From the Mesa Top, June 19, 2014: Steve’s message to members

FROM THE MESA TOP: Message for Beneficial Farm CSA members, June 19th, 2014

Help us plan, develop, and carry out 20th year of Beneficial CSA offers and appreciations. Watch for information or contact Steve and Colleen at shares@beneficialfarm.com!!!

The Warshawer family begins operating the CSA fully for the first time this week. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you our members and our farmers. We are focusing on streamlining and improving the CSA experience from our first day, and have already begun by making improvements to the on line marketplace to offer more produce! Thank you to the several members who have already used the market place to access more fresh vegetables in this week’s distribution.

FRUIT ALERT! With luck what may be the only New Mexico Cherries and Apricots will be available to Beneficial CSA members next week. They will be coming from the High Rolls and Cloudcroft area, east of the Alamogogrdo. Watch for your marketplace and share update next Monday for more information.

Climatology 2014: NOAA LINK: http://www.weather.gov/forecastmaps

At Mesa Top we believe we are past danger of last frost. We had 33 degree sunrise temperature on the morning of June 14th.

Now we are being treated to ongoing wind which is a sign that the jet stream and storm track have moved north. When storms pass through the northern Rockies we experience winds in New Mexico. Most years we see these winds blow through much of May. As the jet stream retreats north, the monsoon moisture flow from the south eventually replaces the wind.

With the pasture grasses growing and a beautiful mixture of wildflowers across the landscape, we look ahead to monsoon moisture to keep the growth going.

This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: We have begun weaning the 3 heifers from last fall. Cassie and Bow and Dottie are not happy, though after 6 to 9 months of lactation, their bodies deserve a break. Their calfs are now separated and living on another pasture with Blanca and Brown and their little bull calfs. All of these calfs need to be branded, and then the heifers will go to La Puebla and last year’s heifers will return to the Mesa.

One of the bull calfs is ready to go to meat, and the other will be ready in the early fall.

We will be looking at our meat program for the CSA as we are very low on most cuts right now and need to consider what makes sense for Mesa Top Farm and what will be useful/appreciated by members. It is an interesting time to be in the cattle business. Prices for beef cows are very high and even conventional meat prices are going steadily up. Recent consumer studies report that the public is resistant to higher beef prices except in the case of ground beef. Commercially poultry and pork remain the “value” leaders and as beef gets more expensive customers turn to more of these meats, except that loyalty to ground beef is unshakeable.

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: Salado Jack cheese from Mesa Top will be part of your share this week. Aged approximately 4 months this is some of the tastiest cheese to come out of our cheese room since we began in 2011.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: This week we learned of hail damage to the crops at Talon de Gato which means we do not expect to see Farmer Adam and Steve’s food in the share for a few weeks. We are sorry to hear that and look forward to the verdant re-growth that follows most hail storms. Meanwhile your share this week includes some staples and some treats.

From the Oldest certified organic farm in New Mexico, at La Union, near Anthony, we have organic yellow onions grown by Seco Spice.

For your salad eating enjoyment we have Heads of Romaine Lettuce and cucumbers from Preferred Cucumber and zuccini from Preferred Produce.

From Espanola Valley Farm we have a healthy helping of snap peas and we tender baby bok choi from Mesa Top Farm. We also welcome our first delivery of the season from Synergia Ranch, big collard greens, which will cook nicely with the baby bok choi and if you like, the snap peas as well.

Watch for the seasons first fruit soon! Hopefully next week.

Enjoy!

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, please let us know what you think of the $25 referral fee for that we are offering. Is this important to you in spreading the word about the CSA? Let us know at shares@beneficialfarm.com

Currently members receive a $25 credit to their farm account when you refer a new members and let us know that you have done this you help us spread the word and sign up more members. Thank you for your investment in family and local and regional agriculture. We appreciate your support!

Steve Warshawer

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