Steve’s Weekly Update 2/13/13

Climatology 2013:  Some cold, some wind, but not much moisture.  No relief in sight.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The 2012 heifers that are a year old or more now are doing beautifully at Scott and Julie’s at Rancho Valle in La Puebla.  We have had to bring in some hay, to supplement the limited grass, as the hay yield from that farm was not so good last summer.  We are also considering bringing some training equipment to Rancho Valle:  stanchions!  If we can get these young gals eating through the same stanchions that they will eventually be milked in, this will be another step of improvement in the rearing process.

This group of heifers is very easy to handle, and will be an excellent foundation herd for another cheese or herd share farmer in another year or 15 months when they have their first calves.

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:  Cheese making continues, we are focusing on getting the agreements together to launch the cow/herd shares.

If you missed the cow share / herd share meeting and what to get caught up on the process and where we are at now, contact Colleen at cwarshawer@covcs.org or call her at MT Farm, 575-422-2238

This week’s cheese share includes: Tucumcari Romano and asadero.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week’s Happy Valentine’s Day share is full of sweetness.

Patagonia produce’s Arizona citrus fruit headlines the share, with lemons, grapefruit and navel oranges, all at the peak of their flavor and sweetness.

The share also includes a  quart of fresh pressed apple cider from La Mesa Organics, made from Winesap apples grown by Cider Mill Orchard in Mountain Park.  These Winesaps are normally excellent storage apples, and were harvested last fall with the idea that we could be eating them fresh through February.  But cooler/storage temperatures were not exactly right and they did not stay crispy.  So now they are being used for cider.  We will offer this treat in the share a few more times during the next 4 to 6 weeks.

From the greenhouses at Preferred produce we have cherry tomatoes and red bibb lettuce.  Also for your salad we have pea shoots from Sungreen Living Foods.

The last ingredient in this week’s share are the last of the Mesa Top Butternut squash.  These squash are also distressed, like the apples were, in this case because the temps in the cold storage at Mesa Top was just too cold.   The squash cured beautifully, but the cold snap from Mid Dec to Mid Jan drove down the temp enough that the squash did not hold well.  Cured winter squash would like to be stored at about 50 degrees and the storage area at Mesa Top, which is usually easily kept in a reasonable range of that temp, got much colder this winter.   Without supplemental heat in that room (Hmmm, now there’s an idea for the future) we could not keep the room temperature in a desirable range.  As a result you will see wrinkling and an occasional blemish on these squash. This does not in any way seem to effect the flavor!  They taste great, as sweet and tasty as when they were first cured last fall.

Membership news:  Please Follow us online at Facebook and Twitter. This a great way to show your friends our weekly shares, recipes and updates. People can contact the CSA to join and you will receive $10 for each person you refer.

Remember when you 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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