Steve’s Update for 8-7-13

Climatology 2013:  After a few warmer and dryer days, the monsoon moisture has returned.  Mesa Top recorded its third highest intensity rainfall event of this monsoon season.  Lots of thunder and lightning, a little hail and lots of rain.

According to the historical charts, we are beginning the downhill side of the monsoon season.  Average dew points normally drop through the month of August.  This means less moisture is held in the atmosphere, available for daily rounds of rain storms that grow up off of the peaks of the mountains.

The jet stream which carries weather from west to east around the world has been way north of us in Canada since winter ended.  As fall approaches it will again begin to influence our weather, and storms will start tracking through.

Signs of fall…  Cooler nights, clear blue skies…  Meanwhile plenty of moisture is still available so the monsoon weather continues, bringing a bit more relief to parts of New Mexico.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  The continued monsoon means more grass.  And mosquitos!  We are ready to move some cows around to take advantage of the good conditions in the pastures.  With luck we will be able to leave the Bennett’s La Puebla pastures empty for the rest of the fall to let them grow a good crop of grass for winter pasture.  We will rely on our own leased land and the Herrera Ranch for a couple or more months of feed.

As we look across the fences, particularly at neighboring lands where grazing is not practiced, we see unfortunate circumstances ahead:  after a season of good rains, when the grasses die, unless managed grazing is part of the resource management plan, the dead grass poses an extraordinarily high risk for fire.  The worst grass fires occur during the dry seasons after the best rainy seasons.

If only the private land owners on the Mesa understood that it was in their best interest to open their lands to managed grazing.  The grass would be healthier, the forests would be healthier, and their homes would be safer.

Some day…

This week’s protein update:  Mesa Top is raising turkeys.  We have about 40 that will be ready for thanksgiving, and should weigh between 8 and 12 lbs when ready to cook.  We are raising the type of bird that Embudo Valley organics recommends, and we are using Embudo Valley Organic feed plus supplementing with forage from the garden.

We would like to offer them to members via the CSA.  Chickens too!

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:  Wow, what a vegetable week.   We are coming into the time of season where the share gets bigger and bigger because more of the items in the share have been growing for longer.

For your veggie stews and casseroles and stir fries, new Red Potatoes from Gemini Farm.  Green beans and eggplant from Espanola Valley Farm, cabbage and onions from Talon de Gato Farm and summer squash from Mesa Top Farm.

For your salads, lettuce from Talon de Gato, cherry tomatoes from Rancho La Jolla, and cukes from Espanola Valley Farm.

Colorado peaches are due in next week!!!  At last…

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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