Steve’s Weekly Update 9/5/12

Climatology 2012:  Now it feels like we are looking in the rear view mirror as we speed away from monsoon season.  For our farm, it was a very, very weak season, despite a promising start in early July.  Looking around our pastures, there are only a few scattered spots where the gramma grass even grew enough to set up seeds.  Those spots are green still, and quickly turning brown.  The arroyo bottoms and other areas with riparian influence are also green.  But most of the land is brown showing little growth of the grasses.  Only a couple of miles north however, there are good areas of grass growth, on our lease land and on the neighbor ranch that we are leasing.  Further east, in the National Forest area, it is generally brown.  I have seen a couple of years when late September and early October rains saved us with a bit of late season grass growth.  We can now only hope and pray for that relief.  Meanwhile the first colder weather of the season is forecast for later this week.

Fall is almost here and winter is not far behind:  FIREWOOD:  Last year Mesa Top tried to make firewood available to members.  We have a great firewood opportunity for people who can haul their own.  Email stevew@plateautel.net if you are interested.  This one needs to be addressed quickly.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   Not much to say, the cows all have decent pasture and are eating well and look good.  We are starting to think of our winter moves, wanting to have the cows in the places where they have best access to forage and/or affordable feed.  We have our big 6 cows looking ready to calf in October and then we will be back to milking and making cheese.  By then the produce season will be done so we will be ready!

Other livestock news:  Our next generation of young hens (called pullets) are starting to lay eggs.  We do not rush their growth, which means that when they start out they lay small eggs.  The pullet eggs are very rich because a much higher percentage of the total egg volume is yolk, and there is not a lot of white to them.  So for the next few months CSA members will be able to purchase the rich and tasty pullet eggs, which we offer for half of the regular egg price.

This week’s cheese making update:  the hiatus in cheese production continues.  But the cheese that is aging in the coolers will hold us over until late this year when the next cheeses reach 60 days of age.

This week’s cheese share includes: asadero and smoked gouda.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week we get our first taste of a more fall-like share, just as we get our first taste of more fall-like weather.

Beets and cabbage from Gemini Farm, carrots from Schwebach Farm, and onions from Rancho La Jolla farm are all harbingers of fall.

Your share will also include Japanese eggplant from Matt Romero in Alcalde, basil from Talon de Gato, salad mix from Mesa Top Farm, and red delicious apples from Mesa Ruiz.

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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