Steve’s Update from 10-17-12

Climatology 2012:  The fall roller coaster continues as we gradually descend into winter.  Fast moving storms followed by cold weather and then a warmup until the next storm.  I have noticed that weak monsoons are usually followed by early winters.  With the warmer temperatures, this means October rains and we have seen those already and can hope for more.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  The range cows are coming to the water tanks that we keep full for them since the natural water holes have dried up.  With more movement across the Herrera Ranch, I FINALLY got a glimpse of Tippy and a little brown calf.  Just one time and briefly.  Another fellow who has been digging live pinons on the ranch also confirmed seeing her.

But we have not been able to get her home.  We had a plan, to lease a small parcel that belongs the very large Canon Blanco Ranch, which abuts our pasture and Herrera’s on the west.  We hoped to move all of the cattle onto that pasture briefly, so we could identify those closest to calving, (Bow is probably next up) and then move them to the home pasture. Our offer to lease that strip was rejected, so now we need a new plan.

The grass closest to home is very, very thin and needs a rest.  Oh well, we will think of something.

This week’s protein update:  Mesa Top Grass Finished Beef available again! See the marketplace and the BFCSA Web site for details

This week’s cheese making update:  The hiatus in cheese production continues.  Till we can get our recently calved and very pregnant cows home, there is not milk here at Mesa Top!

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

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week we have tender salad greens from Ganado de Valle, both spinach and lettuce mix.  From beneath the soil we have rutabagas from Talon de Gato, carrots from Synergia Ranch, black Spanish Radishes from Gemini Farm South, and bull necked red onions from Mesa Top Farm.

The story on the Mesa Top onions is a bit odd, as virtually 100% of the red onions were bull necked and did not form very definitive bulbs.  I have never seen an instance like this.  We decided to harvest them all and trim up the greens and pass them along looking kind of like a red leek.  The greens will not last real long, but they are very tasty.  If any member gets an onion whose neck is starting to soften and get floppy, that onion will very likely dry our properly and can be stored.  Otherwise all of the onions whose necks are hard need to be consumed in the next couple of weeks.  The good news is that much of the neck can be used just like any other part of the onion.  So there is quite a lot of edible portion to a bull necked onion.

From the fruiting plants we have marconi peppers from Vida Verde Farm in Albuquerque, and from the fruiting trees we have bosque bears from Rancho Chonito in Chimayo.

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

Steve Warshawer


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