FROM THE MESA TOP: Message for Beneficial Farm CSA members, July 24th, 2014

Blah Blah Blah…. Bags…. Blah Blah Blah… Home delivery? Blah Blah Blah… Site coordinators? SOMETHING NEW: help the CSA with social media and communications?

Hillside site open from 11AM to 3PM member pickup! call the CSA cell 505-470-1969

Commons: We had a communication foulup and members’ shares were not where they were supposed to be. We apologize and appreciate your patience and it all worked out in the end. Need help on Distribution day with your share at the Commons, contact Kim at 505-428-8671

FRUIT ALERT! Apricots in the share this week, very ripe organic apricots from Utah. We got a lot for our money because they are VERY ripe. We will be taking extra care in packing your share, to place the apricots on top of the bag, with some cardboard underneath them, and a plastic bag around them to protect them from the other produce (and vice versa). PLEASE take a look at your share/bag and be careful with the apricots!

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

a couple of quotes from my favorite meteorologists at NOAA Albuquerque:

As is typical for this time of year, the weather pattern will be defined by the placement and strength of high pressure aloft”: for the rest of the week a massive dome of high pressure will float around the 4 corners states. The monsoon moisture seeks under the high when it is close to us, when it is far enough away, weather systems circulate around its periphery. Typically it sits over the 4 corners for most of the summer, with not a lot of motion. This summer it has been positioned north and west of us quite often, with storm fronts circulating clockwise around the high and heading down the front range and into Next Mexico, leading to the second quote: “This is most certainly not anywhere near the type of pattern one would expect to see in our region late July.”

This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The pastures look healthy and so do the cows. Intermittent rain with warmth in between is good for our landscape.

We still have water in our reservoir and we now realize that we have enough PV capacity and enough water that we can assure year round surface water. We will need one more phase of infrastructure and construction to connect the two systems,. We are looking for cost share and partner programs in the wildlife side to help us. We continue to see sandhill cranes, great blue herons, and ducks on an ongoing basis on the reservoir. We also see additional growth of key species like coyote willow.

This week’s protein update: We processed the meat chickens last Friday. They got very big! They are sized like small turkeys: 10-12 lbs, so we are offering them at a lower price per lb of $3.50. We also cooked one up for our large farm family and they are very tender and tasty, with a little bit of fat so they make great gravy.

They are frozen solid and available on the marketplace now. We look forward to your order and we think you will really like them. We plan to deliver them to the distribution sites in coolers with lots of ice, and members will simply need to bring their own cooler and transfer from our cooler to yours.

This week’s cheese making update: Cheese making hiatus continues.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: This week’s share has more fruit at last! A flush of cantelope from Preferred, some Rhubarb from Talon de Gato, and the much anticipated very ripe apricots from Utah via Western Slope Colorado. Here is our favorite recipe so far on how to use the rhubarb and Apricots together: http://putonyourcakepants.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/apricot-rhubarb-crumble-2/

From the vegetable side we have salad fixings including heads of lettuce from Talon de Gato and grape tomatoes from Preferred. Along with these obvious raw edibles will be yellow summer squash from Mesa Top, one more head of celery from Green Tractor (this may be it for the season, so remember it will store well) and one sweet candy onion with greens from Talon de Gato.

We hope you enjoy this week’s variety, and especially that you enjoy the fruit! There is more to come

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.

Thank you for your investment in family and local and regional agriculture. We appreciate your support as we work to improve the CSA as a vital element of our local and regional food system!

Steve Warshawer

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