FROM THE MESA TOP: Message for Beneficial Farm CSA members, July 31st, 2014

Church/Synagogue supported Agriculture and Agriculture Supported Synagogue/Church: Watch your email for a new feature of your CSA, as we will offer shares which tyth a faith community or charity! We are setting up a share to support Chabad Jewish Center and are open to setting up other similar arrangements as our members request! When you make your payment, the CSA will pass along 10%. (Any suggestions as to how to make this idea work better, we love your suggestions.)

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

Commons: 4-6PM: Need help on Distribution day with your share, contact Kim at 505-428-8671

FRUIT ALERT! The AMAZING western Slope Colorado peaches from Thomas Cameron at Rancho Durazno will not here in time for this week’s shares, but will be in next week’s shares AND will be on the marketplace by the case and by the pound so peach lovers can enjoy these “best there is” rocky Mountain peaches. We will be helping Thomas move his smaller fruit, and this will give us bargain pricing for our members. The big stores can have the big fruit and the big prices!!!

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

The week of heat is behind us and we are back to this summer’s version of monsoon, String high pressure to our west and slight atmospheric disturbances rotating clockwise around them and barreling down the front range and spreading from East to West across the state.

At Mesa Top we have seen some sporadic rains and showers but no major dumping rains yet. The pasture grasses have gone to seed in response to the week of heat. Now another round of decent rains and they will grow again. These warm season grasses can grow very tall IF the moisture is well sustained, but they respond to impressive heat by transitioning quickly from vegetative growth to seed production.

We hope for more rain and a second cycle of vegetative growth and then more seeding!

This week’s Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The cows have a “slick” look to them when they get enough time on fresh native grasses. Their coat is tight and shiny and they have a nice layer of fat over their

This week’s protein update: We processed the meat chickens last Friday. We had terrific feedback on the mat birds, and are delivering a couple more this week. If you love tasty chicken keen them in mind! Available on the marketplace.

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

This week’s Veggie/Share Update: We were beginning to lean to more fruit in the share but are held up by the slowdown in access to the Colorado fruit. We have ANOTHER (larger) amazing cantelope form Preferred produce. These melons are such a treat! Besides terrific flavor the growing/handling practice reflect whats best about local/regional “short supply chain” food: never washed, never rolled across conveyor belts, handled as few times as possible by the caring hands of the staff at preferred and Beneficial. In the case of melons, never even refrigerated! What could be healthier?

From the vegetable side Talon de Gato is again stealing the show! We have young and tender leeks and carrots. These two vegetables love to be prepared together.

Also we have parsley and basil. Watch for an unusual recipe for parsley/onion salad from farmer Adam in the “Distribution notes and tips” email Friday or Saturday

Rounding got the share is another Talon de Gato Candy Onion and a bunch of kale from Synergia Ranch. We’ve been rooting around the internet for kale chip recipes and plan to provide some links for that as well in the “tips” message

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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