Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of September 15th, 2016

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday September 15th, 2016

Chard from Owl Peak Farm

Basil from Chispas Farm

Hon Tsai Tai from Chispas Farm

Plums from Tesuque Pueblo

Pears from Synergia Ranch

Leeks from Jubilee Farm

Salad Mix from Mesa Top Farm

Cucumbers from Mesa Top Farm


Nocco Pasta:

Luckily, I worked with this local producer before today, but because of the holiday I don’t have the full into finished.

This week, we are introducing another of our amazing locally produced products, fresh pasta! Nocco is an artisan pasta company based in ABQ, hand making fresh pastas from Organic ingredients, in keeping with the recipes past down her Southern Italian grandmother. Alanna Casale hand makes each batch of pasta, and is working on a variety of seasonal flavor.

We are going to start out offering Original Linguine and Green Chili Fettucine, the best year-round flavors! Pasta is frozen immediately after being made, to allow you to defrost and use within a week for the best quality.

More information and flavors to come!


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!


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!

Luque Meat Sauces are also returning to the Marketplace!

Chard: In your share and 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: Patty Pan & Zucchini: on the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace

Tomatillos: On the Marketplace

Heirloom Tomatoes: On the Marketplace

Green Beans: On the Marketplace

Eggplant: On the Marketplace

Shishito Peppers: On the Marketplace

Broccoli Raab: On the Marketplace

Peaches, NM: On the Marketplace

Habeneros: On the Marketplace


Hon Tsai Tai Stir Fry

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ounce chopped crystallized ginger
2 carrots, sliced
2 teaspoon fish sauce
4 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3.5 ounces shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
8 oz (about 4 cups chopped) Hon Tsai Tai stems separated from the leaves and flowers- if you can’t find this green at your local grocer or farmer’s market, substitute any leafy green of your choosing.

In a small saucepan place quinoa and the 2 cups of water. Cover and turn to medium. When the lid starts to rattle, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Keep lid on and pull from heat so the pan doesn’t burn.

Meanwhile, in a large wok or large saucepan add sesame oil and heat over medium.  Add the tofu and red pepper flakes and sauté until the sides are golden brown and crisp, 8-10 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic and stir until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Add sliced carrots  and Hon Tsai Tai stems and stir another 2-3 minutes. Add crystalized ginger, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and tamari sauce, stir another 2 minutes. While carrots are still crunchy add mushrooms. Continue stirring until carrots are soft and mushrooms have thoroughly cooked, about 2-3 minutes more. Just prior to serving add the Hon Tsai Tai leaves and flowers, or greens of your choice.  Immediately pull from heat and continue mixing the greens into the stir-fry. The heat from the other ingredients will wilt the greens.  Serve over quinoa.


Lemon, Leek, and Basil Sauce (for seafood, chicken, or pasta)


  • 1/2cup butter
  • 4medium leeks -halved and thinly sliced (only the white and pale green parts)
  • 2lemons – juiced
  • 2cups cream
  • 1/2cup fresh basil – chopped
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add leeks; cover and cook until leeks are very tender, stirring occasionally (10-15 minutes).
  3. Add lemon juice and stir for a minute.
  4. Add cream and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes).
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in basil just before serving.

Shrimp, Lemon, Leek, and Basil Pasta

  • 16ounces pasta of your choice
  • Lemon, Leek, and Basil sauce, prepared as above
  • 20-30shrimp
  • 1tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6bamboo skewers, soaked in water
  • 1/2cup peas
  • 4-6pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Begin heating salted water for pasta.
  2. Place 5 shrimp on each skewer and season with lemon pepper seasoning and salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Prepare sauce as listed above. When it reaches the cream stage, add pasta to water and cook until al dente.
  4. Also while sauce is thickening, boil peas in a small pot until cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  5. Grill shrimp skewers for 3 minutes per side.
  6. Toss pasta and peas with sauce. Top with shrimp and garnish with crumbled bacon.

Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream



3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup raspberry preserves

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 firm, ripe pears

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 head Bibb lettuce, torn

1 small head romaine lettuce, torn

1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup fresh raspberries


Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Set dressing aside.

Peel pears, if desired; quarter pears. Brush with lemon juice.

Arrange lettuce on 4 plates. Arrange pear quarters over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and raspberries.




From the Mesa Top: September 15, 2016

Climatology 2016:  Last week was a bit of a drier week than the rest of August.  This the first full week of September brings the possibility of tropical storm moisture working its way north.  The Southern and eastern part of the state are marked as bullseye for several inches of rain during the days ahead.

It would not take much of a wobble in the storm track for the northern part of the state to be deluged as well.  Or for that matter, for the storm to miss the state completely.

Meanwhile the grasses on the Mesa are heading up and seeding.  Pastures that were at rest through the entire season have grass almost knee high.  Even pastures that were grazed in the spring, or received light grazing in the summer, are heading up and seeding at ankle height.

Mushrooms are appearing, not just in the old cow pies, but is some cases in the pine and juniper needles under the trees.  Most appear on shady north sides where the ground stays damp on the surface, even when the sun shines.

The tropical moisture surge means higher humilities and warmer nights.  Another round of rains would mean another round of pasture growth.  The native grassed of our semi-arid ecosystem are adapted to quick response.

In the cow’s hoof prints rain water collects and concentrates and is absorbed slowly into the soil.  In these spots baby grasses are growing.  More rain now could also give us the first areas in years where the pasture grasses regenerate.

From the Wild:  More rattlesnakes on the move.  Several have shown up around buildings which is not good.  In particular they are approaching wood and lumber piles, and animal feed areas, where there are plenty of fine tasting rodents, well fed on organic and local grain.

One of these beauties was by far the largest snake ever to be noticed around Mesa Top.  7 foot or so, with a body several inches in diameter, and some very vivid black stripes at the tail and a resounding rattle.  Maggie the snake dog (once bitten, now very careful) set up a mad bark-a-thon, alertly watching the king of snakes slowly heading toward a lumber pile. Steve headed it off and caught it, lifting it up with a long stick and dropping it into a big barrel, which was then loaded onto a truck and driven several miles away to a new, rocky shelfed home.

Cow stories:  The cows continue to enjoy the easy life.  Plenty of grass and plenty of water.  They are scattered across several hundred acres of pasture.  They seem to be completely unworried and placated.

Beneficial birds   The meat birds are opened out onto the next ring of pasture.  They are growing quickly and the largest should be ready to process around 4 weeks from now.

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA



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