Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rio Gozo Farm Ventura "CSAngels"

It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.”
Wendell Berry

     Members gathered at Rio Gozo Farm for the Summer CSA party. Along with a farm tour by John, we enjoyed a potluck of everyone's favorite seasonal dishes.  I overheard conversations about zucchini recipes and basting brushes.  Turns out size does matter and silicone is not just for Hollywood anymore.  Some notable highlights were Brian Rasmussen's vodka pizza crust and homemade sourdough bread, Joan Roberts' cumin carrots, and Patrick's forté for Indian food. This was a great opportunity for our Ventura members have a chance to get to know each other.  Don't miss the next party this fall. Get your recipes ready. 
     During the party, many people asked about volunteer opportunities on the farm.  Part of being a CSA member of Rio Gozo includes coming out to see how these vegetables magically appear in your boxes and the opportunity to get your hands in the dirt.  We encourage this connection with your food. Currently we have a number of friends and members who come out regularly to help.  We call them our CSAngels.

When we least expect it our friend, Willow, rides in on her bike to help pick for the CSA.  She's refreshing like a sprinkler in this heat, a CSA angel come in on the wind.


Melissa, one of our CSA members, spent Friday morning with us at Rio Gozo Farm.  We weeded, picked a truck load of veggies, and shared a farmer's breakfast together.  Some people have the gift of pulling weeds; Melissa has it, and she's welcome anytime.  Riding in the back of the farm truck is often the highlight of the experience, evoking a kind of childlike nostalgia for a time before seat belt laws and cell phones.

Jeff Sanders, repeat angelic descender, shows up frequently at the farm (whether or not we're there) with cryptic text messages: "what 2 do?"  We don't blink. We don't even think about rubbing our eyes; we reply "toms and malva" before this apparition disappears. Heaven knows there is always something to do on a farm.

     Often John and I can't believe our good luck having these angels around. Our volunteers offer their time frequently for no apparent reason- no barter or exchange. They brave heat and the inevitability of farmer tans. A few have given up life-long dreams of hand modeling. Sometimes they even offer sacrificial skin to the fanged flesh eating squash plants.  This is true vegetable devotion.
As much as food and farming inspire us to be healthier happier people in community with each other, it is our community that inspires us to be better than we are. Thank you.

Regular CSA volunteer hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:00- 10:00 am. 
If you would like to know what you can do to help with the CSA or set up a day to volunteer on Rio Gozo Farm contact John and Elizabeth at
or call 805 272 8170

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Community Supported Agriculture

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There is plenty of gozo at Rio Gozo Farm. That is JOY in Spanish and joy is one of the most dependable products we have. Gozo is commonly found in gardens and farms. Once you get a little gozo up and going it is very tolerant of most pests, withstands dry periods, and grows with a modicum of fertilizer. After gozo becomes a staple of one's diet, it goes with about anything. Actually folks crave it so much it is a wonder everyone does not have a patch of it growing close at hand. Grab up some gozo and get with the flow.