Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of December 4th, 2014 

We hope everyone had a loving Thanksgiving, filled with quality family time and a dish or two from your local farmers’ fields! We missed a whole week of messaging members, so this message is a little longer. Per member request, we are now putting the share details first, so people can glance at them and then later read through the whole message’s details.


Check out the Webstore:


Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday December 4th, 2014


Carrots from Schwebach Farm

Yukon Gold Potatoes from White Mountain

Green Cabbage from Cerro Vista Farm

Bibb lettuce from Preferred Produce

Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Meyer Lemons from South Texas Organics

Rio Star Grapefruit from South Texas Organics



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 are up and going with home delivery! We will be starting 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.

New Local vendors

We have 3 new local vendors to introduce, and the products they specialize in:

Casado’s Farm: Just like his father before him, Peter Casado cultivates and grows the traditional crops of New Mexico the way they have been doing it for generations. Casado’s farm is located in Okeh Owingeh Pueblo, nestled up against the hills. When it comes to a wide variety of traditional crops, it is hard to beat the quality of products and care in preparation that Peter and his mother Juanita put into everything they do. Beneficial Farm now carries their red chili, different corn grinds and varieties and other traditional items that you won’t find many other places.

Navajo Pride: Navajo Pride brand agricultural products, located in the heart of the Four Corners region near Farmington, New Mexico, and are operating one of the largest tracts of contiguous farmland in the nation.

We are offering 25# bags of unbleached white flour for $15, just in time for the baking season!

Del Valle Pecans: From the Mesilla Valley, South of Las Cruces, Del Valle is an Organic Certified pecan grower. Sally Harper bought her then 15 year-old, 30 acre pecan orchard back in 1986 with her belated husband. She obtained Organic certification in 1994, and has a strong customer following for the nuts she produces.

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. Pistachios might also be on the horizon!

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

EBT Update: The starter packet came in the mail over the break, though it was not as pressing as the pumpkin pies. We will be ordering our card reader this week, so hopefully it won’t be much longer. Please contact us if you are interested in using your ebt to purchase your farm share orders.



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: 

Winter Sourcing: One of the largest challenges of a year round CSA is where do we get produce when the nights are below zero and we may see a foot of snow in the morning. Luckily we live in NM, were we are just as likely to see snow one week, as a 70 degree day, but there are still challenges. In the winter, we extend our purchasing to more regional sources, to ensure that there is enough produce for the weekly shares. You may see citrus from Southern Texas, storage potatoes from Colorado as well as some shelf stable items like posole and dried beans.


Equal Exchange Avocados: We are pleased to be offering Organic avocados again this year through the Equal Exchange COOP!

Equal Exchange partners with Pragor, a progressive group of small-scale avocado farmers in Michoacán, Mexico. This region of Mexico is considered the avocado capital of the world. However, powerful corporate interests have made it difficult for small-scale farmers to compete. In response, Pragor courageously organized and decided they would collectively control the entire process from growing to exporting. PRAGOR’s strength and perseverance is a lesson for anyone committed to working for change in the world. Read more at:


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!


More about the food…


News and specials on the marketplace:

Sweet Potatoes: We got them into your share in time for Thanksgiving and we also bought enough to do it again once before Xmas, in the meanwhile, we will have them on the marketplace.

Sunchokes: We had in your share the other week, and we have some available on the marketplace.

Juicing Oranges: We are starting to see the first citrus coming in from Texas, right now we have Hamlin oranges for juicing by the case on the marketplace, we will work on smaller quantities shortly

Potatoes: We are seeing a steady supply of potatoes from White Mountain Farm in Mosca, CO. Red, Russet and Yukon potatoes will be on the marketplace for a while, Yukon are in the share this week.

Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra: The farmers down south are putting off harvest one more week as they are putting new skins on their hoop houses this week.

Onions:  Candy semi-sweet yellow onions for just $1 /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, 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, green:  In the share this week and on the marketplace:  Large (3-4 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: On hold this week, should be back next

Carrots:    In your share this week and on the marketplace.

Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes are available, but vine ripened tomatoes are on hold

Kale and Collards:  Mesa Top greenhouse is hanging on still, with Kale and Collards.  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.

Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemons, first identified in 1908 by Frank Meyer, are a cross between Eurekas or Lisbons lemons and a mandarin orange. They are sweeter than normal lemons, and can even have a slight orange tint. They also have thinner skins than regular lemons. Use Meyer lemons in dishes as pieces of fruit, rather than just for juice, by peeling them like an orange.

Mesa Top has been processing some heavy cream into butter, unfortunately just for the family’s use, but this recipe jumped out at us, as we made 30lb of butter over the weekend.


Meyer Lemon Butter

“Keep this lemon-spiked butter on hand for slathering onto warm scones or fresh biscuits.” Martha Stewart


2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

Zest of 3 Meyer Lemons

1 teaspoon of Fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar


Directions: Stir together butter, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

From the Mesa Top:

Climatology:  After one solid stretch of cold, the temperatures have moderated again.  The bright blue sky with warm days feels almost eerie.  Further North (Southern Colorado) the now pack is building.  Here in NM the bare face of Caballo Peak above Los Alamos reminds us of how dry the winter has been so far.

From the Wild:  An 8 point buck was seen along the road, and plenty of noisy coyotes are heard, especially at night…

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   Except the milk line cows, who live a pampered life close to home, all of the other cows are still grazing.  We need to bring a bull to La Puebla where we have 7 first calf heifers ready to be bred.

Meat and animal protein update:  Sweetgrass ground beef is back.  We have been reviewing prices and see that everywhere we look ground beef is high.  We will stick with Sweetgrass ground beef for now, and hope to minimize supply gaps.

Pullet eggs and giant hen eggs continue.  The pullet eggs continue to get larger so now you are receiving 16 eggs as a bonus instead of a regular dozen.

Cheese making update:  The rhythm of cheese making is set and continuing.  2 to 3 wheels every week and lots of good milk.  Colleen spent some time discussing our recipe with one of our cheese ingredient supplier and they suggested a new culture.

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


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s