Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of June 4th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday June 4th, 2015

Romaine Lettuce from Talon de Gato

Italian Dandelions from Talon de Gato

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Red Bell Peppers from Preferred Produce

Garlic from Allicin’s Ranch

Carrots from Sol y Tierra

Collards from Solar

Member news:

Store front at Hillside!

Something we have been talking about for years, but it never seemed to get off the ground, is the idea of Hillside being a store front for Beneficial products the other 5 days of the week. Well, as of Saturday, we have started things off with a bang and now have 50+ local and Organic staples available to the community 6 days a week! We don’t want to stop with just this selection; we want to build up a market to support what the community needs. For items you would like us to consider carrying at Hillside, please write them on the request log!

Having a store front helps us offer even more products to our customers that wouldn’t work for the CSA model, such as milk. We don’t offer milk, because it would spoil while waiting for pick up. Also, more availability to customers builds demand, which drives our expansion of product, as members have seen in the last year. Food access is never an exact science, but step by step, we continue to strive to be the communities’ source for great local food!

Stop by Hillside to see not only your favorite CSA foods, but also some great new additions to the selection: Milk, Yogurt, Olive oil, Pasta, Coconut Water and the famous Luque Bison Meat Sauce!

*Hillside is open Thursay-Tuesday, 10am-5pm (Sunday 11am-4pm)

Hillside Community Day:

For those who didn’t make it to Community Day at Hillside Market this last Saturday, you really missed out!

We had many local artists, programs and partners of Hillside were out to with booths to promote all the great things our community is supporting.

BFCSA promoted out CSF Salmon, by slow smoking a fish on a Cedar plank over coals! If anyone is interested in a great way to cook salmon, consider brining the salmon briefly before putting it over coals on a water soaked cedar plank, giving it a smoked salmon seal for great flavor! Email us for the recipe.

Best of Santa Fe Voting!

Waiting with baited breath…!

Construction at Hillside Market:

Slowly but surely we are making headway! We worked with Hillside to clear out some space for some coffin freezers, and now we are cleaning up the dock to prepare for the installation of our refrigeration units. We are also working side by side with the reconstruction of the Hillside restaurant, which will be under a new Chef and hopefully support the Farm to Fork mentality! More to follow!

On the delivery front, we are making some progress this week! We bought our trailer, and are working on insulating it and installing the refrigeration to keep produce at optimal temperatures during transit!!

It may just be my male side, but a new piece of equipment seems to deserve a few Tim Allen caveman grunts: ”Arrugh ugghhrgh hogh roighugh urgh arrghhargh” – Tim Allen

We might be only about a week away from completion on the trailer, should be testing things out Wednesday to see how they are working!

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


We are out of steaks this week, we are between cutting fish up.

We did the trial cryovac test a week or so ago, and it is looking like that is the next step for us to take. Ideally, we find a unit that helps on the salmon and the MT cheese; it just may take a little while. Luckily, we are moving through the wrapped steaks quickly enough that isn’t an immediate issue.

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

Introducing Santa Fe Granola CO!

Heaven in a Bag

My love affair with Santa Fe Granola began a few weeks ago, when I scoffed down a few samples at the Santa Fe Folk Festival. I’m not a granola person. I’m a nut and whole grain person. I couldn’t get this granola out of my mind because it’s chunky with pecans and walnuts and other wonderful crunchy things. I went back to the sample table, but the granola people had already left for the day. I searched for the product in shop after shop at the Plaza. Finally, got back to Mass. thinking “Oh, it was just a vacation thing,” but still couldn’t get the lusciousness out of my mind. I ordered on a Sunday. It arrived on a Wednesday, and I’ve been eating it every day since: topping on plain Greek yogurt, on oatmeal, fresh out of the bag. I’d love to experiment with using the granola in cookies. If anyone has, could you please post the recipe? 

Summer Heat is upon us once again!

While we continue to try to get our construction project finished, we want to remind members about some of the tips to combat the heat’s effect on the produce shares. As hard as we try to get the produce from the farmers to your table without the elements affect it, the summer is our hardest time of the year for us.

Delicate greens are the first affected by the heat, but never fear. If your greens or even roots in your share are dehydrated when you get them to your house, give them a soak in warm water for 15-30min and then put them in the crisper of your fridge. If the share item is a head of lettuce or long stem leafy green such as kale or chard, you can trim the base of the stalk much as you would a bunch of flowers to allow the plant to absorb water more directly.

We are working towards a walk-in cooler at Hillside as well as a refrigerated trailer to tackle this issue, but until all our ducks in a row, we want to remind members how to bring the greens back to life.

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!

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: 

Spring 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.

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 Plants are back this week, 4 varieties of tomato plants available, as well as 4 different herb plants available.

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

Kale:  2 types on the marketplace

Tatsoi: On the marketplace

Chard: On the marketplace

Radishes: On hold

Baja Garlic: Heads are in your share and Braids are on the marketplace

Salad Mix: on the marketplace

Collards: In your share and on the marketplace

Cantaloupes: In your share on the marketplace

Carrots: In your share and on the marketplace

Arugula: on Hold

Green Onions: On Hold

Spinach: on the marketplace

Cucumbers and Zucchini: on the marketplace

Tomatoes:  both Grapes and cluster are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: In your share on the marketplace

Dandelion Greens with Double Garlic

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 15 minutes

The first measure of garlic mellows as it cooks with the greens; it’s the second that adds a real kick. Substitute minced ginger for the second addition of garlic if you like.

Other vegetables you can use: broccoli raab, gai lan, beet greens, turnip greens, chard, bok choy, tatsoi, kale or collards (separate thick stems as needed), cabbage, or spinach. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (5 or 6 cloves), plus

1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dandelion greens with stems, well washed and roughly chopped

1/2 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable stock

Lemon wedges for serving

  1. put the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sliced garlic, pepper flakes, and some salt and black pepper and cook

For about 1 minute.

  1. Add the greens and stock. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted and just tender but still a little firm, about 5 minutes.
  2. uncover the pan and continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid has all but evaporated and the greens are quite tender, at least 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add red or black pepper and salt as needed; add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute more, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

Dandelion Greens with Capers. Reduce the sliced garlic by half and eliminate the pepper flakes and minced garlic. In Step 2, after the greens wilt, stir in 2 tablespoons drained capers. Drizzle with red or white wine vinegar and omit the lemon wedges.


Pickled Carrots 


1 cup water

2 cups distilled white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1½ tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1½ teaspoons coriander

1 bay leaf

2 thyme sprigs

Peel of 1 orange (use a vegetable peeler)

1 2-inch stick of cinnamon

1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise


  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin, mustard seeds, coriander, bay leaf, thyme and orange peel to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat, and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a kitchen blow torch, or using tongs over a gas stove top, char the outside of the cinnamon stick until the outside of is completely black. Transfer the cinnamon stick to the pickling liquid.
  4. Place the carrots in an airtight container and pour the pickling liquid over. Let the liquid cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 1 day. The pickles will stay crunchy and flavorful for up to 2 weeks.

Braised Rabbit With Pickled Carrots – YUM!!


From the Mesa Top: June 4th, 2015,

Climatology 2015: Amazing green pastures.  It looks like August of a good monsoon year.  Some cool season grasses on favorably situated areas are nearly a foot tall and tender and verdant.  The meteorologists report that El Nino conditions are fully under way, which means above average rainfall on an ongoing basis.  This week the first two pacific tropical storms got their names:  Hurricane Andres and Tropical Storm Blanca.  Both are showing possibilities of influencing New Mexico weather by this weekend.  Not that we will have hurricanes here, but the moisture associated with the storms might find its way north and east from the pacific to reach us.  Meanwhile 3 hot days in mid-week, that really gets the grass growing.

From the Wild:  a large variety of birds are around now.  Among the more noticeable are the swallows, swooping barn feasting on the insects.  Mourning doves are all around where there is chicken feed and other grain.  Loud and opiated ravens are also plentiful.  Hummingbirds are buzzing around the countryside.  The sudden explosion of wild flowers is an attractant for some birds and native pollinators.

Cow stories:  We made the next step in normalizing Arnold’s daily life.  Calves with mommas all of the time.  Arnold just has to pay attention and get his nursing in when his big sister decides its time. It is a bit nerve wracking to see him, sort of dazed and confused and unclear on the concept.  But he IS figuring it out. Hunger and the need for survival is a major incentive.  All three calves are busily grazing, alongside the mommas.  This one of the extra benefits of letting the mommas raises their calves:  the young ones learn early how to act like cows.

We have seen the cow herd’s water consumption spike as the weather has warmed up.  But they all look great.  Calves are fat and momma’s bodies in great shape.  In the next week or two we will move the herd to a pasture we are leasing from the Forest Trust, which is north of our furthest north lease land by just half a mile.  We will be walking them up Arroyo Salado Road and along county road 51 for about half a mile until we get to the Southeast gate of the Forest trust property.  That pasture is looking good and ready for a large herd for a month or two

Beneficial Eggs.  Another 200, day old chicks arrive tomorrow.  We are building up the flock by once extra increment of 200 in hopes of keeping higher egg production this coming winter so our retail outlets can have full supply when demand is greatest.  We see demand drop during the summer and we often have a fall shortage, so we started one batch of pullets early and are starting another one late so they will come in during mid-winter, another typical low production time.  All we have to do is come up with a way to keep the young birds warm during the coldest months.

Cheese making update:   No new news from the cheese room / 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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