Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of December 11th, 2014 

Tis the season of giving, if you want to give the gift of local/regional food to a friend or family member, contact us at and we will help make it happen!


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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday December 11th, 2014


Hakurei Turnips with greens from Sol y Tierra Farm

Candy Onions from Schwebach Family Farm

Red leaf lettuce from Preferred Produce

Zucchini from Preferred Produce

Small acorn squash from Mesa Top Farm

Stayman Winesap apples from Cider Mill Orchard

Fresh apple pom juice from Mesa Ruiz


Member news:

Distribution news: A reminder that there are only 3 distributions in December, with this Thursday the 11th and the followingThursday the 18th scheduled.  We will also distribute on New Year’s Day Welcoming in 2015!


News in local food access:

We wanted to share a new development in the larger food world, one which Beneficial Farm is involved in., best known for discount online shopping, has launched a Farmer’s Market where people can purchase local produce shares. Overstock is partnering with CSA’s across the nation, to carry their shares on their website and Beneficial is the first New Mexico CSA to join. Beneficial has a limited advertising budget, and paying Overstock a small percentage to advertise for us is reasonable. One of the other bonuses for us, is we can hopefully help build the technologies and practices of this project, so there are further benefits to local farms across the nation. Seeing big business recognizing that organizations like our CSA, the little guys, should have their story told and supported, rather than trying to compete with, is a refreshing change. We will keep you posted on this partner, and you can read more at:


Salmon in New Mexico?

I have to admit, when I started working more with Beneficial, I started researching every locally produced food I could, and for the life of me, salmon never made the list. However, a few weekends ago, my mom handed off a call to me from a young man named Dylan Hitchock-Lopez(a philosophy major from St Johns) who wanted to talk to me about his family and their fish. It took a few hours of reviewing his company and his mission, but then I went from being skeptical to having fish on the brain.

Seashaken is a one family, one boat, company that fishes off the shores of Alaska for Wild Caught Salmon. They use a method known as trolling, which allows them to target specific species, reducing the amount of damaging by-catch, and for the great degree of care it allows for each individual fish caught. The fish are then frozen at sea within 45 min of leaving the water, which combined with a saltwater brine glaze; ensure that they are preserved as fresh as possible for storage. What is particularly compelling, is the efforts Dylan is trying to take to establish a CSF, Community Supported Fishery, to supply NM and CO. Much like how our CSA works, where members invest in the farm’s harvest, a CSF would be a coordinated investment through the Rocky Mountains to invest in the salmon harvest. I can’t tell Dylan’s family’s story half as well as he can, so I encourage you to visit his site. Additionally, he has a kickstarter campaign with a great video that explains much more than I want to fill up the member message with.


This season’s catch is in Albuquerque already, and we are working on some logistical coordinating, but we believe we will be able buy some of the catch. We don’t want to under or over commit, so we are trying to gauge our member’s interest. They would be whole wild caught Coho salmon, beheaded and cleaned, and we think a good family size would be 3-5lb but there are bigger ones. Next season we might see fillets and steaks, but not this year. Pricing depends on how much we buy, but we believe that we can offer the fish between $9.99-10.99/lb, which seems to be a fair price. Do our fish loving members have an interest in getting a whole fish, and provided it’s amazingly good, would you buy it again? I have set up a poll on the blog and you can always shoot us an email too.



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 two 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.

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: We are faxing in the paperwork this week for the machine


Farm and Marketplace News: 

Winter Sourcing: The produce will favor southern New Mexico sources as much as possible. The Greenhouses at Preferred Produce and the fields at Sol Y Tierra will give us much of the fresh veggies we will offer during the next few months.


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!

Fresh apple pomegranate juice!

Mesa Ruiz has juiced up a bunch of apples and pomegranates for us! Mesa lives up in Dixon, where he has an orchard that unfortunately froze. He has been working with the CSA for a few years, anytime we can get our hands on apples, he get them juiced for us. This is our first try with the pomegranates; hopefully it’s a huge success!

More about the food…


News and specials on the marketplace:

Sweet Potatoes: Will be in your share next week.  Order more on the marketplace as well

Arugula:  from Grace Foster in Chapparal, NM.  We buy this whenever it is available, and put it on the marketplace

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

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 way none until the first of the New Year

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.

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.  Also in your share this week, along with some fresh apple juice

Cucumbers: On hold tone more week

Zucchini:  In your share and on the marketplace

Carrots:    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.

South Texas Organic’s citrus:

Meyer Lemons: On the marketplace

Rio Star pink grapefruit: On the marketplace

Hamlin juice oranges: Case quantities on the marketplace, still working on the right size for smaller. Email us with suggestions


Clapshot is a traditional Scottish dish that originated in Orkney and may be served with haggis, oatcakes, mince, sausages or cold meat. Between last week and this week’s shares, you should have everything if it’s not been used up already.

1 lb baking potatoes

¾ lb turnips

¼ lb carrots

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons cream


  1. Place the potatoes, turnips, carrots, and salt in a Dutch oven, fill with water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-high and boil the vegetables until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and mash the vegetables with a potato masher. Spoon the mashed vegetables into a serving dish, top with cubes of butter and drizzle with cream



From the Mesa Top:

Climatology:  What a wonderful rain last Thursday, Many hours of steady light rain.  Then again Saturday night.  Pleasant daytime temps.

From the Wild:  A grey, almost white coyote was spotted in the coral on Sunday

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   No new news from the herds.

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 are big enough so most are now included in regular retail dozens.  Just a few members will be receiving pullet eggs now.

Cheese making update:  The new culture arrived.  We’ll see how it works!  The cheese aging room is naturally now sitting at 50 degrees and 50% humidity.  Just right.

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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