Steve’s Weekly Update 4-24-13

Climatology 2013:  10 degrees this AM at Mesa Top.  More record cold all around the northern and eastern parts of the state.  The produce was all well covered up under several layers of row covers.  We’d love to start giving these plants more air!  But they are snug and happy under their covers.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   Colleen and Steve visited the 2012 heifers, all happily grazing on the young grasses growing in La Puebla at Scott and Julie Bennett’s.  Scott feels that they will need to leave or to have their access to pasture limited seriously to allow the grass to grow.  This was a successful winter for 8 heifers to grow through the winter.  They look very good and the land sustained them well.

The search continues for additional pasture.

This week’s protein update:  Mesa Top Ground beef and family beef packs are in continuous supply.

This week’s cheese making update:  Cheese making continues.  Raw milk cheese making is an adventure in delayed gratification because of the 60 day minimum aging requirement for safe, healthy raw cheese.  At Mesa Top, Colleen made this season’s first wheel of cheese in Mid-November, when we brought in our “big 3” momma cows from the range with their very young calves and restarted the milk line.  We finally broke into that wheel, now 5 months old and the flavor and texture are terrific.  This younger cheese has a Monterey jack style flavor.  As the wheels age, and get closer to and then pass a year in age, they become more cheddary. We hope to distribute this “young jack” cheese to you in your share soon.

This week’s cheese share includes: provolone and an aged artisanal cheese

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week we hit quite a bump in the road to spring variety for the shares.   This happens from time to time as the season progresses in the spring

We have interesting salad fixings:  including young spinach from Talon de Gato and organic red leaf lettuce from Preferred Produce in Deming.

This is the second week of the great cucumber and melon switcheroo, as this week whoever got cukes last week will get melons this week, and vice versa.  These tasty treats are all from Preferred Produce.

The vegetable portion of the share is rounded out with beets from Agricultura Network in Albuquerque, and grape tomatoes from Preferred.

At the 11th hour we were able to find another week’s worth of Arizona Valencia oranges, thanks to our friends at Skarsgard Farms.

To complete this week’s unusual diversity of items in the share, we include a special treat from the dairy side, which is Freanna 16 oz yoghurt from Freanna Dairy east of Clovis, New Mexico.  This is a very special product based on the Van der Ploeg’s family recipe for yoghurt, which as a slightly different mix of cultures and no thickening agents.  The plain yoghurt has no bitter tang like most plain yoghurts.  And it is almost drinkable, and definitely pourable.  At Mesa Top we love to make fruit salads and coat them with Freanna yoghurt.

The last item in this week’s share is blue corn pancake mix from Santa Ana Pueblo.

We hope you enjoy the interesting mix of produce and other local foods that make up your share this week.

Membership news:  Please follow us online at Facebook and Twitter. This is a great way to show your friends our weekly shares, recipes and updates.

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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