May 22nd, 2023 Newsletter

Published on
May 22, 2023

Box Contents

1 bu Carrots 
1 bu Red Springs Onions
.75 lb Little Gem
1 hd Napa Cabbage
.50 lb Sugar Snaps
1 lb Shelling Peas

CSA Notes:

I got a chance to catch up with Cristina Sanchez (sales manager) daughter, who sat in my seat several years ago. Here's what she had to say:

Maya: What has your experience been like with Riverdog, where did it begin?

Ana: So, my mom has worked on the farm for over 20 years now, so has my dad. I was really young when they started. Their daughter (Tim Mueller and Trini Campbell) Cassidy, I grew up with her, she’s one of my best friends. My parents would work, and I was that annoying little girl who would hang the shop with Cassidy and my brother, sneaking veggies, sneaking ice, and all that fun stuff. So I had a pretty early introduction to the farm. Tim and Trini were always like family.

After high school, I started working full time on the farm working in the pack shed, then in the office managing the CSA program, I helped with bookkeeping, I drove the box trucks, which at that time were all manual, I sometimes drove them to market, so I did market on my own a few times. I also drove the flatbeds, the trailers, I moved fertilizer, I move Whey around the farm. I was kind of a free-for-all. Tim would teach new things and give me the opportunity to try. Some I enjoyed more than others. I spent a few times hoeing in the heat of summer. That was probably--

Maya: The least enjoyable

Ana: (Laughs) Yes. It was very rough. I have a lot of respect for everyone that does that.

Maya: Yeah, it kind of sounds like you got the full picture. Is there anything that stuck with you in terms of skill set, or attitude towards work.

Ana: Because of the craziness of the farm, organization was a big thing. My desk was always super clean, super organized. The CSA program I had it super organized. Working in a farm is crazy, the day to day things can change a lot, and fast. It was just a fast paced environment and I think organization is super important.

Maya: Would you say it’s a faster pace than what you experience now in your life?

Ana: Not at all. It gave me a little time to get ready for what I do now. In Riverdog, the experience I had was I knew all the folks, family-owned business, fun and neat space to work at. I like what Riverdog does with supporting the people on the farm and the relationship Tim has with farmers market customers and restaurants, stores. So the environment at Riverdog was fun and easy-going. Full Belly was also a ton of fun, again it’s a family-owned business, I knew a ton of the folks there already, when you live in such a small community you just know everyone. From Full Belly I transitioned to working for the Yolo County supervisor for four years, so it changed to public service. In public service, you have to mentally and emotionally be able to deal with a lot. Then when my member turned out, then I got an opportunity to work with a state senator because of the connections I made when I worked with the county. Now I am on my third year in the capitol working with the senator.

Maya: It’s no surprise to learn about the person you’ve become. Working with Cristina, and witnessing her super powers, it makes sense.

Ana: My mom is the majority of the reason why I work as hard as I do, and why I try to keep doing better. I’m not sure how much she’s chatted with you but she has done a lot. In the last three or four years, she completed her GED, she’s taken classes after work, or on the weekends. English classes. So her working long hours, long, stressful hours and still driving to Woodland, taking classes, and going through the process of continuing her education has been inspirational. So, I would she is not only one of my biggest support systems but also my motivation to do what I do.

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.

Red Spring Onions –Betsy, our market leader, often wonders why May is National Barbecue 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!

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.

Napa Cabbage – So excited, first of the spring season napa cabbage is here! Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage or hakusai in Japanese, belongs to the vast Brassica family. Excellent chopped raw and served in a salad, sautéed in oil with a dash of salt and pepper, but in my favorite form - Kimchi. Napa cabbage can keep for week or even longer when stored unwashed in a produce bag in the fridge.

Sugar Snaps – Great googly moogly, we've got some big sugar snaps! First of the season snap peas are crisp, delicate, and sweet. Sugar snaps, otherwise known as sugar snap peas, or just snap peas, is a cross between standard peas and snow peas that first came about in 1979, as a tasty, crunchy hybrid. 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. Place peas in a perforated plastic bag or airtight container in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator.

Shelling Peas – It blew my mind to find out that these are the same peas that my mother would force me to eat when I was younger. I did not know they could taste this good! Unlike sugar snap peas or snow peas, the fibrous pods of English peas cannot be eaten. Instead use them for your veggie stock. It's recommended that you shell English peas immediately before cooking them. After shelling your English peas, you can boil them, and add salt and pepper, puree them into soup, mash them into a spread, process them to flavor doughs, or craft a salad recipe around them. Place peas in a perforated plastic bag or airtight container in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator.

-Maya, CSA Manager