Steve’s Weekly Update 1-16-13

Climatology 2013:  After 3 days of the January thaw, the freezer door has opened again.  At Mesa Top 4 of the last 5 nights the overnight low was -15.  Daily there are records being set around the state of record low highs.   Overall for the last few months, we are just averaging out.  I am fond of a definition of average that I learned from a local biologist:  in New Mexico, average is when you have one goof in a bucket of boiling water and the other in a bucket of ice water.  Remembering the extraordinary high temps, in the 50s all the way until early December, followed by the cold that we have been experiencing, I’d say we are getting real close to average.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The cows at Mesa Top handling the cold very well. We feed them extra protein and energy feeds when the weather is this cold.  Fortunately we got in some very good alfalfa just in time.  Just like the humans, they are waiting out the cold weather, looking forward to more moderate conditions.

We have had to stop milking at Mesa Top for a little while.  This means that there is less pressure on the momma cows, since their lactation responds to demand.  Now they are just taking care of the calves.  We hope to resume milking when the weather moderates.  Also we are expecting some additional farm help to arrive later this month.

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:  The cheesemaking has been shut temporarily in response to the cold and the pressure of taking care of what is more necessary at this time around the farm.

Herd share discussion  is still going to be very timely,   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:  It can get pretty difficult at this time of year to maintain a desirable variety in the produce selection that makes up the share.

We stretch the region to include items from South Texas and Arizona and even neighboring Mexico.  Our greenhouse partner, Preferred Produce, is itself just 10 miles or so north of the border with Mexico at Columbus, (south of Deming).

One other consequence of this stretch is that most or all of the products are certified organic.  That is the case this week as the share is 100% certified.

This week the share includes the makings of an interesting salad:  Bell peppers and grape tomatoes from preferred produce.  Also this will be our first week featuring organic sunflower sprouts grown in Santa Fe by Sungreen Living foods.  And we add avocadoes from Mexico, distributed by Patagonia produce, who works in central America with rural communities and  small farmers to build cooperative production and help them access US markets, mostly in Arizona and New Mexico.

On the vegetable side we also have 3 lb bags of butternut squash grown right here at Mesa top.

Fresh fruit includes Arizona navel oranges and limes from Patagonia produce.

As a special treat from the value added kitchen, we have Heidi’s organic raspberry jam.  The raspberries are grown in the mid Rio Grand Valley and the jam is made at the South Valley Economic Deveopment Center kitchen in Albuquerque.

We hope you appreciate and enjoy the stretching of boundaries that is characteristic if winter, when the supply of the most local foods is quite limited.  We will keep doing all we can to make the weekly share diverse and interesting.

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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