Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of November 12th, 2015

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday November 12th, 2015

Lettuce Mix from Sol y Tierra

Radishes form Sol y Tierra

Giant Red Mustards from Sol y Tierra

Collards from Synergia

Carrots from Schwebach Farm

Big Glorious” Chimayo Red Apples from Eli Martinez

Sorry for the delay in getting the member message out, time just got away from us.

I can’t believe we are rapidly approaching Thanksgiving! We have placed out Mesa Top non-GMO Heritage Turkeys on the marketplace, we have a limited number, but we will try our best to meet our member’s orders. They are $3.50/lb, ranging from 10-20lbs, so please email us the desired weight and we will get as close as we can. Heritage birds are much leaner that the Butterball turkeys in stores, but with a little brining, they come out very juicy and full of flavor!

The CSA will be closed for the week of Thanksgiving; no one wants to be getting shares on the holiday. We are working towards having a big week next week, Turkeys will go out with shares ordered, and we are working on some other great local holiday staples!

Pie pumpkins are a must, we are putting at least one in shares next week, and we are running a special on them on the marketplace, $1.50 ea! Throw out the Libby’s canned pumpkin, and go local with your pies!

We have a bit of time to try to pull together as many holiday items as we can, but please send us any recommendations, we would love to see everyone’s dinners filled with local produce!

CSA Schedule: The operations have been restructured to being one whole delivery route, vs a 2 vehicle team. We are currently getting Hillside done by 10, all shares done between noon and 1, then we deliver to Prep, Food Depot, Commons, SWK and Eldorado in that order. There are a few home deliveries in the middle, and sometime we restructure this if we are running short on time, but this is the general route we are trying to take, hopefully having all shares at sites by 3-4pm. Call the CSA number for any delivery updates, it will go straight to Thomas’ cell if you select the distribution day number.

Member recruitment/sponsorship: We are trying to structure a few new programs to support member recruitment and retention, and general understanding of what the CSA is. We would like to pick the brains of our members, to see what they think. We are getting ready to update the published flyers/postcards for the CSA, something that sat on the back burner for a while. We are wondering what members think about a “refer a friend” incentive, a bonus for members who recruits new members, and also a follow up bonus when the new member re-invests in the CSA. We have seen a few members join and leave without letting us know they had other needs, or sometimes not understanding the full flexibility and mission of the CSA. One idea we have is to find senior members that are willing to pair with new members, to offer a mentor type support and experience, to help them understand the CSA better. If this seems like something some of our members are interested in, we wanted to see what they might felt would be a fair exchange for their extra effort. We also wanted to get member feedback on how the bonus system for larger investments is working out. The general idea is, that we give members a bonus for larger investments. We would like to hear from members that invest to receive this bonus, and members that feel it is too much money to invest at one time, to gauge how well this incentive is working. We welcome all member input, and it really does craft the way we operate, even if it may not always seem to be immediate or used in its full content.


We have Salmon steak back on the marketplace, and we are working on some fillet cuts as well. The support that the CSA, and the chefs, have shown, have grown the capacity to take the idea of getting boat direct fish once a year, to its being available every week. As we continue to grow, the fillets will be available, we will start adding on other fish, and continue to uphold the highest quality standards. Dylan is more than happy to respond to any and all fish question, , he knows more than we could ever hope to write about these fish and their waters.


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

CSA Phone: 505-470-1969

This number goes to a routing company, where we have created a few extensions to help direct and filter your calls. These calls go directly to one of our families cell phones, but if we cannot take your call at that time, we need you to leave a message in regards to why you are calling. These messages also get emailed to all of us, so we have multiple people aware of an issue, increase response.

Farmers and Share Updates

We are going to try out the bread in shares in a few weeks; it just fell by the wayside of other awesome produce.

Where’s the Beef?

We wanted to remind everyone about our Veal program, as it has been kind of slow on the uptake. Mesa Top raises cattle primarily for dairy, but as the land can support it, we also raise some beef cattle. In modern dairy, calves are pulled off their mothers shortly after birth, to be raised in cages until they are sent to the processing plants. Mesa Top takes a more traditional, humane approach to the challenge of running a dairy farm, in raising Rose Veal. Our calves are left on their mother’s their entire life, given the freedom to exercise and enjoy a balanced diet of milk and grass, producing the rosy meat. Calves are the “bi-product” of a dairy industry, treated as a liability by larger ranchers, but our family works very hard to make sure that they have as full a life as is possible.

We compared our pricing on our veal packages to the Sweet Grass Coop steaks in the store, and found that our prices were coming in close to, if not under, the store costs for beef. With the higher quality of our cuts of meat, we highly encourage people to try a cut or two, or purchase a variety pack of our Rose Veal.

Please email or call with questions


*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.


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

Farm and Marketplace News: 

Fall Sourcing: We are starting to see more Southern farms producing, but we will have some Northern farms in the mix 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.

Cantaloupe: on the marketplace

Eggplant: on the marketplace

Collards: In your share and on the marketplace

Kale: on the Marketplace

Radishes: : In your share and on the marketplace

Lettuce Mix: In your share and on the marketplace

Giant Red Mustard Greens: : In your share and on the marketplace

Pepper: Assorted other peppers on the marketplace

Apples: Chimayo Reds by the case on the marketplace, and in your share

Roasted, Cleaned Org Green Chili: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: on the marketplace

Daikon Radishes: on the marketplace

Onions: on the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Summer Squash: Zucchini

Winter Squash: Acorn Squash on the marketplace

Tomatoes:  Grapes (in your share) and clusters are on the marketplace

Mustard Green Flatbread with Charred-Tomato Vinaigrette

  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. white wine or Champagne vinegar
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (optional)
  • 5 oz. mustard greens, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)

Position one rack 6 inches below the broiler and another at the bottom of the oven; heat the broiler on high.

Arrange 3 of the 4 tomato halves cut side down on a small rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil on the top rack until they’re blistered and charred, about 5 minutes. Turn the tomatoes over and broil until charred, about 4 minutes more. Let cool.

Finely dice the uncooked tomato half and set aside.

Put a large cookie sheet on the bottom rack and heat the oven to 500°F.

In a blender, pulse the charred tomatoes, including the skin, with the vinegar and garlic until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the hole in the lid. Transfer to a small bowl, season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and set aside.

Put the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll them into balls and set one aside, covered with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the other ball into a 12- to 13-inch round and sprinkle with flaky sea salt or more kosher salt.

Using a peel, transfer the round to the cookie sheet in the oven. (Don’t worry if it buckles or wrinkles; this will make for a more interesting shape.)

Bake until the dough begins to bubble and brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Flip and bake until golden-brown around the edges and bubbly, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the second ball of dough.

In a large bowl, toss the mustard greens and diced fresh tomato with enough of the vinaigrette to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the greens between the flatbreads, spreading to cover, and serve.

Pasta with Collard Greens and Onions


  • 1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, preferably a red onion, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced across the grain
  •  Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes(optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/2 head green garlic, stalks and papery shells removed, sliced
  •  Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 to 12 ounces pasta, any shape
  • ½ cup cooking water from the pasta
  • 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan (to taste)

Nutritional Information


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer to a bowl of cold water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and cut crosswise into thin ribbons.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large lidded frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt, the red pepper flakes and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute, and add the collard greens and salt and pepper to taste. When the greens begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package.
  4. Before draining the pasta, ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pot into the frying pan with the collard greens and onions. Drain the pasta and toss with the greens. Serve, topping each serving with Parmesan to taste.


  • for the collards:
    • 1½ pounds (2 bunches) collard greens
    • 3 cups Smoked Ham and Chicken Stock
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 small piece Turkish bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
    • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • White vinegar
    • Tabasco
  • for the dumplings:
    • Vegetable oil spray
    • 6 ounces (1¼ cups)  Coarse Yellow Cornmeal
    • 2.5 ounces (½ cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Prepare the collards: Fill a clean sink with cold water. Plunge the collards into the water and agitate them by swirling them about by their stems. Transfer the greens to a large colander. Drain the sink and refill it, and wash the collards again. Shake the collards free of excess water and let them drain in the colander for a few minutes.

Stack several leaves on top of each other with the stems pointing in the same direction and trim the stems even with the leaves (fig. 2.1). Discard the stems. Loosely roll the collards lengthwise into a cigar. Beginning at the leaf end, cut the cigar crosswise into strips 3 inches wide (fig. 2.2), narrowing the width to 1 inch as you near the stem ends. Turn the strips 90 degrees and cut the strips crosswise into halves or thirds to create big rectangular pieces (fig. 2.3). Repeat with the remaining collards. You should have well over a pound of cleaned, trimmed collards or about5½ quarts, loosely packed. Set the collards aside.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a large, wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bay leaf, sugar, and pepper flakes, if using. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer to infuse flavors, about10 minutes.

Add the collards to the simmering stock, cover the pot, and let the greens cook down; turning them from time to time with tongs, until the leaves are uniformly wilted and stems are tender with creamy centers, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Cover to keep warm.

Make the dumplings: While the stock simmers, fill a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (one that accommodates a steamer insert or collapsible steamer basket) with 1 to 2 inches of water, making sure that the bottom of the steamer is not submerged. Cover the saucepan and set it on a burner, but do not turn on the heat. Spray the steamer insert with vegetable oil spray and set it aside.

Turn the cornmeal into a medium mixing bowl. Turn the pastry flour and baking powder into a small bowl and stir to combine. Combine the milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the butter has melted, pour the boiling mixture over the cornmeal and stir with a rubber spatula to moisten. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

While the collards cook, bring the water in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. Gently fold the pastry flour mixture into the cornmeal mush with a rubber spatula. Do not overwork. With moistened hands, lightly shape the dough into golf ball–sized dumplings, rolling the dough between your palms, and place them one by one in the steamer basket. You should have 12 dumplings. Uncover the saucepan and lower the steamer insert over the boiling water. Immediately replace the lid and lower the heat to medium-high. Steam the dumplings, without peeking, for15 minutes. When you uncover the saucepan, the dumplings should be puffy, slightly shiny, and firm to the touch (fig. 7.1). They may also be stuck together, but they’ll separate easily.

To serve, spoon the collard greens and a generous amount of their pot stickers into 6 shallow bowls. Place 2 dumplings in each bowl. Pass the Tabasco at the table. This is a superb side dish with pork chops or roast chicken, or simply attended by a pot of beans.

‘Ultimate Grilled Cheese’ Recipe with Mustard and Mustard Greens

For the greens:

1 bunch mustard greens, cleaned and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sandwiches:
8 slices thick-cut bread
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons spicy brown mustard (I used the brand Sir Kensington’s)
24 to 28 slices aged cheddar cheese
¼ red onion, thinly sliced

First, cook your mustard greens. Clean and trim the leaves, then heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the greens and stir until wilted, about 5 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe out the inside of the pan with a paper towel.

Butter both sides of each slice of bread, then reduce the pan’s heat to medium and add in 4 slices of bread at a time (or however many slices your pan can hold) and toast one side. Flip the bread and add 1½ tablespoons of Sir Kensington’s Spicy Brown Mustard to one side of two of the slices of bread, followed by 3 to 4 slices of cheese, ¼ of the mustard greens, a few slices of red onion, and an additional 3 to 4 slices of cheese. Top with other slices of bread in the pan, toasted side down onto the cheese. Use a spatula to press down on the sandwiches, then cover the pan lightly and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Remove the cover, flip the sandwiches, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, pressing down again with a spatula. Remove from the pan when the cheese is gooey and melted, then finish with the remaining sandwich ingredients (you can keep the sandwiches warm in a 250°F oven). Serve warm.

From the Mesa Top: November 12th, 2015

The wood stoves are going!  Member’s feedback has helped us set this year’s price for our split pinon and juniper (mixed) wood:  $275 for a chord, $150 for a ½ chord, delivered to reasonably accessible locations.

Climatology 2015: And yet again, one more widespread precipitation covered the area throughout the day and evening on Wednesday.  This storm brought the first snowfall and was a much colder storm than any so far, bringing with it the coldest temps of the season after it passed.  Also winds and crystal clear blue skies:  winter is here!

From the Wild:  Mesa Top Reservoir came nearly to the spillway, and the fullness of the  reservoir along with the fairly lengthy time that it has been high and near full is raising the water table at the ephemeral springs further down the canyon.

This week’s new comers are the mountain blue birds who rest on the fence posts after doing loop da loops around close to the ground

Cow stories: There has been some late growth of the cool season grasses.  There is also a new calf. Tip, one of our original our purebred Ayrshires, has a bull calf.  Tip is a big milk producer but right now we cannot milk her due to construction going on in and around the cheese room.  We are considering getting her a second calf to raise.

The solar powered shallow water system built around a homestead era hand dug well beside the reservoir is performing beautifully.  We have 3,000 gallons water stored at the northern and highest point on the northern pasture, plus we have about 1500 gallons available to the cows in their drinkers.  Plus the well catch system is about 5 feet deep in water.  We have an idle 3,000 gallon tank and we are considering putting it in line with the other tank for the winter, and filling it also while we have the water

Beneficial birds pullet eggs are being packed along with some larger hen eggs to make some funny looking dozens:  Big eggs and little eggs mixed.  We weigh all of our dozens so even the odd mix of egg sizes is for sure a “fair” dozen if compared by weight to a medium/large dozen of uniform eggs from the store

Cheese making update:  . The cheese room is being re-arranged.  It is shrinking and a kitchen and bathroom are being added for noncommercial use.  The reconfigured cheese room will have its own direct outdoor entrance and will not be accessible from any non-commercial living space.  This arrangement is in accord with FDA Food Code

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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