Steve’s Weekly Update for Dec 17

Dear members,

This is the final distribution of December and 2009.  Remember that we skip two weeks at Christmas and New Years.

This week’s Mesa Top Farm story is about our Ayrshire breed preservation project.  I met Jim Miller in 2005.  At the time he owned of Mountain Grove Dairy, the oldest dairy in New Mexico.  There will be another blog post today that is a report that I wrote in 2007 about Jim’s work.  Back then I could not find a “high altitude dairy partner” in New Mexico, so I moved the herd to Southern Colorado, first to Quintana Farms in San Luis, then to Twin Mountain Milk House in South Fork.  I have been bringing the offspring back to Mesa Top and raising them here.  Now it looks like it is time for the herd to move home.

As part of my value chain development work, I have helped Old Windmill Dairy develop a working relationship with Sun Song Dairy, a goat dairy nearby them in Estancia.  Now we have found a small cow dairy also nearby to them called Milk Maid Farms.  Now 4 farms will be working together to supply milk to the Old Windmill Cheese plant.  Later this spring we should have New Mexico made, ayrshire milk cheese again.

Meanwhile, we after the first of the year we will start offering the cheese from Twin Mountain Milk House, the last stop for the herd in Colorado.  The farmstead, artisanal, raw milk cheddars are sure to be a big hit.  Watch for them on the special order list.

This week in produce we have another round of Garn-n-hers spinach and joi choi.  PLEASE to not worry if you still have your choi from last week.  TAKE ANOTHER:  These nutrient dense, sustainably raised crops store very well in your refrigerator.  We also have arugula, which can be lightly cooked if you don’t want to use in salad.

We have big bags of potatoes for you, reduced in price to make up for the sad condition of the last potato delivery.

We also have a healthy delivery of butternut squash.  This is also an item that stores very well, and cooks up fine even if the skin has a little bit of wrinkling to it.

We have the last Shiroz apples and quince.  In 2010 we will be switching to fruit from Arizona and Texas.

You may notice that I keep commenting on storage, storage, storage and it is true that most of what we are distributing will store for a long time at this time of year.  I heard that some members were skipping their onions because they still had some from the previous distribution.  I can imagine that this might happen with carrots too.  Consider that all of the root crops that you are receiving now were harvested at the same time and will store real well.  Carrots and potatoes like to be cool and dry.  Carrots and beets like to be kept in higher humidity, so plastic bags of washed carrots or beets kept in the veggie crisper of your refrigerator will last for at least a couple months.

Happy holidays to all, and we’ll catch you again in 2010!

Thank you for your support

Steve Warshawer

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