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

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

Check out the Webstore:

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

Curly Green Kale from Preferred Produce

Org Vine-Ripened Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Bibb Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Meyer Lemons from South Tex Org

Acorn Squash from Schwebach Farm

Double Red Delicous Apples from La Mesa Org, Dixon, NM

Org Yukon potatoes from White Mountain Org


Reuse the CSA Share Bags!

We are starting to run low on returned bags from shares again. Please remember to bring back your share bag each week to your pick up location, or leave them outside for home deliveries.

Last Minute Change to Share last week

We had to make a last minute change to our share last week, when our farmer down in Deming didn’t see our order come in, leaving us short on share items Thursdays morning. Luckily we had brought down Hubbard Squash from Jubilee farm that were meant for this week, and had garlic stored from Chispas farm that balanced out the share. We appreciate everyone’s understanding, and we have those items in this week’s share instead.


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: Double Red Delicious and Rome: On the marketplace

Spaghetti Squash: On the marketplace

Butternut Squash: On the marketplace

Arugula: On the marketplace

Hakurei Turnips: On the marketplace

Hubbard Squash: On the marketplace

Kohlrabi: On the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Cauliflower: On the marketplace

Vine-Ripened Tomatoes: On the marketplace

Grapefruit: On the marketplace

Bibb Lettuce: On the marketplace

Kale: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace


Time to start planning on all those Holiday Sweet treats for family and friends!



3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp honey (I used orange blossom honey)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp Meyer lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add melted butter and mix slowly but thoroughly until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to a day.

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a standard-size madeleine pan with nonstick spray; use a pastry brush to brush the inside of each mold. Spoon batter into molds, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until cakes are pale gold and spring back to the touch. Immediately shake madeleines out over a clean dish towel; let cool.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest, and juice in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to glaze scalloped side of each baked madeleine. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.


Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce



  • 3 C. Flour
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ⅛ t. Salt
  • ¼ t. Cloves, ground
  • ¼ t. Nutmeg, ground
  • 6 oz. Butter, (cold is fine)
  • ¾ C. Sugar
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples(I used golden delicious to great effect)
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ C. Milk
  • 2 T. Sugar(for sprinkling on top of cake)
  • 6 large Egg Yolks
  • 6 T. Sugar
  • 1½ C. Whole Milk
  • 1½ t. Vanilla


  2. Grease and flour an 8″ or 9″ round springform pan. Using an 8″ pan will give you a taller cake.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Make sure the bowl is very large to allow room for the apples to be folded in.
  5. Cut the butter into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  6. Add the ¾ C. sugar to the flour mixture and mix in.
  7. Peel the apples and slice them into uniform pieces. This cake works best and gets that ‘chunky apple look’ if the slices are about ¼” wide and then cut into 3 pieces.
  8. Toss the apples into the flour mixture and combine them thoroughly.
  9. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Add to the apples and flour and mix in with a large spatula until just combined. Batter will be thick and dough-like.
  10. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of your spatula.
  11. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cake.
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Test the center for doneness. The top of the cake should be golden brown. Serve slices with custard sauce.
  14. *note that this sauce is not a thick, pudding like sauce. It should have a pour-able, just thickened consistency when done.
  15. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and stir over medium heat until custard thickens, about 4 minutes. Custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Mix in the vanilla. Transfer to bowl or serving saucer.
  16. Serve warm or cold over apple cake.


Cinnamon Apple Fritters


Serves: 8-10 fritters


  • For Fritters:
  • 2 Tbl. sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. pumpkin pie spice* (*blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & allspice)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, ok to sub concentrate (*just a sprinkling is needed of either)
  • 2-3 cups peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith or Red Delicious apples
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying (approx. 4-5 cups- enough to come halfway up sides of pan or skillet)
  • For Glaze:
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbl. + 1-2 tsp. warm water (thin enough to make the glaze “paintable”)
  • For Cinnamon Powdered Sugar Dusting:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • For Cinnamon Sugar:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbl. cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl (or the bowl to a stand mixer), cream the sugar, eggs and vanilla for 1-2 minutes with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pie spice, salt and milk. Mix well, scraping bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, chop and toss peeled apples with lemon juice. Stir apples into batter.
  4. Heat vegetable oil to 375º (use a deep-fry thermometer or an electric skillet with a temperature control). Make sure that the oil is hot enough to fry the fritters correctly.
  5. Once the oil is at 375º, scoop out large spoonfuls of the batter, and carefully and gently slide the fritter batter into the hot oil. *I use two large serving spoons for this.
  6. When they get to a deep golden brown color, carefully turn the fritters over to brown the other side and continue cooking. (This should take approx. 2-3 minutes per each side).
  7. When the fritters become brown on both sides (you might have to flip them over again to make sure both sides are nicely browned), you’ll know that they’ll be fully-cooked throughout.
  8. Using a wire mesh trainer or slotted spoon, remove the fritters, one at a time, to a paper-towel lined (several thicknesses) rack to drain, then transfer to a mother cooling rack to fully cool. (*If wanting to use the cinnamon-sugar coating, sprinkle or roll fritters in the mixture while the fritters are still hot.)
  9. Choose one of the three toppings, or make a variety.
  10. For Glaze:
  11. Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and water in a small bowl until you have a thin, “paintable” glaze.
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush glaze over the entire bottoms of the fritters. Let glaze harden slightly, turn over, and “paint” the glaze on the tops and sides. Place glazed fritters back onto wire cooling rack; let glaze fully harden, serve.
  13. For Cinnamon Powdered Sugar:
  14. Whisk together the powdered sugar and cinnamon until well mixed. Place into a fine mesh strainer, and tap to sprinkle over bottoms, turn over, then tops.
  15. For Cinnamon Sugar:
  16. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in small bowl until well mixed. Sprinkle over the bottoms and tops using a small spoon and tapping the side, or roll them into the mixture. Do this while the fritters are still hot..



Serves: serves 2-3, as a main meal or 4 as a side



For the salad:

  • 7-8 cups (packed tightly) chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa or other grain, such as brown rice, barley, couscous, or faro
  • ½ cup halved walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ (heaping) cup blackberries, cut in halves
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, such as Pompeian brand
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey, raw and local is best


  1. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl or jar.
  2. Place kale in a large salad serving bowl.
  3. Drizzle about ⅛ cup of the vinaigrette over the kale, toss to combine and massage vinaigrette into leaves, until kale is of desired tenderness.
  4. Add all salad ingredients to the kale, toss to combine and add more vinaigrette as desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


Shiitake mushroom and Yukon gold potato gratins with fresh herbs

serves 8
active time: 45 min

For the mushrooms

  1. 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley – stems removed
  2. 8 sprigs thyme – leaves removed from stems
  3. 2 sprigs winter savory or rosemary – leaves removed from stems
  4. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms – stems trimmed and cut in 1/8″ slices
  8. 2 large shallots – skinned, quartered and finely sliced
  9. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the gratins

  1. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  4. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  5. 1 lb (455 g) medium Yukon Gold potatoes – unpeeled, cut in 1/8″ slices (use a mandoline or the blade attachment of food processor)
  6. 4 oz (115 g) coarsely grated cave-aged gruyère (1 1/2 cups)
  1. 8 6-ounce porcelain ramekins – lightly buttered
  1. Place the herbs and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Alternatively, place the herbs and garlic on a cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet to high heat. Add the butter and oil. As soon as the butter is melted, add the mushrooms. Toss well and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until golden, stirring only occasionally (see Viviane’s Tip below). Add the shallots and continue to sauté for 2 minutes until shallots have softened. Add the herb/garlic mixture, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  4. Whisk the milk, cream, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Place a third of the potato slices at the bottom of each ramekin, enough to cover the surface. Top with half the mushrooms. Then top with a third of the potato slices. Top again with half the mushrooms and finish with the balance of the potato slices. Drizzle with the milk mixture. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the gratins in their molds.
  5. Cook’s note 1: To make ahead – Although they’re best eaten the day they are made, the gratins can be baked for 40 minutes until just golden, then cooled and refrigerated up to 1 day. To serve, bring to room temperature and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 6 to 8 minutes until bubbling at the sides.
  6. Cook’s note 2: If you prefer to make a large gratin rather than individual ones, use a medium ceramic or glass baking dish. Layer the ingredients exactly as described above and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45 to 50 minutes.


Mexican roasted corn and quinoa stuffed squash

serves: 6



  • 3 small acorn squash
  • ¾ cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1½ cups rinsed black beans
  • ¾ cup corn
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions for topping
  • Queso fresco and crema Mexicana for topping


  1. For the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place face down in a baking pan, cover halfway with water, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  2. For the filling: Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Place the corn in a dry skillet over high heat and let the corn cook without stirring for 3-4 minutes. Stir once and repeat until the corn is browned and roasty. Add the cooked quinoa, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir for 4-5 minutes over high heat. Add the black beans and stir for another 4-5 minutes over high heat. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup of cheddar cheese.
  3. Assembling the squash: Turn on the oven broiler (or just turn the temp to 400). Divide the filling evenly among the six cooked squash halves. Top each with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top each squash piece with crumbled queso fresco, crema Mexicana, and green onions.




Serves: 6 cups


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee, or coconut oil
  • 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 leek, washed thoroughly & chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 leaves of fresh sage, minced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stem
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 2 cups blue hubbard squash puree
  • ½ cup cashew cream
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • sea salt & pepper


  1. To make cashew cream: soak cashews overnight, rinse & drain. Add soaked cashews & one cup filtered water to a high speed blender & blend until smooth.
  2. Quarter, seed & roast the squash at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until tender.
  3. When cool, scoop out the flash & puree in a food processor, Depending on the size of the squash, should yield 2-4 cups (mine made a little over 2 cups).
  4. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt the ghee or coconut oil & cook leeks, garlic, carrots & celery over medium heat, until softened, about 10 mins. Add sage, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, & salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in the squash & cashew cream.
  6. Add vegetable stock, & cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. Blend with an immersion blender for a smooth & creamy bisque.
  7. Top with a dollop of cashew cream, fresh herbs & spices.



From the Mesa Top: Dec 15, 2016

Climatology 2016:  The early December cold spell has given way to another stretch of warm and breezy days.   Later this week there may be a storm, but for now the days are more like fall then mid-December.

From the Wild:  The large near full and full moon inspires the coyote symphony.  A buck was spotted racing to cross the county road and leap the fence.  A hawk was spotted hunting mice and rodents in the tall grass.  The pond is frozen over.

Cow stories:  Blanca is not yet standing.  She is trying to stand, looks alert, and is eating well.  But her week hind leg still cannot support her.  We will have to give her an assist with the backhoe and straps and sling.

The herd is all together except that 4 stragglers remain at Glorieta Freedom Ranch.  They will take a trailer ride home later this week.

Of the herd at home, one annoyingly persistent cow has taken to pushing apart the fence wires and climbing through and bringing her calf plus 2 others with her.  She is heading out to deep grass on a pasture next to ours.

If the weather stays favorable, she will no doubt show some other adventurous cows how to get to the deep grass.

Beneficial birds:  The warm days have helped us to begin reducing the heat for the pullets.  They are about a month old now and can handle cooler temperatures.  Today was the big day when their warm brooding area was opened up so that they could venture out into an unheated area:  the adjacent cow’s maternity ward.  Immediately the most intrepid birds zoomed out into the new space, and the more timid ones slowly joined them.  Now they have a heated, warm area to retreat to, and lots of unheated space to dig through straw and leftovers from Abigail and her calf.

Their diet will now also shift steadily toward the typical adult laying hen diet of wheat and organic corn/soy/flax/molasses “concentrate”.

These birds will be the hold the overall farm/flock production levels up during the heat of summer.  Unfortunately for winter we are in a lull, which will start to turn back toward higher production as the days begin to get longer in the second half of January

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


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