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


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

Cucumber from Preferred Produce

Butternut Squash from Mesa Top Farm

Sunflower Sprouts from Sungreen Living Foods

Large Bok Choy from Vida Verde

Black Spanish Radishes from Frisco Farm

Salad Mix Tentatively (Cantaloupe is backup) from Sol y Tierra


Turkey Hangover?

I am sure I am not alone in having overdone it this past holiday on turkey, stuffing, pie and all other manor of wonderful dishes. As the leftovers get closer to being done, the idea of fresh veggies and heathy dishes starts to become more and more appealing to me. We had a little communication mix up with one of the farms because of the holiday messing with schedules. We had though we were all set for salad mix this week, but it didn’t get reconfirmed as early as the farm wanted, so we are waiting to hear if they will be able to still send it this week. If we don’t get the salad mix, we will have cantaloupes from Preferred Produce as a backup.  Hopefully this week’s share helps us balance out our diets after last week’s festivities.


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.


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 Winter 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

Spaghetti Squash: On the marketplace

Butternut Squash: On the marketplace

Grape Tomatoes: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace





  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, with peel still on
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil (or any high-heat oil)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups roughly-chopped fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss butternut squash, onion, and garlic cloves (with peel still on) until they are evenly coated with oil. Spread then out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and cooked and the edges begin to slightly brown. Remove and set aside. Discard the garlic peels.

Meanwhile, stir together quinoa, broth (or water), and orange zest, and cook according to package instructions. When cooked, set aside.

Add the cooked veggies, quinoa, spinach, cranberries and pistachios to a large mixing bowl, and gently toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if need be. Serve warm.


Sunflower Shoot Salads Ideas


  • Goat cheese + lemon vinaigrette (Blend 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon warm water, the zest of one lemon, salt, and black pepper.)
  • Cannellini beans + creamy vinaigrette (Blend 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of soft tofu, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 chopped shallot, salt, and black pepper.)
  • Avocado vinaigrette: Blend 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1/2 of an avocado, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
  • Yogurt sauce: Blend 1 cup yogurt, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Thin with olive oil and lemon juice. (Variation – Nutty yogurt sauce: Whisk in up to 1/4 cup of your favorite nut butter to the yogurt mixture. Thin with olive oil, rice vinegar, and honey.)

Black Radish Latkes



  • 1 pound black Spanish radishes, grated
  • 1/2 pound white potatoes, grated
  •  2 sprigs of green garlic, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon black cumin, ground
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil based spray


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Form patties using about 1 cup of the mixture. Space the patties on a well-oiled cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees until they begin to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook another 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with apple sauce or any other condiment of your choice.


Stir-Fried Bok Choy



  • 12 to 16 ounces bok choy or sturdy greens, like collards, or packaged Southern greens mix
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife or minced
  • 1 slice ginger, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife or minced
  •  Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, to taste


  1. If using bok choy, trim off the bottoms and separate into stalks. Rinse if necessary and drain on paper towels. Cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. If using collard greens, stem, discard stems and chop the leaves coarsely. Bring an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer, and place the bok choy or greens in the steamer basket. Steam 1 minute, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out excess water and drain on a kitchen towel.
  2. Combine the broth or water, rice wine or sherry, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl and place within arm’s reach of your pan. Have the remaining ingredients measured out and near the pan.
  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and swirling the pan, then add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the bok choy or greens, sprinkle with salt and the sugar, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Stir the cornstarch mixture and swirl into the wok, then stir-fry 1 minute, or until the greens are just tender. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Remove from the heat and serve.




Serves: Serves 3-4


  • 1 tbsp ghee (store-bought or homemade)
  • 500g (1.1lb) lean ground beef (or veal, lamb, pork or turkey)
  • ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups (400g | 14.1oz) butternut squash, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 cup (720ml) warm bone broth (homemade or store-bought)
  • 3 cups (255g | 9oz) dry large shells (or other pasta of your choice)
  • 2 cups packed (80g | 2.8oz) chopped kale leaves (rib removed)



  1. Melt the ghee (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a saute pan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili pepper flakes and cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is brown and crispy – about 7 or 8 minutes. Do give that meat ample time to brown and crisp up – that’s the key to getting tons of flavor out of it.
  2. Throw in the chopped onion and continue cooking until slightly softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes, then, add the butternut squash and cook it for about a minute, just to coat it well in all the flavors.
  3. Pour in pour in the broth and bring to the boil, then toss in the dry pasta, bring back to the boil and lower the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until the pasta is al dente and broth is practically all gone, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Kill the heat, stir in the chopped kale, cover again and allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes, until the kale is completely wilted.
  5. Serve without delay.


Black Radish “Chips” Recipe



  • 2 large black radishes
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt, pepper
  • piment d’Espelette (optional, substitute chili flakes)



  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a baking dish (unless it is non-stick).
  • Wash and scrub the radishes. Peel them with a vegetable peeler, leaving half of the peel in stripes if desired.
  • Slice the radishes thinly — very thin slices will be more chip-like, slightly thicker slices will be moister — and put the slices in the baking dish.
  • Pour a little olive oil and a little vinegar, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and piment d’Espelette. Toss to coat. Adjust the amounts so all the slices look comfortably dressed, but not drenched.
  • Put in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, until the chips are golden and their edges start to crisp up. Serve warm, as an appetizer or a side.

From the Mesa Top: Dec 1, 2016

Climatology 2016:  Once in a while even our amazing weather outdoes itself.  The Monday before Thanksgiving at Mesa Top we had hail and rain followed by thunder and lightning and snow, all in succession in about an hour.  All together the precipitation was nearly an inch.

After a cool down and another warmup we had rain again after Thanksgiving.

Now we are descending into winter.  Temperatures were barely above freezing today and the coldest nights of the year arrive tomorrow and the next day.

From the Wild:  Birds are quiet.  The cold still nights are quiet.  The coyotes howl and so does the wind.

Cow stories:  Abigail had her calf.  Another bandito looking bull calf.  This is the 4th bandito we have had this year.  All are the sons of Clubber, who went became ground beef this summer.  Clubber was himself a son of Ug.  One of the original Jim Miller bulls that came with the ayrshire herd in winter of 2007.  Ug was from the hardy herd of high country ayrshires who adapted to the Lincoln County high plains near Corona.

It would be good to put out the word to Ayrshire breeders or others who would want the well adapted lineage to breed into their herd.  Surely these guys would be great workers.

When we have all of these rascals gathered, we will have to do a line-up photo.

Beneficial birds:  The super insulated brooding area is working beautifully.  We had a major scare with our fueling system:  the new style of safety protected propane tank valves were not allowing us to fill them directly from our 500 gallon tank.  Much trouble shooting led to the realization that the new type of valve required more differential pressure from the big tank: when the big tank was low on fuel, the fuel would not flow out.  Also the new valves have built in backflow preventers, preventing fuel from flowing backward.  Our on farm filing system requires one tank to send and the other to receive which is backwards from the valve design, so the valve also had to be modified to allow back flow.

The fuel consumption of the propane brooder heater is 1 pound per hour.  4.3 pounds make a gallon and a gallon costs $1.65 right now.  This means that our cost per hour is 38 cents and we are spending just over $9 per day for fuel.

We will gradually lower the temperature over the next 3 months.  So we can estimate $600 in fuel to get these pullets ready for the great outdoors.  A brood of hens in spring would cost about a third of that in fuel. Instead of $1 per bird in fuel for brooding, we will have $3 per bird.

A significant increase, which, along with other higher costs may mean that we have to consider a modest price increase, for the first time in several years.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


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