FROM THE MESA TOP:  Message for Beneficial Farm CSA members, June 5th, 2014



As the CSA enters completes its twentieth year, a time for charting new directions for its future has arrived.  Please join me in thanking Dena for her leadership of the CSA for the last 4+ years as she is leaving us very soon!  We wish her well in all of her future endeavors!  Watch for information about new volunteer and possibly employment opportunities.  Please contact Steve at !!!


Climatology 2014: NOAA LINK:

From record late snow, to major Memorial day weekend storm to record heat.  So goes the “rites of spring”, moving into summer.


There is a lot more pasture growth on the mesa than we have seen at this time of year in recent memory.  This is also true around the Northern part of the state!


With the sudden heat the warm season grasses are growing and the cool season grasses are not done yet.  There is even a greater variety of wild flowers.


Now our thoughts turn to the coming monsoon season.  Here is a link to an interesting and informative report and forecast for summer 2014:


This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  We brought the range herd together, and are intensively rotating them across 3 small pastures, ranging from 40 acres to 100 acres each.  They are spending anywhere from 2 to 4 days on each pasture.  The frequent moves allow the grasses to grow and to benefit from the stimulating effect of grazing.  This mimics the effects of larger herds migrating across larger expanses of range.


This is the first time since the pasture system was constructed 10 years ago that we have had sufficient growth at the right time of year, AND had our cow herd at the right number AND had water system working, to give the intensive rotation a try.


The variable will be how quickly the heat shuts down the grass growth.  More rain would always help but odds are June will be dry (see link above)


This week’s protein update:  The meat chickens are growing well.  Probably 6 weeks until harvest for them.  We are low on beef for packs but have plenty of ground beef.


This week’s cheese making update:  We have made our last wheel of cheese for this season.  Will resume again when the next group of momma cows begins calving in the fall.


We will be able to supply once a month cheese to the shares through the summer with the first-of-its kind chile jack aged and ready mid-summer.


This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  This week’s share has variety and includes some unusual, rarely available items:


Scapes from two different types of allium family plants:  Garlic and Shallot.  These items last a long time if you put them in water, like a cut flower, and change the water so it does not spoil.  The garlic scapes are from Frisco Farm and the shallot scapes are from Red Mountain.


For your salad making, we have romaine lettuce from Talon de Gato and escarole from Vida Verde Farm.  Also a red bell pepper and a cantaloupe from the greenhouses at Preferred Produce.


The share is rounded out with another plant.  This week it’s parsley from Talon de Gato.  You can pot this up in a larger pot and keep it on a window sill with full sun for at least part of the day, and clip fresh parsley as needed for the entire season.  Parsley is a bi-annual and so unless it experiences a lot of stress, it will keep producing leafy/vegetative growth for nearly a year.




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.


Members now receive a $25 gift from the CSA 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!


Steve Warshawer


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