate closures and fill oneself with new energy for the upcoming year. The ancient Mayans would conduct a big ceremony on this day that symbolized the beginning of the year. They would light a huge fire and carry symbols to the four directions of the sky, before they burnt many seeds. As a favorable omen for sowing good intentions for the new year, they would cure and purify issues from the past year.
Does this sound familiar?
So this year, our holidays fall almost exactly on the day of equinox and thus coincides with the earth's new year. This is a good sign.
In the garden we are also "closing circles" of a few of our summer crops and are already preparing and starting with winter crops. We already sowed the seeds of beats and radishes, soon the baby celery plants will arrive and we are working on a plan for planting for the next months.
Most of the squash species have already produced the majority of their fruit, and their life cycle is coming to an end for this year, until the next spring. There are cycles of tomatoes that have already matured and are weak and can barely produce any more fruit. Of course, the next tomato cycles have already begun and I very much hope there won't be any gaps in between. The evacuated patches will be allowed to rest for a few weeks and do their own closure. We will encourage them to fill with new energies by depositing an abundance of compost. After the old plant is cut down, the roots will be left to remain in the earth because they contain lots of microorganismic activity that is vital to the earth's fertility.
I wish us all that the gates will be open; that we can close old circles and sow plenty of new good seeds for the new year, not only in the garden.
So, what do we expect to see in our boxes this week: Remember, this week's delivery is on Wednesday and-Thursday, the rest of the month is on Monday and Tuesday.
Lettuce - maybe small
Mint or something similar.....
Cucumbers or corn
In the big boxes also:
in the fruit baskets
mangoes and grapes