Steve’s Message – March 6, 2014

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

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

The skies remembered how to rain!  The rain that came from noon Saturday, through the night, and into Sunday (Rain at our elevation, lots of snow up higher) steadily and gently soaked into the ground with very little runoff.  Worms crawling on the ground in the morning, and a smell of spring in the air.  Cool and slightly overcast weather after that has kept the ground moist.  Another storm on Tuesday night brought a bit more moisture.  There is talk of more storminess Friday and Saturday.  This unsettled weather us a respite from the drought.  What a relief!

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  No new cow stories, nothing to update.

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:  No news from the cheese room either

Santa Fe County fails to support farming in its land development code:

I have been a member of the Santa Fe Food and Agriculture Policy Council for several years, appointed and re-appointed by the Board of County Commissioners.  I have sat in hour after hour of meetings and discussion among council members and county staff about how to support agriculture while developing new land use code.

I saw the proposed Code when it was released for public comment and review, and have been raising the alarm in Council meetings for over a year about the lack of support for agriculture.  When I was informed that the code was going to be voted on, I asked the council to take a stand in front of the Commissioners that it would not support a code that did not include funding for agriculture that was generated through the development process.  I was asked to put those thoughts in writing and I did (see accompanying letter) and the Council approved the letter.  As far as I can tell, while it may have been presented to the Commissioners, it was not acknowledged and certainly did not receive any kind of substantive response.  I doubt the letter was even read.  And the Council sure did not put up any objections to the code as written.

When I protested the lack of action by the council, I was told that it was more important to be seen as “cooperative” by the powers that be than it was to stand firm for agriculture at this time.  I was told that some ways could be found to address the shortcomings in the code in the future.  I do not believe that positive change will occur.  This was a once in a generation opportunity to assimilate agriculture into the Land Use policies of the County.  Failure to take this opportunity seriously will have long term costs and consequences to agriculture in Santa Fe County.

I am not holding my breath waiting to see how the damage can be undone.  And I am well past the point that I am personally willing to invest more time in developing ideas, programs, or proposals.  I have been betrayed by people and process quite enough.  I wish us farmers and ranchers luck dealing with the next 25 years of pressure from urban and development growth.  There is no substantive help on the horizon.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: This week’s share includes several items from outside the produce world, along with a nice variety of fruit and veggies.

Four items from Preferred produce:  cantaloupe, spinach, cucumber, and red bell pepper.  Also more avocados from Equal Exchange COOP in Mexico.

From the dry goods side, we have smoked medium red chile from Jesus Guzman in Medenales, Mayocaba beas from Olathe COOP in Colorado, and Toasted Atole from Tamaya mill at Santa Ana Pueblo.

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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