Member message for Beneficial Farm CSA, week January 2nd, 2014
Climatology 2013: The cold nights and pleasant days continue. Overnight temps single digits to low teens. Daytimes in the upper 30s. The snow is mostly gone from the open pastures, but still lots of snow in the shade and in the deep canyons. This is been a pattern I have seen in recent years when a burst of early winter moisture is followed by cold and dry weather through the heart of the season. So far that is what winter 2013-14 is looking like as November and December up to about the 20th very good to us on the moisture front, and now it feels like things are drying out.
This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:
One of our favorite cows, a 5 year old, deep reddish brown cow called Brown, had her little bull calf here at Mesa Top a few days ago. I noticed that she was not with the herd when I put out hay for them Monday morning. It had been cold and briefly stormy the day before, and I saw a real fat coyote walking by the hay storage area early Monday, so we were a bit concerned. Colleen and I walked North to the South edge of Herrera ranch and found her alone there, the only cow to venture that far North in several weeks. We walked her and little Junior home about a mile, and she went into the stanchion today for the first time. Brown gives the richest milk we have ever seen, nearly 1/3 cream, and sometimes more. When her colostrum is gone, in the next few days, she will add a richness, that we really appreciate, to our raw milk shares and to the cheesemaking. We have several bulls in Hagerman, aged 1 to 3 years, that will not be needed in the herd. New Year’s day we will pick up a group of them and bring them back to Moriarty for processing.
This week’s protein update: We still have some ground beef, and there are plenty of veal packs. We hope members who haven’t tried them yet will consider the veal pack. The portions are small and the meat is tender and very tasty. We will have family and value packs in a week or two, after this next group of cattle are processed.
Large turkeys for Xmas or beyond: reduced cost to members: we would like to gather up orders and make one more delivery of the large turkeys. Please let us know if you want another tasty turkey.
This week’s cheese making update: Cheese making at Mesa Top continues at a pace based on the milk available with 3 cows being milked. The simplified cheese making process that Colleen has developed makes it a lot easier to keep up with the production. If any members are interested in learning the process, let us know.
This week’s Veggie/Share Update: We have a nice mix of produce from in and around our region to start off 2014. Fingering potatoes from storage at Malandra Farms, and grape tomatoes and lettuce from the greenhouses at Preferred Produce in Deming.
From around the region we have organic grapefruit, oranges, and Meyer lemons from South Texas Organics, and Equal Exchange avocados from Mexican small farm coops.
From outside the produce world we have smoky chicos from Jesus Guzman in Medenales.
For the first 3 to 4 months of the year you will see quite a variety of produce, and also more non-produce items than is typical during the growing season. We do our best to keep things regional and interesting. We hope you continue to enjoy the flavors and the varieties.
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!