Climatology 2013: July was a good moisture month for many parts of New Mexico, but the effects of several years of drought will not be gone or forgotten quickly. At Mesa Top we have the best looking warm season grasses, blue stem and side oats gramma, that I have seen in years. The warm up and drier weather that followed last Friday’s fairly widespread rain have given the grass a burst of growth and sent it the message to set seeds. There are actually spots where we can see expanses of gramma grass gone to seed, a sight that has been absent for several years.
We continue to hope for more rain and that it reach more areas of the state.
This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: We moved one load of eight cows up to the nearby state lease land that has been rested for over a year. There is good grass there now. We will likely bring more cows and hope to still move on before the ground is heavily grazed.
We are still working to rest the pastures immediately adjacent to Mesa Top. Even there, enough grass is growing that the small herd left at home is staying out because they have fresh grass and pond water to drink.
We are starting to figure out how to get 6 weeks or so of time on good grass for the cattle that will become fall meat. We are planning to divide the herd into a group that is beef and pasture only, and a group that cycles through the milk line for part of each year. We are assessing the cows for their future roles.
These are considerations we have not had the pleasure to be worried about for far too long.
This week’s protein update: The rose veal, from pastured calves, is sure tasty. We have been eating the chuck and round steaks at Mesa Top, and have also done a taste testing of the rib eye with some of the people at La Montanita warehouse. The flavor is good and so is the tenderness. Now we have to find a way to develop some consistent customers for this product, and a consistent supply to match it. Right now the ground beef that you order is also from our rose/pasture veal. It is tender and tasty and not too chewy.
This week’s cheese making update: Other than tending the cheese that was made last fall and winter, through its aging process, there is nothing going on in the cheese department. You can still special order Mesa Top cheese, as we have all varieties, aged and in stock.
This week’s Veggie/Share Update: This week your share includes the first of the season fingerling potatoes from Danny Farrar at Rancho La Jolla in Velarde. We are glad to see Danny’s produce in the share again. We also have beets from Synergia Ranch.
For your cooked meals we have large bunches of Kale from Gemini Farm in Chimayo, green beans from Espanola Valley Farm, and summer squash from Mesa Top Farm.
Salad fixin’s include lettuce from Talon de Gato Farm and radicchio from Red Mountain Farm, and two kinds of cukes from Espanola Valley Farm.
Sorry, no fruit or sweet treats this week. Western slope, Colorado peaches are coming soon!
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