Steve’s Message – Feb.6, 2014

Member message for Beneficial Farm CSA, week February 6th, 2014

Climatology 2013: NOAA LINK: http://www.weather.gov/forecastmaps

The pattern shift back to colder, wetter systems, passing through New Mexico is complete.  This week we will see a nearly daily crop of storms.  Monday night’s storm dropped several inches at Mesa Top and closed school in Santa Fe.  More to follow!

Monday’s storm finally broke a historic streak of droughty futility in Albuquerque where it had been 43 winter days since even a trace of precipitation had been measured.  This broke the previous record of 41 days was set in 1927 and 28. It is a relief to see some moisture…

 

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:

Nothing new from the pastures and the cow herds.

This week’s protein update:  Beef shares are back, and there is plenty of ground beef,  veal shares are well stocked.

Large turkeys:  reduced cost to members!  Order ahead please as they are stored in Albuquerque in a commercial freezer.

This week’s cheese making update:  Colleen’s fall/winter 2013/4 cheese continues to draw rave reviews from folks who have sampled it. We take it to parties and sample it around to friends and we are pleased that the flavor, texture, and quality just keep improving.  Colleen attributes the improvement to “keeping her hands in the cheese.” She has dispensed with the thermometers and most measurements and handles the curds and tests them by feel.  Of course this means lots of trips to the hand wash station:  wash before and after any handling of the curds. Soon we will gather some data so we can document what the quantitative data points are for the qualitative/perceptive measurements that Colleen has developed.  It has been a goal of Mesa Too to develop a simplified cheese making process that produces a good quality cheese, simply and easily, and fits in to the diverse and manifold enterprises of the farm.  We think we have got it, and look forward to sharing a chunk of fall/winter 2013/4 fresh young Salado Jack cheese with CSA members soon.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: This week we have a nice mix of produce and one very special non-produce item. Your share includes a pint of “simply honey” from Colorado, a single item which makes up about half of the value of the share! We also have a pleasant mix of fresh green veggies:  organic pea shoots from Susan Higgins and Sungreen living foods.  These are a great tasting, vibrant and live food that you can use in many different ways.  Watch for more in your weekly email with great ideas from Dena’s kitchen! Also, from the greenhouses at preferred produce in Deming, you will receive cucumbers, zucchini, AND cluster tomatoes.  Thank you to farmer Matt and his crew!

From the storage cellars in the San Luis valley, the nation’s ice box, the headwaters of the Rio Grande, your share includes Russet baking potatoes. And from 1,000 miles south of the ice box, the nearest almost tropical climate to us, where the Rio Grande reaches the Gulf of Mexico, we have sweet Hamlin Oranges from South Texas Organics.

Enjoy these foods reflecting some of the tremendous diversity, productivity, and creativity of our region and its farmers.

Membership news:  Please follow us on line 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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