News from the Farm | August 29, 2022

The CSA truly is a team effort, as is almost everything we do here. Everyone’s work has an impact on the many boxes we send out each week, whether they spend most of their time in the field, in the orchards, in the shop, with the animals, or on tractors. And (almost) everyone ends up packing CSA boxes at some point; even the farm kids have been helping out recently!

That being said, there are a few individuals that play a larger and more direct impact on our CSA members’ experience and we’ve had several big changes in the core CSA team this year. Judith and Becky both retired at the end of 2021, which has changed how the office operates, and not just regarding the CSA. And now we find ourselves rapidly approaching another change in the team – the departure of one of our delivery drivers, David, who will be moving to Boston for his wife’s job.

We have an amazing delivery team that spends countless hours on the road delivering (and lifting) all of our boxes. They are great at what they do and never fail to go above and beyond to make sure that each and every CSA member gets their box in top condition. Pancho and Jose depart from the farm very early Tuesday through Saturday to do CSA deliveries to the public sites in Sacramento/Davis, Marin, and the Bay Area locations (everything except the Farmers Market and Saturday Peninsula/South Bay spots), and they bring the home delivery boxes to local drivers in Sacramento, Davis, and the East Bay.

David does the Thursday East Bay home delivery route, he works with Pancho to drop off CSA boxes and wholesale orders Tuesday through Saturday, and cleans up many CSA sites the day after deliveries. He started cleaning up sites in 2013 after seeing a note in the Beet looking for someone to fill that role. Over time, he started helping with other tasks and responsibilities working three days a week, and with the surge of interest in CSA boxes (and home delivery) we experienced with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, his job grew from three to five days a week. And he got the bright yellow van!

David comes from a background in operations and management consulting and those skills have come in handy whenever I need to think through a logistics question; Judith describes him as a “logistics wizard.” He’s got a great sense of humor, is levelheaded and easygoing (“no muss, no fuss” is a common phrase), is an excellent communicator, and somehow still says melons are his favorite Full Belly crop despite the thousands of heavy, melon-filled boxes that he lifts up each summer. He very much represents the ethos of the farm, including our educational goals, occasionally becoming an impromptu vegetable teacher to the preschool students at one of the CSA sites when the kids want to know what was in the box.

All this is to say, we want to extend a big thank you to David and wish him the best in all that comes next. It’ll be a big change for me and Pancho, and a big change for David who won’t have to get up so early, and may have to join a gym without all those boxes to lift! Hopefully our CSA members won’t notice a difference during this transition. But the people of Full Belly are the most important part of the farm, tied with the land we’re on, and we want to highlight and celebrate the people behind your box as much as we do the produce inside it.

We also want to find a great replacement for the (very large) shoes that David will be leaving. We’re thinking through all that he does and are figuring out what makes sense going forward. We’ve included a post in the newsletter (and on our website) for the past two weeks and the position has not yet been filled. Please share widely with anyone who might be a good fit!

– Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager

Photo credit: Alexa McCarthy