Steve’s Weekly Update 1/9/13

Climatology 2013:  As seems to happen almost every winter, there are signs of the January thaw”.  We have been above freezing at MT for more than a day for the first time in about a month.  It feels great!  Nights are still cold, slightly below zero or single digits, but the days feel so warm that finally a person can stand in the shade and not feel immediately cold.  Not to forget, it is still early winter….

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The cows here at Mesa Top look great.  They are living the easy life of spoiled cows with nothing to do, time on their hands, a “salad bar” (hay) and drinking fountain available at all times to meet their needs.  They line up in the morning at the milk parlor waiting their turn to get to the stanchion, have a small helping of grain, and give us their might’s production of milk.  The milk is creamy and delicious!  After milking, their boisterous little calves come barreling out of their overnight pen and dive onto their mommas and milk them dry. Mommas spend the day lounging about in the sunny, dry, wind protected shelter of clumps of trees while the band of little ones bounce around and race back and forth playing calf games.  I think they have a much easier life than we (humans) do.

This week’s protein update:  Mesa Top Ground beef is in at the CSA for the foreseeable future.  We also have plenty of steaks and roasts to make up your family beef packs.

This week’s cheese making update:  Colleen is experimenting with processes to make larger batches of mozzarella cheese and hope to offer it in the share soon.  Mozz is not a raw cheese, as after the curds are made, they are heated to near 170 degrees.  This heating process drives out a liquid which also contains a creamy component that separates and seems to become cream cheese.

Mesa Top is ready to begin offering herd shares of fresh milk and possibly other raw milk products Beneficial CSA members!!!!We still have not set a time and date for herd shares but promise to do so soon.  We will send a separate email with information on the meeting later this week.  Meanwhile please contact Colleen Warshawer at the farm:  575-422-2238 if you want to know more right away!

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

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week the share includes Hubbard squash from Gemini Farm – a wonderfully tasty squash that they have been growing for nearly a decade.  The Hubbard squash can be quite large and they have been selecting the seed from their own production to be able to grow a more modest sized squash with terrific flavor and keeping/storage quality.

We also have a nice combination of fresh produce items from the greenhouses at Preferred Produce, including Chard, basil, arugula, and tomatoes.

On the fruit side we again offer the sweet and tasty Rio Star grapefruit from South Texas Organics.

And for the first of several times over the course of the winter, we offer our region’s finest grain  (for human consumption) organic Quinoa from White Mountain Farm.  One very important tip with the quinoa, it must be washed several times to remove the naturally bitter coating and any dust and dirt that escapes the cleaning process.  The equipment used at White Mountain is simple and does not treat or heat or pre-wash the grain in any way.  The best way to wash the quinoa is to place it in warm water and then pour off that water and add fresh, clean water again.  When cleaning at home I often wash 3 times and the when adding the water for the 4th time, it stays clean and I am ready to cook.  From time to time I have seen batches where I preferred to even wash it a fourth time.

Enjoy the great food.  It is a treat to be able to receive such a variety of food from our region and neighboring regions in January!

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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