Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of April 23rd, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday April 23rd, 2015

Collards from Sol y Tierra

Radishes from Sol y Tierra

Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra

Cilantro from Anthony Youth Farm

Salado Jack Cheese from Mesa Top Farm

Kale from Preferred Produce

Spinach from Preferred Produce

Member news:

Best of Santa Fe Voting!

Just 2 weeks left!

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.

We have been weighing a lot of options lately, and we grossly under estimated the cost of a refrigerator. We are looking at this little guy, to see if it might get us through a season or two, till we can save up more. We are fast approaching the heat of summer, and we don’t want to be caught off guard. We are still having the unit looked at, to see if it’s worth it.

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


Oh the ever evolving fish project! We have to place the steaks on hold for this week, we noticed the starting signs of freezer burn on the last batch we cut, so we moved that last few pieces to some friends while we look at ways to prevent this. One of the obstacles to the steaks right now, are we have to cut a certain amount at a time to make it work for the butcher. We are regrouping this week, and hopefully we will have a few ideas to try by next week.

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 pretty diverse share last week, it’s not every week we make it to 9 items! We are looking pretty full again this week too!

We have a new farm in the mix this week, SOLAR, a women’s garden from Chaparral, NM. They have radishes and salad mix for us this week, and maybe some turnips next week!

It sounds like we have some rhubarb on the way, we heard from a farmer about 100lbs or so that we are working on getting. Now we just need to track down some strawberries for pies!

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.

Kale: We have curly kale in shares and on the marketplace

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Arugula: on the marketplace

Fresh herbs: Cilantro is in your share and on the marketplace

Shallots: We have 6 left on the marketplace

Carrots: We have both Purple and orange carrots on the marketplace

Collards: in your share, not enough for marketplace

Potatoes: Russet potatoes available while they last

Lettuce:  Salad mix in shares, but not enough for marketplace

Beets: on the marketplace

Spinach:  in your share and on the marketplace

Cucumbers and Zucchini: 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 back now too, both Grapes and cluster are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: are on the marketplace


This is a great basic recipe that I eat as an entree. Feel free to swap in kale (leave out the fibrous stem) or chard (mmm, good, tender stem) for the collard greens. This makes a fantastic Meatless Monday meal. You can, however, leave out the beans and add leftover chicken. The egg is optional but I have to say, the yolk makes for a lovely, rich ‘sauce.’ 

Anita L Arambula

Makes 4 servings as a main dish 



1 bunch collard greens (about 5-6 cups chopped)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ large onion, sliced with the grain in half moons

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

⅓ cup diced mild green chiles

15 ounce can stewed or diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

15 ounce can cannellini beans, or your favorite white bean, drained and rinsed well

1 bunch cilantro, thicker stems removed, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large eggs (free-range, if possible)



  1. Cut bottom ⅓ of the collard green stem off. Finely chop remaining stem. Slice collard green leaf into thirds lengthwise, stack, then chop into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl. Continue with remaining leaves. Fill bowl with water to cover. Swoosh water to rinse greens. Set aside to soak and allow dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil into a large sauté pan and place on medium-low heat. When oil is shimmering but not smoking, add onions and sauté until translucent and just starting to color. Add garlic, stirring frequently to keep from burning. Cook for 1 minute then add the green chiles. Cook 1 minute longer, stirring often.
  3. Carefully remove collard green leaves to a strainer using tongs or your hands. The heavier stems will have sunk to the bottom of the bowl. Without disturbing the water, fish out the stems and add them to the onion mixture in the pan. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes then add the rest of the greens. Stir to wilt by half in volume. Add the tomatoes (and the juices from the can), breaking up the stewed tomatoes with your hands if using. Add the tomato paste; stir well to combine. Add the beans, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cover, reduce heat to low and allow to braise while you make the eggs.
  4. Place a small frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully break an egg into a small cup or bowl, then slide the egg into the pan. Allow egg to cook, undisturbed, for at least two full minutes. This allows for the whites to run off the yolks, thus preventing a white film to cover the gorgeous yellow. After two minutes, carefully spoon the hot oil over the whites to until they set up to desired doneness (I like mine just set). You can also spoon some over the yolks if you like though I often skip it. Carefully remove egg to a plate and repeat with remaining eggs. Season eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To serve, divide the greens between four bowls and top each serving with an egg.

Pickled Radishes

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

One of our members was sharing some great ideas, one being that if anyone is feeling overloaded with radishes or another food, consider pickling it! Check out the Tasting Table Test Kitchen for cool pickling and other recipes!

Yield: 1 pint
Cook Time: 25 minutes


1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup water

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 medium radishes (preferably breakfast radishes), quartered lengthwise

½ small red onion, thinly sliced crosswise

8 tarragon leaves


Bring the vinegar, water, garlic, salt and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, then add the radishes, onion and tarragon. Cool to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container and chill (they stay crunchy and flavorful for up to one week).
From the Mesa Top: April 23rd, 2015

Climatology 2015: Most years we don’t get accumulating snow in April, but this weekend we woke up Sunday morning to about 2 inches of fresh, wet snow, and flakes still falling.  The snow melted off in a matter of a couple of hours, even though the sun was not out.

From the Wild:  The call of a sandpiper can be heard around the reservoirDeer are browsing on the young clover.  Below the reservoir there are just two locations left with clear spring water, indicative of the high water table created by the reservoir.

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Monday (April 20th turned out to be high cow adventure day.  On Sunday evening we brought in Abigail, looking like a beached whale (no calf yet), along with the portion of the range heard that was hanging around with her. We put them in the pasture at the reservoir, thinking it would be easy to find them, given Steven going to DC for parts of the next two weeks.

Monday morning Steven went up to check on Abigail and found Nancy, one of our oldest cows, stuck up to her belly in mud.  She had begun to walk across what looked like a dry area upstream from the reservoir, but it was pure clay mud and she sank up to her chest and couldn’t move.  Steven went for the backhoe and some strong arms and backs.  We freed her from the mud a couple of times but when she tried to continue across the arroyo, she just sank again.  Finally we rigged a harness around her, just behind her front legs and over her back, and Steven dragged her up onto the bank using the back hoe.  She stood up, looking rather sheepish and offended, and positively filthy, and wobbled off to find her calf.

Later in the day Steven was hauling a tank of water up to the range herd’s drinkers and he saw Abigail sitting/lying under some trees.  When he came back she was still there so he went over to check on her.  He saw two little feet coming out from her hind end, and Abigail was struggling.  The amniotic fluid had not burst and the poor calf was in danger of suffocating.  Generally in a situation like this the pushing of the cow releases the fluid, but Abigail could not move the calf.  She was straining and pushing but to no avail.  Steven broke Abigail’s water and grabbed the calf’s feet and started pulling.  Abigail tore a bit and between the two of them they got the calf’s nose out into the air, and Steven slapped it a few times to get it to start breathing.  Soon nearly the whole head was out, and the umbilical chord was wrapped around the calf’s shoulders.  Steven broken that and reached his hand up inside Abigail and along the calf’s shoulders and pulled and Abigail pushed and one of the biggest calves born at the mesa came sliding out.  Abigail sat there with her tongue hanging out, exhausted, and did not want to get up.  Steven used his sweatshirt and dried off the calf as much as he could.  When he tried unsuccessfully to lift the calf to her feet, Abigail got motivated and stood up and turned around and started cleaning up the calf.  Steven went for the pickup truck and some strong arms and shoulders and they loaded the calf on the back of the pickup and Abigail followed the truck home, where she and her calf went to the maternity ward to keep them out of the wind and cold.  The calf was nursing and Abigail was dripping from all four quarters.


Beneficial Eggs.  Excellent egg production continues.


Cheese making update:   Cheese making at rest.  The cheese room is all cleaned up and returned to its season role as a backup kitchen. We will be busy this week, cutting into the wheels for share portions of our raw milk cheese!

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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