Steve’s Weekly Update 11-14-12

Happy Thanksgiving and please remember that there is no CSA distribution next week. 

Climatology 2012:  Last week’s storm left us with just a dusting of snow at Mesa Top, and also a few days of very cold temperatures.  We are slowly warming up now.  So far there is no relief in sight from the dryness though.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Most of the herd is home now.  Just a few stragglers left to bring in from adjacent, neighbor pastures.  Next week we will reduce the male population quite a bit, and produce the ground beef for the CSA for the winter.  Many of the mommas  (or soon to be first time mommas) will  be moved to Dominic Battista’s at Hagerman, where some will calf soon and all will be on wheat pasture in a month or two.  Meanwhile they will be eating hay.

A few of our family favorites will stay home at Mesa Top for our milking and cheesemaking.

Our eight 2012 heifers are living at the Bennett’s land in La Puebla now and they look terrific.  The grass that is there will only last a couple more months though.  We need to start thinking ahead on best options for them.

Meanwhile we continue to seek mutually beneficial relationships with private land owners around us who see the benefit to the landscape in managed, rotational grazing.

Also our top two hay suppliers have kept us in mind so we will have good feed for the cows who stay home this winter, while there is no convenient pasture available.

This week’s protein update: Plenty of ground beef will be available after the CSA’s thanksgiving break.  We apologize for the gap in supply.

This week’s cheese making update:  We welcome your interest in herd shares, which will allow us to provide raw milk directly to CSA members.

Colleen made our first batch of cheese (Salado Jack) with the milk from our first two freshened cows and it came out very well.  We also have plenty of aged feta from last winter’s work.

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

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week in your share we have another small quantity of Frisco Farm sweet potatoes.  I have visited 4 farms growing sweet potatoes this fall.  This is a crop that growers in warmer areas will grow with increasing success.  You can look forward to more New Mexico sweet potatoes in the years to come.

We also have New Mexico organic pecans, a seasonal treat that we include in your share periodically during the fall and early winter.

At Mesa Top, a terrific spring planted bed of kale that was left to rest all summer, and then took off again when the nights cooled, was harvested for the last time right before the serious cold last week, and then left to freeze.  The terrific flavor of the cool/cold weather brassicas is very evident in your share’s kale.

We also have the first Mesa Top butternut squash of the fall.  Hopefully once a month we will have storage butternut, harvested in late September and cured in the greenhouse to harden the skin before being moved to cool/dry in door storage.

We have the beginning of what promises to be a delicious and diverse flow of produce from the greenhouses of Preferred Produce south of Deming.  This week it is their grape tomatoes.  Soon to follow, we hope will be lettuce, peppers, herbs, and more, different types of tomatoes.  As we move indoors for the winter, Preferred will be an important source of local/regional fresh produce for our CSA members.

From the fruit side, we have gorgeous Kieffer pears from Synergia Ranch.

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 fall produce, and with a terrific fruit year here in New Mexico, this is an 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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