Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for week of September 18th distribution

Member news: We appreciate you spreading the word about your positive experience with the CSA and we welcome your feedback, your ideas on how we can improve the CSA experience. Thank you for your support!

Farm and Marketplace News: The marketplace is bustling…: We are in the transition from summer produce to fall produce items. The exciting addition to marketplace and your share this week are field grown and ripened beefsteak tomatoes. The season is drawing to a close on peaches and sweet corn. Both will be in the share this week, and available on the marketplace this week and maybe next.

News and specials on the marketplace:

Beefsteak tomatoe

Beefsteak tomatoes: Field Grown and ripened beefsteak tomatoes from Green Tractor Farm are in you share this week and can also be purchased on the marketplace, for those who can’t get enough of them.

Gala apples: An Apples a Day.., well you know how it goes.
Last week we had the first apples of the season in the share, and if your household was as pleased as the BF Family, they were a big hit. The apples are available on the marketplace by the pound, 5 LB and by the case, for the true apple fanatics and canners. Not only do apples store well in general, but their flavors can be preserved by drying, canning, or freezing, provided the children don’t get to them first.

Parsley: Both Italian and Curly parsley are available on the marketplace, as there is not enough for shares yet.

Arugula: We will be enjoying some fresh Arugula this week in our share from Talon de Gato, they have sent us this picture
t de g arugula

Jalapenos: What could accompany your beefsteak tomatoes better than fresh Jalapenos?
These are New Mexico grown Jalapenos, even though we haven’t gotten a Scoville rating on them, we don’t expect them to be lacking in flavor and a little bite.

Ongoing seasonal specials:

Plums: One more week of Durazno plums.

Peaches: Durazno’s best are winding down so enjoy them while you can. These large peaches are close to half a pound each, making them more of a meal than a snack!

Carrots: We have carrots from Schwebach farm available on the marketplace only this week.

Corn: Schwebach Family Farm sweet corn: grab another half dozen using our marketplace special: buy 5 and get half a dozen. The Season is winding down so enjoy it while it lasts.

Roasted Green Chili: Order for next week, 9/25. No roasting this week.
Talon de Gato will be offering their fresh, lightly roasted chile, 1/2lb bags available on the marketplace again next week.

Chile season will be gone before you know it; don’t be left wishing you had stocked up!
We welcome larger green chili orders, please email us at

Cantaloupes: Preferred Produce’s bargain fruit continues, available on the marketplace.

Tomatoes: We will have grape tomatoes from Preferred produce on the marketplace this week.

Parsnips: Talon de Gato has shared another picture of the harvest this week, we have parsnips in the share and on the marketplace this week:

t de g parsnip

Still available on an ongoing basis:

Kale, chard, collards, lettuce mix, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, onions

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday September 18th, 2014

Sweet Corn from Schwebach Farm
Peaches from Durazno
Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce
Beefsteak Tomatoes from Green Tractor
Arugula from Talon de Gato
Matsuba from Talon de Gato
Parsnips from Talon de Gato

Pears are around the corner, more varieties of apples soon to come.

Matsuba is described by Farmer Adam of Talon de Gato as a mild Bok Choy.


Enjoy it stir fried with garlic, or your other favorite stir fry recipes.

This week’s share also includes a pound of Parsnips from Talon de Gato.


There’s no way these could possibly be parsnip, is there?
We have some disagreements in our family about certain roots vegetables. Parsnips were not a common dish growing up. This week, we will be seeing if we can sway some minds, with this taste recipe. We thank for this recipe:

Cajun Parsnip Fries

· 2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into large matchsticks
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (below)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss parsnips in olive oil and spread on parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Half way through the baking time, toss fries to brown evenly on the other side.
This would be super tasty with a vegan aioli of some sort. I think I’ll have to come up with something … stay tuned!

Cajun Seasoning Blend

· 1/4 cup brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons chipotle powder
· 1/2 cup dried parsley flakes
· 1 tablespoon salt
· 1 tablespoon pepper
· 1/2 cup granulated garlic
· 1/2 cup onion powder
· 1/2 cup paprika

From the Mesa Top and other News:

Climatology 2014: NOAA LINK:

Hurricane Norbert failed to send moisture our way. Hurricane Odile is next. The promise of widespread rain is back in the forecast. We have our fingers crossed.

From the Wild: a quiet week in the wilderness, but not so in the cow herd…

Cow stories: Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Many more calf stories. One is almost unbelievable. One of the heifers due to calf was May Mo, who was compromised from birth when she came out in February, 2012. She couldn’t stand and couldn’t control her body. She was bottle fed lying on the ground with her head strapped to her leg to keep her from bashing her brains out on the ground. After a few days she stood up. She was raised by her mother but never caught up physically or in other developmental ways. She grew up to be a sweet, lovable little cow. She never seemed to be fully “there”. She did mature physically and was bred along with the rest of the heifers late last fall. Last Monday she had a calf. But she was found without a calf. We figured she had lost it; maybe it was dead from the start. Maybe she didn’t know what to do with it. Whatever the possible explanation, there was no calf.

Steve was in DC for food Safety work and Colleen was working the cows. Colleen brought her in and milked her, to protect her from the harm that would come to a lactating cow not being nursed.

Steve got back from DC and on Friday morning he finally got to go up to check on the herd and their water. As he approached the water tank he saw a mother cow and a very small calf. He figured it was Spot, one of the 3 that had not yet calved. But it was Abigail (Spot’s mother, who had her own wild rescue last summer). Abigail was dry, she had no milk, but she was “mothering” a very small gaunt calf. She was guarding the calf and making soothing mother cow noises. But she has no milk. Steve walked Abigail and calf home, and the calf quickly found Clarabelle and nursed vigorously. There was lots of confusion, as Abigail tried to “claim” the little calf, and Clarabelle knew it was not her calf but was content to let her nurse. May Mo was clueless.

When all is said and done there can be no doubt that little Miracle is May Mo’s calf, which Abigail had rescued, and had lived without any nourishment for almost 4 days. For as long as we have been handling cattle at Mesa Top we have been warned that no calf can survive if it does not get a belly full of colostrum and learn to nurse vigorously within just a few hours of birth. Maybe the calf got one nursing in, but it then went nearly 4 days with only Abigail’s encouragement and no nourishment. She has learned to go to May Mo for milk, and when she is busy eating, May Mo accepts her. But May Mo has no maternal instincts.

On Saturday we went out and found all of the cows. Spot and Jersey Girl were ready to calf, but hadn’t yet. We brought them home, and they both calved Sunday. We had to “pull” Spot’s calf. Like Abigail when she was delivering Spot (her first calf), she could not push the calf’s head out on her own. We had to tie a leather thong around the little guy’s front feet, and reach inside Spot and up around his head, and stretch and pull until has head came through and then he just slid out and Spot stood up and started tending to him immediately.

There are now 4 cows with calves, all 2 weeks old or less, including little Miracle who is now cavorting and learning from the cows and calves around her. One more heifer to go! This one looks to be a couple weeks from delivery. What a lot of drama we have had with these heifers. It will be a relief when the last one calves.

Meat and animal protein update: No schedule yet for Mesa Top Beef processing. Will keep you posted. Check out the Mesa Top roosters, a tasty “slow food”.

The next flocks of young chickens have begun to lay eggs, which start out very small at first. The older birds are producing a lot of enormous eggs. At Mesa Top we weigh every dozen eggs as we pack it, to be sure there the dozens are consistent and never weigh less than 1.5 lbs. This fall the dozens have been 1.60-1.62 lbs., more than they have ever weighed before. So we will begin blending in some small pullet eggs, so we can pack more total dozens. You will see a very wide range of egg sizes, but the total dozen overall weights will continue to be generous.

Cheese making update: See above, the fall resumption of milking is immanent. Clarabelle is giving us 2+ gallons a day, and taking care of her calf and sometimes letting little Miracle nurse as well. With three recently freshened cows, we are about a week away from 7-8 gallon a day of production, and cheese making every 3 days. We also have a supply of last spring’s final cheese production that is aged out and ready for the CSA. The early fall cheese will be ready for the CSA in February.

Thank you for your investment in family farmed, 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!

Our farms and farmers thank you for your support,

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family
Beneficial Farm CSA



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