This Week’s Food
Taking Root in Albuquerque
Beneficial Farms Community Supported Agriculture
I’m glad that eating organic is easier than it used to be. Conventional supermarkets offer some organic produce. Natural food markets abound. It might be time to join a community farm program such as Beneficial Farms CSA, which has been active in Santa Fe since 1994 and is now enrolling members in Albuquerque.
Priscilla Remke meets me over red drinks at Flying Star. Her new position as Beneficial’s Albuquerque Operations Manager uses her talents as a proponent of Albuquerque’s local agriculture movement. Remke was gardening organically and shopping locally long before it was fashionable, and she recognizes the importance of this approach. She explains that CSA is a mutually supportive system—in effect, members give farms an economic base, and farmers reward members with a tasty cornucopia on a weekly basis.
Remke tells me about Beneficial Farms (also known as Mesa Top Farm) located near Glorieta. Mesa Top’s owner, Steve Warshawer, has been on the forefront of the collaborative farm movement in New Mexico and uses sustainable techniques of biodynamic farming developed by Dr. Rudolph Steiner. (Many will recognize Steiner as the creator of the Waldorf education system, Anthroposophy and other groundbreaking concepts.) Beneficial shares Steiner’s approach to farming by offering work/study and exchange programs for folks who want to learn these Earth-friendly methods. As the Co-op’s Enterprise Development Specialist, Warshawer found the Co-op to be a natural ally in making the Albuquerque Beneficial/CSA a reality.
Organic, raw, aged and soft cheeses are made with milk from pasture-fed goats and Ayrshire cows. Eggs are the product of years of on-the-farm research to re-establish small-flock egg production in the Southern Rockies. Regionally grown grains and seeds comprise most of the chickens’ diet. If you’ve never eaten an egg from a well-raised chicken, you must. The dark orange yolk and rich flavor make a spectacular scrambled egg. In this happy food chain, everybody eats well.
The Co-op truck brings the crops from the farms to the Co-op warehouse on Comanche where members pick up the weekly shares. Priscilla heads there to get things ready for the next distribution. We stop in the parking lot where she has a sample share in the back of her car. I spy fresh figs and a colorful assortment of greens ready for the kitchen. Time to get cooking.
For complete membership information:beneficialfarm.com
Questions? E-mail Priscilla Remke:email@example.com