Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of July 16th, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday July 16th, 2015

Green Cabbage from Talon de Gato

Lettuce Head from Talon de Gato

Kale from Talon de Gato

Chard from Talon de Gato

Poblano Peppers from Sol y Tierra

Zucchini from Mesa Top Farm

Cucumbers from Preferred Produce

Direct from the Pacific Ocean!

The crew returns, windswept and more than slightly sore, from eight days heatedly pursuing the elusive King salmon – that gastronomic gem, and good excuse for serious carpal tunnel (those are some big heads to cut off). Abby, the newest crew member and quickly burgeoning salty scalawag, adapted quickly to the marine environment and can now clean a salmon with the best of them, though she does go a bit mushy for the red-stripe rockfish which occasionally find their way onto the deeper hooks. But really, who could blame her, they are pretty cute.

Oh, when I say eight days pursuing King salmon, I mean to say that it ought to have been eight days. For the rest of the fleet it was eight days, but for the crew of the mechanically unfortunate F/V Sea Miner it was a mere six. Day two dawned with horrendous weather and an untimely (or perhaps, in light of the prevailing conditions, rather serendipitous) gurdy malfunction. (Definition for those unacquainted with the delights of the gurdy: (noun) the hydraulically driven spool upon which hundreds of feet of narrow cable are wound or, in the reverse operation, from which the cable is unwound. The intent of which is to dangle many dozens of hooks to the delight of man and the detriment of fish. Read: giant mechanical fishing reel.) To make a long story short, the said gurdy unceremoniously stopped working and the vessel made a hasty retreat back to town. There the fearless skipper fixed the gurdy and the crew stocked up on all the groceries they had forgotten to purchase the first time around. Of which there were quite a few. And thank goodness. We almost had to resort to eating our bait herring.

Despite this setback we still had six good days of fishing and, though they weather was atrocious for four of those, it provided new culinary inspiration for all of us. Witness: Seashaken eggs…
Perhaps the greatest challenge of all is not the work (dramatic and ‘deadliest catch’ as it may be), or the weather, or the smell of three people in a confined space who haven’t showered in over a week (though that is a close second). No, the hardest thing is transitioning into ‘fisherman time’. For example: today we were told that we would be unloading our boat at noon. Like any stolid and reliable crew, we arrived at the harbor at eleven thirty. By four o’clock in the afternoon – books finished, peanut butter gone, four cups of coffee in – we decided to leave (the skipper was going to take a nap). At six we returned, ready to work, only to be told that we would be offloading at seven AM the following morning. Fisherman time. You should never be early. Except the one time you are late is when things will happen on time. So bring a good book, or use the time to practice your knots. At least then you can say you were there. Fisherman time. Don’t worry; if you order now, we might get you your fish by Christmas.

News from Hill

Alright, slight change of plans again, but I think it’s the last time. The roofing side of the project, where the kitchen at Hillside will be expanded out and a roof will cover our CSA dock has been placed on hold for a while. BFCSA will continue on as we had planned, and rig up our own temporary framing to keep our volunteers out of the elements. Now to make the final commitment on the cooler, long overdue!

The trailer is getting the final touches; final coats of sealant and cleanable flooring are being laid down. The 2-3” of insulation have been added to every inch of the trailer’s interior, creating a really good barrier between the heat outside and the cool air inside. We turned on the AC unit, and it got the trailer down to 45 degrees in only about 20 min!! We are eagerly awaiting this unit being put to use!!

Hillside will be reopening the kitchen in the next few weeks; Mark will start off with a Breakfast and Lunch menu, with Local Pop-Up Dinners to follow soon, before the restaurant goes full tilt! We will keep you appraised of exact dates and times, but we can’t wait to see things get rolling.

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 ThursdayTuesday, 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

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.   

Mesa Top’s fields love all the rain, everything is so green! For those who can’t tell what those plants are, Colleen and Kim have Pumpkins, Butternut, Acorn, Yellow, Zucchini and Delicata Squash out, along with Baby Bac Choy, Chinese Cabbage and Cucumbers, and a late planting of Kale and Chard!

The women in our family certainly are out standing in their field (even if you can’t see them in this picture, pun)!!

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.

Sweet Potato Greens: It’s a new one for me, but I think we are discovering that every bit of a plant has a use these days. Definitely something to try, a green that sautés well with sweet flavors like maple syrup or coconut cream, it was also happy coincidence to find a few recipes that combine it with Salmon. We would love to hear what people think of this green if you try it, it may be something our sweet potato grower would be able to do for shares if it’s a hidden gem!

Kale: In your share and on the marketplace

Chard: In your share and on the marketplace

Green Cabbage: In your share and on the Marketplace

Poblano Peppers: In your share and on the Marketplace

Onions: on the marketplace

Arugula: on the marketplace

Fresh Herbs: Mint and Rosemary are on the marketplace

Baja Garlic: Last braid, no more heads left over

Salad Mix: on the marketplace

Head Lettuce, Assort: In your share and on the marketplace

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Cucumbers and Zucchini (First of the MT Zukes): In your shares and on the marketplace

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: in your share and on the marketplace

It’s time to get Stuffed!, well at least it is for the peppers in your share at any rate!


Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers


One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 chipotle pepper (packed in adobo sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
1 plum tomato, diced
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons chopped green onions, optional
2 large poblano peppers (4 if small)
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat pepper jack cheese
Avocado Cream Sauce, recipe follows
Diced tomatoes, for garnish, optional
Green onions, sliced, for garnish, optional
Avocado Cream Sauce:
1 large ripe avocado
1/2 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the whole tomatoes, garlic and chipotle to a blender and puree until smooth. Add to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and cook until it breaks down, another 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, quinoa and chili powder. Turn off the heat and fold in the chopped green onions if using.

Split the poblano peppers in half and remove the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa mixture. Ladle about half of the tomato sauce into a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish. Place the peppers on top and ladle over the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the peppers with the cheese, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the top and cook until the peppers are very soft, another 5 minutes. Top with Avocado Cream Sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced green onions if desired.

Baked Chiles Rellenos


  1. 6 medium-sized Poblano Peppers charred
  2. 1 pint of Crimini Mushrooms chopped
  3. 1 Bell Pepper chopped
  4. 1 White Onion chopped
  5. 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
  6. 1 tbsp Cumin
  7. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  9. 1 tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  10. 4 Queso Fresco strips cut in ½-inch by 2-inch size sticks.
  11. 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  12. 2 eggs


  1. Turn broiler on high. Then place Poblano peppers on a cookie sheet and place it under the broiler until the skin of the peppers has charred on one side. Turn the peppers around and char on the other side. Place the peppers on a plate, cover with damp paper towels and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
  3. While the oven is preheating, add 2 tbsp of Grapeseed oil to a pan and sauté the mushrooms, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Season the mixture with cumin and and pepper. Add the salt to the sauté mix once the mushrooms have turned a golden brown in color and sauté until the onions are translucent and set aside.
  4. Take the Poblano Peppers and wipe off the charred skin with the damp towels. Then cut a slit in the pepper close to the stem. NOTE: It is recommended that you wear surgical gloves for this next procedure. Careful not to tear the pepper, take the seeds out of the pepper. I like my peppers to be spicy so I leave the seeds and you can do the same if you wish. Once all the seeds have been taken out of all the peppers, begin stuffing them with the veggie mixture and cheese, close the slit with a toothpick and set aside.
  5. In two separate bowls, separate the egg whites from the yolk and begin to beat the egg whites until they are stiff and then slowly mix in the yolk. In a platter place the wheat flour and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then roll the stuffed peppers in the flour and then dip them in egg and place on a baking pan with greased rack on top.
  1. Place peppers in the oven and bake the peppers at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Once baked, remove from oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Creamy Poblano Pepper Strips

6 fresh poblano chiles* (or canned, peeled)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Mexican crema or creme fraiche
1/2 cup, shredded Monterrey jack cheese
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Watch how to make this recipe
Char the poblano chiles directly over the gas flame on the stove or under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a plastic bag and let steam for about 10 minutes.

Add the oil to a heavy large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Set aside.

Peel and seed the chiles. Cut the chiles into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips (rajas) and add the strips to the onion and corn mixture and saute until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and Mexican crema and cook until bubbling, about for 8 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season the rajas with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

*Cook’s Note: The poblano chile is a fresh chile that ranges from mild to hot. It is a deep, dark green color and is large and wide with shiny skin. Ripened on the plant and dried it is known as “chile ancho” or “pasilla.” They can also be found at most supermarkets or Latin specialty markets. Just keep your eye out, as some stores sell them fresh under the name “pasilla.”

A great filling for tacos or topping for grilled arrachera. You can use virtually any chile but a mild poblano adds the perfect amount of spice to any dish.

From the Mesa Top: July 16th, 2015,

Climatology 2015:  The monsoon pattern is well established.  The few hot days with little or less cloudiness help the pasture grasses grow.  If it is TOO rainy and cloudy and cool, they have a luminescent green color to them, rather than the rich dark green that they get in full sun.

From the Wild:  The population of swallows is extraordinary.  Around the bodies of water they swoop and climb and there are dozens of them.  They are helping with the mosquito population, which has been fairly modest so far.

The talkative crows are also abundant.  There does not seem to be a lot of dead stuff around for them to feast on, so their large numbers are a bit curious, but they seem to be settled in.  The last time there was a large number of ravens were also a good year for pinon nuts.  Maybe they are a harbinger of good times ahead.

Cow stories:  What is it that they say about cows?  The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?  Well ours sure prove that. Surrounded by plenty of great grass on the forest trust land, a hand full of compulsive fence breakers sound the weakest place in the newly repaired fence along the county road and broke through.  We repaired the fence and added another strand of wire and so far so good.

More cows found the dog food.  What IS it about dog food?

Beneficial Eggs.  No expressions of interest for the duck eggs.  Plz let us know.  Plenty of chicken eggs.

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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