August 20, 2019

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Squash, Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Potatoes, Purple Basil, Peaches and Shintokiwa Cucumbers

What’s in your FLOWER BOUQUET: Globe Amaranth, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnias, Tuberose, Celosia, & Cockscomb

What’s in your FRUIT BAG? Grapes, O’Henry Peaches, Satsuma Plums and Figs




Every Quarter I put up this check list, and I hope that you all do check the info we have for you and if it is correct it helps make deliveries and order go smoothly. Thanks

  • Is your name on the list for your order?

  • If your name is on the list PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP A BOX- we did not pack one for you. Give us a call if there is a problem.

  • Do we have your order correct? Call us if it is not

  • If you see CONT next to your name on the roster, it means we have not received your payment

  • If next to your name it says E-MAIL, it means we gave you a call and have not heard from you, we would like to know your intensions-we did make you a box for this week only and if we do not hear from you we will discontinue your order for the quarter.

  • Is your phone number correct, please let us know your correct number

  • Check your name off of each separate list when you pick up your produce, so we know who forgot their box and can give you a call.

  • Are you getting the newsletter via e-mail if not send us your address (


This Week on the Farm-Welcome to fall quarter!

I saw leaves swirling on the streets of Davis and I thought that it seemed early to see leaves falling, but maybe not. Just early signs that there is a shift, I know I feel a shift, I told Ali just yesterday that I am coming alive again, and she said “me too!!!” I think we all are very fried from the summer, from the year, from the push to make it through another harvest given what we were given this year; late rains, late plantings, loss of tomatoes, high population of insects thus high insect damage, the crew at various times having life crisis and needing to take time to go to Mexico. You know the list could continue, but you get the idea, after the peach party I was running on empty, could not pass go certainly did not deserve to collect $200 on the lack of work that I was doing. I had a hard time getting my flower garden watered and worried that the plants thought I had abandon them. So with the signs of leaves swirling on the streets, I continue to look for signs of change, keep my nose in the air smelling the fall moist smells, it is what keeps me going, to know there will be a shift and we can let up a bit.


This last week we lost a community member Ramon Cárdena. He and his wife Lucy have sold their produce at the Davis Farmers Market since forever it seems. They would have one small card table not full of produce, but they were so full of life, love, friendship, happiness-they were a magnet, everyone had to talk to them, I know I did.  While in college Claire had a senior Capstone project that she had to do to graduate and she chose to do interviews about individual freedom, and she interviewed Ramon. It captures all of who Ramon was, and as Claire and I read it this morning, we both cried, he and Lucy (who passed last year) were truly amazing people that gave so much to their community and traveled so far to get here.


Freedom is everyone’s right, it is something that is built into our lives, yet every person has their own idea of freedom. Claire’s project gave people in the community the voice to tell their own story of what freedom is for them. She wanted this project to inform its readers of freedoms they may not have thought of because they have always had it. For them to think about their own freedom and remember every day how fortunate they are to have it. Because somewhere in the world there may be someone who is living without that freedom.  The first story is him retelling his life story, the second is what Freedom was to him, and why. Here is Ramon’s story.


“I was in Guadalajara Mexico in 1934; I was the youngest of five kids.   I never knew my father, he died in an accident before I was born, and my mother followed when I was two. It was all on my brother’s shoulders to raise us, he was fifteen.  I started  working  at  age  seven,  chopping  oak  trees  to  make  charcoal,  gathering  Johnson  grass  to  feed  donkeys, and  picking  coffee  beans for 1 cent per liter; my sister and I could pick ten liters of beans in one day. I learned how to farm from a Japanese man at eleven years old who taught me how to bud fruit trees, tend a 1000 chickens, milk cows at 3am and carry the milk to town and deliver it house to house. I saw no future in what I was doing so at thirteen I became an apprentice plumber and electrician, but still the boss didn’t pay me my due wages. I saw men around me getting married, but they didn’t have anything to offer their wives, they just got married and lived in poverty. When I met Lucy at age twelve I knew she was who I wanted to marry, but I saw no future for my wife and I in Mexico.


Not knowing when I was  born, I had no identification and joined the Mexican Military for one year. One day after I was discharged I left for the United States. But because I never went to school, I did not know how to write in Spanish, so when I came to the U.S. I was determined to learn English. I took the correspondence course yet after one and a half years in the U.S. I still didn’t feel comfortable around people so I took night classes to learn English.


I worked in the lumber yard for eleven years until it closed, and started working for a farmer.  In the mid 1990’s  I was in an accident, where a backhoe knocked me over; I wasn’t  afraid of death, and saw myself walking towards the light, but woke up in the Sacramento Trauma center. It took me almost eight years to recuperate, and when they wanted to put me on disability I wouldn’t let them, I wanted to work, and did until another car accident, and that was the end of working for others. At that point still with medical debts I knew I had to continue bringing in money. I took inventory of my life, and asked myself when I was happiest, and that was when I sold produce at the farmers markets in Mexico. So my son and I started selling at the Davis Farmers Market. It took us almost ten years to get out of debt.


I was determine to make a better life for my wife and I, to be able to send my three children to college, and what kept me going was that I always had faith and believed in miracles. Lucy said “it is a hard life, everyday there is something, but we are still here.” I dreamed of this little farm all my life, and we are here, and we are happy.”


“Freedom is the Right to Live Life Your Own Way"

It wasn’t until I met my wife when I was twelve that I knew I wanted to provide her with a better life than the one I could give her in Mexico. Although I would have been able to have a good job selling at the farmers market I didn’t want her to have to be around the people, they were rough and I never liked their behavior. I joined the military as was law at that time and spent a year serving on the weekends until I finally got my discharge papers in February of 1954. When I tried to get to California that same year I was captured by the border patrol three times in one week. When they captured me I was put in jail until they caught enough people to fill a bus then they would ship us back to the border. But I never gave up trying to find a better life for my future wife.

After  four  failed  attempts  in  one  month  to  get  to  the  U.S.   I joined the Bracero program. I stayed at the border with a number they gave me waiting for them to call it so I was able to come to California. Finally I was contracted to pick citrus in Ventura County. The only image of the U.S. I had was from the movies I watched, and Ventura County was not what I had dreamed about. My countrymen lived in camps, they paid rent and because they could not speak English they were unable to get other jobs. I knew I was not going to be happy there with my future wife. So I prayed to the Virgin Mary that when I returned with the Bracero program the following year that she would send me to a place where no one spoke English. In 1955, on August 9th I was sent to Northern California to a small town called Rumsey, population 40.


I was contracted to knock almonds for two months, but the farmer asked me to stay after to help with the pruning. I was the only Spanish speaking person left; I walked around the empty worker camps looking for something to read. I took a walk to town and found a book of matches with Uncle Sam pointing at you that said ‘learn English the easy way by correspondence’. I always believe in following the signs that come to you. It cost me $48 but I sent a letter to North Holly- wood, and that’s when I started to learn English in 1957. I knew I wanted to have a home for my wife and future family so after working for a year I asked my boss to sell me a small piece of land to build an adobe house for my future wife. He sold it to me for $1.00 and for one year I hauled gravel and rocks out of a nearby creek and built a house out of adobe. I had saved $11,000 from the previous year, knowing that I would not be able to work and build a house. In 1962 after I had been a resident in California for five years I applied for citizenship and got it, I went back to Mexico married my wife Lucy, and brought her to our new house in Rumsey.


When I first came to this country, I was illegal and all I wanted was to be left alone. I wanted to be able to work a job to get money and be able to provide a good life for my future family. I never asked for a hand out, I wanted to live my dream of living with my family in a good place and working how and where I wanted. Now I am living in my freedom, I am living the dream I have had since I was a child. I am able to do whatever I want, and no matter what I will always have my garden.


      Based off an interview with Ramon in 2013




Shintokiwa Cucumbers


This one is our favorite tasting cucumber to date-a new trial for this year from Turtle Seed. It is a smooth skinned, Japanese type long, slender cucumber very similar to an English cucumber, is so sweet, very crisp, and juicy with no bitterness.


Curried Cheese and Peach Panini

Cottage cheese is the secret low fat ingredient in these sandwiches. Try the recipe with sliced pears or apples as well

2 cups low fat cottage cheese drained

1 teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ grated lime zest

1 stalk celery finely diced (3/4 cup)

1 green onion, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons

1 10oz sourdough baguette cut into 4 sandwich lengths

½ cup mango chutney optional

1 large peach, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup sliced almonds (8 tablespoons)

Stir together cottage cheese, curry powder, ginger, and lime zest in medium, bowl. Fold in celery and green onions and set aside. Split baguette lengths, leaving one side attached. Remove some of soft center of the bread to make room for the filling. Spread the 2 tablespoons chutney if using, on top and bottom of bread. Fill each sandwich with ½ cup cottage cheese mixture, 4 peach slices, and 2 tablespoons almonds. Spray Panini tops with cooking spray, coat skillet or grill pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Place Panini in pan; weighted with smaller-diameter saucepan weighted with 2 cans  Cook 3 minutes, remove weights, flip panini, replace weight, cook 2 minutes more, or until panini are crisp and filling is hot.


Watermelon Salad With Purple Basil

This complex sweet and savory salad will be a certain hit with your guests, especially since it looks so beautiful on the platter. Play around and have fun with the presentation. You can serve it in the watermelon rind itself. Or, for a party appetizer, serve the salad with tiny toothpicks or forks alongside so your guests can serve themselves, bite by juicy bite, along with a margarita or a cold beer. 

1-inch thick slice cut from the center of a seedless watermelon 1 (about 1 to 1 1/2 lb./500 to 750 g)

1 cup niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted

5 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh purple basil leaves

1/2 cup  extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 Place the watermelon slice on a cutting board and cut around outside to remove the green skin and white flesh. Cut the red flesh lengthwise and then crosswise, forming 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes. Carefully slide the watermelon onto a serving platter, taking care to keep shape of slice intact. Sprinkle the watermelon with the olives, feta cubes and basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6. Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Cooking for Friends: Fresh Ways to Entertain with Style, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm



Zucchini Crust Pizza is the perfect way to use up that zucchini!  A healthier and delicious low carb option that the entire family will go crazy for. With the loads of zucchini that are coming in for the summer, I was thinking of ideas or ways to use it up.  So I thought…  what about zucchini crust pizza??

Zucchini crust:

2 1/2 cups zucchini squeezed dry and liquid removed

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

How do you remove the liquid from zucchini?

Make sure you remove all liquid from the zucchini.  Dry zucchini will help to make the crust more firm.

Add the shredded zucchini to a colander.  Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and let it sit for 20 minutes.  Pat dry with a paper towel. You can also wring them out by placing them into a paper towel and twisting until dry and excess water has been removed.

Zucchini crust Add zucchini, eggs, flour, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt to a mixing bowl.  Transfer to a 12-inch pizza pan and spread evenly to make a 10-inch crust.  Bake at 450 degrees for 13-16 minutes or until set and lightly brown. 


1/4 cup pizza sauce

1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded

1/4 cup pepperoni

1/4 cup sliced olives

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 teaspoon dried oregano

fresh chopped basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add zucchini, eggs, flour, and salt and mix. Add parmesan and mozzarella cheese and mix until incorporated. On a 12-inch pizza dish, spread zucchini crust into a 10-inch circle. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown and set. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Add pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings to the zucchini crust. Sprinkle with oregano and bake for 10-13 minutes more until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with freshly chopped basil if desired. BYALYSSA RIVERS


Satsuma Plum Red Chili Jam

2 cups chopped Satsuma plums (5 to 6 plums)

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice (I use Meyer lemon juice)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper

Stir together all ingredients over medium heat in a deep heavy pot, at least 3 quarts in size. Let the jam come to a boil, stirring often. Boil for about 10 minutes, until the jam thickens. You can test that it is ready by placing a plate in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove the plate and place a spoonful of jam on the plate. Return it to the freezer for about 1 minute. If the jam firms up to your desired consistency, it is ready to remove from the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a clean 1/2 pint jar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It should keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.