Steve’s Weekly Update 10/5/11

Wow, what a time we live in.  Will we be denied the information, ability, and even the right to support our local communities, ourselves, and our farmers?  I hope that CSA members are part of the tidal wave of response to these absurd and baseless attacks on our rights, opportunities, and choices. (see “policy and advocacy”, below)

Climatology 2011:   A real storm!  It is Wednesday morning and it has been raining on and off since Monday afternoon.  A warm, tropical kind of storm, the kind that comes on the front side of a cold air mass.  The cold is due in Thursday night and Friday.  It is still not too late to hope for a little bit of grass growth, once the post storm warmup occurs and Indian Summer arrives.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: I have been moving cows around to make sure that no pasture is pressured too much.  The systems are generally working well.  I have found out that Scott and Julie in La Puebla have not been able to produce much hay this season, so I will be looking at moving the heifers and steers from there also.  The field person from the State Land Office came out on Monday to look at the lease land that I am partners in, a couple of miles from the farm, and we are hoping to get approval to install gates and a water trough so that I can move some cows up there, hopefully until the snow starts.  I am struggling to get USDA all of the info that they need for the forage disaster relief program, and even so the money they will offer, if I am approved, will not get us very far.  It will cover maybe a month’s worth of hay.  I will sell as many young male cows as I can in November some time, find the lowest cost feed solution that I can for the rest, and hope for the best.  I am trying not to have to sell any mother cows, but it is not looking good.

This week’s cheese making update:   The re-installation and upgrade of the electrical system is scheduled for next Thursday.  There are some new parts ready to be added, and  more will be added  incrementally as the resources become available.  As soon as the cheese room is cleared of electrical system parts, we will wash and finish painting.  We should be ready for inspection shortly thereafter.  We do have more work to do:  add on to waste water system and more stainless steel equipment needed and a dedicated water line for the well water, and a few more items.  We are hoping that we can implement them incrementally under a provisional approval from the dairy inspector.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheese

Mesa Top Meat (Protein) update:  We will have bacon and ham available next week.  Ground beef is back!

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  

This week’s share looks more like a late fall share!

The share includes sauerkraut and red radish from Gemini, cucumbers from Espanola Valley Farm, and kale from Richard Berenger at Red Mountain Farm.

Thank you for your apple orders!  We are also including a pound of apples for each member and a melon from Shiraz as part of this week’s share.

Enjoy the new varieties and the continuing bounty !

Steve’s policy and advocacy corner.  Yesterday, in response to the growing concerns about listeria originating at Jensen Farm in Rocky Ford, Colorado, a major produce industry spokesperson wrote:  “you can have safe food, or you can have local food, but you cannot have both.”   The argument is that only the biggest companies have the wherewithal to assure that your food is safe.  This denies the obvious history of food borne illness in the US where the more complicated and more distant the supply chain, the more illness and public health risk occurs.

Big Ag has come out and declared war on the local and regional food movement and food safety will be it sword.  This is an enormous and risky position for Big Ag to take.  Click here to read the entire article, from, Jim Prevor.

Yesterday I received an email from the Biodynamic Farm and Garden Association reporting that in Wisconsin a judge had rules that cow share-owners do not have the right to drink the milk from their own cows.  Click here to read the article. The BDA has been been working with Zinniker Farm, the oldest Biodynamic Farm in the US, to develop a new legal arrangement where a third party LLC owns the herd, and the cow share members are members of the LLC, and contract with the farmer to manage the herd.  The chain of ownership and liability is clear.  And even so, the court says it is illegal to drink the milk.

Yesterday I received a petition from Food Democracy now, asking that we pressure President Obama to live up to his campaign promise to get GMO foods labeled. Click here to read it.

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA .  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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