April 17th, 2023 Newsletter

Published on
April 18, 2023

Box Contents

2 lbs Murcott Mandarins 
1.5 lbs Sifra (New) Potatoes
1 bu Purple Carrots
1 hd Collards
1 bu Green Garlic
.75 lb Little Gem
1 hd Green Cabbage
.75 lb Daikon

One of our site hosts, Cinthea, has done several things in her career. The last thing she did before retirement was teach art in middle school. She's been an artist her whole life, and the only thing that’s hard about retirement is all the changes in her health. Cinthea has been an artist her whole life. Most of her artistic career, Cinthea illustrated scientific coloring books.

Cinthea: When I was in college I wanted to be a medical illustrator, but that is a field that have sort of narrowed out. Because people have made just about every drawing you need to make. There’s photography and computerized stuff. It was very sweet, I did a series of scientific coloring books. When I moved to [current location], I did drawings of many people’s homes and buildings. At least 15 years ago, I did a little ad for Riverdog Farm. We were trying to figure out how to spur business and I made a drawing for a flyer. It was kind of a cute little project. Freelance art, it’s good stuff. Creativity is a big part of life.

Retirement for Cinthea now includes visiting friends and family, taking naps after hard days, and experiencing the “things come and go” of life, now unable to make art due to having arthritis in her hands. So I asked more about the Riverdog flyer project she worked on before because it was now starting to ring a bell. Our market leader Betsy used to sit in the CSA seat, and I could recall Betsy saying once that she even had tea with one of our site hosts.

Maya: Now, Cinthea who did you connect with on that project, who was here to help you facilitate that?

Cinthea: I wanna say her name was Betsy. Was there a Betsy?

Maya: Ooooh, we love Betsy. Yes!

Cinthea: Yea, when she first started working for the farm, she was packing the boxes. That was how we got to speak. One summer we went to the farmer’s market. We set up a station for people to come and talk about Riverdog, she would give away [CSA] boxes for people to try. Betsy is sort of somebody who thinks in big terms, she thinks very big. I think you have to do that. I suppose as a farm, you’ve got to keep your marketing together. There are so many aspects to it.

Ain’t that the truth, Cinthea! Marketing is so important for a farm trying to stay afloat. With this comes network, connection. It’s why one of the key aspects of every single program on the farm, from wholesale, to farmer’s market, to CSA is that relationship with our customers. That’s why it’s so great to hear from Cinthea, who has been a CSA customer since the very beginning.  

Cinthea: You know, it was such a long time ago. I want to say it was 30 years, I used to love going to the Farmer’s market, and my favorite green grocers was Riverdog Farm. It was Tim and Trini. I just loved them. Then a couple of years later they said that they weren’t going to come to the Napa farmer’s market because they weren’t making enough money there. But they were starting up home delivery, and I was actually the first person that signed up with them. Then they said they were looking for houses and needed a host, and I said “I’ll be a host site.” So it’s one of the biggest blessings in my life. I tell everybody it’s just an unbelievable to thing to wake up and every week know that I’m going to have fresh vegetables delivered to the door.

-Maya, CSA Manager

Murcott Mandarins – Here is something special about the ranch where the mandarins in your box are from. Gold Oak Ranch is home to the second largest Oak tree in Yolo County. Why special? The oak trees of the Capay Valley are some of the great giants that line the grassy hills along the Cache Creek River giving us nothing short of a serene landscape. Hard work and sustainability are what helps these fertile farmlands thrive. We are glad to share these values with Jose Luis Melendez, David Scheuring, and the Gold Oak Ranch crew. Enjoy these bright slices of the valley, in salads, juiced, as a snack to go. Zest from the peel can be used as a vibrant addition to your morning tea.

Photo from: https://visityolo.com/visit_places/yolo-countryside/

Newly Dug Sifra Potatoes –Last week some of our Yellow Finn's may have been a little close to their end. Please forgive us, can we make it up to you with some freshly dug Sifra potatoes? My own personal favorite. We grow a whole range of potatoes here at Riverdog that you can also order on our Farm Store. Try em' all and impress your friends with your knowledge of potato varieties. This week you'll find Sifra potatoes in your box. They have such a distinct taste, they stand out whenever I make soup! Also excellent in a roast like this Lemon Roast Potatoes recipe found here https://www.tamarindnthyme.com/lemon-roast-potatoes/.  It’s a great idea to store your potatoes in the refrigerator, especially when they’re new and haven’t been cured.

Purple Carrots – We've got many delicious purple vegetables in season right now, red cabbage (that looks purple), radicchio (type of chicory), and wonderful purple carrots. We also have many carrots too at Riverdog- we have Red carrots, Red Dragon carrots, Nantes (orange) carrots, Yellow Carrots, and White carrots. Could you imagine using any one of our varieties in your favorite carrot recipes? Just think... purple carrot cake! Every time I'm around these carrots I find it's necessary to do research, and eat one of each. Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, remove carrot greens first.

Collards – Whew, have you seen the size of these things? RDF collards for the win! This work my coworkers decided to shred the collards and put them in their tacos, using the collards as they're tortillas. Everybody is getting ready for their summer debut. They're sturdy so you can roll them up into wrap, shred them into a soup, bake them into a casserole, saute with eggs or meat, or even chop them up into toss them into a salad. Enjoy these recipes on how to get even more creative with your collards.

Green Garlic –  I look forward to green garlic every season. One of my favorites is pork chops cooked in brown butter with green garlic. There are so many delicious variations on that. Check out this garlic pork chop steak (here). Green garlic is young garlic that hasn't fully matured yet. It has the same great garlic taste but is more mild than cured garlic. It can be used as substitute for garlic in recipes, but adds a fresh flare when added raw.

Little Gem – At Riverdog we grow more lettuce varieties than I ever thought possible. One of my favorite games to play with the students I teach is guess which variety. What are the subtle differences between each lettuce variety? Little Gem are has a pale, green heart and a crisp center and sweeter taste than common lettuce. Make sure your fridge is stocked with plenty of fancy, it's salad making time. For storage, you can either transfer to a plastic bag, or put in plastic, to avoid wilting.

Green Cabbage – My friend and local Riverdog CSA member, Matt, swears by cabbage soup. Maybe not everyday for the rest of your life, but this versatile, hearty wonder can turn any meal into a veggie comfort food. In the winter, I live on cabbage soup. This soup can be made easily and simply by sauteing onions, garlic, olive oil, spices (don't leave out the coriander), adding cabbage and stock, and letting it simmer. For a truly "feel good meal," combine your cabbage with our succulent, organic ham in a crock pot or skillet. Amazingly, all those leafy greens can survive the frost, imagine what benefits they can bring to you. Cabbage is one of the most versatile vegetables around (braised, stuffed, stewed, roasted, fermented, pancaked?)-- and notorious for storing well.

Daikon – You may know daikon better than you think. Daikon is the white part of the pickle included in a bahn mi sandwich, popularly used in kimchi, and used as salad garnishes, pickles, and other garnishes. You can also make sauerkraut, or pickle with daikon and apple. It’s a member of the radish family and you can use it anywhere you’d use its smaller cousins. Daikon will last up to 2 weeks stored in the fridge, wrap in plastic bag for longer keep.

-Maya, CSA Manager