Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of October 20th, 2016

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for

Thursday October 20th, 2016

Delicata Squash from Keller Family Farm

Hon Tsai Tai form Chispas Farm

Fuji Apples from Owl Peak Farm

Red Russian Kale from Vida Verde

Salad Turnips from Vida Verde

Almond Brittle Sample from Zing Nuts


Introducing Zing Nuts!


I have been anticipating introducing you to this producer for the last few month, since I heard that they were finally ready to share their family recipe with the world! To understand the product, you have to first know a little history. I have known the Davies-Lechnor family for the last 2 decades, so the majority of my life. I met Austin, Jono and Chelsea (the children) when our family moved into an apartment complex near Boulder, CO. Through the decades, we have been very close families, with us kids remaining very close friends to this day. The holidays were always a time where our families spent time together, I was practically adopted from spending so much time with them, but if our families couldn’t get together, we would exchange gifts. Our family would give the Davies-Lechnors a turkey, or sometimes something else we raised, and they would give us a plate of Rand’s Almond brittle. It wasn’t until I was older, that I came to really appreciate the brittle as something other than just a sweet treat, it a gift of their family tradition and love.

Rand Lechnor has a long career in the film industry, in cinematography. This summer, he and the family decided that it was time to share his family recipe for almond brittle with the world, starting with the Farmers Markets in Louisville, CO and online ordering. I rarely break with our commitment to only sourcing our food locally, but this time I needed to make an exception. The brittle is fabulous, and with a variety of flavors, it is hard not to get addicted. Moreover, the chance for me to be able to share this family tradition with your family, in hopes that some sugar, salt, butter, vanilla and nuts bring more families closer over the holidays!


Zing Nuts: The Real Story by Chelsea Davies-Lechner


On a cold December morning in Boulder, Colorado the snow was falling outside my window as the morning light crept in. I lay curled up under heaps of blankets and pillows unwilling to get up and face the cold winter day. Suddenly the aroma of warm vanilla and molten sugar trickle into my room as I hear my father’s loud voice booming from the kitchen as he laughs and bangs around pots and pans. A smile starts to make its way across my tired little face as this smell was all too familiar. I throw the covers off and bound out of bed and into the kitchen. My father smiles, embraces me in a good morning hug, then hands me an apron and a wooden spatula….it was almond brittle time!

My father could tell you an almost identical story about his childhood December mornings. Our Almond Brittle has been a tradition handed down through the Lechner family for generations. Sugar, vanilla, butter, salt, and almonds. A simple recipe that, when made with love, tantalizes the taste buds and delights the soul. As a family, we decided to share this incredible part of our holidays in the hope that it would bring as much joy and happiness to others as it has brought to us.

Zing Nuts is a family-owned, family-run business that started out of my father’s kitchen in Boulder, Colorado with just an old cast iron skillet and a dream. We spent tireless hours brainstorming, cooking, laughing and creating this fantastic product that we are now proud to share with the world!

We are committed to use only the finest natural ingredients ensuring the most delicious and true-to-tradition product. After partnering with a local chef and salt artist, we now offer six delectable flavors. Original, Colorado Beer Salt, Orange Thai, Habanero, Tequila-Lime Salt and Pumpkin Spice.

We envision a world where the taste of our almond brittle elicits fond memories of family, friends, tradition and happiness. We believe that you have to treat yourself and not at the expense of preservatives and ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
But be careful! Once you open a bag, you won’t be able to stop at one!



Art Project

One of our volunteers suggested that we eventually have a photo gallery of our coolest, weirdest, and most amazing local produce. We are always trying to snap a photo of the produce as it comes in from the farm and share it with members, but framing it as an ongoing project, might just make us remember to photograph things more often. We would also love member help! Anytime you get some amazingly unique food in your share (or other local food!), snap a picture, and email it to us or tag us on Instagram (beneficialfarmcsa) or another social media (that we are barely able to keep up with). At some point, we will have a little more of a store front at our Oshara location, and we plan to have a video gallery of our awesome produce on slideshow.

Just to kick things off, we were blown away with the Oyster Mushrooms last week!



We are still going on processing chickens, close to 200 hundred are done so far, maybe one more weekend and we will be done! Our birds have had a great summer, rotating around the fields in our mobile fenced areas, and they are now fully grown, for a delicious chicken dinner. We raise all our birds on non-GMO grain from Embudo, hormone free. Colleen and the boys spent the last few Saturday processing the birds, with a hopefully one more weekend project to come. Birds are on the marketplace, $3.99/lb!


Member Recruitment, Member Appreciation,…

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 Fall 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.


Apples: Fuji: On the marketplace

Kale: On the marketplace

Hon Tsai Tai: On the marketplace

Mustard Greens: On the marketplace

Mizuna: On the marketplace

Radishes: On the marketplace

Broccoli Raab: On the marketplace

Collards: on the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace

Heirloom Tomatoes: on the Marketplace


Delicata squash recipe


3 medium-sized delicata squash, halved and seeded

1 1/4 pound Italian style chicken sausage (casings removed)

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch curly kale, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried sage

dash of cayenne pepper

dash of nutmeg

2 tbs cooking sherry

3 tbs chicken stock (or water)

3/4 cup gruyere cheese

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375.  Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper onto halved squash.  Place cut side up in the oven for 25 minutes. While squash is roasting prepare your filling.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add sausage and onion.  Cook for about 10 minutes (until sausage is cooked through) stirring and breaking up the sausage.  Add the garlic, sage, nutmeg, and cayenne. Stir.  Add kale, sherry, and stock.  Stir.  Cover pan and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until kale is starting to wilt and moisture is evaporating. Remove filling from stove and let cook for a few minutes.  Add cheese and stir.  Scoop filling into each squash.  Top with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven at 375 for 20 more minutes.  Serve warm.


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.





  • 3 bunches small to medium radishes with leaves
  • 1 bunch small to medium salad turnips with greens
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw, hulled pepitas
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed and minced


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Immerse radish and salad turnips in water and shake to remove sand. Rinse well and pat dry.
  3. Toss pepitas into a small oven-proof skillet or pan and toast in the oven for 3 – 4 minutes, or just until the first few pop. Set aside to cool.
  4. Cut the greens from the roots, leaving a 1/2-inch sprig of greens on the radishes and turnips. Set greens aside. Halve radishes and turnips (quarter larger ones). Arrange radishes and turnips on a baking sheet (or 2), and just drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the vegetables are tender.
  5. Meanwhile, chop 3 bunches of the greens – enough to make 1 loosely packed cup. Place greens in the bowl of a food processor and add 5 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, lemon zest and juice, and toasted pepitas. Pulse to combine. Aim for a smooth mixture with a bit of texture. Adjust salt or lemon as needed.
  6. Spoon pesto into a wide bowl and surround it with roasted radishes and salad turnips. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.


Kale and Red Onion Savory Breakfast Squares



1 bunch Red Russian Kale, chopped, or use any other variety of kale
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2 tsp. teaspoon minced garlic)
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Tamari or other soy sauce
1 C grated cheese (I used a blend of low-fat cheese called Pizza Cheese which has mozzarella, provolone, romano, and parmesan)
1/4 cup 100% whole wheat bread crumbs (optional; I’ve made this many times without the bread crumbs)
6 eggs, beaten well


Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and Spike seasoning. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray pen with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa.




The rich tahini sauce perfectly complements the winter squash while providing heart benefits through oils in the sesame seeds. Serves 4-6.

  • 2-3 delicata squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Juice from 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Clean squash well. Slice into rings 1/2-inch thick and remove seeds and pulp by slicing inner edge of squash rings.

Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with one pinch of salt per pan and roast about 10-12 minutes on each side until soft and browned on edges.

While squash is roasting, blend remaining salt, olive oil, tahini, and lemon in a food processor or by hand until well blended.

Remove squash from oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve with tahini sauce for dipping.



From the Mesa Top: Oct 20, 2016

Climatology 2016:  What’s going on here?  The calendar has been turned back and we are basking in mid September heat.

Eastern NM has broken previous temperature records by 5 degrees.

That would be like Albuquerque temps hitting 115 in the summer and Santa Fe hitting 110

Considering the way the wind is blowing, let’s just hope that there are no managed fires burning, because they will not stay “managed” for long

From the Wild:  The great horned owl has returned… the call of hoot, hoot-hoot is around the farm most nights.

Cow stories:  Each day more cows are coming in from the far pastures.  The forage supply is dwindling.  There is no more green growth ahead.  The herd needs to be looked over again to find the upcoming fall calfers.  Hopefully one more pasture can be grazed off.  And some number of young calfs weaned and sold.

Beneficial birds:  the great horned owl has returned to the chicken coops, killing only the young and tender birds.  The hunter decapitates its prey and the eats the soft meat and organs and leaves most of the body behind. It is time to tighten up the doors and windows and begin shutting up the birds at night. (Another sign of the next change of seasons, soon to come)

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


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