Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of April 16th, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday April 16th, 2015

Purple Carrots from Sol y Tierra

Orange Carrots from Anthony Youth Farm

Zucchini from Preferred Produce

Cucumbers from Preferred Produce

Red Bell Peppers from Preferred Produce

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Organic Fuji Apples from WA

Organic Oranges from CA

Dried Posole from Casado’s Farm

Member news:

Best of Santa Fe Voting!

Beneficial has been nominated in the top 6 Best places to shop for Local Produce in the Santa Fe Reporter’s Best of Santa Fe 2015!! It is an honor to be in the running, now it is time to call in the support to bring it home for the win! Of the others in the running, I only see 1-2 others who show the same commitment to local agriculture and farmers as we do, so I hope we are in the top contenders.

Voting is open through May 3rd, so that gives you plenty of time to vote, and to get all your friends and family involved!

Construction at Hillside Market:

Our efforts continue, to find and install a commercial refrigeration unit at our distribution point. Finding an affordable, but still quality unit is proving to be a task. We don’t plan on taking short cuts to save a few cents in the short term, and be paying for it later, so we are weighing all the options. We are some additional input on the project again this week; hopefully we can meet our timelines of May completion.

Again, it could never have been done without our membership support, so we thank you!


We are still plugging away on our CSF project, and we are pleased to announce we have salmon steak available now. After finding an affordable butcher certified to cut fish, and willing to do it, we have a more individual friendly way to enjoy our Seashaken salmon. We are offering 4 steak packs for $13.99/lb, they range from 1.5-2lbs, and we will adjust member accounts based on final weight. Another possible win for locals, is a local pet food producer is willing to take the collars and tails from these cuts, so we are using the whole fish and keeping it local!

Now you want to talk about a testimonial, this fish lover has given us some poetic inspiration to match the product! Overall, we keep hearing that this is the best piece of fish anyone has tried yet!


“ We just grilled two steaks with butter and salt and pepper. I didn’t even want to cook them, they looked and felt so fresh, just wanted to hold them in my hands for the rest of my life. The fish monger has some magic to preserve their off-the-boat character, just like Irish and Jewish refugees landing at Ellis Island after the potato famine and the pogroms. I think I could eat them (not the Irish and Jews) once a week for the rest of my life.

I remained present during the thaw, like a great great great great grandson watching the cryogenic resurrection of his patriarch. It was exhilarating to behold the eighth inch patina of frozen salt bath fall away from skin and flesh and reveal a vibrant creature underneath. Aristotle was dead wrong to claim that a dead hand is no longer a hand. It comes back to life in its natural smell and color; I made swimming motions with it in my hands and it responded.”

— Michael Rawn (Tutor at St. John’s College Santa Fe)

Abby, Dylan’s girlfriend, has finished up the label design for the fish this week, and we had a test batch printed. This couple is working tirelessly to make their mission succeed,  to have the necessary mix of customers, restaurants and value added processors, to create the full package for the program in NM!

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.

Farmers and Share Updates

We had a few issues last week with the zucchini in shares not being quite up to standard; hopefully we caught all the bad ones. We have them in shares again this week, hopefully there aren’t any issues.

It was another challenging week in the local produce world; many of our farmers are still getting crops in the ground. In order to have a full value share, we incorporated a few Organic apples and oranges in the share, but the benefit is we have managed to get 9 items in the share this week. We have some big bunches of Purple carrots from Sol, and a small bunch of orange carrots from AYF, totally about a pound.

It may have been a hard week to find share quantities on produce, but oh boy, look at that marketplace full of some many smaller quantity specialties!

This will be the last week of the bagged Red and Yukon potatoes; we will have russets for a little while afterwards, but stock up now!

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:

The return of Intergalica products! We finally got a good number for Amy, and we are going to be re-introducing some of her products soon!

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

EBT Update:

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: We are starting to see some of our Northern farms producing, but we will still be mixing in Southern produce to ensure a full balance.

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:

We are starting to get into our Spring/Summer crops, which will make having an accurate marketplace and regular share list more reliable. Occasionally, a product comes in that isn’t up to our standards for distribution, or is shorted by the farm, so contact us via email for credits/issues.



We are pleased to have Old Pecos Foods join our CSA, to provide their amazing mustards to our members. They offer 5 different flavors of artesian mustards, of course we have both red and green chili, but they also have spicy garlic, honey-pecan and almond hickory which just make it so hard to decide! Mike and Diane work with many other local growers to source as much of their ingredients as possible, chili, honey, garlic oil and wheat flour are from local farmers. If anyone just can’t make up their mind, email us to request a 5 jar variety pack for $18, and we will try to have it within a week.


So far so good! We had 3 members try out the butter, one has gotten back to us that they are really enjoying it. Members interested in ordering a block of homemade butter from Organic cream, send us an email. We currently have 2.5lb blocks available for $30. We are seeing what our members think before exploring this as a regular marketplace item, and then we will explore a variety of sizes and custom flavors.


We have a limited amount of asparagus from the South Valley ABQ. Our guys are saying they aren’t super big, they are estimating about 4-5”, since it’s a younger plant. Fun facts on Asparagus: It is a perennial crop that can produce for up to 20 years, but it takes up to 5 years to reach peak production. Asparagus actually thrives in environments where there are dry seasons or winter ground freezes. The biggest cost of Asparagus is the labor involved, 75% of production cost is labor. Most of the asparagus you see comes from abroad; the US asparagus production dropped 64% between 2004 and 2014.

Chioggia Guardsmark Beets: We have some stunningly beautiful beets available, if they grew right, they should have a bulls-eye color layering! Available on the marketplace

Red Bibb lettuce: We have 2 red Bibb lettuce heads on the marketplace

Kale: We have regular curly kale and Ribor kale on the marketplace

Cantaloupes: in your share and on the marketplace

Fresh Spices: We have fresh chives on the marketplace this week

Arugula: on the marketplace

Shallots: We have 6 left on the marketplace

Carrots: Only enough available for shares this week

Chard: We have Rainbow Chard and on the marketplace

Potatoes: This is the last week for Organic Red and Yukon potatoes on the marketplace

Russets will be available for a little while afterwards

Lettuce:  Head lettuce on the marketplace, no salad mix this week

Spinach:  on the marketplace

Cucumbers and Zucchini: In your share and on the marketplace

Apples and Oranges, Org: We have some Org Fuji apples, and Navel Oranges, our locals are done for the season, but we want to share these products in lieu of our local growers

Tomatoes: Clusters are on hold and Grapes are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: are on the marketplace


Do I dare post a recipe on this classic NM dish, praying I don’t receive 80 member replies telling me I forgot something, J? So far in my life in NM, my friend Marlene in Santo Domingo Pueblo is the only one I trust to cook up the best posole I have had in my life, but go figure, she won’t give me the full recipe. Let’s just stick with the Santa Fe School of Cooking’s version, and let people modify if from there. Whether you’re doing green or red, chicken or pork, don’t forget the garlic, since Marlene says it’s one of the only things helping prevent her chili from burning a hole in my stomach.

2 c. posole, picked over for dirt or stones
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. chopped onion
2 T. minced garlic
1 oz. New Mexico dried red chile pods, 4 or 5 pods,

  • stems and seeds removed

5 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. coarsely chopped cilantro
2 t. salt, or to taste

Put the posole in a 6-quart pot and cover with cold water by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, adding water as needed, until the kernels have softened and begin to burst. Drain the posole and rinse well.

Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot and sauté the onions until golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the posole, dried chiles, broth and 1/2 of the cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the salt and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serves 8 to 10

Optional seasonings: This recipe is a favorite of the school. However, there are a number of optional ingredients you could add. For festive occasions, diced pork or smoked pork bones are used to add substance and variety. Bowls of red or green chile sauce served on the side flavor the posole further. Omit the fresh cilantro and add 2 t. of dried Mexican oregano. 2 t. of azafran (Mexican saffron) can be added at the same time and gives the posole a lovely golden color and a wonderful aromatic flavor. Bay leaves, freshly ground coriander seed, chile caribe (crushed red chile), or fresh lime juice may be also added. – See more at:

Purple Carrot!

No, you can’t just enjoy their amazing flavor just snacking on them! We must capitalize on the profound color as well, and create a dish to show it off. I went on a purple fruit and vegetable kick in my store once; I am a little over enthusiastic with the subject. So I don’t end up publishing a cookbook this week, I have a few ideas you can look up recipes on. Purple carrot cake, purple carrot and chia seed soda bread, pickled peppers and carrots (Dante’s Inferno), purple carrot and apple soup. Prior to the 17th century, purple carrots were the predominantly grown varieties, until Dutch growers started selecting the mutant orange varieties for seeds, and it snow balled from there. As a kid growing up, of course I though carrots were oranges, but know I look back and am scared that future generations might never see a purple carrot if we aren’t proactive, so Go PURPLE!

Oven Roasted Purple Carrots with Indian Spices


For The Panch Phoron

  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Nigella Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds

For The Roasted Carrots

  • 1 Bunch Yellow Carrots
  • 1 Bunch Orange Carrots
  • 1 Bunch Purple Carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Panch Phoron Spice (from above)
  • Kosher Salt


For The Panch Phoron

  1. Add all of the seeds to a spice grinder and process until they are reduced to a powder.
  2. Pour into a sealable container and set aside.

For The Roasted Carrots

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Clean (and peel if desired) all of the carrots.
  3. Lay the carrots out onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Make sure to evenly coat the carrots with the oil by rubbing them with the oil.
  4. Separate the carrots into a single layer on the baking sheet. You may need 2 baking sheets to make sure that they are only in a single layer.
  5. Liberally sprinkle the Panch Phoron seasoning over the carrots, then sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.
  6. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender. The time difference is due to the different sizes of carrots. The smaller/thinner they are, the faster they cook.
  7. Remove from oven.
  8. Serve.

From the Mesa Top: April 16th, 2015

Climatology 2015: Spring and the wild winds that accompany it are in full bloom.  Time to start praying and hoping for rain, any amount, any time

From the Wild:  Ducks still visiting the reservoir but no ongoing population.  An intrepid tiger salamander got confused, abandoning some moist and cool spot and took out over dry land, and died, desiccated in the dry wind.

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The range herd looks great.  Weights and body condition of the lactating mothers are stable.  Some of our mother cows just look thin and that’s that.  But others are able to keep pretty good body conditions even while they nurse.  That group is looking good, so we can be comfortable that they are getting good grass.

One of our last cows due to calf for this cycle is Abigail,  who last September rescued and saved little Minerva, calf of a very dull (but sweet) cow that we call MayMo from death when MayMo “lost” her for 3 days just a day or two after birth.  Abigail was dry at the time but watched over little Minnie and let her nurse.  We think she must have gotten SOMETHING from that, as it is inconceivable that a calf, newborn, could go for 3 days with no nourishment.  Abigail saved the day.   (For the original, detailed version of this story, see member message of Sept 18, 2014)

The summer before that when Abigail was raising her last calf, a little bull, when one night she  got herself stuck in the mud at the edge of a pond, next to the road.  Her calf wandered home without her the next morning, mooing pathetically.  We knew something was wrong and sent out on a mission to find Abigail, which was fortunately easy because she was on a small pasture.  When we found her, we brought the backhoe, some load straps, and dug around in the muck and got the straps around her, and dragged her out of the muck and then lifted her to her feet and she wobbled around but did not fall down.  Thankfully she had a calf to worry about, and being the bovine super mom that she is, she summoned up some extra strength and persevered.  (For the original, detailed version of this story, see member message of July 28, 2013)

The last Abigail story is from late last winter, when she showed up at the water tank with one of her horns broken totally off and a bloody stump in its place.  Now she looks totally weird as a one horned cow.  Not that it matters to her…  Sometime this week she will likely have her calf.  We will tell you how Abigail’s next adventure goes!  If all goes well, as we have every reason to hope it does, we may try to get an extra calf for her, and let her raise two!!!  That would keep her busy this summer and hopefully out of trouble

(Not Abigail or MayMo, couldn’t find their picture, looks like Tip from this angle)

Beneficial Eggs.  We are at peak egg production.  The chickens are healthy and all is well in the coops

Cheese making update:   Cheese making at rest.  The cheese room is all cleaned up and returned to its season role as a backup kitchen.

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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