Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of December 22nd, 2016


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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday December 22nd, 2016

Roasted, Cleaned NM Green Chili from Seco Spice

Fresh Pressed Apple Cider from La Mesa Org

Org Hamlin Oranges from South Tex Org

Butternut Squash from Mesa Top Farm

Carrots from Schwebach Farm

Iceberg Lettuce from Vida Verde


Closed next week

We will be taking next week off, the 29th, for some holiday recovery and to wrap up our 2016 books. We look forward to seeing everyone again on January 5th, to ushering in 2017 with a bang!

Happy Chanukah, Holidays, New Year and Merry Christmas to all of our members


The Mesa Top Farm Family, and all the Beneficial Farm Families

Beef Brisket for the Holidays!

We have 3 briskets available from our herd, for anyone still looking for something to complete their holiday meal. $9/lb, 2.5-4.3lb range. We also have some large chickens, closer to 6lb, email us if you are interested.


Article on CSA Farms

We wanted to share a wonderful article written by one of our members, Steven McFadden. In a hemisphere-wide community discussion, among members of the Biodynamic Association, they were brainstorming a resourceful vision for CSA farms. They focused on 3 questions: What healthy impulses are trying to emerge related to CSA farms? How can we cultivate those impulses? How do communities become awakened to CSA necessities and possibilities?

We encourage you to read Steven’s well worded post, it certainly gave use some great insight and valuable insight coming from others so strongly invested in CSA.


Issue with Bibb lettuce last week?

When I was putting some of the last share out at pick up locaiotns, I noticed that some of the heads of lettuce took a drastic turn for the worse in the few hours since we packed up bags. Anyone that would like a credit for their lettuce getting to them in unsatisfactory conditions, please email us.


We saved the best for the last week of the year J

This week we will have a quart of fresh pressed NM apple cider from our partner Mesa Ruiz in Dixon, NM. Nothing brings the taste of the holidays to our family more than Mesa’s cider, such sweet, deep flavors of New Mexico apples at their peak! This is only matched, in the opposite flavor direction, by New Mexico green Chili! We roasted, cleaned and froze some amazing chili this year from Anthony, NM which are ready to bring some sweet, savory heat to your holiday dishes!


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.

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

Hubbard Squash: On the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Grapefruit: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace


Butternut Squash Soup with Gingerbread and Brown Butter


One 3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sage sprigs
1 cup thinly sliced (1/8 inch thick) leeks, white and light green parts only
1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/8 inch thick) carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/8 inch thick) shallots
1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/8 inch thick) onions
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons honey
6 cups Vegetable Stock, plus extra if necessary
Bouquet Garni
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
Black Sticky Gingerbread


For the soup:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  1. Cut the neck off the squash and set it aside. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush each half inside and out with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of sage into each. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, or until completely tender.
  2. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop out and reserve the flesh (discard the sage).
  3. Meanwhile, using a paring knife or sharp vegetable peeler, peel away the skin from the neck of the squash until you reach the bright orange flesh. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces (these will be pureed, so don’t be concerned if the pieces are irregularly shaped). (You should have approximately 4 cups diced squash.)
  4. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots, and onions, and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes. Add the diced squash, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic and squash from coloring. Stir in the honey and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  5. Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni.
  6. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Strain the soup through a fine strainer into a bowl or other container, tapping the side of the strainer so the soup passes through. (Do not skip this step. Straining it is what gives this soup its incredible texture.) Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

To complete:
1. Reheat the soup. If it is too thick, add a little more vegetable stock.

  1. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. When it is very hot, add the butter and rotate the skillet over the heat as necessary to brown the butter evenly, scraping up any bits that settle in the bottom. As soon as the foaming has subsided and the butter is a hazelnut brown, pour it into the pot of soup, reserving some to drizzle on top of the soup as a garnish. (Be careful not to leave the butter over the heat too long, as it can change from rich brown to black in seconds.)
  2. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top each with a piece of gingerbread. Drizzle the remaining brown butter over the top of each bowl.


New Mexico Chile Stuffed Pork Tenderloin



  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Package Pork Tenderloin — butterflied lengthwise
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Each Red Bell Peppers (diced finely)
  • 1 1/2 cup New Mexico Green Chile (roasted, seeded, chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter (Melted)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 3/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)



Preheat the oven to 350ºF

Mix the red bell peppers, onions, garlic and New Mexico chiles and shredded mozzarella in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Lay the pork on a cutting board and open it up. Fill the tenderloin with the red bell peppers, onions, garlic and New Mexico chiles from end to end. Close the pork and secure it with butchers twine. Brush the pork with the butter and season it with salt and pepper.

In a roasting pan with a rack, pour in the chicken broth and place on rack. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Greek-style iceberg lettuce



1/2 iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges

45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts, toasted

2 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally

1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs

100g feta, crumbled

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


Step 1 Place the lettuce on a serving plate. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, shallot, dill and feta.

Step 2 Whisk the oil and vinegar in a bowl to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.


Roasted Red Curry Carrots with Ginger and Garlic (Christmas Carrots)

1 lb. whole carrots, preferably organic carrots
2 T grapeseed oil or other neutral-flavored vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
1-2 T finely minced fresh ginger root
1-2 T finely minced fresh garlic
3 T water
sea salt for seasoning finished dish to taste


Preheat oven to 425F/220C.  Scrub the carrots, cut off ends, and then cut into diagonal slices about 1/2 inch thick.

Combine 2 T oil and the curry paste in a small microwave proof bowl and heat just a few seconds in the microwave (or you can heat it for about a minute in a small pan if you don’t have a microwave.)  Finely mince desired amount of minced ginger and garlic.  (I used the full 2 tablespoons of each, but I like strong flavors.)

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray or oil, add carrots and toss with the oil-curry mixture, minced ginger, and minced garlic.  Drizzle over 3 tablespoons of water.  Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake 20-25 minutes.  Then uncover the dish, stir, and roast the carrots an additional 15-20 minutes.  (Actual cooking time will depend on how done you like your carrots.  I prefer a bit of crunch left in them so I baked them 20 minutes covered and then roasted an additional 15 minutes.)
Season carrots to taste with sea salt and serve hot.





  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled + chopped
  • a hearty drizzle of olive oil [approx 1-2 TBSP]
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2-3 TBSP honey [or extra, to taste]
  • 1/4 cup finely crumbled feta
  • ground cinnamon, to taste [optional but delicious!]
  • fresh or dried parsley, to garnish [optional]


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly drizzle or spritz a baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. Add cubed squash to the sheet along with another drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with a light layer of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, based on taste preference.
  5. Roast at 400 F for 25 minutes on the center rack.
  6. At the 25 minute mark, pull out the oven rack, and add your fresh cranberries to the roasting pan.
  7. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries have started to soften and burst a bit, resembling really juicy craisins vs fresh firm cranberries.
  8. Remove from oven and add a sprinkle of cinnamon [approx 1/8-1/4 tsp depending on preference] along with feta and honey. I listed the honey measurements I used, but depending on whether you used fresh cranberries or dried, sweeten to taste.
  9. Garnish with parsley for a burst of color and dig in while it’s hot!

New Mexico Green Chile Stew Recipe

Courtesy of MJ’s Kitchen

Serves: 8 (leftovers freeze quite well)
Prep and cook time: 1.5 hours


1 1/2 Tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
1  1/2 pounds sirloin, trimmed with no fat
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. oregano
1 pound potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
3 cups roasted, peeled, chopped New Mexico green chile
Salt to taste
Flour tortillas (as a side)



  • To toast the coriander, heat a heavy skillet on the stovetop. Add the coriander seeds, shaking the skillet often until the seeds become aromatic and lightly brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven medium high heat. Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the sirloin. Add to the Dutch oven and sear on both sides. Transfer to plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic. Saute’ for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, ground coriander, oregano, stock, potatoes and green chile.
  • Cut the meat into bite size cubes and transfer back into the pot along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Taste and add salt if necessary. (If you use canned tomatoes, you’ll probably not need to add salt.)
  • Serve with warm flour tortillas.

Christmas Carrot Cake Recipe 


For the cake

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus a bit to grease pan
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour, plus a bit to dust pan
  • 1 lb carrot, peeled and grated finely
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of clove powder
  • 1½ teaspoon of ginger powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 cup of dry sweetened cranberries

For the filling

  • 8 oz [0.23 kg] of low fat cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (any color)


For the cake

  1. Heat oven to 300º F [150 ºC]
  2. Grease two 8″ [20 cm] round baking pans. Dust with flour and turn to get rid of the excess flour.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients very well. Pour half into each baking pan.
  4. Bake until you insert a skewer or knife and it comes out clean (25-30 mins).
  5. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

For the filling

  1. Whip all the ingredients with the paddle attachment of the mixer until all the brown sugar has dissolved (5-7 mins).
  2. Pour into a decorating bag with a big tip.
  3. Make concentric circles on one of the cakes until you have an even layer of filling.
  4. Cover with the other cake and serve.


From the Mesa Top: Dec 22, 2016

Climatology 2016:  We had a nice rain storm that turned over to snow and a deep freeze last week.

From the Wild:  The warm weather came back.  The pond thawed.  Bird song was heard everywhere.  A flock of mountain bluebirds was spotted.  Even robins were seen in modest numbers, also singing away.  Wood peckers and mourning doves appeared in modest numbers as well.

Then the deep freeze turned back on.  And all is silent.

Where do the birds go?  They are nearby, or they could not respond to each warming trend…

Cow stories:  The cows are living the easy life eating excellent quality alfalfa and grass hay.  They do have access to clean ground and nearly every night the mommas and the 5 youngest calfs head out for an evening stroll.  Some of the other cows and yearling calfs go with them.  They seem to be primarily in search of clean ground and wind protection.  The calfs race and cavort around, and the mommas quietly moo their vigilant concern.  It looks like the cow equivalent of taking the kids to the playground.

With so much walking around and group calf care, sometimes a momma or a calf ends up in the wrong place at dark, and then there sets up a ruckus that can last into the night until the unhappy parties are reunited.

Beneficial birds:  The pullets continue to feather up and get more adventurous, so the heat requirement continues to drop.

The switch is on to wheat as the base feed and the same fancy feed that we give to the adult bird now goes also to the pullets.

The yo-yo weather, from warm to very cold, has really knocked egg production down.  Hopefully even at our lowest level of production, we will be able to cover all member needs.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA



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