Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of June 25th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share

for Thursday June 25th, 2015

Cherries from Sage Creations

Salado Jack Cheese from Mesa Top Farm

Frisee from Talon de Gato

Kale from Talon de Gato

Japanese Bunch Onions from Talon de Gato

Salad Mix from Talon de Gato

News from Hill

Beneficial products are now carried 6 days a week on the shelves and coolers of the Hillside market. In addition to our regular selection of great local foods, many great staples are also available for customers. As community support grows, so will out selection of food, so keep stopping by, and let us know what you would like to see carried on the shelves.

Art Markets and Restaurant Updates: The Friday Art market at Hillside has been getting more and more popular, so now it will be also open on Saturdays! Starting next weekend, the Friday and Saturday Art market will run through the first weekend in September.

With all the great change and planning going on, we haven’t brought you up to date on the future of the restaurant at Hillside. With the closing of Epazote a few months ago, many thing have been changing, but for the best!

We would like to introduce Chef Mark Connell, the new owner and head chef of the restaurant that will be opening at Hillside hopefully in August!

Since Mark came to Santa Fe around 2010, he has endeared himself to the community with his true flashes of brilliance. After a well-established career at Max’s, Arroyo Vino and Tomme, Mark is bringing his skills to Hillside for the next stage in his culinary adventure. We won’t try to replicate the numerous articles on the success and admiration Mark has earned through his time here, so please read up on him for more.

With the growth of the CSA and one of “the most provocative chefs in town” opening up shop, what more can we ask for? Well, maybe just plans to build a new, larger green house at Hillside! Things are in the early stages, but Hillside is working with LANL to build a sustainable greenhouse (hopefully using Aquaponics), that will help grow produce for the kitchen as well as help the CSA.

BFCSA, Hillside and Mark are working closely together to continue to grow our symbiotic partnerships, and with a few long months of hard work, we should see our dreams keep taking shape!

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


Best of Santa Fe Voting!

Waiting with baited breath…!

Construction at Hillside Market:

We should be ready to get our walk-in fridge unit ordered; we have been updating our design down to the last detail and really feel we made the most efficient choice on our design!!

On the trailer, we are almost done with the insulation, now working on getting the refrigeration installed and running correct, and mounting the generator, not a moment too soon for the heat that’s just not letting up!

We had some good, critical input on the trailer insulation, which is resulting in adding another layer of insulation to make this trailer as tight as a Yeti cooler! It added another week to the timeline, but in the long run, it’s well worth it.

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.

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

New Farmer Update: This week we are introducing a new group of farmers into our mix, through a close partner of ours, MoGro. MoGro is a non-profit food access organization that, through a CSA style operation, delivers fresh Organic and Local produce to low-income and rural communities at a very affordable price. Some of you may know about MoGro’s history, Steve helped start the program back in 2011 and Thomas has managed it since 2012. One of MoGro’s efforts is to support the growth of farming production in the pueblos, to sell their produce to MoGro customers as well as through other groups like BFCSA.

This week is one of the first harvests of traditionally grown snap peas, from the farmers of Santo Domingo Pueblo, which we hope will be the first of many crops.

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:

Go figure, again they didn’t get the contract! Got to love bureaucracy

Farm and Marketplace News: 

Summer Sourcing: We are starting to see even more 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.

Bing Cherries! Last week we got a head start on cherry season, with some tart cherries from the South Valley, but now things are in full swing! We have a great deal on Bing cherries, while they last, from Palisade, CO. They are in your share, but also on the marketplace for those cherry lovers. We have discounts for larger quantities, so stock up while they are in season!

Oh Snap… Peas! –  This week we have snap peas from Santo Domingo Pueblo, traditionally grown and hand harvested by the 3 generations of farmers working to pass down their culture’s heritage to the next generation.

Kale:  In your share and on the marketplace

Chard: On Hold

Fresh Herbs: Cilantro and Oregano are on the marketplace

Radishes: On the marketplace

Onions: on the marketplace

Parsley: On Hold

Pink Turnips: On the marketplace

Baja Garlic: We are done with Baja Garlic in shares; there are a few heads and braids left on the marketplace, so stock up now!

Salad Mix: In your shares and on the marketplace

Collards: On Hold

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Carrots: On Hold

Arugula: On Hold

Spinach: On Hold

Cucumbers and Zucchini: on the marketplace

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: on the marketplace


Now, I am sure you are expecting me to share our family’s secret cherry crumble recipe at this point, but no dice! Cherries have a very limited season, lasting about a month, so it is important to savor the season’s delicacies while they last. For the first 20 years of my life, I lived in ignorance of a simple yet effective tool, the cherry pitter. Most members will probably be eating the cherries this week straight out of the bag on the drive home, but for those who are freezing or preserving cherries, this is a must have tool.

I have a few links for cherry recipes below, plus one that stood out as unique enough for our message.

Don’t forget to have a pit-spitting competition with your family!

Grilled Chicken & Fresh Cherry Salsa

  • Ingredients
  • 1-1/2lb cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Directions
  1. Combine cherries, red onion, lemon juice, basil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and salt in a bowl. Place into the refrigerator while you grill the chicken.
  2. Brush both sides of the chicken breasts with oil then season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through. Let rest for 5 minutes before topping with fresh cherry salsa.

Sautéed Lemon Maple Frisée



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 (1-pound) head frisée, torn
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook bread crumbs until crisp and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in zest and a pinch of salt.

Wipe out skillet, then add anchovy paste and remaining 2 Tbsp oil and cook 15 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high and sauté half of frisée until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add remaining frisée and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Off heat, stir in juice, syrup, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Serve topped with bread crumbs

From the Mesa Top: June 25th, 2015

Climatology 2015: The heat came on big time over the weekend.  Some thermometers in Albuquerque registered 105 degrees.  That was the one day with absolutely no relief.  Barely a cloud in the sky.  The chickens hid from the heat in the relative cool of their coop.  Even there many were panting.  The pastures are drying out in the areas exposed to full sun and west wind, with still areas of green where there is moisture such as arroyo bottoms, and north and east exposure.

From the Wild:  The killdeer babies are running around.  No sign that they can fly yet.  The dense vegetation shroud the reservoir is keeping them safe.  The parental pair travels in at least a half mile radius of their safe home.  Sometimes it seems like they are following us. 

The trees, shrubs and bushes have responded in amazing ways to the unusually high abundance of rain.   A plant in the milkweek family has appeared.  Also the prickly pear cacti have put on big growth and are flowering profusely.  This may br the fall fir prickly pear jam.  Or even juice!  And a very unique purple flowered cactus has appeared

Cow stories:  The 3 calves were branded and along with their mommas they were sent out to pasture.  Before they left, the found the dog food.  Abigail in particular took quite a liking to it.  The mini herd of Blanca and Abigail and calves had freedom to wander around some of the buildings.  They seemed to be careful in an odd sort of way. 

Water consumption during the heat by the range herd was extraordinary.  We kept up; they were never out of water.  Whenever they hear the noisy old GMS with its 450 gallon tank squealing and rumbling over to their water tanks, they come from half a mile to a mile away.  It seems like they are expecting hay.  All in all they are in excellent condition.  The move to forest trust land is scheduled for this weekend.  Pictures next week

Beneficial Eggs.  The pullets are growing quickly and the second group of chicks is on the ground.  We have to do some expansion of their houses to be ready for fall.  The heat is tough on the laying hens.  When we see them panting, we know that a drop in egg production will follow.  Hopefully the return to cool and moist weather will help them

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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