Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of September 10th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday September 10th, 2015

Leeks from Talon de Gato

Salad Mix from Talon de Gato

Cucumber from Mesa Top Farm

Green Cabbage from Talon de Gato

Apples, Red Delicious from Jimmy Martinez

Org Roasted and Cleaned Green Chili from Hatch, NM

Improving communication with members:

We had a much improved week last week, through the aid of a temporary volunteer, and some restructuring of our daily flow. We are very appreciative of member understanding as we transition through this period.

For anyone who has called the CSA number, you have heard the new forwarding service for our family. Now, instead of the CSA number going to just one of our family’s cells, it has been filtered to get you in touch with the members of our family that handle certain areas of the operation. We encourage everyone to give it a call, to hear the options, so you know how it works a bit better. We will work on the recordings, and maybe simplify the “departments” but for now at least things are up and running.

*Please understand that your call are being forwarded to your cells, and often we are at our other jobs, so we need everyone to leave a message when they call, because we will not be returning missed calls without messages.*

We have a few new ideas for unclaimed shares, which we want to run by everyone.

Member input support the idea that it is the responsibility of members to let us know if they aren’t able to pick up their shares. We can figure out if you haven’t picked up a share, but only 12-18 hrs. after we have dropped it off at a pick up site, which doesn’t help the quality of your share or our effort to contact you later.

We have a special extension on our CSA line just for Distribution Day, to let members contact the site directly for last minute updates or changes to their share. We don’t always get to email till the evening, so this is the number to call.

We would like to get members to the point where they have let us know ahead of time or on the day of, if they aren’t picking up their share, and make arrangements with us. We are still perfecting our delivery times, and checking emails quicker, but we want to continue to shoot for this. Ultimately, shares not claimed by Friday afternoon, will be sent to Food Depot as a member donation.

If you can send us your ideas, we would really love to hear what your thoughts are.

Member, Please email you holds and Substitutions in a separate email to us, so it is not lost in a hidden chain!!

Volunteer with the CSA:

We still are looking for 1-2 regular volunteer for 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 are going to be improving the volunteer exchange program, so it isn’t limited to a full share bases. We will have ways for member to volunteer what time they can, and pick how they are reimbursed for their efforts.

If you, or someone you know is interested in more information, contact Thomas Swendson: or 505-216-8611 ext. 701

Farmers and Share Updates

What is September, without the smell of chili roasting in the air?

Thomas decided we were going to do some serious roasting this year for the CSA, we ordered 500lbs fresh Org chili for this endeavor. After a full day of roasting, we chilled them to temp, loaded up the trailer and went to Hillside’s kitchen. The task was more challenging than expected, and some packaging issues necessitated that we clean the chili instead of packing it with the skins. Even though this meant much more time, it produced an even better quality product, an air tight freezer grade package of awesome chili meat!!

We have the chili in your share this week, and have enough to have it in a share again in the winter, with some marketplace extras.

Other new product this week:

Rose Veal, from the Mesa Top family herd!

We have veal packs, as well as individual cuts available on the marketplace.

What is New Mexico Rose Veal?   

It’s a more natural and wholesome way to eat veal.

The local foods/sustainability movement of the twenty first century has helped revive traditional small farm retro agriculture of keeping calves with their mother.

Dairy cows need to have babies in order to produce milk. The ratio of males to females born is approximate 50%. That means a dairy farm milking 50 cows can produce around 25 calves a year. Traditionally, male offspring of pastured dairy cows were left with their mothers until forage became scarce in the fall when they would be harvested, their meat being a light rose color and flavorful thanks to their access to green grass.

Raising veal right.

It wasn’t until a few years ago some farmers returned to this old-fashioned method of putting calves out to pasture with their mothers.  Local and organic farmers recognize that veal calves are part of the ecological, ethical and economic balance honor.

A young calve:

  • Stays with cow after birth.
  • Grazes on pasture all their life.
  • Naturally nursed with colostrum.
  • Bought from local family farms at a fair price.
  • Never injected with hormones or antibiotics.
  • Raised outside in small groups with lots of   grass & sunshine
  • Processed locally.


If you consume dairy products, especially artisan cheese and milk from small family dairy’s–even wonderful handcrafted ice cream–you will enjoy eating Rose Veal.


Rose Veal is an extremely tender, lean, and low in fat.  It provides a terrific alternative to beef or lamb for those looking to reduce their fat intake and reap the benefits of a healthy iron intake.

Needs some recipe ideas?

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:

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


 Any members interested in purchasing farm share with their EBT, please email us as

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 Fall 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.

Chard: the marketplace

Leeks: In your share and on the marketplace

Salad Mix: In your share and on the marketplace

Green Cabbage: In your share and on the marketplace

Red Delicious Apples: In your share and on the marketplace

Roasted, Cleaned Org Green Chili: In your share and on the marketplace

Sweet Corn: the marketplace

Pepper: Assorted peppers on the marketplace

Cucumbers: Armenian and regular cukes on the marketplace

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

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace

Green Chile Mac and Cheese


  • 1 lb. Macaroni
  • 3 Tb. butter
  • 1 cup hatch green chiles, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tb. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 lb. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (off the block, not pre-shredded)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chopped avocados
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Once boiling cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the butter, chiles, and onions and saute over medium-high heat until the onions are softened. Whisk in the flour, followed by the milk. Once the mixture starts to simmer cut the cream cheese into cubes and stir in. Stir continuously, adding the shredded cheddar to the pot. Once the cheese sauce is smooth, add in the macaroni and turn the heat off. Stir to coat and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To Serve: Scoop the spicy mac and cheese into bowls and top with chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef Cabbage Bowl Recipe with Avocado Salsa

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Beef:
2 lb. beef chuck roast, well trimmed and cut into thick strips

1 T  Taco Seasoning (or your favorite Southwestern spice blend)
2-3 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
8oz diced green chili, or more if desired

Ingredients for Cabbage Slaw and Dressing: 
1 small head green cabbage
1/2 small head red cabbage
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
6 T mayo or light mayo
4 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. (or more) Green Tabasco Sauce

Ingredients for the Avocado Salsa:
2 large avocados, diced
1 medium Poblano (Pasilla) pepper, diced very small
1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (or use thinly-sliced green onion if you’re not a cilantro person)


Trim all visible fat and any undesirable parts from the chuck roast and cut into thick strips.  (It may already be in strips when you’re through trimming, but aim for same-size strips.)  Rub strips of beef with the taco seasoning.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan and brown the beef well on all sides.  (Don’t skip this step; the browning adds a lot of flavor.)

Put the strips of browned beef in the slow cooker and pour in the diced green chiles and juice from the cans.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the beef shreds apart easily.  (If you’re going to be out you can also cook this for 6-8 hours on low.)  When the beef is done, use a large slotted spoon to remove it to a cutting board, leaving the liquid in the slow cooker.  Shred the beef apart with two forks and put it back in the slow cooker to absorb the liquid and keep warm while you make the cabbage slaw and salsa.

Cut the cabbage into very thin strips.  Slice the green onions.  Whisk together the mayo, lime juice, and Green Tabasco sauce to make the dressing.  (Taste to see if you want more lime or Green Tabasco and adjust to taste.)  Then put the cabbage and green onions into a bowl and toss with the dressing.

Peel and cut up the avocado, place in a bowl, and toss with the lime juice.   Finely chop the cilantro (or green onion) and the Poblano chile and add it to the avocado.  Drizzle in the olive oil and gently toss again.

To assemble the bowl, put a layer of the slaw, then a generous amount of the spicy beef, topped by a couple of spoonful’s of the avocado salsa.  I served this with extra Green Tabasco for those who wanted a little more heat.

Baked Apple Chips Recipe


  1. Preheat your oven to 220 F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Cut the apples into thin slices.
  4. Spread the apple slices on the baking sheets, making sure you have no overlapping edges (if they overlap, they’ll stick to each other and they won’t dry properly).
  5. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and place in the oven.
  6. Place in the oven to dry for 1 hour; then flip the slices and cook for another hour.
  7. Let the chips cool down and serve.

From the Mesa Top: September 10th, 2015

Climatology 2015: The steady walk to fall usually is marked by warm-ups followed by drops to colder temperatures.  Lows in mid fortunes, then low forties, then upper thirties then bingo, light frost.  So far the colder temps are lagging, so it seems likely the early frost will lag also.

These fall conditions usually line up op more soaking rain.

We can hope…

From the Wild: Another roadrunner was spotted, along the road a couple of miles south of the last sighting.  This one was also too quick to be caught in a photo.

Another wildlife observation is the increasing number of ravens, who will be eating pinon soon if things progress as they are now.

Cow stories: You can’t make this stuff up”:  Cassie has taken up her old trick of walking through fences and standing next to the gate to be let back in.  Her calf run with the herd and then some group of cows sits with her by the gate, waiting for wandering mamma.

Also for the 4th year in a row, Steve’s September DC trip coincided with another bizarre cow event.  A virtually newborn bull calf was found near the water tanks by our mechanics who were working on the water truck.  He was maybe a day old.  The other cows and calves were somewhat interested in him, but he was too weak to respond.  Colleen has been nursing him to health, we found Pinky, one of our foundation Ayrshires, heavy with colostrum, but with no interest in the calf.

We cannot find any other cow who may have been the mother.  Hopefully as the calf gains strength he will be able to assert himself more and get Pinky to let him nurse

Beneficial birds Turkeys are out on pasture now, happily eating bugs and weeds.

Cheese making update. Pinky’s milk is a first step toward cheesemaking.  A couple of other cows are looking heavy; fall cheese making will likely begin by end of month.

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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