Steve’s Weekly Update 2/1/12

Climatology 2012:   The ongoing warmth is starting to get worrisome.  There is not a lot of snow left anywhere except in shady spots, and the quick burst of runoff that we are accustomed to is soooo early that the exposed soil will be drying out quickly.  We do not get much grass growth until late April.  We love to have snow cover for as long as possible because it protects the soil and helps retain moisture leading to better cool season grasses

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The health checkup on the Colorado cows has been ordered.  I visited the main herd at Dominic’s in Roswell and he is doing a terrific job and they look happy,  They will be chewing on grass for a couple of months there, and there is room for more cows!

Dominic is excited about getting back to milking.  We are hoping to place 6 or 8 mother cows there in the spring to get him started.  He is excited about producing bottled raw milk, for sale locally in the Roswell area or further away if that makes sense.

This week’s cheese making update:   Nothing new from the cheese room on the production side.  But our feta is now ready, as our earliest batches have passed 60 days of age.  We are hoping to offer some to the CSA next week.

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

Mesa Top Meat (Protein) update:   Mesa Top beef is in!   Not a lot of steaks and cuts, but we have plenty of lean ground beef now.  So many costs have gone up that we have determined that it will be necessary to raise the price of ground beef bought by the pound, but we will offer a volume discount so that members can buy a larger amount of lean ground beef and still be charged the current price.  Watch for this week’s marketplace email with the details.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: I have been working for over 6 years with various growers and grower groups in Southern New Mexico, trying to get some momentum for winter vegetable production down there.  Success has been hit or miss.  This year a group of farmers has come together under the guidance of NMSU and grad student Alex Benitez, and COOP Extension specialist Eduardo Medina, who has focused their efforts on growing broccoli.

I heard about the project during a food safety training that I organized, that was delivered in Anthony, NM in late October.  There was a fair amount of  broccoli  planted and it was going to be matter of time to see how it came out.

I stayed in touch with them from that point forward, and in mid December got a “red alert” that the NMSU professors wanted the field cut down because the crop was not growing right, so I went down for a visit.  I spent an afternoon with Alex and Eduardo, and walked them through what to expect from their field, and how to interpret the different signs of stress from the cold weather.  We saved the field from the knife.

Now, nearly 6 weeks later, the big harvest has begun from the first field.  We will receive what promises to be gorgeous broccoli from the broccoli brigade this week, and hopefully on and off for the next couple of months.

I am very excited to have partner farmers to work with in Southern NM.

Along with the broccoli, we have what may be the final winter storage carrots, grown by Matt Romero, and held in storage in our walk in cooler.  The other greens this week are organic sunny seeds

We also have regionally produced organic acorn squash, limes, and tangelos from Patagonia distribution.

We hope you continue to enjoy the mix of locally and regionally grown foods, with occasional out of region special items added in for variety.

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

Steve Warshawer

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