Steve’s Weekly Update for 7/21/10

Dear members,

Climatology 2010: Darn, it’s hot.  What more can I say?

Steve’s Soapbox: I have an appointment in Washington DC a week from Friday to talk to key USDA people about COOP development centers and about Good Agricultural Practices and how they can be implemented on small farms without causing many more to go out of business…DC at end of July?  Heat and humidity and rain or all of the above?  What fun!

This week’s Cow stories:  update on Mesa Top cows, Jim Miller Ayrshire projects and more:

The cows are drinking HUGE amounts of water in this heat!  Their health is fine.  They all have green grass.  Not bad for the life of a cow!

Our top young bull, named “baby bull” who has been the breeder for the last 18 months, up at Twin Mountain, has picked up the habit of walking through and over fences to go find “work;” cows needing his services.  And we have no work for him for a while, so this was getting old for Andy and Michelle and their neighbors.

I was fortunate to find Colleen Agard through Andy, a small-scale dairy farmer up near Denver, who needed a good bull to breed her Jersey cows.  So he has moved to Fountain, Colorado where he has plenty of work now!  We are trying to iron out the details so that he can stay on indefinitely.

We would then put one of our yearling bulls to work next season at about 1.5 years of age.

Kenny reports that by the end of July he will have his full grade A milk certification for the cow milk.  And we will have a regular supply of about a wheel of Ayrshire cheese each week!  Something to look forward to!

This week’s cheese share update:

This week the cheese share will include Ayrshire cheddar from Twin Mountain and Asiago from Tucumcari!

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:

The flush of root crops is behind us, for now.  We have more cooking greens, and salad/lettuce mix from Mesa Top.  An experimental late crop of broccoli raab is being harvested this week for you as well.  Broccoli raab is usually a spring crop, but we wanted to see if we could get a summer harvest.  Just this week!  There will be more of it again in the fall.

Our summer squash is supply is moving north.  Squash from Desert Gardens, which are slowing down due to the heat will be supplemented by Mesa Top squash.  By next week we will likely have 100% northern squash.

The same scenario is shaping up with the cucumbers:  starting out from the south, this week with Mesa Top and other northern product coming in over the next couple of weeks.

We hope you enjoyed the Saturn peaches last week.  We will be able to include them in the shares this week, and none after this.  The heat came up so suddenly and severely down south that they are ripening too quickly and not growing any larger.

We also have another week of champagne grapes and a last gasp of the amazing Sage Creations cherries.

Membership news:

We welcome our newly arriving Albuquerque members and encourage you to pass along word of the CSA program to your friends!   We continue to look for additional sites and communities where our program would be a value for local eaters and farmers.

Thank you for your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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