April 24th, 2023 Newsletter

Published on
April 24, 2023

Box Contents

2 lbs Murcott Mandarins 
1.25 lbs Carrots
1 bu Curly Kale
1 hd Escarole or Frisee
1 lb Leeks
.75 lb Arugula
1 bu Oregano

Farm Notes:

Mid-day Monday we are almost done transplanting all the sweet corn we seeded in the greenhouse some 18 days ago and will roll into transplanting more peppers tmrw, followed by more summer squash and cucumbers.  Hopefully all in by Friday just in time for some record heat, to cap off the months of well below average temps we have had and projections that we will go back to below average for May.   We are doing our best to roll with it and make it all work.  As soon as we finish transplanting corn we will drill seed for the next round right next to it now that soil temps are coming up.  

All of the lush winter cover crops or vetch and wheat or triticale have been grazed (sheep) mowed tightly and worked in.  We are still planting at least one more round of spinach, arugula and other Spring greens but will watch the weather make a call on a mid-May planting.  Potatoes are stirring in the soil but have not emerged yet.  Last year they were a foot tall and frosted back to the soil line this week.  Every Spring is a wild ride for one reason or another, we always make the best of what comes.  

-Riverdog Tim

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/

Purple Carrots – You can "eat the rainbow" here at Riverdog with the variety of carrots we grow. Quick- which varieties do we grow here at Riverdog- we have Red carrots, Red Dragon carrots, Nantes (orange) carrots, Yellow Carrots, Deep Purple carrots, and White carrots. Every time I'm around these carrots I find it's necessary to do research, and eat one of each. Check out what the Spruce Eats has to say about the different carrots here. Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, remove carrot greens first.

Curly Kale – Curly Kale is a fan favorite in our Riverdog customer base. Curly Kale is a bit more tender and sweeter than the more common Lacinato Kale on Dino Kale. Green Curly Kale can be enjoyed raw (but even better for you when massaged) and cooked, as well as for stir-frying, blanching, sautéing, braising, and steaming. Massage your Curly Kale with olive oil and salt and top with a bit of lemon. Add some slivered almonds and a mild goat cheese. Or add some Riverdog Bacon to it and call it a "killer salad."

Frisee or Escarole –  In the culinary arts, the word frisée (pronounced "free-ZAY") refers to a variety of endive with curly, pale-green or yellowish leaves. Like escarole, frisée is frequently used in salads. While it can have a slightly bitter flavor, frisée is much milder than other varieties of endive such as radicchio. Escarole is a yummy lettuce appearing chicory variety. Most often it is sauteed or braised down. You can use it in soups. Escarole stores for up to week in a your fridge, for better storage wrap in a wax paper bag or plastic.

King Richard Leek – King Richards are beautiful full sized leeks with white shanks over a foot long. Let's also talk about how leaves are more than just their white shanks. You can use the green parts too, and here's how. Also you can save these fibrous tips for veggie stock! Do not trim or wash before storing. Leeks have a strong odor so wrap leeks in plastic when storing in the refrigerator. Leeks will last up to two weeks. Be sure to rinse well, or put cut leeks in a bowl of water to remove the dirt and grit that can get stuck between the leaves.

Arugula – I remember as a kid I would eat leaves of Arugula like potato chips. Riverdog picks the perfectly tender, new leaves of these pungent, peppery wonders. Amazing on pizza, sautéed in an omelette, or raw at any moment like a chip (but more commonly in a beautifully prepared salad). For better storage, keep it in a bag in the refrigerator.

-Maya, CSA Manager