Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of August 13th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday August 13th, 2015

Radishes from White Mountain Farm

Parsley from Talon de Gato

Grilling Onions from White Mountain Farm

Daikon Radishes from White Mountain Farm

Fava Beans from White Mountain Farm

Salad Mix from Talon de Gato

Peaches from Rancho Durazno


Chaos last week

We apologies for all the trouble our members experienced last week, with shares being delayed getting to sites. We had a series of complications with the various schedules of volunteers, resulting in us being 3 people down for the distribution day. We made it through the day, but it’s wasn’t something we would like to do again.

We are considering adding a part time position to the csa, to help out in the critical areas. We have gone a long way with the family running the project, but with all great growth we are planning, we are getting overextended. Since this is a family run business, finding the right employee will a challenge, but we ready to start looking. People that truly believe the goal and values of the CSA, have a very strong work ethic and are strongly invested in the local food systems can contact Thomas through the regular email address to talk.

Volunteer with the CSA:

We are looking for a volunteer that can help us out on Thursdays, when we are prepping and packing shares. We generally need help between 8am-1pm, depending on the volunteer’s schedule. Tasks include weighing produce into shares, quality checking produce and bagging share bags.

We give our volunteers a full farm share for their 3 hours of volunteering with us, as well as all the insider knowledge of what is going on in the local food scenes!

If you, or someone you know is interested in more information, contact Colleen Warshawer: or Call 505-470-1969

CSA Phone Upgrade

We are changing up the communications networks, hopefully to avoid some of the issues that we have been having. Initially, the CSA number was only going to one phone, but cell signals aren’t that strong on the farm and some of the calls just weren’t going through. Through the wonders of modern innovation, we have switched our number over to a call forwarding service for a minimal cost. When you call the CSA number in the very near future, you can be directed to any of our 3 cells, based on the needs you have. If you do not get ahold of us right away, Please leave a voicemail, as we all get an email with your message. The calls are going to our personal cell phones, so we hope everyone can understand that many calls will go to voicemail, but by increasing the number of people seeing the messages, we hope this solves more of the issues.

News from the Hill:

One of the many things we are pushing toward having in the future is a farmer’s market option for people. Every week, members can add onto their share or modify it to include some of the other great produce items we have coming in from the farms, but sometimes we can’t do the produce justice in these messages. Every week, we are blown away by the amazing food that our farms produce, and we are always looking for more ways to share this same excitement with our members. Here is the full sampling of our farmer’s crops from 2 weeks ago; it was a most impressive selection

New on from Hillside

Mark is off and running with a few great dishes in the cafe!

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


Farmers and Share Updates

It is green chili season now, and we are working on getting a roaster rented so we can get member’s roasted green chili!

Dean Schwebach and his family is about ready to harvest his corn for the year, so stay tuned for sweet corn updates!

Introducing Saint Francis Bakery, Artisan French bread maker Fred Versailles


Frederic opened the Zodiac Cafe in downtown Santa Fe in 2006.  His concept was to bring French traditional baking to New Mexico, having trained as a baker in his native France.  Rapidly his customer base grew and he shifted to wholesale production, providing quality breads, sandwiches and pastries to many well-known Santa Fe establishments.

His signature organic stone ground whole-wheat levain roots to the 18th century French countryside. The levain starter is the French version of sourdough, which is more digestible than other breads due to its lactic-acid based natural slow fermentation. The PH of the dough is actually less acidic also due to this process.  It is excellent bread for children and families due to its digestibility, high nutrition level and high fiber content …kids like the light sour dough taste, especially with butter!  Only four ingredients are used in this long process: organic stone ground whole-wheat, filtered water, levain starter and sea salt. No additives or preservatives are ever added.

Beneficial is carrying the whole wheat sourdough, baguettes, a gluten free blue corn pinon bread and a few authentic French pastries. We are very excited to support this new relationship, so we can grow to offer seasonal pies, specialty muffins and breads and many other great baked goods!

Summer Heat is upon us once again!

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 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:

For the first time in over a year, we have finally sent some of the Mesa Top cows to processing!!

We have processed the animals, and unfortunately we haven’t finished pricing out the cuts. A lot of calculations go into making a balanced pricing matrix, but we are working as fast as we can to get it done. If all goes well, next week we will have cuts and beef packs available.

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

EBT Update:

It’s Here!!

We are up and going with our EBT machine after 9 months of fighting with government and private agencies.

Members interested in using EBT for their shares, please contact us.

Next step, we will be working on how we can offer a “Double Bucks” program for our EBT members. The USDA is very invested in seeing food stamp recipients using their funds to buy locally grown produce, and they are putting the money where their mouth is!

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 have a week or two more to offer the hail damaged peaches to members at a discount, for anyone that hasn’t gotten a case.

We are offer these peaches for 1 case of 20lbs for $35 or 2 cs for $60

Kale: On hold

Chard: on the marketplace

Radishes: In your share and on the marketplace

Parsley: In your share and on the marketplace

Daikon Radishes: In your share and on the marketplace

Fava Beans: In your share and on the marketplace

Salad Mix: In your share and on the marketplace
Green Cabbage: on the marketplace

Leeks: on the marketplace

Biodynamic Ginger from HI: on the marketplace, one or two more weeks left

Peaches: In your share and on the marketplace

Pepper: We are having trouble knowing if we are getting chili or not from week to week, if you’re interested in some of the chili types, shoot us an email and we can call you when we see what showed up. Peppers that should/could show up: Poblano, green chili and jalapenos

Cantaloupes: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: on the marketplace

Summer Squash: Zucchini and yellow squash from MT on the marketplace

Patty Pan squash on the marketplace

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace


Fresh Fava Bean & Almond Spread 


  • 1 cup shelled and skinned fresh fava beans
  • a handful of almonds (roasted and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • salt
  • Extra olive oil and almonds for serving.

If you are using fresh fava beans:

First shell the beans. Bring a bit pot of salted water to boil, drop the cleaned bans into it and let it simmer for a minute. Darin the water and immediately put it into a big bowl full of ice cold water to stop it from cooking further. Now peel each one of the beans to reveal the beautiful green inner bean. Discard the outer peel. Now your lava beans are ready to cook.

In a small pan, heat the olive oil Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Now add the almonds, fava beans, herbs and salt. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Turn off the flame and let it cool.

Blend the bean mixture till creamy or coarsely done adding as much water as needed.  I have left mine a little chunky as I liked the idea of biting into small pieces of beans and almonds. You can also blend it till creamy and stir-in small pieces of almonds for crunch. Taste the spree and season it with more salt if needed.

Serve topped with some extra olive oil and almonds.

Overnight Chinese Daikon Radish Pickles

2 cups peeled and sliced daikon, about 1/4″ thick

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

In a small mixing bowl, sprinkle the salt over the radish slices and toss to combine. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will help the radishes soften and release some liquid. Drain the water from the bowl and rinse the daikon well. Pat them dry with a towel and then return to the bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine and coat all the slices. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Enjoy!

Radish & Parsley Salad with Lemon

  • About 10 medium or 12 small red radishes, scrubbed
  • 3 large ribs celery, ends trimmed, peeled
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Trim the root and stem end of the radishes. Halve them lengthwise and then slice them 1/8 inch thick; you should have about 1-1/2 cups. Slice the celery crosswise 1/8 inch thick. Combine the sliced radishes, sliced celery, and parsley leaves in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, and olive oil; toss well. Add several generous grinds of black pepper, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.


From the Mesa Top: August 13th, 2015,

Climatology 2015: Excellent conditions prevail for growth of the warm season grasses on the pastures.  Significant rain followed by sunny, hot but not blistering, little or no wind, and still some dampness in the air.  Last week’s biggest of the season rain was seriously eclipsedMonday afternoon by a 3+ inch rainfall in about 2 hours, followed by steady light rain for 2 more.  This one filled every water hole on the farm to full and in some cases overflowing.

Before this mega storm, there had been hints of fall in the air.  Bright blue sky, a sure sign.  Puffy Cumulous clouds, for a couple of days over the weekend.  At Angel fire morning low temp below freezing was recorded last week.

From the Wild: The heavy rainier on Monday brought out hundreds of spade foot toads; their calls fill the night air.  It seems a little late for their eggs to hatch and for the tadpoles to grow to their full maturity as young toads.  There will be plenty of water to help them along the way, and plenty of mosquito larvae as well.

Amazingly enough, as soon as the rain let up, a flock of 8 ducks appeared overhead, circling the reservoir.

Cow stories: Moving day is upon us, as the forest trust wants to leave the pastures empty for the rest of the season.  We got a few cows moved over and of course then the rest scattered.  A handful is appearing at the far north end of the pasture, about 2 miles from their new intended landing spot.  No cows had been up there the entire time the herd had been grazing the forest trust land.  So now they decide to go exploring.

The grass at the new state lease is superb

Beneficial birds.  Nothing new from the hen houses.  Enjoy the pullet 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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