Steve’s Message – December 12, 2013

Climatology 2013:  After another big storm, about a foot of snow at the Mesa, the cold has become more entrenched.  Temps here at Mesa Top have not been near the freezing for a week and we have had two mornings at 12 below zero.  Forecasters are calling for a slow moderation of temperatures and less storminess and wind over the next week.  Meanwhile the struggle to keep pipes and water lines from freezing and water moving to all of the animals who need it, is no small task…  So far so good!

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  All of the cows at Mesa Top are getting hay as the snow is too deep for them to find any feed out on the range.  They still walk around looking, but the pickings are slim.  We have developed a better feeding system, in which we put the 1400 lb “round bales” right next to the stanchions and the cows can eat all they want, by gathering around and eating through the stanchions. As long as we put out enough bales, the “alpha” cows eat first and when they are full, walk away and the next group comes up.  For the larger herd we have about 40 feet of stanchions and 3 large bales set out. This “continuous feed” approach gives the cows more to eat which we think is important in the cold weather, and because they have to reach through the stanchions to get the hay, there is less waste. It is also less work for the farmers!  Win-win all the way around.

This week’s protein update:  Ground Beef and beef packs are back.

Large turkeys for Xmas or beyond:  reduced cost to members:  $4 per lb, the turkeys are around 25 lbs.  We have about a dozen and a half left, and we can find homes for them all this week and at the final 2013 distribution on December 19th.

This week’s cheese making update:  Cheesemaking continues.   2 or 3 wheels a week.  The milk is very rich in cream and the yield of curds is high:  lots of solids in the milk

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: From Abiqui, we have purple and yellow potatoes from Red Mountain and onions from Malandra farms, from Mesa Top and Gemini Farms, we have winter squash.

For holiday baking, 4 oz. of organic pecan pieces.  And more vitamin C!  Rio Star grapefruit and Meyer lemons. And finally this year’s crop of powdered green chile from Radium Springs Farm by Hatch.

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!

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