Steve’s Weekly Update 11/9/11

Climatology 2011:  The fall roller coaster continues, inching toward winter.  Morning temps in single digits.  A dusting of snow here and there.

Are you interested in sourcing firewood from Mesa Top Farm?  We are hoping to get the firewood harvest started this weekend.  Members who inquired about wood should be hearing back from us with details by or over the weekend.  There is plenty of wood out here, so if you are interested, please email stevew@plateautel.net .

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Three healthy heifer calves on the ground now.  Bow, Tippy, and Blanca, our first calvers last year, have done it again this year.

This week’s cheese making update:   More milk means cheese-making frequency is increasing as well.  We are pressing to finish a few more details in the cheese room.  Preliminary comments from our dairy bureau inspectors indicate that we are in good shape going forward.  We have to buy an expensive antibiotic testing machine, that enables us to test every batch of milk and prove that it is antibiotic free.  Even though we rarely have to treat a cow and never use milk from a treated animal, we have to prove it with a test.  The machines are over $4,000 each new.  My friends at Sweetwoods dairy are selling their used machine for ½ price.  They have sold their goats and are planning at least a two year hiatus before they consider resuming production.  So we are borrowing more money…  It looks like have to go back on credit card debt to get the cheese room fully operational.

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

Mesa Top Meat (Protein) update:   We bought two more little piggies.  They are tiny but we hope they will help keep up with the increased whey production as cheese making ramps back up.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week’s share includes large helpings of two cooking greens:  Chard from Synergia Ranch and kale from Red Mountain.

Next comes loose carrots from Gemini South and onions from Red Mountain.  The onions are the “use first” type.  Whenever a farmer harvests onions they are sorted into different grades.  “Keepers” are onions that are firm, dry and cure well, especially having thin necks that will literally wither up and the growing area of the onion dries up and seals over.  “Use first” onions include any onion with an imperfection and also bull necked onions, which have think necks and never will dry and cure.  They just keep trying to grow, and quickly develop a hollow center.   We are helping Red Mountain Farm make the most of their onions harvest, and providing value to members by distributing their bull necked onions.  I recommend using them over the next couple/few weeks.  Anyone have a good onion soup recipe?

We also have another beautiful head of lettuce from Red Mountain and for our fruity treat we have apple-pear juice from Big B’s in Hotchkiss, Colorado.

Enjoy!

Steve’s policy and advocacy corner.  I got an email from my cheese making mentor and friend Pat Sullivan in which he eloquently and pointedly takes on one of my favorite topics:  how the banks have taken the capital out of capitalism and are strangling the public.  The failure of capitalism can be viewed by clicking on the link.

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

Steve Warshawer

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