Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of May 7th, 2015  

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday May 7th, 2015

Leeks from Talon de Gato

Purple Mustard Greens from Talon de Gato

Tatsoi from Talon de Gato

Carrots from Solar

Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Red Bell Peppers from Preferred Produce

Chicos from Casado’s Farm

Member news:

Best of Santa Fe Voting!

Now we wait with baited breath!

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.

Slow going this week on finding the cooler. We did work with Hillside to clean up the storage room so we can fit some freezer space in. We are working on cleaning up the dock for when we finally get the cooler figured out, so we are ready to go.

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


We have steaks back on the marketplace this week. It’s time to experiment to see if butcher paper helps preserve the quality any better. We are also going to do a trail with a vacuum pack machine, it’s more costly but it might be the move to make in the long run.

Check out Seashaken’s Pinterest for great recipe ideas:

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

Talon de Gato is back this week, with Leeks, Tatsoi and Purple Mustard Greens!

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.


Live Plant Sale!

To kick off the spirit spring and another growing season, Adam of TdG is going to have starter plants for members wanting to expand their garden this year. This week we have 3 varieties of tomatoes; there are 2 more types on the way (Heinz and Black Cherry). Adam will have these available through May on the weeks he is delivering for shares, along with pepper plants mid-May and parsley and basil as soon as they seem ready!

Time to get your gardening trowels out!

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, dill, thyme, garlic chives, oregano and mint bunches on the marketplace

Shallots: on the marketplace

Carrots:  orange carrots are in your share

Potatoes: Russet potatoes available while they last

Spinach:  on the marketplace

Cucumbers and Zucchini are on the marketplace

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

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

Red Bell Peppers: In your share and on the marketplace

Indian-Style Mustard Greens


  1. 1 1/4 pounds mustard greens, stemmed, or broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
  2. 1/2 pound cleaned spinach
  3. 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  4. 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  5. 4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  6. One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  7. 2 red onions, finely chopped
  8. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  9. Salt


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the mustard greens and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds. Drain the greens, transfer to a food processor and puree. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the greens and pulse briefly to combine. Transfer the pureed greens to a bowl.
  2. Add the garlic, jalapeños and ginger to the food processor and finely chop. Add the onions and finely chop.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic-onion mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the pureed greens and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally; add about 1/4 cup of water if the greens look dry. Season with salt and serve.

Potato Leek Pie Recipe


Yields: 6 servings

1 pound frozen puff pastry dough, store-bought
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (14-ounce) can fried eggplant, chopped
1 cup leek (green part only), diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
1 sprig oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
1-½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
8-10 Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
½ teaspoon paprika (or red chili powder)
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon garlic chives, snipped
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

For the tart shell:

Make sure the puff pastry dough is thawed but still cold so it’s easy to roll out. Roll the dough using a rolling pin into a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Place the dough in a non-stick rectangular (12″ x 8″) tart mold, previously lined with parchment paper; following the curve of the mold, crimp the dough against the edge. Gently press the dough with your fingers so there are no air bubbles. Leave a little excess above the edge because the dough will settle a bit in the oven. Prick the dough with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Line the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and top with ceramic pie weights (dried beans work well too). Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 12-14 minutes. Remove the pie weights and discard the pieces of parchment paper. Bake for another 2-3 minutes so the pie crust can dry. Remove from the heat and let the dough cool a little down. Set aside.

Making the base of the tart:

In a large, non-stick pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook until the color is translucent, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning. Add the butter, garlic and leeks. Season with salt. Cook until golden (about 5-7 minutes). Add the chopped eggplant, honey (if used) and oregano. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture is spreadable and becomes almost like a paste. If you get lumpy pieces of eggplant, do not hesitate to mash them using the back of a spoon. Adjust seasoning. Add black pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

Parboiling the potatoes (see tips): Brush and wash the potatoes. Place them whole in a large pot (no need to peel them). Fill it with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It’s important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a full boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 10-11 minutes. Test, using a fork; the potatoes should be slightly tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried thoroughly, cut them into about ½-inch thick slices.

Browning the potatoes:

Divide the sliced potatoes into 2 batches. In the same pan, add the canola oil. Add the first batch of potatoes; don’t over-crowd the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Pan-fry for about 2-3 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, flip the potatoes without applying any pressure so they don’t get smashed and remain crispy. Cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes until nicely browned. Season with paprika, salt and pepper and set aside. Check for doneness of the potatoes. They should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Adjust seasoning. Repeat with the other batch until all the potatoes are browned on both sides.

Assembly time:

Fill the tart shell with the warm leek filling. Sprinkle some gorgonzola cheese and chives. Top with the pan-fried potatoes. Bake at 375°F for about 8 minutes. At the end, to ensure the potatoes are browned, if necessary, change the setting to a broil for about 2 minutes.

Remove from the oven and finish with a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. The dough should be flaky.

Garnish with parsley.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a green salad.

From the Mesa Top: May 7th, 2015

Climatology 2015: From snow one week, right into monsoonal weather the next!  Spring didn’t last long..  Hahaha, just joking, I think it will be back.  Wouldn’t it be grand if our monsoonal pattern began this early in the year!  Oh, but Monday’s storm is still snow at 10,000 feet and up!

No snow by the reservoir, but you can see how moist things are

More Volcano news:  the Colima Volcano (Mountain of Fire) became active again a couple of weeks ago:

From the Wild:  The sandpipers at the reservoir are a pair!  A flock of ducks, ranging from 6 to 9, has taken up residence.  The water is disappearing fast.  A downpour providing some water to the reservoir from the current storm would be a miracle.  Pray (or whatever you believe works) and we will hope for the best

Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Exciting news!  There is a registered Ayrshire dairy in the Los Lunas area, owned by Raymond Jarrett.  As a young dairyman in his 60s, back in 1983, he served as Vice President of the American Ayrshire Breeders Association.  Here is a clipping from the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Farm News from May 7, 1983, just 32 years ago:——-en-20–1–txt-txIN——-

Ok, so I figure some of you did the math…  If he was in his 60s in 1983, he is now almost 95 years old!  Here is a summary of an “oral history recording” done with Raymond in 2003 by the New Mexico farm and Ranch museum:

Anyway, we were trying to figure out if there is a way to “employ” Abigail, the super cow, who loves to care for other cow’s calves.  (Last September she kept little Minnie alive for 3 days until she could be united with her mother.) We contacted Raymond to see if we could buy a registered Ayrshire bull calf and he said yes!  So Colleen and Steve are planning a trip to the dairy later this week to get a calf and we will see if Abigail will be so kind as to raise him with her heifer.

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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