Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of January 21th, 2016

 

Check out the Webstore: http://www.farmigo.com/store/beneficialfarm

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday January 21th, 2016

Spicy Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra

Romaine Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Red Bell Pepper from Preferred Produce

Vine-Ripe Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Butternut Squash from Mesa Top Farm

Quinoa from White Mountain Farm

 

 

Fingers Crossed!

No major updates, we are still trying to get an agreement written up and see when there will be space for us to start working out of Ezra’s space.

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXSHy1vMn7s .

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, 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 evident 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!

 

 

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!!

Shares@Beneficialfarm.com

CSA Phone: 505-470-1969

 

 

Substitutions:

*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 On the marketplace

Spinach: 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: In your share and on the marketplace

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

Tomatoes:  Clusters are in your share and on the marketplace

 

Red quinoa, almond and arugula salad with cantaloupe

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups fresh cantaloupe, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1½ cups red quinoa (regular quinoa is also totally fine)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup slivered, crumbled, or sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons flax, hemp, or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, syrup, and seasoning.
  2. Divide the arugula, quinoa, and melon onto two serving plates. Sprinkle them with almonds and then drizzle the dressing over them. Serve 2.

 

Roasted butternut squash & tomato soup

 

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise & with the seeds scooped out
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a little olive oil for roasting
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 level tablespoon grated root ginger
  • 1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can of good quality tomatoes (14 ounces/400 grams) in their juice
  • 1½ cups (375ml) chicken stock/broth
  • black pepper
  • small pieces of crusty bread and a little grated parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
  • a little chopped parsley, to serve (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with oil, then place the squash cut-side down on the sheet. Place a clove of garlic under the hollow of each half. Roast for 45 minutes or until the squash is tender. Then leave it to cool for a short while before scooping out the flesh and putting it to one side along with the roasted garlic.
  3. Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large skillet/saucepan or heavy-based pot and fry the chopped onion for a few minutes until it softens. Then add the ginger, turmeric and salt and stir for about a minute longer.
  4. Add the squash, garlic, tomatoes and stock/broth to the pan and stir together. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Blend the soup in batches. Then, put back in the pan with a little more water if you like to thin the soup out slightly (I added about another 1½ cups as I remember, but it’s up to you). Reheat the soup a little on a low heat. Add black pepper and a little more salt if you like to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare your parmesan toasts, if making. Top small pieces of sliced crusty bread with the grated parmesan and grill/broil until bubbling and browned! Serve the soup with the toasts and chopped parsley on top (if you like).

 

QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 8-oz. pkg. mushrooms, stems removed and saved for another use and caps sliced very thin
1/2 of a poblano pepper, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 15 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 – 15 oz. can BUSH’S® black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and poblano pepper and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Stir the quinoa, carrots, and 1 3/4 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth) together in a medium saucepan. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Combine quinoa and carrots with black beans, 1 cup of cheese, and the onion mixture from the first step. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

 

 

 

 

From the Mesa Top: January 21st, 2016

Climatology 2016: The cold wave broke on Sunday and a torrent of snowmelt has been released, running down the rutted, muddy roads.  The remaining snow is dense, and freezes hard each night.  After sundown freezing temperatures set in quickly and then, driving and waling on the road become easy, except for the danger of bone jarring and axle bending slide into the frozen ruts.

The good thing about the ruts when the road is mushy is that staying in the ruts is a good way to stay out of the ditch.  We often refer to those ruts as “safety grooves”.

With this spell of dry weather, the question naturally arises, what happened to El Nino?  The NOAA meteorologists point to a north Atlantic weather anomaly that sets up circulation over Canada and Northern and Northeastern US that draws the Jetstream north and shuts down the flow to the Southwestern US from the pacific.  This feature does not establish itself for extended time frames, so in all likelihood El Nino will return soon.

From the Wild:  Deer moving across the landscape.  Lots of coyote serenades.  The first warmup of winter gets the wild world’s attention.  I think everything that lives and breathes begin thinking of the spring

Cow stories: Talking to another farmer about our bedding and mud issue, he suggested using moldy Sudan grass as bedding.  It makes sense:  there is a lot of moldy hay around from the wet summer, and the cows are not going to eat much of it.  Nibble a bit perhaps

The last of the bred heifers had her calf last night, a perky little heifer.  It always amazes me to see these little ones, as soon as they can walk, following momma over to the hay and “grazing” daintily.

Several of our older mommas are cycling and being bred now, which points to a good crop of fall calves.

Beneficial birds   We are feeding the birds a healthy daily amount of alfalfa.  This is helping to keep the yolks a rich orange color, and the stems are building up a nice layer in the yard that is protecting the birds (and humans) from the muck.

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

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