Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of January 8th, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday January 8th, 2015


Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Zucchini from Preferred Produce

Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Garlic from Gemini Farm

Organic Russet Potatoes from Preferred Produce

Small acorn squash from Mesa Top Farm

Hubbard Squash from Gemini Farm

Navel Oranges from Armistead Farm- Mesa, AZ

Meyer Lemon from South Texas Organics


Member news:

Happy New Year!! We are back in action after our holiday break and ready to tackle another year.


Home Delivery

We offer home delivery for 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.

Coming soon: We are working to add some 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.

We have a bison meat sauce we are going to look into further, it sounds delicious.


EBT Update: Just waiting on our machine, shouldn’t be too much longer


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.


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:

This time of year, occasionally an item on the marketplace won’t make it make it to distribution

Sweet Potatoes: On the Market place, we are down to the last few lbs.

Arugula:  Out for now

Sunchokes: we have some available on the marketplace.

Lettuce In your share this week, and on the marketplace

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: In your share, and on the marketplace. medium to large heads for $1 each.  That’s equivalent to about $6 per lb.

Winter Squashes: Hubbard and Acorn are in your share this week, Butternuts are on the marketplace

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 the marketplace

Zucchini:  In your share and on the marketplace

Carrots:    on the marketplace.

Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes in your share, 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: In your share and on the marketplace

Rio Star pink grapefruit: On the marketplace

Hamlin juice oranges: On the marketplace



Mustard Potato + Massaged Kale Salad


8 – 10 small russet potatoes

3 cups finely shredded lacinato kale

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup of whole grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons fresh chives or scallions

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper




Cut potatoes in half, and then quarter the halves. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside. In a medium bowl toss kale with lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage together with your hands for 3 min. In a small mixing bowl combine the remaining olive oil, mustard, garlic powder, chives, pepper and salt. Pour dressing over potatoes and kale. Toss to combine.


From the Mesa Top:

Climatology:  The big freeze that happens almost every year right around Xmas has come.  The past Sunday (Jan 4) was the first day that we temps at Mesa Top nudged above freezing since the day after Christmas.  We had lows in the 10 below range.  The amazing thing about this kind of cold is that after a few days of it, if the wind stops blowing and the sun comes out, with the bright white snow fields to reflect off of, temps in the 20s start to feel warm!!!

From the Wild:  a roadrunner was sited crossing the county road a few miles from Mesa Top.  And a flock of wild turkeys too!

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:   Another calf, a cute little bull calf from Dottie, and a sad accident lost us a mother cow and calf on the coldest day (between Xmas and New Year’s).  The range herd was still up on the Herrera ranch when the sudden cold hit, and we went out looking for them in the Pickup truck.  About a mile away from home, we found Dottie and her little one, at most 2 or 3 days old, sitting under a tree on a south facing slope as the snowflakes swirled.  We grabbed up the little one and Dottie followed us home.  Most of the herd joined her and the parade of cows accounted for everyone but the Hagerman Herd.  They were found 3 days later, having found a way around and over two fences, onto the ranch north of Herrera’s.  Now everyone is home, with plenty of access to fresh unfrozen water and good hay.  And we are watching closely as at least 4 more cows are due to calf in the next two months.  This will allow us to send several of the current milk line cows off, so all of their available milk can go to their calves.

Meat and animal protein update:  Sweetgrass ground beef is back.  Beef and cattle prices continue to rise; we have not processed any cattle and are still weighing the options.

Pullet eggs and giant hen eggs continue.  The pullet eggs have reached close to average size and we are pretty much done packing them separately.  We may have some super large eggs in which  10 or11 eggs exceeds the weight of a typical dozen.  If you receive a box with less than 12 eggs, be assured that the weight of that collection of eggs is more than the retail dozens that we are packing for La Montanita COOP.  We hope that is ok.

Cheese making update:  We have passed last year’s total production in cheese already. Much as we would like complete the necessary facility and operational systems that would enable us to attain fully inspected, USDA licensed status, we are not so confident yet that the costs could ever be recovered at our scale.  With the success of the herd share approach synchronized with the operations of the CSA, realize that we would want to get more cheese to members. We will be offering larger blocks of cheese for the same share size, instead of 6 oz we will increase the share size to 9 oz (50% increase!)  We hope more members will choose cheese shares.  We have also received member requests to add goat cheese to our offerings, and we are looking into options for that as well.  The goat cheese would come from other area artisan cheese makers.

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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