Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of July 2nd, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday July 2nd, 2015

Cherries from Sage Creations

Salad Mix from Talon de Gato

Chard from Talon de Gato

Cantaloupe for Talon de Gato

Red Onions from Seco Spice

Cucumbers from Preferred Produce

Zucchini from Preferred Produce

From the Pacific Ocean!

Have you been missing out on the exploits of Dylan and Abby, and the growth of our Community Supported Fishery? Well never fear, we have been going strong since the last time you heard from us!

Beneficial and Seashaken are slowly taking on the big fish distributor in NM, winning out customers and Chefs with the affordability and higher quality of our salmon, and upmost, the story of the fish! We will be offering whole and cut salmon to member year round, with special cuts and other seafood as seasons permit.

Seashaken salmon can now be found on the menu at La Fonda, Café Pasqual’s, Vinaigrette SF and ABQ, Estavan’s at Hotel Chimayo, Artichoke and Hartford Square, with more restaurants joining the effort!! Support Local, and those who support it as well!

When we started this effort with Dylan, back in February, we envisioned offering his fish every season to our members, as a direct from the boat product. Our first introduction of his fish meet with resounding support from our members, with 200lbs of whole fish going to over 15 families! This was an impressive feat, for direct to consumer movement of whole fish, but we didn’t stop there. After evaluation of the needs of customers, we started having fish cut into steaks (something that we are currently behind on having available), to offer the meal sized portion of meat. We then started looking at the big picture of the catch. Seashaken brings in 20K pounds of salmon every season, sometimes upwards of 30K LB. It was clear that to develop a fully sustainable CSF, we needed to build the local demand to match the seasonal catch. The key component we needed to establish were the restaurants, where larger amounts of fish can be served on a regular bases.

Since this is the vision of Dylan and Abby, they set to work, meeting with the Chefs of restaurants they thought were a good match to serve their fish. (This did entail Dylan practically breaking down a few kitchen doors to get a few seconds of a chef’s time; they can be pretty very hard to get ahold of.) Through their untiring efforts, we have established the foundation for a growing network of kitchens that not only support the CSF, but are now working to support the produce growers of our CSA! As we start working on our own “Farm to Fork” system, we see these chefs as great allies in bringing locally produced food to even more community members.

So why are we bringing you up to speed on the fish side of things? Well, tonight, Dylan, Abby and Gregg are setting out to sail from Sitka, AK, for the first week of King Salmon season!! It was with a heavy heart we said goodbye when the set out for Alaska, and tonight have them in our prayers, as they take the first trip of the season out into the Pacific Ocean. While we will miss them while they are gone, we do have some updates for members to stay tuned on! Right now, the markets in Sitka have King Salmon priced at almost $18/lb. We think we will be able to best that price, offering somewhere between $12-15/lb, consumer cuts. Dylan has some Lingcod, so anyone interested should shoot us an email on this variety. The last piece, is one I have been waiting to say for months, Dylan’s got crabs! (Taken from the Joe’s Crab logo, I just couldn’t help myself.) Dylan’s family does not harvest crabs, but they are coordinating with a few other fishermen up there to hopefully offer this seafood. Dungeness and Bairdi Crabs are the likely varieties we might see; ideally we can get them to you for $15/lb.

I want to thank you all again, from BFCSA and Seashaken, for the support and commitment you show through your support.

Now, we couldn’t let them get off to sea without a few pictures, could we!!

News from Hill

Oh, from the Hill! If there were 1,000 hours in each day, maybe we could get ahead of things. The cooler design is set, we are contacting the electricians as soon as we know the needs, structural contract work is being re-designed, ect.

By the time it is finished, we hope that things are as much of a work of art, as the pieces hanging in the gallery! This is our main focus right now, so we appreciate your understanding as things take shape. The concept of integrating art in all forms: painted, vocal, sculpted, molded, cooked, grown, shown… All working together in the same building will be its own piece of art, we are just plugging away at it!!

Hillside Market now offers our products 6 days a week to the community, as a local grocery store. Check out our selection of dairy, meats, grocery and frozen foods!

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


Hillside Pick Up Location: We have noticed that a few member have been self-customizing their shares at Hillside, picking up an extra item if they leave another. We would like to remind people that we only leave out enough food for everyone to pick up a share, not to customize. If anyone would like to substitute something, email us, and we will have you’re substitution separated.

With the summer heat, we would like to offer Hillside members the option of having us pre-bag your share and store it in the reach-in cooler inside the market for better storage. This may be the future road we take for all the Hillside shares, to better store them, but initially we have made it optional. Shares will be bagged up in the morning, like other sites, and you can check off your pick-up the same way you do for “Farm’s Market Pick-up”

Please email us if you would like to be change to this option.

Bags: We always seem to be running low on bags. Members please adhere to the 1 for 1 rule, bring a bag when you pick up a share or if you miss a week bring 2. Every now and then, we have to charge all members to replace missing bags, but hopefully this reminder keeps us from needing to do this. We would also ask member to return us bags that your farm share would fit in, and you would be happy to have it in. While wine bottle bags are something we can find a home for, they don’t hold produce well; and bags filled with animal hair are not usable.

Simply put, please help us recycle our bags, but we need usable bags to make things work!

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: A slight issue with last week’s peas, the farmers was not able to harvest them! We will be crediting the people that ordered peas last week, and hopefully things are cleared up soon.

We had a few other shortages last week; accounts will be credited for outages. I you don’t see a credit applied by the end of the week, email us to let us know.   

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:

Re-Re-Re-Scanned application! Love the 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! There were 2 truckloads of cherries from CO this season; this is the second and final! In your shares again this week, and available to stock up on the marketplace!

We ate a bag up while cooking dinner, just to show you how awesome they are! MT

Kale: on the marketplace

Dandelion Greens: On the marketplace

Chard: In your share and on the marketplace

Onions: In your share and on the marketplace

Baja Garlic: Last braid, no more heads left over

Salad Mix: In your shares and on the marketplace

Collards: On the marketplace

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Cucumbers and Zucchini: on the marketplace

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: on the marketplace



1 package of ready-made pie crusts (or make homemade)

2 1/2 cups pitted & halved fresh sweet cherries (about 3/4 pound)
2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk
2 Tablespoons milk or cream

coarse grain sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 muffin cups with nonstick spray.
  2. Roll out ready made pie crust until it’s a bit thinner. Use a plastic tupperware-type bowl as your “cutter” to cut out 5-inch rounds. You should be able to cut out 8 rounds from a package of pie crust (re-roll scraps, if needed). Line 8 muffin cups with the rounds, pressing in lightly.
  3. Place filling ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. Scoop into crust-lined cups.
  4. With leftover pie crust scraps, cut out decor for the tops of the pie cups- stars, stripes, whatever you’d like… be creative! Then crimp the edges of the pie cups.
  5. Brush them lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar- the chunky, sparkly kind of sugar if you have it.
  6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (watch closely since baking time will depend upon how thinly you’ve rolled your crust). Cover lightly with foil during baking if they’re browning too quickly. They should be lightly browned (like the photo above) with the filling slightly bubbly.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely (or serve warm). Serve with whipped cream and blueberries, if desired.


Red Onion and Cucumber Salad


2 red onions, julienned
3 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably canola
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the onions in a large bowl; set aside.

In a colander, lightly salt the cucumbers and let drain for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the ginger, garlic, chives, and vinegar in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly add the oil and whisk until smooth. Add the pepper flakes, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cucumbers to the onions and toss well. Add the dressing and toss well. Adjust the seasonings. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving. Serve chilled.
From the Mesa Top: July 2nd, 2015,

Climatology 2015: Moisture returned and cooler temperatures.  We are moving into the summer monsoon pattern.  A few days of cooler, showery weather are followed by a hot day or two, then back to the moisture.  In a good monsoon year, the pattern moves to consistently moist, and less hot days.  The typical hottest days are in July, so we may still see some more scorchers yet.

From the Wild:  It seems as if the cottontail and jack rabbit populations have exploded.  Maybe it is just the cooler weather allowing them to be move around in the open more but there sure seem to be a lot of them.

Cow stories:  The move to Forest Trust’s half section about 3 miles north of the farm was done this weekend.  The cows walked up the road, with a lead truck and warning sign, and up to 3 people on foot, keeping them moving and keeping them in a group.

Left behind were two bull calfs and a yearling bull, likely to go to become meat.  The mothers of the two bull calfs broke out of the new pasture and walked 3 miles home the first night.  The airs was still and quiet, and the mommas and calfs could hear each other, even 3 miles away.  Tip, one of the upset momma cows, has learned how to open gates, so she just stuck her horns between two posts of the wire “stretch gate” and broke one of the weaker sticks in half.

The rest of the herd is contented;y grazing in need grass.  The pictures show them lounging around, chewing their cuds at about 10:AM.  This means they are not needing to work so hard to get full, and can spend more time doing what cows do best:  digesting.

We are estimating 6 weeks for the cows on this pasture.  A little timely rain could extend that figure.  Forest Trust will monitor the grazing and let us know when they want the cows removed. The next move is a mile south, back toward the farm, to our half section of state lease land, which has not been grazed for almost 2 years, and will be very grassy by then.

Beneficial Eggs.  The cooler weather is helping the hens and pullets.  They are back outside more of the time, making use of their sun-shelters.

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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