Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of November 13th, 2014 

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday November 13th, 2014


Semposai From Talon de Gato

Arugula from Talon de Gato

Raddichio from  Talon de Gato

Lettuce mix from  Sol Y Tierra

Kale, Green from Mesa Top

Parsley from Talon de Gato

Hubbard Squash from Gemini Farm

Stayman Apples from Cider Mill Orchard,

Check out the Webstore:


Member news:

Site news: We wanted to remind Eldorado members that the shares will now be picked up at Anna’s Home and Garden Shop. We have been delivering the shares at about noon, and Anna’s shop is open until 5PM.

We had a rough week last Thursday, Thomas had to turn around and drive back to ABQ for part of the order that was forgotten, which lead to our delivery to Sweetwater being an hour behind. We should be back on track this week, we’re sorry for the inconvenience.

Home Delivery!

We have been talking for a while about doing home delivery for CSA members, and we believe we are ready to start offering it; we just have to keep the number manageable in the beginning. We have been asking some of our members what they feel is a fair delivery charge; generally we have heard $10 would be acceptable for just a share but if they are ordering more, it should be lower.

We would like to start home delivery as a $10 charge, and any member who orders $50 or more will receive free deliver in the form of a credit. One of the benefits of home delivery is that even if you’re not home when we come by, you can leave a cooler out for us to put your share in to keep it chilled. If you are interested in switching to Home delivery, email or call us.

Poll on New Marketplace items-Visit the Blog!

We wanted to leave this poll up for one more week, so anyone who hasn’t had a chance to weigh in on new marketplace items, please voice your option!

Reminder:   If you are having trouble getting to your share during the allotted pick up times, we suggest you change your pickup location to Hillside gallery and restaurant or discuss home delivery with us.  We have made arrangements so that shares can be held there in coolers for several days if necessary.  And so far the results have been excellent in terms of quality of the produce.

Communication: We received the new CSA phone last Friday, we had a little trouble getting the voice-mail up and running but figured it out eventually. Colleen has had a fun weekend learning how to operate the phone, which it turns out is more fun than slaving away in the cheese room. Hopefully this will help us resolve some of the communication issues that have cropped up. This also should help us get more pictures from the farm, Colleen has promised baby calve pictures before they grow up.

CSA Cell # is still 505-470-1969


Now, On to the food!

Farm and Marketplace News: 

Stayman (Winesap):  Certified Organic Staymans continue.  Enjoy them any number of ways!  They are superb for juicing, store well, and have a distinctive flavor, neither too sweet nor too tart.  Volume pricing, check the marketplace

Mesa Top firewood program:  Winter 2014/5 price determined: $125 for half chord and $250 for a chord in the El Dorado and Lamy area.  $140 for a half chord and $265 for a full chord delivered to town.  If you are real far away we can work something out.  Load at our wood yard in Canoncito, for a discount!

News and specials on the marketplace:

Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra:

We will have spicy and regular lettuce mix, generally alternating weeks in the share.  This week the regular mix will be in your share. The marketplace will offer both spicy and lettuce salad mix. This is a real treat, courtesy of our southern farm groups.  Hopefully they will have it in abundance straight through the winter.


Onions:  Candy semi-sweet yellow onions for just $1 p/pound from Schwebach Family Farm.  We encourage you to add on onions, a bargain and an easy item for us to add to your share bag.

Garlic:  medium to large heads for $1 each.  That’s equivalent to about $6 per lb.

Winter Squashes:  Pie Pumpkins, Hubbard squash, acorn, and butternut squash all available.

Pomegranates:  On the marketplace.  These also juice very nicely.  We are offering a volume price for juicing.

Cabbage, red and green:  Large (4 lb.) heads from Cerro Vista Farm North of Taos

Winesap Apples Certified Organic Staymans continue.  Enjoy them any number of ways!  They are superb for juicing, store well, and have a distinctive flavor, neither too sweet nor too tart.  Volume pricing, check the marketplace

Cucumbers: Now coming in from the greenhouses at Preferred Produce, 1 in your share, more on the marketplace.  They are a bargain.

Carrots:    On the marketplace this week

Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes and vine ripened tomatoes from Preferred produce on the marketplace this week.

Kale and Collards:  Mesa Top has a greenhouse full of tender young green kale.  It is almost sweet as a result of the cool nights.  In your share this week, if we are successful at protecting it from the next two mornings of temperatures in the teens, Row-covers to the rescue!

This week has an unusual late season bounty of leafy greens, led by the last hurrah from the fields at Talon de Gato.  These greens should make it to you in very good shape with the cool weather all around, and you should be able to use it up over the next 7 to 10 days.  We are overloading you a bit on greens because it is such a surprise that we can do this in Mid November.

Semposai from Talon de Gato is a mild mustard green that will steam or saute quickly.  Add to the Mesa Top Kale after the kale has gotten a head start, or chop it into a salad.

For your salad fixings Talon de Gato sends arugula, parsley, and raddichio, and Sol y Tierra sends Lettuce mix.

Rounding out the share is a tasty hubbard squash from Gemini Farm and a hand full of Staymans from Cider Mill Orchard

Next week’s share will be strong on dense and heavy items for your holiday season cooking, like onions, and squash.  We also hope to include local sweet potatoes from Leaf Water Farm in Medenales

Kale Chips!

A quick, easy way to make a healthy snack. Start off with some olive oil, your kale and start having fun with seasonings!



  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  • Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.


From the Mesa Top:

Climatology:  The deep canyon at Mesa Top includes a section that is fully shaded year round.  That section also includes springs that are trickling now, with the reservoir full and the aquifer saturated.  The pools are freezing over at night and those that are in shade are staying frozen most of the day.

Predictions are for cold to settle in, deeper and deeper, over the next few days.  Thursday will not get too much above freezing.  No mention of precipitation, but real winter temperatures are about to arrive.

From the Wild:  The duck we mentioned last week is still around on the big pond.  No company yet.  Likely she will move further south soon.

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   The Hagerman herd is settling back into life on the range, happily staying out on pasture and finding water at a small pond that was filled in the late October downpour.

We have started hauling hay down from San Luis, getting ready for the time shortly after Thanksgiving, when all of the cows are moved closer to home, and are fed top quality grass hay along with oat hay and alfalfa until the spring grasses start to show in early March.  For us the feeding season is typically 90 to 120 days.  Though during the last El Nino year (winter 2009-10), the range was wet and muddy until Mid April.

We will be preparing for a long winter, given the cclimatologistpredictions

Meat and animal protein update:  Sweetgrass ground beef is back.  As we review our options with the yearling bull that we brought home, we may add another grade of more tender, lean ground beef, which will be a higher price than the regular ground.  Watch for more information

Pullet eggs and giant hen eggs continue.  The pullet eggs are larger so now you are receiving to 1.5 dozen that are equivalent to a full sized dozen.

Cheese making update:  The rhythm of cheese making is set.  We are way ahead of last year’s production, with the timely calving of several of our old reliable cows, and the flush of first calf heifers.

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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