Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of November 10th, 2016


Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday November 10th, 2016

Dino Kale from Synergia Ranch

Tomatillos from Soy y Tierra

Red Rome Apples from Martinez Orchard

Braising Greens from Anthony Youth Farm

Herb mix (Thyme, Lemon Basil and Oregano) from Anthony Youth Farm

Broccoli from Schwebach Farm


We are checking on how much broccoli the Schwebach family has in the field, if they don’t have enough we will do cabbage instead.

Anthony Youth Farm is sending up a great Italian herb mix for shares this week! The herbs can be used fresh, but any extras you have should be dried, for use anytime in the next year.


To Air-Dry:

  1. Gather 5-10 branches together and tie with string or a rubber band. The smaller the bundle, the easier and faster they will dry.
  2. Put the bundle of herbs, stem-side up, in a paper bag. Tie the end of the bag closed, being sure not to crush the herbs as you do, and poke a few holes in the bag for ventilation.
  3. Hang the bag by the stem end in a warm, well-ventilated room.

Your herbs may be dried and ready to store in as little as one week.

To Oven-Dry:

  1. Place herb leaves or seeds on a cookie sheet one inch deep or less.
  2. Put herbs in an open oven on low heat – less than 180 degrees F – for 2-4 hours. To see if the herbs are dry, check if leaves crumble easily. Oven-dried herbs will cook a little, removing some of the potency and flavor, so you may need to use a little more of them in cooking.



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 and Rome: On the marketplace

Cilantro and Peppermint: On the marketplace

Black Spanish and Diakon Radishes: On the marketplace

Tomatillos: In your share and On the marketplace

Rainbow Carrots: On the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Kale: On the marketplace

Collards: on the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace





  • 1/2 C Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C Diced carrots
  • 1/2 C Diced onions
  • 1/2 C Diced celery
  • 1 C Broccoli stems, peeled & diced
  • 2 t Dried thyme
  • 2 t Dried oregano
  • 1 t Dried sweet basil
  • 1/4 C Dry white wine
  • 4 C Chicken stock, hot
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t Tabasco sauce
  • 1 C Cooked black beans
  • 1 C Broccoli florets
  • 2 C Heavy cream
  • 2 T Cornstarch mixed with a small amount of warm water (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1C Diced smoked chicken




In 1/4 cup butter, sauté carrots, onion, celery and broccoli stems for 5 minutes. Add thyme, oregano and basil; sauté 5 minutes more. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add hot chicken stock and reduce by one-third. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, smoked chicken, beans, broccoli florets: simmer for 5 minutes. Add cream, simmer for 5 minutes more and season to taste (thickening with cornstarch is desired). Drop in remaining butter, piece by piece, stirring until melted and serve immediately.


On a covered grill, slightly smoke boneless chicken until fully cooked (about 30 mins.) Our Chef uses applewood chips and does not allow the grill to become too hot.


Still got that Spaghetti Squash from last week? Try Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash



  1. 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half
  2. non stick spray
  3. 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  6. pinch of salt and pepper
  7. 1 tsp Italian season (or use a mix of oregano, basil, thyme)
  8. 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese (I like to shred my own)
  9. 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded


  1. 1. In a microwave save dish, place your squash halves side by side. Add about 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the dish (water should be covering the bottom, but not more than 1/4 inch high). Place into microwave and cook on high for 9-11 minutes, or until squash is tender** Remove, and set aside for about 10 minutes to cool.
  2. 2. In a skillet coated with nonstick spray, add red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broccoli and garlic, stirring to combine. Add about 2 TBS water to the skillet, and turn up the heat. Saute for 3-5 more minutes, or until the chopped broccoli is tender. Add mixture to a large bowl, discarding any left over water.
  3. 3. Using a fork, scrape out the flesh/’spaghetti’ of the squash, and add it to the large bowl with the broccoli mixture. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning to the mixture, stir to combine.
  4. 4. Turn your broiler on medium/high. Distribute the mixture back into the squash shells, then sprinkle 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese on top of each squash half. Place shells into an oven safe baking dish/pan.
  5. 5. Place under broiler, watching carefully. Remove when cheese is bubbling and browned, about 2-3 minutes depending on how close the squash is to the broiler.
  6. 6. Remove and enjoy!





  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, ground
  • 1½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ lb. bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large potatoes (Russet or Idaho), peeled and sliced
  • 1 small bunch of kale, washed, stemmed and chopped


  1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot until sausage is cooked through.
  2. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add bacon, onions and garlic and cook over medium low heat until onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add chicken stock and heat to a boil and then turn to a simmer.
  5. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  6. Add the cream, turn off the heat, stir in the sausage and kale and let heat through then serve.


Black Bean Chili with Hot Italian Sausage and Tomatillos


Main Ingredients
1 pound dried black beans
2 hot Italian sausages, skinned and crumbled
1 red onions, chopped large
4 large garlic cloves, skinned and sliced thin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped small
28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, hand squashed with juices
1/2 pound tomatillos, cut in quarters
1 T tomato paste
2 to 3 T of peanut oil
Spice Mixture
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 1/2  t smoky paprika
1 1/2 t ground cumin
2 pinches red pepper flakes
sea or kosher salt to taste
several turns of freshly ground black pepper
1 T apple cider vinegar for finishing
sour cream for garnish

1. Soak overnight with enough water to cover after they have swelled up. Usually about 2 cups more than it takes to cover them.
2. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid for the chili.

1. Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven and place on medium heat.
2. Skin and crumble the sausage into the hot oil and saute,  breaking up with a spatula into bite sized pieces.
3. After five minutes or when the meat is slightly browned, add the onion, tomatillos and jalapeno and saute for another 5 minutes, scraping the browned bits off the bottom and deglazing the pot.
About 3 minutes into this add the garlic.
4. Reduce the heat to low and squeeze the tomatoes into large pieces as you add them and their liquid to the pot. Then add the seasoning mixture, tomato paste and enough bean liquid to cover everything.
5. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 3 hours stirring occasionally to prevent burning. The liquidity of the chili can be adjusted by cracking the lid to let moisture escape in the last hour.


1. As with everything else, serving in pre-warmed bowls keeps the chili warm while it is eaten.
2. Garnish with sour cream and a sprig of parsley.


Creamy Polenta with Braised Greens and Poached Eggs



For the chili oil:
1/4 cup stemmed and finely chopped Tutto Calabria hot long red chile peppers, or hot cherry peppers
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
For the polenta:
1 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup polenta or stone-ground yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the braised greens:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/4 pounds mustard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
For the egg:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
Make the chile oil: Combine the chopped chiles, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over low heat and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate up to 1 week. (You will have about 1 1/4 cups chile oil.)

Cook the polenta:

Bring 3 cups cold water, the milk, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta; whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until tender and thickened but still creamy, about 30 minutes. Add more hot water as needed if the mixture seems too dry. Stir in the butter and cheese.
Meanwhile, make the braised greens: Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper and toss. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in 1 cup water, cover and cook until wilted and soft, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid during the last 5 minutes to cook off any additional liquid. Stir in the red wine vinegar just before serving.
Poach the eggs:

Heat 3 cups water with the white vinegar until simmering in a large high-sided frying pan. Break each egg into a cup, then gently add to the water. Poach until the yolks are nearly set, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon to drain the liquid and place on a plate. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon some of the polenta into bowls, top with some of the greens and a poached egg per bowl. Drizzle with the chile oil and garnish with the chopped parsley.

From the Mesa Top: Nov 10, 2016

Climatology 2016:  The thirsty ground drank and drank and drank as last week ended with a multi-day rain. Most of the time the rain at Mesa Top was steady and soaking, with a brief surge of rainfall intensity from time to time.

The temoperatures were moderate, and the storm had a very tropical feeling

The old reliable tin can measured 1.25 inches of water.

The Sangres are FINALLY covered with snow.

Cold mornings are coming as the week progresses.

From the Wild:  Bird song can be heard all around after the storm ended.  The jubilant and jumbled up boisterousness of the birds sounded a lot like spring.  It was likely their last hurrah.  Winter is knocking on the door

Cow stories:  The herd up at Glorieta Freedom Ranch are getting fat on deep grass.  After several days of monitoring their water use, we are basing water availability on 1o gallons per cow per day.

Water for the ranch has to be hauled up from Glorieta, up a nasty old county road that transitions into a forest service road with an 18% grade at the top.  SO that is quite chore. Fortunately there is a very reliable water hauling contractor in Glorieta, and so all is well with the water for the cows.

While it had been our plan to get the cows up to the ranch in summer, in retrosopect the later time was a godsend if for reasons of water management alone.

The cows drink 2 x as much water in summer, sometimes even more!

Now we have to gather our forces for the walk home in a few weeks.

We are looking for volunteers, walkers, runners, riders.  Let us know if you might be interested.  A long steady walk behind some amiable and easy going cows…



Beneficial birds:  The last 50 meat birds have eaten their last meal and are processed, packed, and in the freezer.

Thank you for your support of our local farms and farm families,


The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


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