May 15th, 2023 Newsletter

Published on
May 15, 2023

Box Contents

1 bu Carrots 
1 bu White Springs Onions
.75 lb Red Leaf
1 bu Dino Kale
.75 lb Arugula
.50 lb Snow Peas

CSA Notes:

This is Ramiro’s first year as a harvest supervisor on the farm. Ramiro smiles when he’s tired. He has a solid crew of about eight men. There are three harvest supervisors: Anahi, Ramiro, and Diego. They come into the office about three times a day, on average to report Cristina Sanchez, our sales manager. Their task every day is to harvest all the vegetables for CSA, wholesale, farmer's market, restaurants. If the harvest supervisors were the Charlie’s Angels of the mission, then Cristina would be their Charlie. Orders are picked the day before scheduled delivery, then at five AM our driver Jorge takes the orders to meet their maker. I print out the paperwork, and Cristina compiles the final numbers for everything. “Good morning, supervisors…” Cristina bellows over the radios. “Good morning Cristina,” the harvest supervisors all coo in unison. And so the harvest day begins.

Ramiro is looking especially haggard these days. Every one of our crew members is not just adjusting to the heat, but the rise of demand. As farm owner, Tim Mueller, fretted only months ago, “I’m afraid spring is already here.” Ramiro is the easiest crew member to chase down so I feel less like As the heat, the hustle, and my interview questions persist, so does Ramiro’s smile.

Ten years in total, Ramiro has worked for Riverdog Farm. He is insistent that he wants to do the entire interview in English. He grins, I am practicing my English. It is the end of a long day, I would not be smiling.

Maya: Are things different now that you are a supervisor?

Ramiro: A little bit different, because right now it is my first year with the supervisor. It is a little bit different. But, it’s okay?

Maya: Okay but what about the harvest, is it different this year because of the weather?

Ramiro: This summer will be different because the harvest, the flowers all come early. So we try to make all the harvest happen, but it’s hard at the same time. Lettuce. Early we pick lettuce. We pack, tie, and put lettuce in box all day.

Maya: Lettuce, that’s the hard part, all day lettuce.

Ramiro: Ee..yup!

Maya: What made you decide to work at Riverdog Ramiro, how did you get involved?

Ramiro: Before we work for irrigation jobs. So I have a couple of experiences working for irrigation. In this area, we working a lot with tomatoes.

Maya: Ramiro what is your favorite thing to eat here.

Ramiro: I like melons, cantaloupes. It’s good because we have a lot of choices, whites, oranges, yellows.

Maya: Yeahhh! So yummy.

Ramiro: Ee..yup!

Box Contents:

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.

White Spring Onions –Betsy, our market leader, often wonders why May is National Barbeque Month. An online source states that National Barbeque Day "encourages us to break out our special recipes." With spring onions, Betsy says they are incredible cooked on heated grill for about two minutes for a milder sear, or grilled all the way to a soft almost mush like consistency. Spring onions are like a scallion, except more robust in flavor, like onion. They're versatile, you can cook them, eat them raw, they dry out easily, so you can mix them into salts, as seasoning to your soups. Your pathway to sweet and creamy is just a good ol' classic grill. Enjoy!

Red Leaf Lettuce – 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? Red leaf lettuce is mild with a slightly bitter undertone. The redder the lettuce, the more bitter, sort of like the mustard of the lettuces. Because of its curly crimson red leaves, red leaf lettuce makes for a beautiful base to a salad such as this Roasted Carrot and Red Leaf salad with buttermilk herb dressing. For storage, you can either transfer to a plastic bag, or put in plastic, to avoid wilting.

Dino Kale – Dino, otherwise known as Lacinato kale, is a dark blue-green, heirloom variety of Kale. The moniker dinosaur refers to this variety of kale, because of the bumpy surface of its leaves is said to resemble dinosaur skin. Tastes great when steamed or stir-fried, versatile enough for juicing.You could also use these leaves in your salad.

Snow Peas – We are back with the first of first of the season's snow peas! First of the season snow peas are crisp, delicate, and sweet. Snap peas, otherwise known as sugar snap peas. They are delicious as a raw snack, but are excellent in a stir fry with bok choy and carrots. Toss them in at the very end to preserve their natural snap. For an easy cook recipe, check out this recipe for a quick salt, pepper, and lemon zest saute.

-Maya, CSA Manager