Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of March 12th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 12th, 2015

Romaine Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Baby Spinach from Preferred Produce

Easter Egg Radishes from Skarsgard Farm

Parsley from South Valley ABQ farmers

Hakurei Turnips from South Valley ABQ Farmers

½ a Hubbard Squash from Gemini Farm

Salado Jack Cheese from Mesa Top Farm


Member news:


We are delivering Salmon orders this week to the members who have ordered. We are buying a few extra fish that will be on the marketplace till they are all bought up. We will be emailing a few filleting techniques and tips, and a few more salmon recipes to members who ordered.



Albuquerque Deliveries:

We have begun a few deliveries to customers in ABQ, part of our plans to expand our CSA to other persons invested in local agriculture. If you have friends or family in ABQ, let them know we are working on a presence in the city.

Deals and Discounts!

2 Mild 505 Salsas and 1 Enchilada sauce left


Farmers and Share Updates

This week posed another round of produce challenges for us, but through our farmer’s support, everything looks like it will come together nicely. This time of the year, when our winter storage crops are dwindling and spring crops are just getting going, we face the challenge of getting produce in large enough numbers to fill shares. It is around this time of the year we integrate some unique local food products, which ensure that shares have their full value. We have mixed local cider and jams in shares in the past few shares, and we are planning on working traditional foods like Atole, Chicos, posole and pinto beans into shares when we don’t have all our fresh produce needs met. A few members have requested items like these find their way into the bags, but if there are other suggestions, please pass them along.


Preferred Produce had a malfunction with their water valve a few weeks ago, which resulted in their Cucumber and Zucchini crops to be flooded. We aren’t sure when to expect either of these crops back, but it will be a few weeks at least. Preferred’s green house is a major component of our CSA operating through the winter months, so this loss of crops precipitated more grain and flours being planned for shares in the coming weeks. All is not lost though, Mathew promises there are red bell peppers and Cantaloupes on the horizon.


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.


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…. Never showed up, we are calling once again

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.



Fresh herb!

We have fresh Cilantro, parsley and dill available on the marketplace! See the tempting Green Herb and Salmon recipe below for some tasty ideas. Parsley is also in your share

Kale, Chard and Collards: We have Rainbow Chard as well as Dino and Curly Kale from some partnering farms in the South Valley of ABQ

Collards are getting a little tough to fill order on, but we are trying to keep up with demands

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

Easter Egg Radish: In your share and on the marketplace

Romaine Lettuce: In your share and on the marketplace

Sunchokes: a few left on the marketplace.

Lettuce: Salad mix is on the marketplace

Spinach: In your share and on the marketplace

Onions: We are done with Dean’s onions, now we have a limited supply of Copra Onions from Leafwater Farm in Medanales, NM

Winter Squashes: We have ½ hubbard squash in your shares this week, we have gotten the last of Brett and Alexia’s squash for one last share in a few week. Mesa Top is done with winter squash for the season.

Cucumbers and Zucchini: On hold for the next few weeks, due to flooding of crops

Tomatoes: Clusters and Grapes are on the marketplace

Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs


1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) skinless salmon fillet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup good olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)

1/2 cup minced fresh dill

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup dry white wine

Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the salmon fillet in a glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel roasting dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill, and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet, turning it so that both sides are generously coated with the green herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet.

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (I peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.) Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges.

Fresh Turnip Green Cacio e Pepe Pasta

with Baby Hakurei Turnips & Pear Salad



1 Bosc Pear

1 Bunch Baby Harukei Turnips With Tops

1 Bunch Parsley

1 Lemon

2 Teaspoons Whole Black Peppercorns

3 Tablespoons Salted Butter

10 Ounces Fresh Turnip Green Pasta

2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons Grated Pecorino Cheese

Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut the lemon into quarters and remove the seeds. Peel the pear and cut into quarters, then core and slice into ¼-inch thick pieces. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemon wedges over the pears to prevent them from browning. Roughly chop the green tops of the turnips, then slice the turnip bottoms into ¼-inch thick half circles. Pick the parsley leaves off the stem.

Crack the peppercorns:

Using a spice grinder or the bottom of a heavy pan, crack the black peppercorns in small batches (10 to 15 at a time) until they resemble a coarse grind.

Make the vinaigrette & salad:

In a small bowl, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon wedges and season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the pears, cut turnip bottoms, parsley leaves and some of the vinaigrette (you may have extra vinaigrette). Season with salt and pepper and toss to thoroughly coat.

Prepare the pasta sauce:

In a large pan, combine the butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ cup of water and as much cracked black pepper​ as you’d like (depending on how peppery you’d like the dish to be). Heat on medium for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or just until the butter melts, breaking apart the butter with a spoon to help it melt faster. Remove from heat and set aside (you’ll reheat it later).

Cook the pasta:

Once the water is boiling, add the fresh pasta. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pasta floats and is al dente (tender but still has a bite). Reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water and drain thoroughly.

Finish the pasta:

Reheat the pan with the pasta sauce on medium until hot. Add the cooked pasta and turnip greens and mix to thoroughly combine. Stir in all but a pinch of both the Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses (reserve the rest for garnish). Then, gradually add up to 1 cup of pasta water to create a creamy consistency. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well combined and the greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. To plate your dish, divide the pasta between 2 bowls and garnish with the remaining cheeses. Divide the salad between 2 dishes and serve on the side. Enjoy!

From the Mesa Top: Mar 12, 2015

Climatology 2015:  Green shoots of cool season grasses emerging out on pasture and especially in the arroyo bottoms.  The subsoil is wet from the last two warm storms.  Several early season native plants will be showing themselves in the next couple of weeks

Cloudy and showery weather feels like transition to spring.  No doubt more cold weather is still ahead.  It is worth remembering a mid-march storm about 10 years ago that dropped 18 inches of snow at the Mesa, and even closed I-25 at La Bajada Hill for a night.

From the Wild:  There are 2 pairs of ducks who will be looking for somewhere to brood out their eggs.  We will be hoping to find time to build some brush piles down to the edge of the reservoir to provide protection.  It is difficult to gauge the volume of water in the reservoir, and whether a reasonable water level will hold until the summer rains.  We had always hoped to connect a water line from our main well so that in emergencies we could keep some water in the reservoir.  Not a small task, wishing for some conservation cost share dollars to help make that happen.

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project:  Blanca had her calf last Friday.  Blanca was the first of out “big 4” to have her calf in November, 2010.  We will move two more cows with calves off of the milk line and out  to the range.

Blanca will go right to the milk line.

The range herd is back out on pasture.  We sold a mix of different aged cows, none who have been milked, to a rancher from Mountainair.  We are paying off our hay bill and some expected pasture expenses for 2015.  We go into summer feeling optimistic that if the summer rains are at all favorable, we will have enough grass for the herd.  But we do not yet have reserves.  We are still trying to get leases set up with neighbors who have larger pieces of land but do not have any livestock.

Beneficial Eggs.  The chickens are enjoying the moderate temperatures of spring.  They are outside, foraging right through the day.  As the temperatures rise they will start to seek shade for the warmest parts of the day, and will be very active in the shrinking windows of moderate temperatures and daylight.

Cheese making update:   Cheesemaking continues.  We are closing in on our desired total production for the season.


We have a new addition to our farm family this week, a Golden Retriever Puppy named Sheamus. Sheamus is destined to sire a line Goldendoodles when he is mature. The family has breed dogs off and on for years, and it has been part of how some of the older children have paid part of their college bills.

Our oldest daughter Kimberly is retiring her Bernese mountain dog Koby this year, and we are looking for a family to adopt him. Koby has the sweetest personality, always pleased to great his family when they return to the farm. As he gets older though, he just can’t keep up with farm life and we are seeing if anyone might be interested in giving Koby a place in their family.

Contact Colleen if you’re interested in learning more about Koby, 505-470-1969

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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