Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of February 19th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday February 19th, 2015

Kale, Medium size from Sol y Terra

Root Mix (potatoes and rutabaga) from Gemini Farm

Sunchokes from Gemini Farm

Hubbard Squash ½ (see message) from Gemini Farm

Baby Spinach from Preferred Produce

Garlic from Frisco Farm


Member news:


We have 2-3 weeks left of open ordering for the Wild Whole Alaskan Coho Salmon from the Hitchcock-Lopez in Alaska. For the full store on our Community Supported Fishery effort, please see the last 2 week’s blogs .

We have about 20 fish ordered so far, and there is still time if you are interested. Delivery is still set for 3/12/15, barring any issues. The plan is for us to offer fish shares once a year to our members, to share in the season’s catch from our partners. If anyone is interested in further information, or like some of our members, is getting their co-workers and friends interested in a combined order, please shoot us an email.


It has been great getting to know the Hitchcock-Lopez family, if you haven’t already, take some time to read more about them on their website


Deals and Discounts!

We had a partner discontinue their line of 505 salsa products this week, and they offered us a deal for our members. There are 2 salsa types, a green chili sauce and a red enchilada/tamale sauce, and they will be $2.50 each to members while supplies last. Normally these products would be $4.99 or more in stores. Some jar’s labels might be a bit scratched, but aside from not being fresh out of the box, they are a real bargain!



Farmers and Share Updates


Last week we did not get our garlic in time, so members received a cucumber instead of the garlic. We had a few members that were shorted on arugula as well; they received spinach as a substitute.

Gemini Farm has some Hubbard squash for our shares this week, but we don’t want you to be concerned when it arrives cut in half. Gemini had saved some of their best squash to harvest the seed from for next year, and in the process of extracting the seeds, they have 2 halves of a perfectly good squash for us. Since these were the larger squash, members will receive a half of a squash in a bag, roughly 2.5lb, ready for supper.

We are getting better at making changes to member’s share when there dietary preferences that you let us know about. If you see something in the share that you can’t have, or absolutely hate, send us an email and we can find a substitute, but remember that half the fun of the CSA is trying something new.



We haven’t heard any member feedback regarding interest in seed for your home gardens, so we might table this one for a while. We will see if people are interested again in April. Email us for more information.


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, provided it’s not really out of route. 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:

Butter! We have some home-made butter, from Organic cream, that might be a good fit for our membership. Stay tuned!

We are still working on the baked goods, and milk for home delivery.

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


EBT Update: It’s in the mail…they say

Any member who will be interested in purchasing farm shares or other food with EBT, please email or call us so we can explain how it will work


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, due to weather/temperature issues usually. In the event you order something that doesn’t make it in, we will make remove it from being charged to your Farmigo account. In the event that we don’t remove it from your account, just email us and we will credit you.


Peach Jam!! Our favorite peach growers, Rancho Durazno, have started a line of preserves that bring that end of summer taste to your table any time of the year! On the marketplace now for $8.49/Jar


Oranges: We have Organic Valencia oranges on the marketplace, $3.75 for 5, $6.79 for 10 or a case of 88 for $55

Arugula:  On hold

Potatoes: We have Organic red and Yukon potatoes on the marketplace

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

Lettuce: Salad mix is on the marketplace

Baby Spinach: In your share and on the marketplace

Onions, Candy semi-sweet: Yellow onions for just $1 /pound from Schwebach Family Farm.

Garlic:  In your share and on the marketplace

Winter Squashes: Butternuts and Hubbard are on the marketplace

Winesap Apples: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: on the marketplace

Zucchini:  on the marketplace

Tomatoes: Clusters and Grapes are on the marketplace

Kale and Collards:   Kale is in your share, medium sized

Collards are still looking good!

Potato and Rutabaga Gratin


4 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup flour

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 lb. rutabagas, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 tbsp. minced thyme leaves

2 cups (about 4 oz.) grated Salad Jack cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat oven to 425°. Heat butter and oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour, and cook until smooth, about 1 minute. Add milk and cream, and stir until smooth. Add potatoes, rutabagas, and 2 tsp. thyme, and bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are slightly tender and broken apart, about 5 minutes. Stir in half the cheese and salt and pepper, and then transfer to a 9″ × 13″ baking dish; top with remaining cheese and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining thyme before serving.



Garlic is in your share again, coming from Kyle Skaggs of Frisco Farm down in the Gila Wilderness area.

The garlic in this share is not for pantry storing, it should be used up quickly or preserved in a different way.  To avoid ending up with a garlic head that has started to sprout and dry up, we recommend freezing the cloves, or some other means of preservation.

Garlic can be frozen in a number of ways:

  1. Chop the garlic, wrap it tightly in a plastic freezer bag or in plastic wrap, and freeze. …
  2. Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as needed.
  3. Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic.

From the Mesa Top: Feb 19, 2015

Climatology 2015:  We are already into a spring storm cycle in which the weather changes often originate in the Canadian Central plains and blast down the front range of the Rockies and sometimes spread toward the west.  This pattern favors the eastern half of the state for precipitation.  Under this pattern Mesa Top can see more spring snow than Santa Fe does, because the Mountains to the East become a barrier to storm movement.  The Mesa south to Clines Corners is sometimes the western extend of storm movement.

As this entry is being prepared, there is a hint of snow in the air with another round likely over the coming weekend.  The weekend storm is advertised to include the coldest air of the winter.   This rapid up and down swing in temperatures I like to refer to as the yo-yo weather of spring.

From the Wild:  The duck flock is increasing.  8 ducks spotted recently congregating on the reservoir.

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  The youngest calves were branded last weekend and the milk line herd was reduced to 5.  We have one cow looking like she will calf in the next couple of weeks.  We need to watch her during the stormy times so we can give her protection from wind and snow if she needs it.

The range herd has been moved away from the corals, out to pastures.  They sure resist this change at first, standing at the closest place they can find to their beloved hay stacks and mooing their complaint.  After a couple of days they wander off looking to graze.  We are hoping that the spring snows will not be enough to bury the grass.  We are optimistic that the period of heavy hay feeding and expense is behind us.

Beneficial Eggs:  Plenty of eggs, extra-large to jumbo average dozen weight.

Cheese making update:   Cheesemaking continues.  We always notice at this time of year that the yield of the cheese making process drops.  In other words it takes more milk to produce the optimum amount of curds to fill our cheese mold. It is about a 7-10% drop in yield.  We do not notice any change in quality or consistency of the cheese, just that it takes more milk to make our optimum sized wheel.

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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