Steve’s Message – December 5th

Member message for Beneficial Farm CSA, week of December 5th, 2013

FSMA update:  Our National Sustainable Agriculture Grassroots campaign generated over 20,000 comments to FDA using the web site, and thousands more by mail.  The final count has not been tallied, but the public response, from farmers to food system a organizers, to customers across the country has made an enormous impact on the regulation process.  FINALLY it feels like we are on the offensive against the sterilization / scorched earth, oversimplified view of safety, toward a system approach that begins with healthy soil and nutrient dense foods.  THANK YOU for caring and helping us get the message out.

Climatology 2013:  The big storm that was forecast before Thanksgiving materialized nicely with two days of rain followed by cooling temperatures and some significant snow and cold.  Now another blast of cold and snow is bearing down on us.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  At Mesa Top we had to shut down the rock and brush erosion control due to wet ground following the last storm.  It is just too destructive to work around the arroyo when our clay soils are this saturated and slippery.  EQIP work is on hold until the ground conditions are favorable again.

We have just about got the spring box and water delivery system finished.  We have pumped water up to the cows on the winter pasture using our solar powered pump and pipeline.  We are hoping to finish up a few details today, and back fill and button up for the winter.  Then we can fill the 3,000 gallon storage tank and deliver water by gravity flow to the drinkers.

The spring water in the spring is clear and very tasty.

We have begun hauling hay from our main winter hay source, Robert Quintana in San Luis.  The grass hay is very good.  We have a load of high quality alfalfa sitting in Salem, North of Hatch, that I hoped to get to yesterday but the severe winds down south persuaded me to hold off.

We are settling into winter livestock management processes.  A lot of work, keeping water flowing to everyone, and also providing additional feed.  Also keeping an eye on the mother cows to see who might be ready to have a calf next.  We are big fans of winter calving, even though there is sure some risk.  We have to get the mommas home and provide them with wind protected quarters, and then things generally work out well.  We do like milking in the winter.  No flies, and much less sanitary- related challenges.

This week’s protein update:  We were able to get a cow in to the processing plant at Moriarty last week, but it is still touch and go as to whether the beef will have been aged and processed in time for this week’s distribution.  Again, our apologies.  This is an imperfect system.

Meanwhile we do have veal packs on hand.  The veal has been terrific!  If we can confirm availability of the ground beef in time for this week’s deliveries Dena will send out an additional message.

The turkey processing, completed during last week’s storm, was a real adventure.  We had a lot more larger birds than is preferable, as nowadays most people want smaller birds.  The members and other customers who received turkeys have been very complimentary of the flavor and tenderness.  We have about 18 more birds, LARGE ONLY, 24 to 30 lbs, frozen and available.  We are reducing the price by 50 cents per lb for these large birds.  We hope to sell and deliver the rest through the CSA over the next few weeks.

This week’s cheese making update:  Cheesemaking continues.   Your share will include aged cheddar again this week.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: As we start to expand our region for the winter, we give you organic citrus from Texas!

Two Meyer lemons, 2 Rio Star grapefruit and 6 Hamlin oranges.

From Gemini Farm in Chimayo, 2 lbs potatoes, and from Red Mountain in Abiquiu, 2 sweet rutabagas.

1 hunk of flavorful sharp Ayrshire cheddar from Mesa Top, and a pound of cluster tomatoes from Preferred greenhouses in Deming.


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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