Steve’s Weekly Update 6-19-13

Climatology 2013:  We are seeing the beginnings of the summer monsoon.  Two measurable rains at Mesa Top.  There have been heavier storms with hail also.  We are bouncing back and forth between extreme heat and monsoon influence. Now the ground is starting out so dry that these early rains, while they are welcome, are just beginning the process of restoring sub-soil moisture.

10-20 years ago, the monsoon pattern would establish itself by this time of year, and we would have showers and decent rains 2 out of 3 days or thereabouts all the way until labor day.  Now the ground is starting out so dry.

A friend of mine shared his optimism that we may be headed for a wetter period, pointing to the volcanic activity, particularly in the South Pacific.  I remembered 1992 when Mt. Pinatubo in the Phillipines erupted and we had the wettest year I can remember after that.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  We let the Mesa Top Milk line herd go up to the one pasture that has had some growth this season, because it includes a rich arroyo bottom and an erosion control structure that holds a fair amount of water year round.  The weeds and fresh grass around the arroyo should enrich them.

This week’s protein update:  We are keeping the ground beef going!  We are also planning to bring several cows in for processing in the next couple of weeks.  Here’s an idea for members who might be interested in half of one of our tender “young beef,” with about $1,000 worth of beef, based on an approximation of 140 pounds of table ready meat of all kinds, plus organs and soup bones.  The price for a half beef is based on a $7 per lb cost across the board for all of the beef, from the ground beef to the stew meat to the tenderloins.  Mesa Top through the CSA can deliver you the half beef and you can pay for it over a period of time of your choosing, up to 6 months. We are very proud of our young beef and believe it is a great way to get small cuts of tender beef from our pasture and forage based feeding program during time of drought.  We hope that this idea will help make the product more accessible to members.  Contact Steve at stevew@plateautel.net if this approach or something similar would work for you.

This week’s cheese making update:  We are making feta again for now, to adapt to the greater difficulty with keeping the cheese aging area cool.  The better quality hay is helping the current milk line cows to produce a better quantity of good milk.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  The beat goes on with spring greens highlighting the share.

With a near 100% crop failure all around New Mexico of the fruit crop, we are scrambling to add regional fruit to the mix as members sure appreciate the summer sweetness.

This week the share includes organic apple juice from Big B’s juice Company in Hotchkiss Colorado.

The vegetable portion of the share includes a spring treat:  English Peas from Salvadore Corona at Espanola Valley Farms.

For your salad the share includes Spinach and Lettuce mix from Richard Berenger at Ganados del Valle or a head of lettuce from Talon de Gato in the Embudo Valley.

Cooking greens include another round of mixed Chinese cabbage from Mesa Top Farm.  These are likely to be the last brassica type crops to come out of the greenhouse this season, as the dry climate in there has really helped the flea beetle population to explode.  You will see a lot of holes and chewed edges on the leaves, and may even see a few of the  little shiny black beasties that sneak off the farm on the produce.  Wash these well and cook them and there will be no effect of this extracurricular chewing on the taste of the produce.

To spice up your cooked or salad greens, the share includes spring onions (with greens) from Salvadore and also garlic scapes, the first crops of the season from Alexis and Brett at Gemini South in Chimayo.

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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