Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of June 16th, 2016

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday June 16th, 2016

Garlic from Allicins Farm

Mizuna from Mesa Top Farm

Chard from Owl Peak

Kale from Owl Peak

Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

English Cucumbers from Silver Leaf Farm

Zucchini from Silver Leaf Farm



Yakkety Yak (click for theme music while reading)

Maybe this song isn’t the best way to represent a unique & juicy Yak burger, but isn’t it good to hear it again!?

We are now offering locally raised Yak, free-range, antibiotic free. David Franklin and Christa Coggins started out their dabbling in raising Yak when their neighbors asked them if their herd could graze on their land up in Mora county. After a few years, their neighbors decided they didn’t want to continue raising the animals, so David and Christa bought them from them, starting out with 13 head and it snowballed from there. Yak have acclimatized well to the high country of New Mexico and Colorado, and these animals rotate between through pastures throughout the area.

Most people who have never tried yak are concerned about the flavor profile: the classic question — “is it gamey?”. I personally love the taste of most game, although I think that question really means — “does it taste strong?”. I probably speak to more people who really like the flavor of yak since it is a fairly subtle difference from beef, but there is an identifiable flavor. I think some people who don’t really want to taste meat at all (consumers of factory chicken, grain-fed grocery store beef) might not be the ideal yak consumer, but people who do really enjoy different kinds of great meat and game typically love it. My own take on it is: “sweeter than bison, cook it like elk” David Franklin

It was found by the International Yak Association that yak meat is nutritionally very similar to grass-fed beef and bison. It is higher in moisture content, though, which is why it is so juicy. It is high in “good” fats, low in “bad” fats, and full of nutrients, so smaller portions often feel more satisfying compared to other meats.


Mesa Top

Our farm is starting to see the first crops of the season! We are bringing Mizuna into the share this week, a spicy Asian green. Our season starts later than other farms, due to our field being in the valley of Rowe Mesa, we were seeing close to freezing nights up until recently. We have some Napa Cabbage on the way and we are looking at doing meat chickens again this year! 2 summers ago we did meat chickens at the farm, and the member enthusiasm was amazing. We hope to have the same amazing response with this next round, and we are looking at having it be a regular part of the CSA going forward.

A Summer of Growth

As of next week, I will be spending a lot more time on working to grow the CSA. We will be starting some new outreach, membership referral programs, and continuing to build our robust local offering. We have the strongest core of members any CSA can ask for, people that have been with us from the beginning through famine and feast, but we are looking to connect with new like-minded people to support our CSA. Most of our effort will be in Cedar Crest and Albuquerque, areas that we are only recently able to sustainably work with, but we also are reestablishing our Santa Fe presence. I hate marketing, get me started talking about local food systems and I am non-stop, but I don’t go out and force it on the populous. Luckily I think I have found the right partnership of people that can help me do this, in a way I hope is in keeping with our community focus. The idea behind it is word of mouth marketing for small business, where we work with other similar small local business to share deals to customers, introducing their offerings along with ours. We don’t want to live in a community where Starbucks is the only coffee shop, or Subway is our only sandwich option, we want to know about Trifecta Coffee and Bocadillos in ABQ, two places I love visiting! I will write more about the ad campaign we are looking at, because I want you to understand it as much as me, because I hate meaningless ads. Ideally, we would be sharing a deal for Café Pasqual’s on our salmon dish, or Zinc that gets our eggs and produce, right with our CSA discount for member referral, things along those lines.

I look forward to continuing to bring the best locally grown and raised foods to you and your family, and strengthening our community support for the families that dedicate their lives to nurturing their growth.

Thomas S


Just a heads up, it sounds like the cherry season will be starting the week of 6/23! Fingers crossed, and cherry pie recipes at the ready!


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 Summer 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.


Beira Kale: on the marketplace

Spigarello (Italian Broc Greens): on the marketplace

White Salad Turnips: on the marketplace

Beets W/Greens: on the marketplace

Yellow Squash: on the marketplace

Prosciutto is back, and we added Absinthe Green Chili Salami to the marketplace

Pork Stew meat: On the marketplace

Tucumcari Green Chili Jack Cheese! On the marketplace

Baja Garlic, heads and braids: on the marketplace, heads in shares

Garlic Scapes: on the marketplace

Tropea Onions: on the marketplace

Wildflower Honey: on the marketplace

Red Chili: on the marketplace

Tomatoes, Grape and Vine Ripe:  On the marketplace

QUINOA:  In your share and on the marketplace

Sautéed Zucchini and Mizuna



Olive oil
1 medium to large zucchini, cut into sticks
1 medium spring onion, sliced crosswise into rings
(or sub about 1/4 cup quartered & sliced red onion)
1 garlic clove, smashed
1-2 handfuls Mizuna

Salt & freshly ground white pepper
Heat a wide pan over medium-high heat. When very hot, add a glug of olive oil. Wait till the oil heats up too (it will shimmer a little), then add the zucchini sticks and toss to coat with the oil. Spread them out evenly in the pan, and let them cook for a couple minutes until they start to lightly brown. Flip them over to start browning a different side, and add the garlic somewhere (I usually pour just a little more olive oil over the top of the clove to start it sizzling). Reduce the heat to medium.

A minute or so later, when the zucchini sticks are golden on most sides, add the onion. Continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and turns translucent. If the zucchini starts to dry out at some point, you can add a pinch of salt to draw out more liquid, and/or a bit more oil.
When the zucchini is well-browned and the onion has caramelized, add the mizuna. Toss to combine, and sauté, stirring, until the mizuna is about midway through wilting (some leaves wilted, some still not quite there). Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, stir once more, and serve.

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers


Now, I am not a huge fan of cucumbers, I often find them bland and boring. When I went to visit Elan last week at Siler Leaf farm, he broke off a pickling cucumber for me to munch on while we talked. These days, its taking more and more to impress me with the quality of produce, and boy howdy, that cucumber did! I was still tasting it an hour later, and wishing I had another! It doesn’t help he also gave me a few heirloom tomatoes that exploded in my mouth and left me in in awe as well. I have high hopes for the English cucumbers this week, to hopefully blow your taste buds away!


2 English cucumbers (1 1/2 pounds total), unpeeled, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place cucumber slices in colander. Sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, for dressing, stir vinegar, dill, sugar, and pepper in large bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Drain cucumbers well; pat dry. Add cucumbers to dressing and stir to blend.
  4. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours; serve cold.



Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic and Lemon




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed and reserved, leaves torn into 2” pieces (about 12 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and half of Swiss chard, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining chard and cook, tossing, just until all chard is wilted, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper.



Kale Chips


Welcome to the CSA, Kale is coming out of our ears! I had a starve or fall in love with kale my first year on the farm, and I never regretted it. I hope most member are fine with regular kale shares, but for anyone that is sick of stir fry or steamed kale, make some chips! We are actually seeing such a large kale production; we might make our own kale chips to offer members in the future. We would love your input on this idea!

Adapted from a bunch of inspiring places – Plagiarized from with love

1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet (I needed two because mine are tiny; I also lined mine with parchment for easy clean-up but there’s no reason that you must). Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.



From the Mesa Top: June 16th, 2016

Climatology 2016:  Now “the inevitable drying” predicted last week begins: and “the furnace” turns on.  By this weekend we are expecting triple digit temps at lower elevation and 90+ in Santa Fe. If there is going to be serious heat, now I the time when we would expect it

How long will it grip us?  We will see how it is looking in a week.

From the Wild:  Fish and Wildlife Partners representative Maceos’s visit last week as very productive.  A proposal that we will put together in the next couple of months will help us next year, 2017.

The approach is excellent:  low tech, high impact placement of one rock “damns” (with fairly big rock, likely placed by backhoe, on top of a single, thick layer of small diameter brush.   This approach does not impede water flow down the arroyo.  It settles silt, and builds soil, and provides a concentrating point where forbs and trees can be encouraged.

Meanwhile one pair of Sandpipers, the one that lives near the gardens and farm headquarters has 3 hatchlings.  Another pair has not showed its offspring yet.  It is comical how the adults respond to any “disturbance” in their environment, Dogs, people, vehicle.  The adults fly around close to the offender, land nearby, and then fly away.  They are playing decoy for the little ones.  They are very very good at it, not getting close to any real danger

Cow stories:  One more calf, more mommas looking like they are ready to pop.

One sad story.  A first time heifer had a calf that had enormous hips and could not be birthed alive and naturally.  By the time we found momma the calf was dead and momma was going nuts.  She had been a sweet cow but she went into full PTSD psycho cow behavior.  We had to get her home about ½ mil so she could be doctored and she kept charging and trying to stampede and stomp anyone near her.  Finally, the whole herd went back to HQ together and she felt safe going along, and she went into the coral by herself.

It was a difficult process to remove the calf.  Momma became so exhausted that she briefly cooperated with Colleen, who has the patience and skill to handle these situations.  But as soon as she started to regain her strength she went back to psycho cow behavior.

It will take a while to see how she recovers from the ordeal and how her temperament may have changed “permanently” .  We do not keep cows or bulls around who are dangerous.  They can be sold and go out to larger range settings, or they go to the processing plant.

Safety first.  There are kids and dogs and this is no place for crazy cows.





Beneficial birds   With the days getting hot, the most important change for the chickens is to open up the ventilating walls and get some natural air flow through the

Our farms and farmers thank you for your support,

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family


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