Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of November 20th, 2014 

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday November 20th, 2014


Asian Mix from Sol y Tierra

Hakurei Turnips from Sol y Tierra

Sunchoke roots from Synergia Ranch

Butternut Squash from Mesa Top Farm

Cucumbers from Preferred Produce

Candy Sweet Onions from Schwebach Farm

Pomegranates from NM Poms


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. As long as it’s not jeopardizing the shares, Anna will leave the shares out front after they close.

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 results, you want it we got it:

Thank you all for you input on the poll we posted 2 weeks ago, it has helped us get your input on some new products we will be adding to the marketplace. The most popular item was pecans, which is the first thing to be added. We now have local organic pecan from the Del Valle Pecans in the Mesilla Valley South of Las Cruces on the marketplace, and we might put them in a share soon.  We have started adding some local specialties, such as blue corn posole, red chili pods and taco spices, stay tuned for more products from Okeh Owingeh Pueblo.

Coming soon: We are working to add some wonderful locally baked goods, hopefully they will be added in a week or two. We would like to add milk from Rasband dairy to our marketplace, but as we do not want it to spoil before members retrieve it, it will probably be a home delivery item. As we work out the logistics of home delivery, we will add milk to this program soon.

Keep passing along your input on marketplace offerings, Steve and Thomas have a few more contacts we are looking into.

EBT Update: Beneficial applied with the USDA a few months ago to be allowed to accept food stamps through the Food and Nutrition Service, and we are pleased to inform you we have received approval! The government is not a speed of light machine, but with enough patience, we prevailed. We are not quite ready to start accepting payment, but stay tuned for our account information to be mailed to us. Steve and Thomas are also working on some grants to help subsidize our farm shares for low income families, fingers crossed, we will be helping to connect a whole new demographic with their local farmers.


We have the new CSA phone up and running, and this has resulted in some the  Mesa Top family being able to share the latest farm tales via Facebook, we don’t know our twitter login or how to use it, but we’ll keep working on it. Follow us at:


Farm and Marketplace News: 

Thanksgiving, next week, BFCSA is closed for the holiday:

We will not be distributing shares next week, because of the holiday, so stock up on any holiday needs this week. Don’t forget your pumpkins and pecans!

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!

Sweet Potatoes: Steve is working on a local sweet potatoes deal, but it isn’t finalized just yet. If we can swing it, there will be sweet potatoes in the share to replace the onions and poms, if not they will be in the share after Thanksgiving.


Now, On to the food!


News and specials on the marketplace:

Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra: On hold this week, while the beds recover from the last 2 big harvests


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: Butternuts are in the shares this week, Pie Pumpkins, Hubbard squash and acorn 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, 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. We have held it in good shape so far, but who can say yet of the zero degree morning and 72 hours sub-freezing has “done it in”.  If it is no good we will credit back members who have ordered it, so it is worth a try for A little while longer.



Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)

It’s been 2 years since I prepared these, but I still remember the surprise on my coworkers face when I make a part sunchoke part mashed potato dish. I brought one of the uncooked roots, and I showed them what a sunchoke looked like after they tried the dish and they were amazed that the root could produce such unique flavor. Working in diabetes prevention, sunchokes offered a new alternative to introduce people to.

Read more about it at:



Serves 6
Each serving is equal to one 5 A Day serving

2 lb butternut squash
1 lb sunchokes, scrubbed
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp skim milk
1 tsp orange peel, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
3 navel oranges, sliced for garnish

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Halve squash; place cut side down on a baking sheet along with whole sunchokes.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
(Or microwave quartered squash with ¼ cup water for 8 to 10 minutes and sunchokes, sliced, in ¼ cup water for 3 to 4 1/2 minutes.)

Scoop seeds from squash cavity; scoop out pulp into a large bowl (if desired, leave squash shells intact to use as serving containers).

Chop sunchokes (no need to remove peel); add to squash pulp.

Add butter or margarine, milk or cream, and orange peel.

Mash mixture on medium speed of electric mixer until blended; or process in food processor or blender in batches.

Spoon into squash shells if desired; garnish with orange slices.




From the Mesa Top:

Climatology:  Winter is inescapably here.  The snow storm that piled up 4+ inches of wet snow at Mesa Top beginning before sunriseSunday morning included daytime highs in the 20s, zero degrees Monday morning, and sub-freezing temps all day Monday.  A warmup is promised for the rest of the week.  The ponds are icing over and the ducks are gone.

From the Wild:  quiet week among the wildlife

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   We moved the Hagerman herd up to join the other dry cows on Herera ranch, and checked them over for health and pregnancy progress.  We noticed one of our oldest cows, an original Ayrshire called Nancy, looking pretty bagged up.  We walked her home to keep an eye on her and she had a beautiful little heifer calf last Friday morning, the day after the big freeze.

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 continue to get larger so now you are receiving 17 eggs that are more than equivalent to a full sized dozen.

Cheese making update:  The rhythm of cheese making is set and continuing.  2 to 3 wheels every week and lots of good milk,

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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