Steve’s Weekly Update 10-3-12

Climatology 2012:  A very big thunderstorm hit the Mesa Top area Friday night, dropping in half an hour more rain than we had received in the previous 2 months:  over 2 inches.  This filled all of the water tanks and has given the grass another chance to green up just a bit.  Since that storm it has dried out steadily, and now we are experiencing above average days again, though the yo-yo effect of this time of year is promised to begin late this week, with wild swings in daily highs and lows, cold air sweeps down the front range later this week.  There is a possibility of snow further north!  We are beginning the transition to winter.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   Our first calf of the fall was born right after the big storm. Our youngest cow ever to calf:  Little Boston, daughter of Candace, the oldest of the original Sullivan/Miller herd.  Boston was just 17 months old, as she was bred by mistake last fall.  At that time we have a group of mother cows who had a mixture of heifers and bulls and one of the young bulls bred her in her first cycle.  That is pretty unusual, and not desirable, and this year we avoided that be weaning the heifers and moving them.  Anyway, Boston is a large calf for her age, and gave us a healthy heifer calf and all are doing well.  This year’s heifers, 8 in all, made the move to La Puebla this weekend where they are happily feasting on deep, cool season grasses.

Other livestock news:  The older hens are maintaining a healthy level of production and the pullets are coming in like gangbusters.  We hope members will enjoy the ongoing supply of rich, tasty small to medium sized eggs.  They are an exclusive for CSA members.

This week’s cheese making update:  We are planning a big cleaning in the cheese room, in anticipation of resumption of cheese making in a month or so.  We are also hoping to buy a commercial type fridge so we can keep the milk more properly chilled and set up a production schedule that works for us and possibly allows us to invite others to come and learn the process with us.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week our headline produce item in the share is live sauerkraut from Gemini Farm.  This is an occasional treat for us to offer, in fall and over the winter.   Live Sauerkraut is a very healthy food, supporting digestive and immune functions.  Enjoy!

Also in this week’s share is another produce item that heralds fall:  the bull necked onions from Red Mountain Farm.  Red Mountain grows an excellent crop of storage onions. These are more pungent onions which, due to having less sugar in them, stay firm in storage for extended periods of time.  Last spring we were still enjoying Red Mountain’s storage onions into the month of April!  In every onion crops there are a percentage of the plants that do not “bulb up” very well.  They develop thick necks and very little bulb.  These onions have to be eaten right away, rather than stored, as they will not cure properly.  This time of year the bull necked onions are a harbinger of the arrival of fall onion harvest season at northern New Mexico farms.

This week also marks the return to Beneficial CSA shares of produce from Richard Belanger, a long time Northern NM farmer who operated Harmony Farm for 14 years, and then partnered with other farms and more recently has taken a position as lead gardener at a couple of different non-profit projects.  His current location is at Ganados del Valle in Los Ojos, and this week he brings us lettuce mix and spinach.  He is an expert at season extension and we are looking forward to Richard’s produce through the fall and again in early spring.

We also have brocoletti from Talon de Gato and small peppers from Rancho La Jolla.

From the orchard of Synergia Ranch we have Macintosh apples.

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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