Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of March 17th, 2016

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 17th, 2016

Radishes from La Semilla Food Center

Winter Cooking Greens (Broc Leaves) from La Semilla Food Center

Salad Mix from La Semilla Food Center

Pea Shoots from Sungreen Living Foods

Zucchini from Preferred Produce

NM Green Chili, Roasted & Cleaned from Seco Spice


The last of the Green Chili!

This week will clear out our supply of roasted and cleaned green chili, the fruits of our labor from September’s harvest! We roasted 500lbs of chili this year, then cleaned and packaged them in vacuum packed bag in a commercial kitchen. Because we couldn’t predict the future, we ended up just a few shares shy for this last share instalment. We are looking for about 6 people that would like to substitute the green chili for something else, which you can tell us what you prefer. We have a few people that don’t handle nightshades well, and then anyone else that just doesn’t want chili, email us!


Ah, Shoot!

Oh, we think we’re so Punny! We meet up with some old friends, Sungreen Living Foods, who are Org Certified, growing a variety of sprouts and shoots. We start things off this week with Pea shoots, with Sunflower sprouts next week!

Who’s Juicing?!

With working with Sungreen, we can also now offer Wheatgrass trays pre-ordered for our Juicing member! It takes 2 weeks to germinate, hence the need to preorder. If you want to get some great Org Local wheatgrass for your juicing, order a tray, and we will have it to you in 2 weeks, custom grown for you!


Expanding the Cured Meat Line: Prosciutto is now on the marketplace!


Apologies for missing the full member message last week, time got away from us, and then the next thing we know its Saturday.


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.

News and specials on the marketplace:

We are starting to get into our Spring 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

Pea Shoots: In your share and on the marketplace

Rose Fingerling Potatoes: on the marketplace

Winter Cooking Greens (Broccoli Greens, look and taste like young Chard) In your share and on the Marketplace

Salad Mix: on the marketplace

Kale-Red Russian: on the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Wildflower Honey: on the marketplace

Spinach: on the marketplace

Yukon Potatoes: on the marketplace

Red Chili: on the marketplace

Romaine Lettuce: on the marketplace

Green Cabbage: On the marketplace

Sweetgrass Beef Sticks: on the marketplace

Cucumbers: on the marketplace

Zucchini:  on the marketplace

Red Bell Peppers: on the marketplace

Tomatoes, Grape and Vine Ripe:  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.



Pea Shoot Salad with Radishes and Pickled Onion
pea salad


1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

3/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion

1 cup shelled fresh English peas

1 teaspoon salt

6 cups pea shoots

10 radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and teaspoon sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add onion; let stand 30 minutes. Drain. Cook English peas in boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt for 2 minutes. Drain; rinse peas with cold water. Combine onion, peas, pea shoots, and sliced radishes in a large bowl. Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Drizzle oil mixture over pea mixture; toss gently.


Pea Shoot Pesto

pea pesto

2-3 garlic scapes (1/4-1/2 cup) or 1-3 cloves garlic
1 bag (2.5 oz) fresh pea shoots
1/2—1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive, grapeseed, or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon white or rice wine vinegar

  1. Wash scapes, removing both ends, or peel garlic. Chop roughly.
    2. Place garlic, peashoots, and salt in food processor or blender.
    3. Blend, drizzling in oil and vinegar as the mixture purees to your desired consistency.
    4. Serve as a dip with veggies, spread for bread, or sauce for pasta.
    5. Store in the fridge with a light covering of oil for up to ten days or freeze for future use.


Broccoli Leaf Tortellini Soup

broc soup

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 small Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1×2 inches)
  • 9 oz. fresh cheese tortellini
  • 12 oz. broccoli leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 5-1/2 cups)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)


Melt the butter in a 5- to 6-quart pot. Add the carrot, celery, onion, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and cheese rind; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Remove and discard the thyme, garlic, bay leaf, and rind.

Return the broth to a boil. Add the tortellini and broccoli leaves and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the cheese, if using.


Roasted Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup

grn chili soup

Olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1 small white onion, sliced in quarters
4 cloves garlic, leave skins on
2 jalapenos, stems removed
17 to 20 ounces of fire roasted canned green chiles
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Garlic powder
4 corn tortillas, diced
8 cups chicken broth
Juice of 1 large lime
1 full teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups corn (frozen or cut fresh off the cob)

For the Garnish:
Fried tortilla strips, thin or wide
Cilantro, chopped
Sour cream or Mexican crema
Avocado slices
Lime wedges
Crushed chile piquin or red pepper flakes


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium in a large pot. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeños. Cook roast, turning as needed for 20 minutes. Remove the garlic after 10 minutes. Remove remaining ingredients and let cool.
  2. Season the chicken, to taste, with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In the same pot, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and preheat to medium for a few minutes. When hot, sear chicken for 4 minutes per side. Transfer onto plate and set aside.
  3. To the blender add 1/2 of the roasted green chile, onion, garlic (skins removed) and 1 cup broth. Pulse to blend until smooth. Again using the same pot, heat to medium. When hot, add the diced tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add sauce from blender, remaining broth, lime juice, cumin, oregano, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken back in. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, partially covered, for 35 to 45 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken and shred. Add back to soup. Dice tomatoes and jalapenos, add to soup along with the corn and remaining green chiles. Bring up to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes. Taste for salt. If soup is too thick, you can add more chicken broth. Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, avocado, lime and crushed red chiles.


Slow Cooker Method: Season and sear chicken as directed. Fry diced tortillas. Finely dice or mince onions, jalapeños and tomatoes. Blend 1/2 of roasted green chile with 1 cup of broth. Add all of the ingredients for soup, minus the corn to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Add back to slow cooker along with the corn. Cook for 30 more minutes.



From the Mesa Top: March 17th, 2016

Climatology 2016: The spring winds have arrived.  After a reasonably wet winter, all attention is turned to the wind.  Will it suck the moisture out of the soil and stress the vegetation that is trying to respond to the warmth of spring?

Parts of the state have already experienced vicious winds, but so far relatively modest winds up on the mesa.

Waiting and hoping for precipitation.  What ever became of this winter’s el nino?

From the Wild:  the duck population has leveled off.  It probably the same 7 or so ducks that stuck around last spring for quite a while.  I wish we had some resources to dedicate to shore features to protect ducks and ground birds…  the kildeer should be back soon…  oh well, maybe someday.

Cow stories: The cows have done what cows do, found a way across a weak old fence to get to better grass.  The old saying “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” was created from watching cows reach their heads through a fence and reach and push and lean and eventually the fence falls over.

The mesa top Ayrshire herd includes a couple of cows who reach their heads through the fence, and then daintily push down the lower wires and step carefully through the fence.

We also have a couple who if I had to explain, I would think that they open gates and close them behind.

The long and the short of it is, cows get through fences.

In ranch country, ranchers make a normal practice of spotting each other’s cows and helping return them.  In “residential”, on the other hand, a stray cow is cause for alarm.  Our cows have a great love for the residential valley not far from us.  It is a beautiful valley, which has had livestock excluded for a long time, possibly 20 years.  When the cows get loose down there, they bury their faces in the old, dense thatch and eat until they expose the green growing tips of the grass.  Then, like magic (as if they were meant for this, hmmm, surprise surprise) the grass grows, like crazy.

No disrespect intended.  It is way more than an annoyance when big bulky fearless cows walk through your garden and graze at your window.  The wandering cows have broken stuff and made a mess.  They also have grazed off dangerous, dry thatch that is perfect fuel for dry lighting fires that once started, would burn so hot that they would sterilize the ground and nothing would grow potentially for years (or so the county fire chief told us when he came to inspect the farm and suggest how to organize our water to support the first responders if they had to come out to fight a fire.)  As well, the dangerous thatch is suppressing the healthy growth of the grasses. By the action of the grazing cows, in place of dead, dangerous thatch, green grass grows, sooner and more vibrantly than without grazing.

Trying to explain this natural process to someone who is not interested in the facts of ecosystem health, but rather in some sort of idyllic imaginary reality superimposed on our harsh, and somewhat brittle landscape, is pretty pointless.  Cattle are the grasses’ friend.  And friendly cows that don’t bolt and run crazily whenever they encounter people are pretty good neighbors.  Although some attention must be taken, to chase them away from where they don’t belong.

Beneficial birds   Healthy birds, they love the spring weather.  The sun and air are not too hot, they can forage and scratch and dust bathe all day.  As it gets hotter, the birds spend more time hiding from the sun, and are very busy at beginning and end of day.  For now, it is “the easy life” for the chickens.

Our farms and farmers thank you for your support,

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


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