Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of July 30th, 2015

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday July 30th, 2015

Basil from Talon de Gato

Frisee from Talon de Gato

Cucumber from Talon de Gato

Salad Mix from Talon de Gato

Zucchini from Mesa Top Farm

Parsley from Talon de Gato

Peaches from Rancho Durazno

No major new from Seashaken this week. They ran out of half and half and had to break out the condensed milk, so they will be trying to get back into port before the crew starts a mutiny!

News from Hill

Things never move as fast as we would like, but one critical piece of our puzzle has finally been finished!

Our mobile, refrigerated transportation vehicle, in the form of a custom adapted trail, is now in operation! Using the base designs of another CSA project, we insulated a trailer and installed an air conditioning unit to create a low budget refer trailer. In our early testing, we reached a 40 degree temperature inside the unit, while it was close to 100 degrees outside!

This unit will offer us some temporary storage during distribution till our construction is done, but also long term, keep shares at ideal temperatures during transporting, and offer a cold storage space in ABQ for the farmers down there.

It is great to have finished at least one project, even though we have started a few more in the meantime.


New on from Hillside

As of last week, Hillside’s kitchen is open for breakfast and lunch! Chef Mark is starting off small, but he is bursting at the seams, trying to contain his talent to just part of a full restaurant menu. Stop by for a breakfast burrito, or a pani pressed sandwich, and stay tuned for the latest creative inspiration coming from Mark!

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:  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

Oh, the summer crops are in full swing! Adam of TdG has a ton of great food coming in every week, MT’s squash production is now supplying 4 organizations, our southern growers are sending up some cool produce, Colorado farmers are growing enough to share with us, and chili season is right around the corner! It’s one of favorite and busiest times of the year, when we are bustling with great produce!

All these great foods can’t fit into the weekly share, some farms don’t produce enough, some items cost more than we can mingle in, so we make sure that everything that isn’t in the share, is on the marketplace.

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:

Members! We are trying to figure out what breads our members would like, and while we have our favorites, please send us a note on what types of bread you would like

Colleen met with a local baker we think might be a great fit for our CSA, more to follow!

Keep passing along your input on marketplace offerings, Steve and Thomas have a few more contacts we are looking into.

EBT Update:

The store of our life, they sent us a dial up router machine, outdated, and now waiting on the new broadband version.

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 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.

Special Deal on Peaches:

We heard from Thomas, up at Rancho Durazno, that they had some hail damaged fruits this season. These fruits have some blemishes, and hail scaring, but are a bargin if you are willing to take a little time on them. Ideal for pies, freezing or preserves, we have these peaches on the marketplace by the case. We are working out the detail on when they are coming down, but it might be this week or next week, we will know more tomorrow, so check our FB feed.

We are opening these peaches up for pre-order, and will distribute fruits as soon as they come down. 1 case of 20lbs for $35 or 2 cs for $60

Kale: on hold

Basil: In your share and on the marketplace

Frisee: In your share and on the marketplace

Parsley: In your share and on the marketplace

Peaches: In your share and on the marketplace

Broccoli Greens: On the Market place

Beets: On the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Eggplant: on the marketplace

Tomatillos: on the marketplace

Diakon Radish: on the marketplace

Fresh herbs: Purple Basil and mint on the marketplace

Blackberries: on the marketplace

Chard: on hold

Poblano Peppers: on the Marketplace

Green Chili: on the Marketplace

Baja Garlic: 1 Last braid, discounted

Salad Mix: In your share and on the marketplace

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: In your share and on the marketplace

Summer Squash: Zucchini and yellow squash from MT on the marketplace, Zukes in your share

*We are also noticing a different type of squash growing; that some are calling Alexandria squash. It’s a mix between zucchini and Mexican squash, light coloring, and we are stumped how we have it in the field. We have a theory that the seed company mixed up some of the seeds, because our colleges at Anthony Youth Farm have the same things.

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: on the marketplace

Basil-Parsley Pesto

When basil and parsley appear in the markets along with spring and summer vegetables, it’s time to make pesto. A touch of parsley, black pepper, and garlic add subtle heat to this pesto recipe. This is a looser pesto that drizzles nicely over meats, fish, or freshly cut tomatoes and mozzarella. And of course it’s delicious as a sauce for pasta.


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (from about 1 large bunch)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)


  1. Place the pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the measured salt and pepper, garlic, basil, and parsley; process until puréed, about 15 seconds; and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. With the processor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until incorporated. Add the Parmesan and pulse a few times to incorporate. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. If not using immediately, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto and refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. The pesto can also be frozen in small containers.

Fresh Peach-Basil Vinaigrette


  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large peach, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in olive oil. Stir in chopped peach and basil. Serve immediately.

To honor the season, here is the award winning recipe for Palisade Peach Pie!

Grand Prize – 2000 Special Peach Pie – Michelle Plumb

1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup plus 1 tbl butter
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ cup water
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in bowl. Cut in butter until
mixture resembles course meal. Add water and toss gently with fork until
evenly moistened. Roll a circle slightly larger than a deep 10 pie
plate. Ease pastry into pan.
8 medium peaches, peeled, sliced
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 2/3 cups sour cream
1/3 cup flour
2 tbls vanilla
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly beat egg then mix in vanilla and
sour cream. Blend in sugar, flour and pinch of salt, then fold in sliced
peaches. Spoon into crust and bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature
to 350 degrees and continue baking until filling is slightly puffed and
golden brown, app. 40 minutes.
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbl cinnamon
½ cup butter at room temperature
½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
While pie is baking in oven, in a mixing bowl combine walnuts, flour,
sugars, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Blend in butter until mixture is
crumbly, spoon over pie after cooked and bake an additional 15 minutes.

From the Mesa Top: July 30th, 2015,

Climatology 2015: Wet and then dry continues.  Pastures are healthy.  No major Gully Washers at Mesa Top.  Grass is green.  Moisture return predicted for later this week.

From the Wild:  Lots of deer tracks in the muddy areas around water holes.  Some surprising plants, a mixture of drought tolerant and some that only come out in wet years.  The landscape seems to be providing well for all of the resident creatures

Cow stories:  The only thing the cows needs that we humans have to provide is water.  They get a 450 gallon tank each day and that is about how much they drink.  There are about 2,000 gallons in the 4 tanks that are convenient to the gate.  We do our best to keep the tanks all full so that if there is a reason to skip a delivery, such as heavy rain and too much mud, or travel, or just no time, there is not a lot of stress and we can get caught up.

Forest Trust Executive director reminded us that August was the scheduled “move” date for the cows.  But we did get a late start, so we are going to look at the pasture around August 10th and see how things are looking.

If the cows have to leave there, most likely they will move to our northern State lease.  That section has not been grazed in almost 2 years.  The grass is above knee height in favored areas.  Interestingly, the adjacent properties to South and West, where grazing is not allowed, generally are not as vigorously green as our state section.  This helps demonstrate the operative wisdom that these grasses are meant to be grazed.  Following the natural ways of the buffalo, the grass would be grazed hard and the land reduced to near dust, and then it would sit until it recovered to a rich stand of grass, and then the buffalo would find it again.  The best we can do in our time is to rotate the cattle across the land, graze it fully, and then give it extended rest.  It is scary to look at it after it has been really grazed.  But them just a few wet seasons later, it is gorgeous, and ready to feed some big grazing beasts, be they buffalo or cattle.

Steve attended a County Public Meeting last week where discussions included the risk of open land where there is no management of the grasses and forest.  A well-known public figure spoke up for the need to give tax credits to landowners who took care of their resources, which would require an amendment or new legislation to create a new type of special valuation that did not require grazing or active agriculture.

Steve reminded those present that farm/ranch interests would generally oppose this change.  This is how the environmental movement gets crosswise with agriculture.  Rather than sitting down to figure out how to make a “win-win”, those with the power push their agenda in the belief that they have the political power to prevail.  And farmers and ranchers are on the defensive.  In the end, no one wins.

Beneficial birds.  Members are getting pullet eggs, 2 dozen for the price of 1 regular dozen.  Notice the rich color, sturdy yolks and firm whites.  These are some of the richest chicken eggs available.  Turkeys keep growing.  Let us know if you want to get on the Thanksgiving Turkey list.

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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