Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of April 30th, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday April 30th, 2015

Spinach from Preferred Produce

Rainbow Chard from Agricultura Network

Carrots from Sol y Tierra

Turnips from Sol y Tierra

Cucumber from Preferred Produce

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Member news:

Best of Santa Fe Voting!

Just 1 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.

We did get a chance to finally taste Dylan and Abby’s fish the way they like preparing it. Abby is a truly gifted cook, and the salmon had some tough competition from all the other great dishes. These fillets were brined in salt water briefly and then cooked on a cedar plank over a bed of coals. The final product was almost a smoked fillet, with such rich flavor from only a few simple ingredients. Many farm raised fish need a sauce or over spicing to bring out such flavor, so we can’t wait to see what master pieces come from starting with such a fine piece of meat.

Also, your any Pinterest users, Abby had started a Seashaken Pinterest page that is full of everything from salmon recipes to fish puns, and that’s not the halibut (half of it).

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

Last week we faced one of the challenges that local produce brings to the mix. We has come communication and logistical issues, which by Thursday morning resulted in a fair amount of produce not making it up to the distribution site. We are looking for ways to avoid this in the future, but as always, we are all humans who can err. We appreciate you understanding when something comes up.

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!

Local granola!

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!

Butter: Email orders for handmade butter from Org cream. $30 for a 2.5# block

Kale: on the marketplace

Asparagus: on the marketplace

Bok Choy: on the marketplace

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Arugula: on the marketplace

Fresh herbs: Cilantro, thyme and mint bunches on the marketplace

Shallots: We have 6 left on the marketplace

Carrots:  orange carrots are in your share and on the marketplace

Potatoes: Russet potatoes available while they last

Spinach:  in your share and on the marketplace

Cucumbers are in your share and Zucchini are on the marketplace

Apples and Oranges may be about done, at least for this week. We will see what else is avalible.

Tomatoes: Clusters back now too, both Grapes and cluster are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: on hold

Warm Chard Salad with Turnips, Almonds and Dried Cherries

  • 1 tsp olive oil (5g)
  • Bunch of Rainbow Chard (mine weighed out to just over 200g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4-5 small turnips cut into small chunks
  • 1/8 cup of almonds (15g)
  • 1/8 cup dried cherries halved (20g)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of water

Anyway, separate the leaves from the stems of the chard. Just gap the step and pull. Chop the stems into small pieces and loosely chop the leaves.

Cut the turnips. I had these aging ones from last weeks share. (note: I already ate the greens but I’m thinking you could make this salad using the turnip greens instead of the chard.)

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems, garlic and turnips. Sauté until the stems are soft and the turnips browning.

Add the almond, cherries and vinegar. Stir and cook for about a minute.

Turn the heat down to medium and add a tablespoon of water if the skillet it getting too dry.

Add the chard to the skillet. Sprinkle with a tbsp of water and cover.

Cook for 1 minute. Uncover. Toss and turn onto a plate.

Roasted Carrots with Ras El Hanout


Ras El Hanout Spice Mix

2 tablespoons whole green cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon allspice berries

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons whole cloves

5 whole star anise

2 árbol chiles

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

2 pounds medium carrots (about 2 large bunches), peeled

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Nonstick pan spray


  1. Make the spice mix: On a cutting board, add all of the spices. Cover with a cloth towel and use a rolling pin to crush them until they are broken into smaller bits (don’t smash into a fine powder).
  2. Make the carrots: Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, add the carrots and drizzle with the olive oil and honey. Sprinkle the crushed spices and salt over the carrots and toss to coat. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick pan spray. Transfer the carrots to the baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Roast the carrots until they are very fragrant and tender, about 2 hours. Remove the carrots from the oven and discard the foil. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel to gently brush the spices from the carrots (discard the spices), then use a metal spatula to transfer the carrots to a large plate for serving.

From the Mesa Top: April 30th, 2015

Climatology 2015: Snow this past Sunday yet again, this time at mid day!  And then more snow and rain overnight.  About ½ inch of liquid (including melted snow) at Mesa Top when all was said and done.  By the end of this week we should be back to warm/windy spring.  We will be looking forward to the return of sunny, warmer days and the response from the pasture grasses to this spell of wet and cool weather.

But for now, cool almost cold is the weather story.

At the global level, on April 22 eruption of the Calbuco Volcano in Chile:

Besides the intense local impact, the volcano can impact weather all across the globe.  The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 was followed by a very wet year as the atmosphere was “seeded” with dust and particles that were shot all the way into the upper atmosphere.

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: What a relief, no cow adventures to report.  Abigail and her calf are fine, living the spoiled life on a small pasture next to the garden.  The next-to youngest calf in the group, and his momma cow Blanca are also home.  We hate to leave cows alone with no company.

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.

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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