Steve’s Weekly Update for 12/8/10

Hello Members,

Climatology 2010: Local, sustainable fuel (wood) still available: I have not checked for the exact figure, but it seems like we are no 90 days plus since any measurable precipitation (.1 inch or more).  The weather prognosticators are speaking about a “La Nina” pattern this winter, which is typically dry.

Finance Revolution, continued!  What have YOU done this week to begin to effect change in our misguided, dysfunctional system of banking and finance?  A system that assure the continuation of the current recession in which corporate profits soar while jobs disappear and wages go nowhere! It is possible to create change.  It is necessary to create change.  It is something that many, if not most of us can do.  Please email me at stevew@plateautel.net and lets discuss the possibilities.

Steve’s Soapbox: No soap box this week, I am totally late with this message already…  I am dealing with a bunch of time constraints due to …..

COW stories! I took a trip to Colorado and gathered the last of the weaned calves, born late last year and early this year.  Returning to NM is a 2009 heifer named Abigail, who is all “growed up” and ready to breed soon, and a bull calf named Little Bill – near a year old, and 4 heifers, Fiona and Molly, two skittish Ayrshires, and Cindy Lou, a sweet and congenial Ayrshiree, and also a half-Angus heifer who as yet has no name.

Abigail will reside at Mesa Top until breeding time, and Fiona and Molly will stay here too, as they need handling and socialization. Hopefully we can overcome their wild ways and get them ready to be momma dairy cows.  Little Bill will stay here, too, as Mesa Top is home for most all of our boy cows.

Angus and Cindy Lou will soon go to grass pasture at Scot and Julie Bennett’s in La Puebla.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows, and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:

Our second Ayrshire heifer had her calf last week, in fact, she calved about an hour after I got home from distribution and deliveries Thursday.  Another, half Angus, half Ayrshire, calved yesterday.  ALL of our calves from Ayrshire  (or cross) momma cows, dating back to last July, have been bull calves.  Regardless of where they were born, and that includes 4 different locations, we have had 7 bull calves in a row!

One more Ayrshire heifer looks like she will be ready in the next couple of weeks.

Mesa Top staff met today with Alf Reib and Dustin Cox of the New Mexico Dairy Bureau, our “farmer friendly” regulatory board for dairy products. We looked at what changes and additions we will have to make in order to add a milk processing and cheese making “room” to our Straw Bale (passive solar) building.  It is complicated but promising, because we have so much capacity in place in that building already.   We need to build a special room and tie it in with existing water, waste water, and electricity, and we will be able to milk cows and make commercially approved and salable cheese.

This week’s cheese share update:

Mesa Top has been experimenting with ricotta cheese and other stages in the cheese making process and will return to the CSA shares with more mozzarella next week.  This week the cheese share will be a variety of artisanal cheeses.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:

This week we again have an ample bag of salad mix from Agricultura COOP.  We have beets from Frisco Farm and carrots from Gemini.  As our potato of the week, we are giving Russet potatoes from White Mountain Farm.

We also have some mesa top dried “chimayo chile” pods.

This week’s fruit includes a persimmon (there will be one more next week as well), some quince, and more Winesap apples.

Next week we will include some other interesting fruits and also pecans one more time for the holidays.

We are moving now into a time when variety in the local “fresh produce” is extremely limited.

After the holidays we will continue with a “core” share of staple items and along with those will give a variety of other items, which will stretch beyond our region a bit as well.

Winter sure does help us appreciate the diversity and variety of foods that are produced locally, during the growing season!

 

Membership news: We have a lot of staff shuffling going on to cover for illness this week.  We have our fingers crossed that all will go well.  We ask your patience with any slip ups that may happen, and hopefully staff who have taken ill will recover quickly!

Thank you for your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

 

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