Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of February 11th, 2016

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday February 11th, 2016

Romaine Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Zucchini from Preferred Produce

Cucumber from Preferred Produce

Spinach from Preferred Produce

Red Bell Pepper from Preferred Produce

Carrots from Schwebach Farm



Home Sweet Home:

We moved into our new home two weeks ago, finally bringing back some normalcy to our lives!!

We now operate out of 54 Oshara Blvd, in the Oshara Community. We are renting the bottom space of a live/work house, and we are extremely thrilled with how much better this situation is for us so far. Some quick notes on how to find the new location, should you be coming to pick up a share Thursday or an unclaimed share:

If you are coming from Richards Ave, after you pass through the first stop light after the highway underpass, you will go to the round-a-bout and do a 180, to head back to the turn to Oshara Village. The turn is blocked from you making a left turn.

If you are coming from St Francis, go all the way to the end to Rabbit Rd and turn right. It pretty much dead ends in Oshara, you will zig zag down to Oshara Blvd.


Screenshot 2016-02-01 21.43.32


(Isn’t Google a bit creepy!)

Members who are going to have Oshara as their pick-up location, please email us unless we confirm with you. Shares will be placed out front in the white cooler around 10am. Any member who forget to pick up their shares, will come to the same location to pick up shares. Unclaimed shares will have till Sunday evening to be claimed, then they will be salvaged/composted.

What’s next?

We got closer to our old times this week, even with some farmer pick-ups that will be eliminate this week!

We will get an updated delivery schedule once we have had a few more passes through town, to find the best routes. In the meantime, call us if you’re wondering about the ETA of your share. 505-470-1969

We had a perfect pick up rate this week! Maybe the prospect of driving to the new pick up location was a deterrent, or maybe the stars just aligned J Give us a call if you ever need a last minute change, we can make changes early in the day before we hit the road, it’s harder to fix after a share is delivered.


Bag, Bags, Bags…

Are we the broken record yet?

We need members to exchange reusable bags suitable for use for future produce shares when they pick up their orders. This does not mean 6-pack wine bags, bags chewed up by animals or bag so unsanitary for usage it’s better to throw them out.

We have had some shortages and used paper bags, so that throws off the fair exchange from time to time, but we still find we are having to replace bags at a very high rate.

We don’t want to have to charge members for these bags, and there are many who are really good about it, but we need it to be a group effort! Anyone who thinks they have missed a few returns; can you please leave some extra bags this week?

We looked at the cost of ordering some customized bags, but it’s just not as affordable, compared to buying from some of the store in town. We would look at making some really awesome BFCSA insulated bags if we really get some solid support on commitment to return bags to the CSA, not keep them and send back a lessor one. MoGro gave us 50 awesome insulated bags a year or so ago, and we see maybe 3 a week, so we would need a universal commitment!

Riding the Romaine Wave-

Preferred Produce has a very stable supply of Org Romaine this season, and it’s the only salad base we have this time of year, so we have had it in the share the last few weeks. If you would like us to substitute something out for it, please just shoot us an email. We understand it might be too much lettuce for some people, and want to keep everyone happy, but we have also been getting a good price on it so we want to pass that savings along to people that will go through it.


Wild Salmon, now in smaller sizes!!

Well not just now, but we did have a few small guys we wanted to see if anyone wants! This season’s salmon is smaller than last year, we had a 22lb one last year and this year we are lucky if we tip 10lbs.

We will occasionally have some fishies too small for restaurants, but perfect for families, as we work through the boat’s catch.

This week we have a 3lb and a 4lb, give or take a few oz. We are now able to offer these Coho to members at wholesale, $8.99/lb! Email or add an order to the marketplace, we should have more than these 2 if people want more. Anytime you need salmon, check with us first, we to a Ton, or two!

The CSA has shown tremendous support to our CSF, and so has NM as a whole! We went from a plea for support (met by our members in resounding numbers), to a sustained relationship with the Sea Miner in Sitka, AK taking over half their catch!

What are our favorite chef’s doing with this salmon, I thought you’d never ask?!

Not to name names, or share trade secrets (till they say we can) but there is a common denominator in a lot of the top restaurants in NM, mainly when they choose to support our CSF over larger companies, not just because of the mission, but the quality more so!

We aren’t selling “Atlantic Caught Salmon” (Just get Dylan started on that and you’ll never hear the end) but we are offering the highest quality Wild Coho-line Caught-Frozen at Sea-Salmon you can find.

Dylan and Abby just update the website, and you should give it a look-see. For the experts, Dylan will answer your most in-depth questions about the salmon, boat or waters; he is actually happy to hear the more invasive questions! On the site- Hint: Abby made the Seared Salmon Croque Madame!

Croque Madame

Anyway, here is what the Chefs have decided are some great ideas for the salmon!


Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon with lemon cilantro butter sauce

Traditional Cognac Gravlax

Grilled Coho, plated with leeks, butternut and potatoes.

Cedar Plank Smoked Salon

Silver Salmon Poached in White Wine and Dill

Smoked salomon

Just to name a few of the most popular recipes!

Shoot, Abby made a Tequila gravlax a few weeks ago that blew people’s socks off! Just no pictures!

Anyway, just our salmon updates for the week!


What did you think?

Feedback is crucial!


How are the tortillas? Local Org tortillas!

How was the Pepperoni? Regionally cured and charcuterie meats!

Do we want to see some Salami and other cured meats added asap, or do we not care?


Honey in shares next week!

We will have some local, wildflower honey in shares next week!


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 their 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:


New: We are giving a few things a try this week, hopefully they live up to their hype!

Local Organic Tortillas! Matthew Cordero makes small batches of traditional flour tortillas using Organic flour in Taos. We are starting out with the Homestyle 6”, and if we hear back positive reviews, we will add the burrito size.


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.

Russet Potatoes: On the marketplace

Carrots: In your share and on the marketplace

Romaine Lettuce: In your share and on the marketplace

Salad Mix: On the marketplace

Tat Soi: On the marketplace

Radishes: On the marketplace

Green Cabbage: 3lb heads, On the marketplace

Turnips: On the marketplace

Sweetgrass Beef Sticks: on the marketplace

Cantaloupe: In your share and on the marketplace

Red French Fingerling Potatoes: On the marketplace

Roasted, Cleaned Org Green Chili: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: In your share and on the marketplace

Onions: on the marketplace

Carrots: In your share and on the marketplace

Zucchini: In your share and on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: In your share and on the marketplace

Winter Squash: We have 1 pie pumpkins, 2 acorns and that’s it!

Tomatoes:  Clusters back on the marketplace

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.

Julia Child’s Traditional Gravlax



  • 12-3lbs salmon fillets, skin on, all bones removed
  • 12tablespoons kosher salt (plus more if needed)
  • 14teaspoons brown sugar
  • 4tablespoons cognac (plus more if needed)
  • 1cup dill sprigs, packed



  1. Trim the salmon fillet, cutting away any thin uneven edges and the thin end of the tail (which can be reserved for something else).
  2. Make sure all the pinbones are removed–run your fingers up the fillet; if you feel any bones, remove them with a tweezer or a needle-nosed plier.
  3. Cut the fillet in half crosswise so that you have two pieces of the same length and roughly the same width.
  4. Mix the salt and sugar together.
  5. Sprinkle half the mixture over each fillet and rub it in with your fingers.
  6. Place one fillet in a glass (or other non-reactive) baking dish big enough to hold it.
  7. Drizzle about two tablespoons of cognac over each half, rubbing it in with your fingers.
  8. Spread the dill over the salmon half in the baking dish.
  9. Lay the other half fillet on top (skin side up).
  10. Align the two halves.
  11. Cover closely with a sheet of plastic wrap.
  12. Place a board or pan on top of the fillets.
  13. Make sure it is resting on the fish and not on the sides of the baking dish.
  14. Weight the top with something heavy (a large can of tomatoes for example).
  15. Place in refrigerator.
  16. After one day of curing, remove weights and board and turn fillets over (so the top fillet is now on the bottom) and baste with the liquid that has accumulated in the dish.
  17. Replace weights and board and return to frig.
  18. On the second day, turn and baste again and slice off a tiny piece to taste.
  19. If it doesn’t taste like it’s getting there, add a little more salt and/or cognac on the fish.
  20. Return to the fridge.
  21. Cure for a third day, turn and baste again.
  22. On the fourth day, you can serve the gravlax.
  23. To serve, clean the dill away and wipe the fish dry with paper towels.
  24. Use a long thin-bladed slicing knife (sharpened) and start slicing a few inches from the narrow end of the fillet.
  25. Cut with a back and forth sawing motion toward the narrow end to remove a thin slice of fish.
  26. Start each succeeding slice a bit farther in from the narrow end; always cut at a flat angle to keep the slices as long and thin as possible.


Don’t give up on Romaine yet, have you tried?:



raoasted romain


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 3½ cups bread, cut into ½ inch cubes (I used leftover gluten-free bread ends)

Light Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 anchovy fillets, patted dry and finely minced
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 10 ounces romaine lettuce hearts
  • ¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat broiler. Place bread cubes in a bowl and toss with 1½ teaspoons olive oil, garlic powder and onion powder. Broil until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Turn oven off; let bread cubes crisp up in oven using residual heat.

Light Caesar Salad Dressing

  1. Place remaining 1½ teaspoons olive oil in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice, vinegar, water, mustard, anchovies and beaten egg yolk. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and beings to bubble around edges, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into a small bowl; cool to room temperature.

Grilled Caesar Salad

  1. Halve romaine lettuce hearts. Grill until browned on the cut side and leaves are slightly wilted. Remove to serving platter. Drizzle Light Caesar Salad Dressing on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Serve.



romaine taco

1.3lbs 99% lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano
½ small onion (minced)
2 tablespoons green bell pepper (minced)
¾ cup water
1 (4 ounce) can tomato sauce
8 large lettuce leaves from romaine lettuce (or iceberg lettuce)



Step 1: In a small bowl combine garlic powder, cumin, salt, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Mix well and set aside.
Step 2: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground turkey. When the turkey is no longer pink add the seasoning mixture and mix well. Add onion, bell pepper, water, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse the lettuce leaves with cold water and allow them to dry. Place some of the meat mixture in the center of the leaf and top with tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa or whatever you prefer.


Cantaloupe Pie

cantaloupe pie


SERVINGS 1medium cantaloupe

  • 1(3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 14cup sugar
  • 2(1/4 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 12cup orange juice
  • 9inches graham cracker crust, chilled
  • Whip Topping
  • cantaloupe, balls for garnish



  1. Peel and seed the melon, cut in chunks and process in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Pour into a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  3. Combine 1/2 melon puree and cream cheese in blender.
  4. Process until smooth.
  5. Add to remaining puree and set aside.
  6. Combine sugar, gelatin and orange juice in a small saucepan.
  7. Cook on low heat, stirring until sugar and gelatin dissolve.
  8. Slowly add to melon mixture, stirring well.
  9. Pour into crust.
  10. Chill until firm.


Salad | Romaine, Spinach, Onion, Red Pepper, Carrot, Cilantro, Tomato and Cucumber

Salad 2.9.15




From the Mesa Top: February 11th, 2016

Climatology 2016: The warm days have resumed after a very cold spell and a slow warmup.  The snow is off the open pastures but they are still very muddy.  The roads are dry except the boggy areas where water is trapped in ruts as it tries to cross the road.  The Gallisteo Creek at is rising.  This fits the new pattern of lower elevation snowpack melting early.  We have had healthy snowfall from 7500 feet to 8500 feet and the south and open faces at these elevations are shedding their snow cover as quickly as we are at mesa top.

From the Wild:  Hawks soaring high in the sky.  Ravens sitting on the fence posts.  Except for the birds, most animal movement is during the night.  Everyone avoids the mud!!!

Cow stories: Cow drama:  Cassie, the 16-year-old, half senile matriarch of the herd, was lying bloated in the coral on Sunday morning.  It is a horrible looking things, as the cow labors to breath and if you beat on her side it sounds like a drum.  Bloat is one of those things, we never really know what causes it though we have heard many theories.  Usually bloat kills the effected cow quickly by shutting off their airway’s and they suffocate.

Bloat is an affliction of the rumen:  something goes off in there and the gas builds up.  There are also a number of remedies that we have heard but the sure thing is to stick a knife or a very long needle into the rumen by piercing the hide between the last and second to last rib, and puncturing the rumen.

Colleen is very good at this, so we got quickly got a knife and made the necessary incision and deflated Cassie’s rumen.  The sound of escaping gas went on for several minutes.  It is quite amazing to hear, like a tire being puncture and going flat.  It is hard to believe he survived the bloat.  She was exhausted from trying to breath, totally in shock, lying on her side unable to even gain her balance on the ground. The coral is slippery and full of boisterous cows who could easily step on Cassie in their exuberance.  Once we realized were not going to get Cassie to stand up, we have to drag her unceremoniously out of the coral and onto dry and safe ground, relying on her tough hide to protect her as she skidded along the ground, tied up in a tow strap.  Not that she could protest, but this is a very unsightly process.

But it gets the job done, once out of the danger of the coral we were able to rock and push her 1200 lb. body up into a position where she could regain her balance.

She needs to get up, but she is not strong enough to hoist up her own big body.  Sometimes after a day they just get up, so we are hoping for the best.  Otherwise we have to rig up a sling and lift her up so her feet are dangling and she can find the ground and get her balance on four feet.  Cows get up by pushing with their rear legs while their front legs are down, even tucked under at the knee, then they rise up on the r front feet one at a time.  We may also try to figure a way to help Cassie get up on her rear feet.  She tries but cannot quite get it done.

She is not out of the woods by any stretch, but considering what she looked like at Sunrise on Sunday, things are looking up for Cassie.  There she sits, surrounded by hay, eating all she wants, with fresh water in reach.  We are hoping she gets her strength back and decides it is time to get up and get back to the life of a cow.  Her little calf, barely 5 months old, has already become fairly independent and not relying on milk for her nutrition as old Cassie has had very little milk since the first few weeks, sits by mama and keeps her company.  In a younger, more attentive momma cow, chasing or handling the calf, and making the calf raise a ruckus can get momma struggling to her feet to make a charge and save the day.  But Cassie just sits there and eats…

Beneficial birds   No new news from the Beneficial flocks

Cheese making update:  . No news from the cheese room.

Our farms and farmers thank you for your support,

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of February 11th, 2016

  1. Guys, this is an excellent newsletter. I hope you’ll be giving updates on Cassie!

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