Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of September 1st, 2016

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday September 1st, 2016

Shallots from Chispas Farm

Dino Kale from Synergia Ranch

Patty Pan Squash from Mesa Top Farm

Salad Mix from Mesa Top Farm

Bell Peppers from Owl Peak Farm

Tomatillos from Sol y Tierra

Green Savoy Cabbage from Owl Peak Farm


Last minute changes to the share last week

As we sent out in our notice last week, we had to change up the share at the last minute. Our valued farmer and friend Alcides woke up Thursday morning to find that the owner had sent off all the employees to help another farm down South, not knowing he needed them there. He did his best to get everything harvested and drove down, but be the time he got to town, the shares were packed and on their way to sites. We did store the cabbage for this week, it looks great still. We hope everyone understood the last minute issues, and the items we added as replacements made up the difference.


Peach Case Deal:

Jam them, freeze them, or just dig in and eat them! A study found that people eat an average of 10 peaches a year, so now is the time to munch away. We have 3 cases this week, 18/20lbs for $15 ea. We will get a few more for next week as well. Our family got 40lbs, and we are working on blanching and freezing what the rest of the family doesn’t eat.

We are also juicing 800lbs as well, which will be available later this year, possibly mixed with our fresh pressed Cider from Dixon we are working on!

Oh, Ghee!

We had a member ask us to look into carrying ghee, specifically the Ancient Organic’s one. After helping us find out more info on it, and convincing us of what an awesome product it is, we decided to give it a try. We had a case shipped in CA, and it sounds like only 2 other places in Santa Fe carry it, and we offer it at a lower price!

What the heck is ghee?

Ghee is a premium cooking oil celebrated for its wonderful taste, nutritional benefits, and medicinal qualities. In India, Ghee has always been a sacred and cherished symbol of auspiciousness, nourishment and healing, especially in the daily rituals of cooking and worship. Ayurveda, the ancient medial science of India, recognizes Ghee as an essential part of a balance diet., and is considers it to be the best fat one can eat. Ghee is the very essence of butter, the end result of a long, slow, careful clarification process that removes all the moisture, milk solids, and impurities. The absence of milk solids and water in ghee make it completely shelf stable and easily digested. Ghee has one of the highest flash points (485 degrees F) of any cooking oil, preventing the creation of free radicals and oxidized molecules common in high temperature cooking.

If anyone would like a flyer on health benefits and used of ghee, and what makes Ancient Organics so unique, we can it in your shares, just ask. Hopefully this is something many of our members really enjoy, and we will continue to carry!


All this rain has done wonders for the Schwebach Family’s crops, a little too much in fact. The corn is maturing at a much quicker rate then they expected, as are the other crops, creating a bit of pressure to wrap up the corn and be prepared to harvest their next crop. They are bringing in a ton of corn this week, and we are having some amazing deals to pass along to members. You will have 5 ears of corn in your share this week, but we also have some marketplace specials, 12 ears for just $6! This is our big push on corn, there might be a lingering bit in the future weeks, but this week is the big harvest week!



We are working on expanding our direct Alaskan seafood connection this year, hopefully to the benefit of our members. We hope to have some prawns, crabs and scallops in the future, and hopefully some additional fish varieties!


Member Recruitment, Member Appreciation, Summer Deal…

Ah, the big questions of any business! How do we find new members, show our current members the appreciation they deserve for their support, and also promote the awesome deals our summer’s harvests provide us? Truth be told, it’s not my favorite side of the business, it takes a certain personality to excel in marketing. In the coming weeks, we will finally get a few efforts off the ground with some help! Our website has been redesigned, gone will be our ’90 style site, and we will be replacing it with a more up to date website. We are also going to start bi-weekly promotions for members, accompanied by deals from other local businesses. We will have incentive for referring a friend, discounts on marketplace orders and even Salmon discounts! With our new approach, you will also see other similar local business’s special deal as well in our emails.

What ideas do you have?

We value your feedback on what made you become a member, what would reward you for continuing to support our CSA and other ways we can show our appreciation for your support! The CSA and Farm are a family effort, and our members are an extended family, we want to make sure we show the same support that we receive!


Member Reminder:

We love recycling!

We rely on members returning a reusable bag to their pick up site every week when they pick up their shares! We also reuse egg cartons as long as they are clean.

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.


Wild Flower Honey is back on the marketplace!

Cherokee Tomatoes: on the marketplace

Luque Meat Sauces are also returning to the Marketplace!

Chard: on the marketplace

Basil, 4oz and 1lb deals: on the marketplace

Collards: on the marketplace

Kale: Dino, and Curly: on the marketplace

Cucumber, Armenian, marketmore, and pickling: on the marketplace

Summer Squash: Mexican Grey, Patty Pan & Zucchini: on the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shishito and Padron Pepper: On the marketplace

Peaches: $1/lb on the marketplace, and in your share!!!

Shallots: On the Marketplace

Green Beans: On the Marketplace

Peaches: On the Marketplace

Corn: Specials on the marketplace


Green Tomatillo Salsa

8 ounces (5 to 6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh hot green chiles, to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed
5 or 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stems removed), roughly chopped
Scant 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Whether you choose the verdant, slushy, herby freshness of the all-raw tomatillo salsa or the oil-colored, voluptuous, sweet-sour richness of the roasted version, tomatillos are about brightening tang. The buzz of the fresh hot green chile adds thrill, all of which adds up to a condiment most of us simply don’t want to live without.
For the All-Raw version: Roughly chop the tomatillos and the chiles. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chiles, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to a coarse puree, then scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous 1/4 teaspoon.
For the Roasted version:
Preheat a broiler.
Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until darkly roasted, even blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side, 4 to 5 minutes more will give you splotchy-black and blistered tomatillos and chiles. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos and chiles, including all the delicious juice that has run onto the baking sheet. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water, blend to a coarse puree, and scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove the excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous 1/4 teaspoon.

Israeli Couscous with Grilled Patty Pan and Shiitake Mushrooms in a Sherry Vinegar, Fresh Herb and Caper Vinaigrette



  • 2 ½ cups Israeli couscous, uncooked
  • 4 Patty Pans, small-medium size cut in six cubes
  • 1 ½ cup large shiitake mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • ½ cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. capers in brine, drained
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) Sherry vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


  1. Prepare couscous as per package directions. Set aside
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat. Place grill basket on grill to heat.
  3. To make vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together. Set aside
  4. Toss Patty Pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place seasoned patty pan in grill basket and grill 5-6 minutes until tender and grill marks form. Remove and set aside.
  6. Toss shiitake mushrooms with 1 tbsp. olive oil and place in hot grill basket. Grill stirring for 1 -2 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
  7. Place couscous, patty pan and mushrooms in a large bowl.
  8. Toss couscous gently with the vinaigrette and place on a platter. Garnish with fresh basil.


Curried Chickpea Stuffed Patty Pans with a Crispy Shallot and Fresh Cilantro on a Basmati Rice Pilaf


Curried Chickpeas:

  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 – 28 fl oz (796 mL) can of chickpeas, drained
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 4 large patty pans
  • grilled naan bread

Basmati Pilaf:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and sauté until translucent and soft 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add garam masala, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and stir until well coated. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes stirring and breaking down the tomatoes.
  3. Add the chickpeas and stir well. Let simmer for 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. Slice tops off each patty pan and scrape out the center removing all seeds. Place in a large baking sheet and add I cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Fill each patty pan with curried chickpeas. Place the tops back on to the squash and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until soft and lightly browned.
  7. To make the basmati rice, rinse rice with cold water and drain. In a medium pot, add rice and 4 cups of cold water. Bring rice to a boil, turn heat down too low and cover. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes until water has evaporated and rice is tender. Remove from heat and keep covered.
  8. In the meantime, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots and cook for 6-8 minutes until golden and lightly crisp.
  9. Fluff rice with a fork, add shallots and fresh cilantro. Use fork to mix gently.
  10. Serve rice with patty pan and naan.





Knob of butter
8 slices pancetta roughly chopped
4 shallots finely sliced
1 cabbage core & outer leaves removed and cut into 8-10 wedges
Half pint vegetable stock (fresh or from a cube)
Salt and pepper


  1. In a large frying pan heat the butter until sizzling then cook the pancetta till brown and crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on some kitchen paper.
  2. Add the shallots to the pan and cook gently for 6-8 minutes until they are caramelized and soft, remove from the pan to the kitchen paper.
  3. Arrange the cabbage wedges in the pan (add a little more butter if necessary) and cook on each side till brown and caramelized, turn them gently so they don’t break up. Pour in the vegetable stock to half way up the cabbage. Return the shallots to the pan and season to taste.
  4. Cook the cabbage for 10-12 minutes gently turning half way through. The cabbage should be tender and the stock reduced, serve 2 wedges per person drizzled with the braising liquid and scattered with pancetta.



From the Mesa Top: September 1, 2016

Climatology 2016:  At Mesa Top we have had a couple of heavy rains and now all of the reservoirs and ponds are full.  The ephemeral creek is trickling.  The spring boxes are full.

The soils are saturated.  Even the slightest sprinkle of rain brings out the deep color and rich damp smell of the soil.  Weeds are sprouting under the trees in the deep wet needles.

The pinon are filling out.  Crickets are chirping as they would in a humid climate far from New Mexico

Nights are very cool and daytime temps have also been cool for long enough that it is tempting to put a fire in the fireplace.

3 weeks until fall equinox.  Really?  Yes, really!

From the Wild:  All quiet, the wild communities are full, satisfied, enjoying the easy living of the cool, wet spell.  The most confused species are the snakes.  Cold blooded, they need external warmth to get their energy up.  A rattlesnake went on the move in response to the warmup after one of the big rains.  Poor critter encountered dogs, then people, then dogs, and retreated.  Every time it tried to move, it came across an obstacle.  Finally, as it had taken up a position close to people and pets, it had to be moved.  Uncovering its hiding lace, there was a second rattler, and the two were coiled up together.  One was active and protective, the other was calm and docile.  Probably a mating pair, and the spot that they had chosen was not going to work.

They were successfully a safely relocated to a rocky area with good sun, just a couple of hours before another major downpour.

Cow stories:  The cows are moving across grass that is growing faster than they can eat it.  With the herd size that we have reached, a couple of dozen plus accompanying calves and bulls, this is a first.  Plenty of grass, plenty of water.  Easy living.

Beneficial birds   The meat birds are out on pasture now.  Moved out just in time to take shelter from a drenching rain.  Everything went well, they went to cover and waited out the rain and then went out to play in the mud.

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family


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