Member message for Beneficial Farm CSA, week May 1st, 2014
Climatology 2013: NOAA LINK: http://www.weather.gov/forecastmaps
Its been cold! Looking at the sky, as crystal clear and blue as it has been when the sun is out, it feels like a winter sky. Morning temps at Mesa Top in the upper teens and low twenties, and daytime highs barely making the 50s. The wind has been a cold wind. These are wintry weather conditions. This could be the last cold blast that threatens the fruit crops. Next week’s update will include an update from orchards in the region. We need to keep the tender fruit blossoms and the families who tend them in our prayers still, hoping for a sweet harvest later this summer.
This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The range herd (dry cows) at Mesa Top has finally gotten motivated to climb the east ridge in search of better forage. There is about 150 acres with lots of grass beyond that ridge, and the cows have certainly been there before, and now they are willing to work harder to get to better pasture. There are some decent areas of cool season grasses there and that pasture was rested for 2 seasons, so it is a good time for some grazing.
Flower is huge but still has not calved. She is spending nights in the maternity ward, a room that is part of our barn/coral where she can be out of the wind and where we can keep a good cover of fresh straw on the ground so that if she has her calf at night she will be safe and warm. We are done trying to guess when she will calf, as she has been looking “ready” for longer than expected.
This week’s protein update: We have three more veal shares, a few beef shares, and ground beef still available! Last Friday our baby chicks arrived. We accidentally received a small box of white rock cross chicks, which are the popular meat bird. In a few months we will have 20 to 25 4 lb (or so) broilers, raised on Embudo valley’s organic feed, and Mesa Top hay and pasture and garden greens.
This week’s cheese making update: We are looking at wrapping up the cheese making for the summer but have newly freshened cows to handle also! We finished a few weeks of green chile cheese making that were made for the CSA shares when properly aged. We are working on ways to keep the cheese aging area cool a little longer so that we can keep making the Monterey jack that is the staple of our cheese operation.
This week’s Veggie/Share Update: Like last week, this week’s share is almost entirely composed of produce from two farms: Preferred produce is near the peak of the variety that they harvest from their greenhouses, and your share again includes 5 items from them. From the hoop houses at Talon de Gato come 2 additional items. Together this makes for a wonderful mix of flavors.
Greens include lettuce from T de G and kale from Preferred. Scallions from Preferred are an early/spring representative of the allium family. Grape tomatoes and zuccini also come from Preferred. We also have spicy daikon sprouts from Sungreen Living Foods.
For another week we have sweet cantaloupe from Preferred and a special spring treat from T de G, rhubarb. From the fall of 2013 we have bolita beans from Patchwork Farm in Delta, CO
Members now receive a $25 gift from the CSA when when you help us spread the word and sign up more members. The process is simple, refer a friend and be sure the CSA knows that your recommendation led to their joining and we will add $25 to your Farm Account.
Thank you for your investment in and continued support of the CSA. We appreciate your support!