Sarah Arvidsson is one of our beloved CSA members who, since her joining in 2016, has supported our farm in more ways than we can even begin to count. From teaching sourdough and pie classes, to volunteering and attending events, and picking up her CSA every week with kind words to share and a warm smile, Sarah is the true meaning of family.
1. What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
I am a third grade reading and writing teacher at Seguin Elementary School, an HISD campus near Hobby. I used to be a lawyer, but I didn’t love it. For fun, I love baking (cakes, cookies and sourdoughs), birdwatching, gardening and camping.
2. When and why did you become a CSA member?/ When was your first visit to the farm?
We became members in Spring 2016. I am greatly privileged to have grown up with a very well-cared-for backyard garden which ruined me for life on out-of-season tomatoes and herbs from the grocery store.
My first visit to the farm was in the fall of 2015. Tommy and I sat under the trees together with the survey of my house, and we planned my vegetable garden together. That garden has given my family so much and has been a source of joy and connection for me.
3. What is your/your family’s favorite Finca produce?
My favorites are tomatoes and basil. A tomato, hot from a sun, with salt, pepper and good vinegar is hands-down my favorite thing to eat. My 4-year-old Celeste loves snacking on green beans – we keep them at the bottom of the fridge so she can graze on them at her convenience. My husband loves cucumbers. He is from Sweden and eats them on open-faced sandwiches with butter and cheese.
4. What is your favorite way to use our produce?
I love a simple salad with sliced tomatoes, roughly torn basil, olive oil, good Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. It is my go-to lunch all summer long – often with a hunk of good bread for sopping.
5. What is your fondest Finca memory?
I have to share a few.
Teaching my sourdough classes and meeting so many people who love bread. Teaching my holiday pies class – a few of my best friends came and we went full-out decadent with our fried handpies. Spending days covered in flour baking fun sweets for great parties at the farm. Waiting for the rain to stop to put out cakes for Christi and Michael’s incredibly fun wedding. Planning my backyard garden with Tommy. Watching beautiful starter tomatoes come to my car during a drive-through pick-up when I had accepted I wouldn’t be able to grow tomatoes this year. Learning how to make flour tortillas from Cesar. Watching babies grow over our potlucks. Volunteering on Saturdays during challenging times and processing difficult emotions with good work. Painting quietly with Ceci and Tommy. Practicing yoga under the oaks with Malone. Drinking any number of Ceci’s expertly crafted cocktails (and I’m not even really a drinker).
6. What is your favorite part about living/working in the East End?
I love that is sounds like Mexico at night. I love amazing pan dulce. I love how lush and tropical it feels in Spring even in the middle of the city. I love riding bikes downtown to Discovery Green. My family is from Nuevo Leon, and I love the small connections all over the neighborhood to that place. I love that it feels like a small town, and I run into to people I know almost anytime I’m out. I love that kids play outside and neighbors sit on their porches in the evening. I love that it smells like coffee. I love running in Mason Park. I love that Finca is here, in the middle of the clatter of industry, growing food to nourish my family.
7. Any other comments/memories about Finca Tres Robles:
Finca Tres Robles enriches my life in profound and immeasurable ways. I am so deeply appreciative of the work they do and the gentle ways they lead our community into a better future.