Weekly Update from Steve for Feb 18, 2010

Dear members,

We have had a week of relief from serious storms and cold.  The mud is getting deeper and deeper.  There ARE some dry spots along the road and around the farm.  Not many, but a few.  I think that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel!  Spring IS coming!!!

This week’s update on cheese value chain and Jim Miller Ayrshire projects:

The Ayrshire move was made last week:  Now we have a herd of 5 cows being milked at Old Windmill Dairy near Estancia, as well as a herd of 6 at Twin Mountain Milk House near Del Norte, Colorado.  Old Windmill is developing a mozzarella cheese as their first cow milk product.  The volume of milk is not huge as lactating cows always experience a bit of a production setback when moved.  The chance of location and feed, and the stress of being moved are all contributing factors.  Ideally cows are moved in advance of calving.  In this case we decided that the years of experience that Andy Warner has as a herdsman were important:  we wanted the cows to calve out under his watchful eye.  All is well with the mommas and the calves.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:

We have a one-week reprieve in the fresh greens from Gard-n-hers.    This week we have broccoli and a kale/collard mix.  We still do not have any fresh, salad type greens.  Enjoy the pea shoots from Susan Higgin’s Sungreen Living Foods this week, and Paul Cross’s mega greens next week.  It also looks like a new farmer that I have been talking to will have a nice delivery of watercress next week.  It sure would be perfect if I could find us some salad mix for next week.  I will keep looking.  Keep your fingers crossed!

An unexpected shipment of Rio Star grapefruits came to La Montanita Warehouse.  We are offering those this week as well.  We will update you as to whether we can offer them one more time in distribution, as well as on an ongoing basis in special orders.

A very special food that will come to you this week is a Middle Eastern sweet/sour cherry.  This is a cultivar that David Banikarim of Shiraz Vineyard, our pomegranate king, whose farm is down near Tularosa, NM.  The cherries were picked and washed and bagged and frozen whole, with pits, back in the early summer.  They are NOT a “pucker up your mouth” type pie cherry.  They are a unique flavor that is used in all kinds of interesting ways by Middle Eastern people.  Amy is talking to Sherry and David and will post a special blog entry about the cherries.  Freezing and saving them for winter, which is a common practice for the people most familiar with this fruit, seemed also like an opportunity for us to have a unique product during our time of least variety.

We will keep doing all we can to “mix it up” through February and March…  If you have ideas or suggestions please pass them along!   Thank you for your support!

Steve Warshawer

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