Steve’s Weekly Update 12-19-12

Happy Holidays to our members and families and friends as this is our last message until 2013.  May your holiday season be blessed and the New Year be fruit (and veggie and all kinds of other great local and regional food)-ful!

Climatology 2012:  Wintry weather continues, as a parade of storms has brought a series of 2 to 4 inch snowfalls to Mesa Top Farm.  These storms are very helpful as they melt quite a bit in the warmup that usually occurs between storms.  The ground absorbs some beneficial moisture rather than the moisture simply getting sucked out of the snow through direct evaporation.

The cold winds have been a constant with these storms, and they have also piled up snow in drifts and we have had to do some plowing to keep the driveway clear.

So far so good, the moisture is a step in the right direction!

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Dominic reports that 4 more cows have had their calves and that more are on the way.  So far all are healthy, mothers and babies.  I am feeling pretty satisfied that I was able to get the herd moved down to him during the Thanksgiving period, prior to the beginning of calving.  It would not be fun to have 20 cows at Mesa Top all having calves during the winter.

Our next step at Dominic’s is to get a herd tagging and numbering system going so we can develop better herd records, health and production and calf information, as we go forward.

I will have to do a count of how many cows are expected to calf there in the next few months.

This week’s protein update:  Mesa Top Ground beef is in at the CSA for the foreseeable future.

This week’s cheese making update:  The aged feta is now a year old.  It is aging beautifully.  It has a terrific flavor and it can be used sparingly in salads, on pizza as a topping or in any other recipe that calls for feta.  We hope you like this cheese and its real feta taste.

We are continuing to make Salado Jack regularly.  The chickens are drinking up all of the whey.  The fat and protein that is in the whey is helping them stay healthy in the cold weather.  We could probably raise a couple of pigs again, but may prefer to wait until the weather starts to warm up again to take that on.

This week’s cheese share includes: Tucumcari Monterey Jack and Asiago.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week for your holiday enjoyment we have 3 lbs of Mesa Top butternut squash, cured and stored so it would be available to members in mid-winter.  We should have two more distributions worth of Mesa Top butternut during the early months of 2013.  This has long been a best practice at MT:  to harvest and cure the butternuts and to hold them for distribution later in the season.  We have had good quality butternut squash from the fall (in this case October 2012) harvest that cure and store well and are very much appreciated in the late winter.  We have eaten delicious butternut as late as April using this method.

This week your share includes the mesa Top Feta that I mentioned in the cheese making update above.

Another winter time treat that is part of this week’s share is living sauerkraut from Gemini Farm.  This is an occasional treat that we add to the share, just as we add the cheese from time to time.

We also have truss tomatoes and lettuce from Preferred produce.  We are very fortunate to have a source of tasty and tender local/regional salad ingredients at this time of the year.  The tomatoes and lettuce with a little bit of feta will make a pretty good salad I think!!

From the groves of South Texas Organics we have a sweet Meyer lemon and Rio star grapefruit in each share.

Membership news:  Help us spread the word and sign up more members!  We add $10 to your Farm Account for every member you refer.

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

Steve Warshawer

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