Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of January 14th, 2016

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday January 14th, 2016

Spicy Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra

Kale from Preferred Produce

Hubbard Squash from Jubilee Farm

Green Cabbage from Jubilee Farm

Mixed bag of Golden Turnips, Beets and Banana Fingerling Potatoes

From Jubilee Farm


Bring your muscles, it’s a heavy share!


Fingers Crossed!

We think we have a great location lined up for our CSA to be based out of, which is making us feel much better about the coming year’s growth and collaborations. When it seemed like things with the church didn’t look as hopeful as we wanted, we started reaching out wider than before, to see who might be a good partner for us. We heard back from Ezra, Pristana Water manager and founder of Zia Root Beer, Santa Fe Tea CO, Cowboy up and more great local brands, who seemed to be our knight in armor.

Initially Ezra though we might be able to use space at their Pristina warehouse, but after a little more though, he shared an even more interesting idea with us. Ezra and his family own a live/work house in the Oshara Village out by the Community College. For those like me, playing catch up, this video shares the initial vision of the community when it was being built .

I meet with Ezra and his wife a few hours ago, to see their work space, discuss how we could see the CSA using it and the mutual growths we might see come in the near future. I think that running the CSA out of their space is easily done, and there are so many little perks just in the space alone (heating!) that make it a great fit. Just the basics of moving in and getting going, I think we will be back to normal, if not in a better position.

Now, anyone that pays close enough attention to these messages, might notice I get more fired up every now and then over an idea, or even color of vegetable. Today was one of those meeting where my spirit was revitalized, and my creativity challenged with the raw materials to grow things to a new level. When talking with Ezra about the initial vision of the Oshara Village, he shared what he wants to see his part to be in the growth of the community. His family is already using their space to support a church on Sundays, and are pretty committed to the incorporation of the CSA into the mix. They want to get a coffee shop going in the space as well, very community-center oriented, and being tied into a farmer’s market, maybe by the beginning of spring. Longer term, looking at how the Oshara project works as a whole, how a community garden, local brewery, coffee roaster, locally sourced restaurant, etc. all play together, and how we can start growing these partnerships.

I love a good challenge, and the heart of the CSA is in our community connections! We strive every week to bring farmers and families together, to create this community of local food supporters. It has been very important to us that our base of operations should exemplify our community involvement, that our distribution location should works hand in hand to support the growth of the community we are in, as much as we wish we could in the whole city. I am excited to see how these next few months shape up; it’s definitely got me pumped up!

I would also like to thank our members for their continued support. In 2015, our CSA aggregated well over 50,000lbs of local produce for our members and the local food banks, plus the additional local meats and grains. This was also the first year of our Community Supported Fishery project with Seashaken, and we have distributed over 14k lbs. of salmon throughout Santa Fe. Also, over 800 dozen Beneficial eggs to boot!!

Anyways, thank you for your continued support, and also your support of locally supportive establishments throughout NM!


Oh yeah, there was a down side:

We don’t expect to have thing running at Oshara until 2 weeks from now. We are trying to see if we can run things out of Eldorado in the short term, which we really would benefit from. If that falls through, we are expecting about 1-2hr delays, if we are running things out of ABQ. Stay tuned for delay notices, but again, fingers crossed!!



Eggs: Mesa Top Eggs Are Back! The chickens are happy, with plenty of feed, and they are producing very well for this time of year. Anyone who put their egg shares on hold till the MT birds were back producing, please email us, and we will get you set back up.


Home Delivery Evaluation:

It’s a new year, and it seems like a good time to re-evaluate our home delivery structure. When we launched home delivery, roughly this time last year, we realized that pick up locations didn’t work for all of our members, and we wanted to make a fair deal to offer home delivery. Initially, we only hand a few people interested, spread across the city, but over the year we have gotten a fairly spread-out route of houses. We believe that members who want or need home delivery, would rather purchase a bit extra in food to cover our fuel, vs just paying a charge. With the diversity of our new routes, we think we can offer home delivery free after $40 or at a $5 cost going forward for the Santa Fe “Metro” area. We will still reserve the right to negotiate an upcharge if we are traveling way out of our route, but we will take those on a case by case bases. For us, it’s really about making sure things are in balance, because a home delivery takes X fuel and Y time extra, we just want to make sure those costs are covered.

This should only further benefit the current home delivery members, and maybe be a better fit for other members. If you are interested in transitioning to home delivery, feel free to call us.

Our biggest goal is getting local food into your homes, we are just continuing to try make it that much simpler!

Send us any input you have!



Member Reminder:

Members who are new to the CSA, or have not replenished their Farmigo account before, please read this!

Member accounts are not set up to stop service once your account hits $0. Most member accounts are set up on an automatic billing system, or those that don’t have this set up, pay in some regular instilment. Member accounts will receive an email notice if their account is falling below $50, regardless of if their payment is automatic or not.

Members wishing to stop their share when their balance hits zero, NEED to email us to suspend their shares! We don’t make a habit of regulating balances week to week, and don’t mind letting a family bounce a week’s worth of food to keep them feed, so we don’t stop shares when your balance hits zeros unless we know your leaving the CSA. In order to have our flexible system, where a family can wait a week to reinvest in a share, we need members to let us know when they are closing our accounts, or taking a vacation. Otherwise, we spend even more money in paying for unclaimed shares,which aren’t able to be donated by the time a member lets us know they are canceling some times.


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




*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.


More about the food…

Upcoming Share items:

Just a heads up on a few things we are planning in the coming weeks: We are will have Quinoa in the share in a week or two, and coming shortly, we are including a pint of Wild-Flower honey, the first of a darker honey in a while! Just in case you were planning on buying a jar of honey next week, we wanted to let you know it was coming in the shares soon!

QUINOA:  On the marketplace

Raw apple Pom juice:  New Mexico pomegranates harvested in early October and stored in the cooler.  Johnny Alarid’s stayman winesaps.  About 1/3 pom and 2/3 apples.

We have Quarts and Pints available on the marketplace


News and specials on the marketplace:

We are starting to get into our Winter 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.

Yellow Potatoes: On the marketplace

Spicy Salad Mix: In your share and On the marketplace

Kale: In your share and On the marketplace

Spinach: on the marketplace

Green Cabbage: In your share and on the marketplace

Red French Fingerling Potatoes: On the marketplace

Roasted, Cleaned Org Green Chili: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: on the marketplace

Onions: on the marketplace

Carrots: on the marketplace

Zucchini: on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: on the marketplace

Winter Squash: Acorn, Hubbard, Pumpkin and Butternut Squash on the marketplace,

Tomatoes:  Clusters are on the marketplace


Winter roots everywhere, and what do you do with them? Roast them, mash them, stick them in a stew!!


Beet and Turnip Gratin

Beets Grautin


  • 9 tbsps unsalted butter (divided, 1 for the skillet, 8 for the sauce)
  • 41/2 lbs beets, turnips and potatoes mix, peeled and sliced thin crosswise, I used a mandolin
  • 3/4 cup shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsps minced garlic
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh thyme
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper 
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  2. Working from the outside in, tile sliced beets and turnips in a rosette pattern. I started with red beets on the outer edge, then gold, turnips, and potatoes.
  3. Warm 3 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, stirring frequently (about 4 minutes). Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted and incorporated, season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Pour the butter-garlic mixture evenly over the prepared beets and turnips, then pour over the chicken stock. Cover the skillet tightly with foil, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the top of the gratin is just starting to brown and get crispy (about 30 minutes). Let the gratin cool for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped chive just before serving.


Roasted Medley of Winter Roots


  • 1/2 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2×1/2-inch sticks
  • 3 to 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2×1/2-inch sticks
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into large wedges
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and cut into large (3/4-inch) dice
  • 10 to 12 cloves garlic
  • 12 to 15 small white boiling onions or 1 cup pearl onions (walnut-size), peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. melted unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 400°F. Dump the vegetables into a large, low-sided roasting pan or onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet; they should be just one layer deep. Toss in the herbs and drizzle on the butter and oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast, tossing with a spatula a few times, until the vegetables are very tender and browned in spots, about 50 min. Discard the bay leaves. Serve warm.





For the buns:

  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons, I believe)
  • 2T white sugar
  • 1C warm-to-hot water (should not be too hot to touch)
  • 1C hubbard squash or pumpkin, pureed
  • 1/2C unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1/4C vegan butter (used Earth Balance)
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 1/4C brown sugar
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 4C white or white-whole wheat flour
  • 2C oat flour

For the filling:

  • 1C squash/pumpkin, pureed
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/4C melted vegan butter
  • 1/4C white sugar
  • 1/4C brown sugar
  • (You can play with the filling to suit your preferences)


  1. First, check your yeast. Put a packet of instant yeast in a measuring cup with 2T of sugar and 1 cup warm-to-hot water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Next, get a big mixing bowl and blend together your 1C of squash, your milk, Earth Balance, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and brown sugar.
  3. Add cinnamon and the yeast. Mix mix mix.
  4. Now start adding your flour as you mix. You should need 5-6 cups. I needed 11. I actually liked the earthiness added by the oat flour, so I suggest using 2 parts wheat and one-part oat and we will leave you on that note.
  5. Knead your ball o’ dough for 5-10 minutes (until you get tired; we have to watch out for carpal tunnels).
  6. In a clean, oiled mixing bowl, place your dough ball and cover it with cling film and a dish towel. Let it sit for 2 hours. It should rise like the sun.
  7. In the meantime, mix your filling ingredients together.
  8. AFTER THE RISING: Roll out your dough in workable sections, making long rectangles about 1/4 inch thick. Cover with a layer of the filling.
  9. Roll long-ways, so you are left with a long roll, not a short and fat one.
  10. To cut them, get some UNFLAVORED dental floss. Using a knife to cut these babies would squash them (HAHA) and we don’t want to do that. We want to preserve their lovely round shape. So you take dental floss, place it underneath the loaf, and you criss-cross the ends to slice off pieces. See picture. Or ask me.
  11. I cut into mini rolls in order to feed more people, about 1.5 inches long.
  12. Lather rinse repeat until all the dough is cut.
  13. Place your rolls onto a baking sheet and let rise for another hour. You can skip this rising but it would be dumb.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  15. Now, brush the tops with more of the filling (you should probably have some leftover). I kind of drowned mine in it, which made the buns absolutely so much better. Do that.
  16. Bake for 18 minutes.
  17. Eat half of them, share the others.


Savory Winter Squash Casserole




  • 4 lbs. Winter Squash
  • 1 lb. Ziti, Penne, or Rotini Pasta
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Large Leeks*
  • 1/2 Small Onion*
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 t Salt
  • 1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 C Water (or white wine, if you have it)
  • 1/3-1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2-3 T Fresh Parsley




  1. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. (You can set the seeds aside for roasting later if you like.)


  1. Place the squash halves upside down on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Add about one inch of water to the baking sheet, and bake at 400F for 45-60 minutes, until soft.


  1. Remove squash from baking sheet and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Note: you can do these three steps earlier in the day, or the day before and store in fridge.


  1. While the squash cooling, cook the pasta in boiling water (salted “like the sea,” Matt says). Cook for 3 minutes less than the cooking time on the package. Then drain and set aside.


  1. While the pasta is cooking, coarsely chop the garlic, leeks and onion. Then remove the squash from the skins with a spoon.


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the leeks, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent but make sure the garlic does not burn.


  1. Add the squash and 1/2 cup of water/wine, stirring until a thick sauce is formed. Add extra water/wine as needed to make it thick but not too thick.


  1. Fold in the cooked pasta, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.


  1. Spoon into a glass baking dish (or two, if you only have a small one). Sprinkle with cheese.


  1. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese browns. Serve onto plates and top with fresh parsley.



From the Mesa Top: January 14th, 2016

Climatology 2016: No end in sight for the extreme cold on the mesa. No sign of above freezing temperature.  Overnight lows continue to drop.  The low temps in the morning are below zero this week.

No surprise really.  This happens every year.  With so much snow on the ground up here, the coldness is somewhat exaggerated

From the Wild:  Deer tracks around the hay storage yards.  Seems like they are nibbling on the cow’s food.  It makes sense that they are coming on closer to any available food supply.  Many birds are staying around the wheat and grain bags of chicken feed.  The needs of the domestic animals, well met, also provide for some portions of the wild community

Cow stories: We are managing to regularly scrape out the manure in the two cow feed yards.  It is not easy to do when everything freezes up so much.  The footing is dicey and the cows are moving around cautiously.  The calves love to play king of the mountain on the manure piles that we are piling up.

What a mess it will be when the thaw comes…

It sure would be a help to find a supply of big bales of straw.  We would put that down and add layers and reduce or eliminate the need for scraping out the yards.

Bruiser (the bull) went over a fence to reach a cow who was cycling and ready to breed.  Steve thought it would be useful to keep him separated, and moved water and hay over to him.  Later in the day, he tired of the game, and in a single elegant jump, cleared a 3.5-foot steel H-brace. Looking like a vastly oversized hurdler

Beneficial birds   repeating from last week:  The hens have made a full recovery and egg production is at a good level for CSA and COOP retail.  The hens are getting the royal treatment:  Plenty of super high protein, high energy organic feed from embudo valley, and excellent alfalfa to pick through.  The eggs are at their best, which is difficult to accomplish t this time of year. When the weather breaks and the temps come up, we expect even more eggs, closing in on record numbers for Mesa Top.

As the eggs size up and quantities increase, we again start to see some very large eggs (usually double yolk) that do not fit the boxes well.  We will likely be packing some of those oversized eggs along with some very small ones to make dozens that only a CSA member would love.  Don’t be fooled by the odd mix of sizes; these dozens are weighed out to exceed the more normal looking retail dozens.

Cheese making update: renovation to the cheese room is next up on the construction priority list.

Our farms and farmers thank you for your support,

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s