Climatology 2012: The winter that wasn’t continues. No doubt it will end some time.
This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Over Thanksgiving break, I made three trips with the truck and big trailer, full of cattle, down to Dominic’s farm near Hagerman. Most of the herd is resettled there for the winter. We also brought 5 head to Western way in Moriarty for processing: 4 were the extra calves and orphaned calves that were not thriving and growing well. These were very small and we did not get a whole lot of meat from them. One was a 2 year old bull that we had high hopes for but he was a bottle baby and then learned to nurse on any cow he could find. Even at 2 years old he would not leave the momma cows alone, so he had to go to beef.
We have 6 cows and 2 young bulls left at Mesa Top. 4 cows are being milked so we have enough milk for cheese and for herd shares.
We also have this year’s crop of 8 young heifers ranging from 6 months to a year old, who are still at the Bennett’s in La Puebla where the green grass is almost gone. We will need to find a home for them in the next few weeks. They may end up at Dominic’s as well.
We will soon be able to proceed with fencing at the Herrera Ranch, as we begin looking ahead and plan for the pasture/range needs of the herd for next spring and summer. The range at Mesa Top needs total rest. We grazed only the smallest amount this year, but also we had almost no grass growth after the beginning of July.
This week’s protein update: Mesa Top beef is in, and family beef packs are still available.
This week’s cheese making update: Colleen is making Ayrshire Salado Jack cheese every few days. We also have enough cows in milk to begin offering Herd Shares. We hope to do this through the CSA.
This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses
This week’s Veggie/Share Update: This week we are beginning to rely more heavily on the strength of the Preferred Produce organic greenhouse operation South of Deming. Outstanding lettuce and bell peppers, along with organic dill and cluster tomatoes are among the more special items in the share.
Winter staples from our northern growers round out the vegetable portion of the share: beets from Gemini Farm, carrots from Mesa Top, and fingerling potatoes from Rancho La Jolla add winter solidness to the share.
On the fruit side, our neighboring states’ winter citrus harvests are beginning. South Texas Organics’ amazing Meyer lemons are in the share this week. There will be other fruits, especially the tasty Rio star Ruby Grapefruits coming soon from South Texas.
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