Steve’s Update 7-25-12

Climatology 2012:  The monsoon moisture has been spotty the last week.  Temperatures are moderate and most days have pleasant cloud cover.  Some of the grasses have already begun to seed.  They respond to a period of dryness by seeding out.  Then, if sufficient rains resume, they grow again and seed again.  This adaptation is part of the resilience of our landscape.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   Thrasher update:  Late last week we noticed Thrasher has no longer raising his head to the sky.  He was reaching forward and stretching his neck out ahead of him and toward the ground.  He is gaining some sight.  It is hard to tell how much, clearly it is very limited, but he has ventured out of the coral on his own, can find hay on the ground and eat it, and can follow his mother around.  He tires easily and spends most of his time sleeping.  The lesions on his corneas are shrinking.  He is developing a voice, mooing for Maya when he is hungry.

In most ways he is slowly developing, as if delayed for some reason.  It seems unlikely that he will ever catch up and be “normal”.  It is hard to imagine him gaining much sight through his damaged corneas.  All the same, he is generally content and happy.

This was not supposed to be possible.  But we have heard that before.  We have had a fair share of successes against the odds with animals who had the will, determination, vitality and desire to live.  We sometimes lose them anyway, but we always give them a chance.  Thrasher looks like he will be another survivor.  Our task is to give him the highest quality of life that we can, even though it will be for a fairly short life.

We have moved all of the cows home from Ls Puebla and from the state lease land.  We have also moved some of the milk herd out to pasture.  The recent rains saved us on the home pasture, which has grown well enough to hold the herd for a week or two while we complete some fence repairs on a neighbor ranch that we will then lease for the summer.  Looking over our herd, scattered across our own green grass, is a pretty satisfying feeling.  It was a huge amount of work to gather them:  loading and  trailering and herding on horseback.  But worth it, to see the herd all together.

We will continue to work on additional leases for neighboring private property, allowing us to extend our simple water and road and fencing systems.  Keeping our cows close to home has many advantages.  On our own we do not have enough pasture to develop healthy rotation of high impact grazing and extended rest.  Cooperation is the only way we can accomplish this.  Gradually we are finding neighbors who see the value and mutual benefit in cooperation.  It will likely be a slow and steady process:  small successes adding up to an overall improvement.

This week’s cheese making update:  Cheese making is happening only every 8 to10 days.  We are milking 2 cows only and are experimenting to see which recipe works best in the warmer summer temperatures.  Our good old Salado Jack recipe may be the best bet.  We have sampled the asiago cheese and it is terrific.  We hope to include it the next time Mesa Top cheese is a part of your share.

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

Mesa Top Meat (Protein) update:  At least one beef will go to processing late this week or beginning of next.  We have 2 steers left, from before the time that we shifted our focus entirely to young beef.  These are 18 months old approximately, and have been on excellent grass all year.  We are interested in selling ¼ or ½ beef if any members are interested.  And we expect to have family beef shares again as well.  These should be available about the middle of August.  At that time Mesa Top ground beef will also be available again.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week we have a return to mostly above ground produce, after a rather root heavy (for mid summer) share last week.

Some herbs:  basil and parsley from Talon de Gato and Mesa Top Farm.

Some greens:  chard and collards from Synergia Ranch.

Some Asian vegetables:  gai lan and snow peas from Mesa Top

Some other veggies:  cukes from Mesa Top, onions from Rancho La Jolla.

Some fruit:  peaches (and one nectarine for each member) from Shiraz.

Membership news:  Help us spread the word and sign up more members!  We add $10 to your Farm Account for every member you refer.  With the great variety of summer produce, and with a terrific fruit year here in New Mexico, this is the most exciting time in the CSA season!

Thank you for your investment in and continued support of the CSA .  We appreciate your support!

Steve Warshawer

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Steve’s Update 7-25-12

  1. Josh..Sam Smitherowe's helper

    ok comment got erased twice . Many nice sentiments! Sorry now a bit frustrated. Would love to know who designed poster you once had hanging over guesthouse phone. Peace, love , prosperity, and respect. You’ve been a true inspiration. Thank you.

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