Steve’s Weekly Update for 1/5/12

Climatology 2011:  After an extended cold and snowy snap, we have had a warmup and melt that has gotten us back to dry roads and snow free pastures.  We are trying to get a bunch of work done in anticipation of more snow, that we hope will come again later in January.  Meanwhile we are enjoying an easier time working and feeding.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: We’ve been hauling hay from Robert Quintana in San Luis, and that has helped lower our costs some.  Ray has connected up with another local farmer who has a small dairy/milking facility.  We should transport our first load of cows off the mesa this weekend.  Some will go to beef and most will go to winter pasture.  It is a treat to have a reliable truck again.  Hopefully by next week I will be able to report a successful move.

We are also looking at moving a herd onto our well rested state lease land up the road from the farm a couple of miles.  It is a bit of a hassle and risk due to the possibility of deep snow and the need to haul and deal with water during sub freezing temperatures.  We are developing a plan and necessary equipment to make it work.

Ideally we’d like to have only the 7 cows being milked and their calfs at the farm itself.

This week’s cheese making update:   We figured out the feta!  We have been making a fairly dense cheese that is very tasty.  We went back through our oldest production, from late October, and it has a terrific, salty, flavor.  It is not as crumbly as a traditional feta.

We went over our process with Pat and figured out how to slow down the curding process and produce a softer curd.  Now we are making a feta which will be more crumbly.

Our 60 day and older Monterrey jack is testing out more tender and flavorful.

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

Mesa Top Meat (Protein) update:   Finally cows going to the processing plant.  Ground beef in stock again in a week or two and family beef packs in 3 weeks.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week’s first produce share of 2012 includes carrots (Matt Romero), garlic (La Madera Farm) and potatoes (White Mountain Farm) from cold storage.  Also dehydrated green chile powder from Gonzales Farm.

The only fresh, live food this week is pea shoots from SunGreen Living foods.  We are expecting more produce from our Southern growers, but the cold down South has slowed everything down.

Meanwhile we are continuing to offer our “out of regions” special fruits, small farm/coop grown avocadoes from Mexico, and South Texas Organics grapefruits.  This is our best available offering for you in the way of fruits after a poor local fruit harvest in 2011.

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

Steve Warshawer


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