Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of September 24th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share

for Thursday September 24th, 2015

Escarole from Talon de Gato

Arugula from Talon de Gato

Romaine Lettuce from Talon de Gato

Eggplant from Sol y Tierra

Cucumber from Mesa Top

Dino Kale from Synergia

Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Update from Last week:

We didn’t get the green beans in last week, or even this week, so we had to make a last minute adjustment to the 17th’s share. We kept the red cabbage in, which we were going to drop for extra beans, and then upped the potato share. Things are looking better for this week; we just don’t know which type of eggplant members will be getting, black beauties or Ting Long.

We have been keeping things pretty much to one email a week, but we wanted to see what people thought about receiving notification of the share has been changed on the fly on Thursday. We can continue to respond to individual requests, but if we hear back that more members would like to get this update; it’s just as easy for us to do, we just don’t want to write an email people don’t really read.

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

Bread Updates:

For the second week in a row, we have been having trouble making the new bread offering work. A lot of the trouble we are getting into is the small amount of people ordering, we only meet 1/5 the minimum last week.

We have a few ideas we want to give a shot. First, instead of marketplace ordering of loaves, what do people think about a once a month bread share that got changed up each month? We could work on a calendar listing, with member input on breads they would like, which hopefully would be a better way of getting more people participating.

We also want to have Frederic make a smaller loaf of bread, which we will put in the share in a week or two, to get everyone to try it out.

We would prefer to try and make things work with Saint Frances Bakery, because of even though we are facing some challenges, it’s because they are smaller scale. They aren’t baking a ton of extra bread, they offer have some unique style, and because of their size, they can work with us to tailor things to fit our member’s needs, like a bread share or pie ordering for the holidays.

We have gotten some member input back, but we would love to hear more if it’s out there.

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: ?? What’s next?

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: 

Fall 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.

Leeks: on the marketplace

Escarole: In your share and on the marketplace

Arugula: In your share and on the marketplace

Romaine Lettuce: In your share and on the marketplace

Dino Kale: In your share and on the marketplace

Eggplant: In your share and on the marketplace

Chard: On the marketplace

Pepper: Assorted other peppers on the marketplace

Nappa Cabbage: on the marketplace

Red Delicious Apples: on the marketplace

Roasted, Cleaned Org Green Chili: on the marketplace

Sweet Corn: the marketplace

Cucumbers: Armenian, Pickling and regular cukes on the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

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

Tomatoes:  Grapes and clusters are on the marketplace

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 Chinese eggplants, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 inch half moons
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 5 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce


  1. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook and stir the eggplant until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the water, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed. Meanwhile, mix sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and oyster sauce in a bowl until sugar and cornstarch have dissolved. Stir sauce into the eggplant, making sure to evenly coat the eggplant. Cook until the sauce has thickened.

Penne with Sausage and Escarole


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into medium dice (about1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (or bulk sausage)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 bunch escarole or mustard greens, rinsed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.

While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a l4-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the pieces up with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and escarole, and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Add the cooked pasta and the reserved cooking water, and stir gently to combine. Simmer just until everything is heated through, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cheese and crushed red pepper, and toss to combine. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, and serve immediately.

Fresh Figs With Arugula And Romaine

For the salad dressing
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar *
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the salad
4 ounces baby arugula (4 handfuls)
Small head, hearts of romaine lettuce (8 ounces)
2 large fresh figs, cut vertically into 8 wedges
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup raw English walnuts
Freshly ground black pepper
From the Mesa Top: September 24th, 2015

Climatology 2015: a big moisture surge beginning Monday night.  Hopefully a wet atmosphere will bring us rain in the next couple of days.  Most years we do seem to have one good storm in September or early October.

Last Thursday night we had a wind squall that ripped the top off of the greenhouse and damaged the frame.  We have a nice crop of cucumbers in there, so we have to scramble and get some kind of temporary cover on to protect them from frost

From the Wild: Raven pinon harvest is full on.  Some intrepid families are up on the Mesa, gathering their share.  6 ducks on the reservoir, setting in and feeling very safe with the open water and the weed choked shore lines.  We should see migrating cranes and herons soon.

The pinon harvesting is in full force.  LOTS OF PINON AT MESA TOP!  If you want to gather some pinon perhaps this weekend will be a good time.

Cow stories: You can’t make this stuff up”:  Cindy Lous’ heifer is a character.  We’d sure like to see another calf come along so she gets to hang out with her own kind.  What a boring life, following her mother around with no other calves to play with.  One thing though, she is grazing more than any calf her age that I can remember

Beneficial birds: The turkeys are a sight, chasing grasshoppers around the field and feasting on the.  We still have kept them out of the lower field, where the summer squash and winter squash are still growing.  The summer squash is waning and as soon as we bring in the winter squash we will let the turkeys move into that field and get after those grass hoppers.  In case it was not obvious, turkeys (and chickens) are not vegetarians.

Cheese making update:  . We are not getting the milk volume that we hoped for from Pinky and Indy Lou so we are not getting very close to cheesemaking yet.  More calves and more mommas in milk and we will get going in the cheese room.

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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