Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of January 19th, 2017

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday January 19th, 2017

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

French D’avignon Radishes from Anthony Youth Farm

Green Cabbage, Half from Cerro Vista

Purple Turnips from Frisco Farm

Mini Cucumbers from Silverleaf Farm

Butternut Squash from Mesa Top Farm

We had a little trouble last week with kale, we only received enough for about half the shares, and credited those who did not get it. Additionally, we ended up using jarred pears instead of peaches, something we are hoping to add to the marketplace if there are any left! Other than that, it has been a fun week of planning. Mesa Top’s next batch of chicks have just about grown up enough to move out of the brooding area and into their section of the main chicken coop, more room for them as they continue to grow to maturity. This means that MT is already looking at its next round of chicks, as we continue to grow the flock.

We had a phone call with Seashaken as well, mapping out the rest of our plans for salmon till the next season. We are pleased to share that Blue Corn Brewery has been carrying our fish on the menu for a while now, and it looks like we are a permanent dish! Try Chef David’s Grilled Salmon pepitas-crusted and seared with rosemary & tomato orzo and garlic green beans. Zinc in ABQ is also putting our Coho back on the menu for the next 3 months, Chef Chris has yet to update the menu online, but we have great faith in his creative talent. Café Pasqual’s still has their staple Gravlax on the menu, but we will be discussing a dish with our King salmon in the coming weeks! The final exciting update is that it looks like La Montanita Coop in Santa Fe is going to try carrying our Coho in their seafood case, which would be an amazing partnership to offer our fish every day of the week! Bit by bit, we keep seeing our community supported fishery grown , and more people falling in love with it.


Egg-xcellent Updates

When Steve founded our family farm back in 1994, it was with the vision of raising fresh, pesticide free produce, cattle and of course our Beneficial Eggs. For over 20 years, the farm has grown and changed, but our core foundation has only been improved through the decades. Of all the different directions the farm has taken, we have really focused on certain core areas. We grow massive amounts of summer and winter squash, continue to grow our Ayrshire cattle herd for both meat and milk that goes into our cheese, and of course our eggs.

2016 may have been a disruptive year in many ways, but for us, it was when the stars aligned and we applied for and received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for Value Added Producers. Value Added products are where a farmer or ranchers producers a raw commodity and turns it into a product with more value. Along with us, Old Windmill Dairy and La Mesa Org (our juice partner in Dixon) also received grants to further develop their operations and products, so NM is really on a hot streak! The La Montanita Cooperative Distribution Center was able to hire a Benjamin Bartley in the spring of 2016 under a USDA grant, as their Value Chain Specialist. Ben has been a major benefit to our food community, and has worked with Steve and Thomas throughout this grant process to help navigate the challenging grant stipulations, as well as helping OWD in the same capacity.

It is only fitting that 2017 is the year of the Rooster on the Chinese Calendar, because for us, it is the year of the egg! With the support of our grant, we are hard at work taking Beneficial Eggs to the next level. We will be updating our retail cartons, to reflect more current information about our eggs, as well as marketing efforts and website upgrades. The grant also allows us to hire a representative for our product, that will greatly help us grow and maintain a presence for the Beneficial Eggs. The third major part of the grant is for equipment to upgrade our value adding capacity. This will be used for an egg washing machine, an egg grader (weigher) and salmonella testing. Right now, all our eggs are washed by hand, which only works to a certain level and our cartons of eggs are hand weighed to ensure that each dozen is the correct average egg weight. These two machines will be crucial with our growth, because it already takes a considerable about of time to perform these tasks at a smaller scale. Grading our eggs also makes sure we are following laws for selling our eggs to restaurants.

Here at the farm, we are kicking things into full throttle, as much as we can. We have 250 chickens being raised, with plans of doing 2 more 250 chick-raising rounds this year, adding to our flock of around 1000 currently. We are looking at ways to increase our chicken’s coops, to accommodate and plan for our growth, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have 3000 chickens by the 2019. We have also reignited an old partnership with vigor, with a second egg producer now being a part of the Beneficial brand. 3V Trust worked with us last year to start growing our supply chain, and as of last week, we are back in full swing. 3V is a group of farmers in San Luis Valley, at the head of our Rio Grande River watershed that raise free range chickens in keeping with the same standards our eggs are produced in. For any of our more detailed readers, we are happy to share our agreement for satellite egg producers, it is a very well thought out document covering everything from feed, animal welfare and regulations. We do not take working with another producer lightly, since we are very proud of the high quality of egg we produce from our happy chickens, so our trust in Vicente’s practices very strong. The need to incorporate additional producers for Beneficial comes down to the demand, and a single farm’s ability to raise happy free-range chickens. Without starting to try marketing our eggs, we already have a demand of over 5500 eggs every week, which far exceeds what our gals can lay, so many customers have been without our eggs. As of last week, we could get 225 dozen eggs into the La Montantia stores with our 3V partnership, and for the stores that have been out of our eggs for a month, it was like Christmas again.

All this amazing, egg-xciting work that has been going on behind the scenes was only furthered by a request to interview us! “Put An Egg On It” will be the title of the upcoming article written by Farmer Ric of Sol Harvest Farm in Edible Magazine. We were very pleasantly surprised by Edible reaching out to us because they were looking to do an article on local egg producers, and even more so to have a fellow farmer visit our farm to write the article. I won’t spoil the story, but just know that our family was borderline in tears with how great we sound on paper, we spend so much time in the day-to-day, that hearing an outside prospective really helps affirm our efforts.  I am trying to get copies of the issue to put in shares when it comes out.

At this point, I am sure you are egg-xhausted with the puns and updates, and I am running out of details to share. I wanted to share these amazing developments, that we are very grateful for and are working very hard to make the most out of. After we received the grant, Steve and I looked at our goals, and believe we can achieve in 2 years what we are supposed to do in 3, and then keep going from there. I spent 4 years of my career working in grant funded work, and there are times where grant money doesn’t do as much good as it is intended, but this grant is one I have complete confidence in it making a huge impact in the way it was intended!


CSA Recipes Needed:

We are working on a cookbook for our CSA Members, and anyone getting into the world of local foods and minimal waste cooking. We are partnering with a fabulous writer who created an amazing CSA cookbook baseline that we are now working on making our own. Any personal recipes you want to share that we can include in this book, please send a copy! We want to publish an amazing cookbook that not only illustrates the necessity of low waste cooking with “weird” CSA foods, but also has a real tie to the NM members who have made their dinners based on what the land provides.




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.


Spaghetti Squash: On the marketplace

Butternut Squash: On the marketplace

Hubbard Squash: On the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Navel Oranges: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Shallots: On the Marketplace

Black Spanish and Daikon Radishes: On the Marketplace

Cucumbers: On the Marketplace

Spinach: On the Marketplace

Green Lettuce: On the Marketplace

Kale: On the Marketplace

Salad Mix: On the Marketplace

Grape and Vine Ripe Tomatoes: On the Marketplace


French Breakfast Radish Salad 



1 bunch of French Breakfast Radishes

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1-2 tsp Cider Vinegar

Salt (used Pink and Gray salts, but Sea Salt would work too)

Black Pepper

1 T fresh Parsley (flat leaf) Chopped


  1. Remove tops from radishes, and wash in cold water to rub off the dirt. Slice each lengthwise in half.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and just blanch the radishes (drop in radishes, leave for 2 minutes).
  3. Drain and rinse radishes immediately in cold water.
  4. Transfer radishes to a bowl, and drizzle with Olive Oil, 1-2 tsp cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Toss with fresh parsley and serve in a bowl garnished with sprigs of parsley.

Hot & Sour Soup with Mushroom, Cabbage, and Rice 


Serves 8 to 10 (1-cup servings)

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 ounces cremini or shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 to 3 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch piece ginger, grated (or 1 tablespoon ginger puree)
1 to 3 limes, zested and juiced
8 cups chicken broth (or turkey or vegetable)
1/2 cup jasmine rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten-free), plus more to serve
1/2 small head green cabbage, cut in half and shaved thin
Chili garlic sauce or kimchi, to serve

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir the mushrooms after 5 minutes and cook for 5 more minutes, or until well-browned. Add the diced peppers, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly softened.

Add the lime zest and broth and bring to a simmer. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is just barely soft. Add the shaved cabbage, lime juice, and soy sauce and simmer for another few minutes, or until cabbage is hot. Taste and add more lime juice, soy sauce, or other seasonings to taste.

Serve with extra soy sauce, lime wedges, and kimchi or chili garlic sauce.

Lime n’ Cantaloupe Margarita Muffins 



  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • 2 t aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 t fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar


  • 1 cup diced cantaloupe
  • Flax egg: 1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water (replaces 1 egg)
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 t lime juice


  • 1/3-1/2 cup sweetened yogurt (I used unsweetened soygurt + agave)


  • Lime zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease muffin tin.
  3. Whisk ground flax and water in a small/medium bowl and let it set for a few minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
  5. Take the smaller bowl with the flax in it and whisk again.
  6. Now add the rest of the wet ingredients to the flax mixture. Whisk well.
  7. Now add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just incorporated.
  8. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into the muffin tin.
  9. Now add a dollop of the yogurt on top and follow it with another tablespoon of batter on top.
  10. Repeat for the remaining 11 muffins.
  11. Garnish with lime zest.
  12. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.


French Breakfast Radish Omelet 



Farm fresh local wild leeks

Farm fresh local French breakfast radishes
Wild leek infused olive oil
Sea salt
Ground pepper
Farm fresh local oregano
Farm fresh local chives
Farm fresh local eggs Local fromange blanc


Per omelette, slice two leek whites and four french breakfast radishes. Warm one half teaspoon wild leek oil in a medium metal saute pan, add leek whites, radishes, season with salt and pepper, cook for two minutes and remove from pan.

Remove oregano leaves from stems and mince one teaspoon per omelette. Mince one teaspoon chives per omelette (reserve chive blossoms). Add two-three egg whites to the warm medium metal saute pan with one half teaspoon wild leek oil, cook a few minutes until sides have firmed. Flip over omelette, add one tablespoon fromange blanc, leek whites, radishes, herbs and cook for another minute.

Plate omelette by folding over egg whites and top with a few minced chives. Garnish with chive blossoms.

Chicken & sage biscuit pot pie with cremini mushrooms & purple top turnip 

Adapted from Blue Apron Recipe

I loved this recipe I found on Blue Apron using turnips in a chicken and biscuit recipe, but their online version will need a bit of tweeking to make at home. I can’t tell the exact measurements on all things, but given the size of their baking dish, I am listing at least double what they used.

  • Carrots, 1 – 1.5lb
  • Celery 4-5 stalks
  • chicken breasts – 3-4 breasts, or you could use a whole chicken from Mesa Top roasted
  • Sour Cream and milk, maybe about 8 oz of sour cream and adding milk while
  • red onions
  • cremini mushrooms 8 oz
  • buttermilk biscuit mix, enough for 8-12 biscuits, homemade or store mix
  • purple-topped turnips about 2 decent sized ones
  • chicken demiglace – Chicken bullion should work well
  • additional seasoning to taste, sage and rosemary
  • All Purpose flour

As you are working on this dish, keep in mind I estimated what it will take to make a larger sized dish with ingredients easier to find. It is important to have enough meat and vegetables to cover the bottom of your baking dish at least 1” deep, and then to take your time flavoring your sauce to your taste, then mixing in flour to thicken it to a gravy consistency. Your choice in biscuits will depend on your skills, if you make amazing home made biscuits, awesome, but if you feel that a store mix or premade biscuits are good enough, it will still be good.


Poach & shred the chicken:

In a medium pot, combine the chickena big pinch of salt and enough water to cover the chicken by 2 inches; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover with a lid or foil. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Thoroughly drain the poached chicken and transfer to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, carefully shred into bite-sized pieces.

Prepare the ingredients:

While the chicken poaches, preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the turnip. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the celery crosswise. Peel the carrot and thinly slice into rounds. Pick the sage leaves off the stems; discard the stems and thinly slice the leaves.

Cook the vegetables:

While the chicken continues to poach, in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the carrotcelery and turnip; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender.

Make the filling:

Add the flour and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the flour is golden. Add the crème fraîchedemi-glacehalf the sage and 1½ cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened. Stir in the shredded chicken; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Transfer to a baking dish.

Make the biscuit batter:

While the filling cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the biscuit mix and remaining sage; season with salt and pepper. Gradually stir in ⅓ cup of cold water until just combined.

Finish the pot pie & serve your dish:

Using a spoon, top the baking dish of filling with equal-sized scoops of the biscuit batter, leaving some space between the scoops. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Green Cabbage Kimchi 



  1. 1 large head (about 3.5 lb) green cabbage
  2. 4 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  3. 3 cloves garlic
  4. 1/2-inch piece ginger
  5. 3 tablespoons anchovy sauce
  6. 2 tablespoons cooked white rice (short grain preferred) *
  7. 6 tablespoons water
  8. 7 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
  9. 1 tablespoon shrimp sauce
  10. 1 tablespoon sugar
  11. 3 green onion, chopped
  12. 1/2 to 1 cup water


  1. Cut and dice the cabbage into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Try to separate the cabbage layers. Rinse them well and place them in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle sea salt over and toss well. Let them sit for 2 hour turning once or twice during the time.
  2. Rinse the cabbage once and drain well. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, combine garlic, ginger, anchovy sauce, cooked rice, and the 6 tablespoons of water. Puree them until very smooth.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine Korean chili flakes, shrimp sauce, sugar, and the rice puree. Mix well. Add the cabbage and the green onion. Toss well to incorporate the seasoning to the cabbage.
  5. Transfer the kimchi into an airtight container. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water into a mixing bowl and swirl around the collect the seasoning paste reside inside the bowl. Pour it back to the kimchi.
  6. Cover the kimchi with the lid and let it sit on a counter for 1 day and then, store in the refrigerator for 3-4 more days for better fermentation.


Turnip Gratin 

6 Servings




  • 4 whole Turnips
  • 3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
  • 2 cups Gruyere Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Butter
  • Chicken Broth
  • Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Herbs, to taste



Preheat the oven to 375º.

Start by peeling and thinly slicing the turnips and mincing the cloves of garlic. Grate about 2 cups of Gruyere cheese.

In a large oven-proof skillet, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Place a single layer of turnips on top of the butter.

Next, sprinkle a little of the garlic on top, then – and this is purely optional and really not all that necessary – add a couple of tablespoons of butter.

Next drizzle a healthy splash of chicken broth over the turnips. Next, do the same with the cream.

Now add a nice layer of Gruyere – about ½ cup. Sprinkle a bit of salt, but not much as the cheese is already salty.

Repeat these layers twice more. Sprinkle on some freshly ground black pepper.

Now pop the whole thing into the over and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is hot, brown and bubbly.


butternut squash and spinach pasta casserole recipe with caramelized onions 



  • 2 cups dry, high fiber pasta
  • 4 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 8oz fresh, whole milk mozzarella, sliced
  • 15oz container fat free ricotta
  • 2 tbsp light butter
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups fat free milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan



  1. To roast the butternut squash, preheat oven to 425F. Lightly spray the butternut squash with an olive oil mister and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the butternut squash for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, set a non-stick skillet over medium heat and heat olive oil. Then add cloves of garlic and a pinch of chili flakes.
  3. Heat until garlic begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add in spinach and sauté until spinach is completely wilted. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
  4. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  5. To caramelize the onions, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions with a tsp of salt and cook down for about 20-30 minutes, until onions turn brown. Set aside.
  6. To make the creamy sauce, bring the milk, nutmeg, sage, ½ tsp pepper, and remaining chili flakes to a simmer.
  7. In a separate sauce pan, make the roux by melting the remaining tbsp. of butter and then adding in the flour. Stir until doughy (about one minute).
  8. Whisk the milk into the butter and flour mix (the roux). It should be smooth and velvety, not chunky or too thick. If it is, just add some more milk to thin it out. Add in the Parmesan, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  9. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, basil, remaining garlic, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  10. Now, preheat the oven to 375.
  11. In a large, 5qt casserole dish, place a layer of noodles, spinach, butternut squash, onions, and then dot with a third of ricotta. Then cover with about 1/4 of the cream sauce. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until are used up.
  12. Then top evenly with the sliced mozzarella.
  13. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling.
  14. Turn the broiler on and bake for another 5 minutes, or until browned on top.
  15. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15-20 minutes.




From the (muddy) Mesa Top: Jan 19, 2017

Climatology 2017:  This week’s storm included over ½ inch of rain followed from a few inches of very heavy/wet snow.  The predictions of the NOAA meteorologist have been spot on for several weeks.  This storm came on Saturday evening with rain that lasted all night and then transitioned over to snow during the day Sunday, with wet snow Sunday night and foggy and flurries and drizzle all day Monday.  All together close to an inch of precipitation

It has been exhausting to say the least, on the cows and the people, and the wear and tear on equipment of all sorts is extreme.

The latest long range prediction calls for the weekend storm pattern to continue.

Supposedly the next round of storms will be colder and we may see more snow at 7000 feet elevation

From the Wild:  Ok well this is kind of weird, but the most amazing wild world sitings this week were flies and worms.  Seriously, flies on a Friday in mid January, the warmest day before the storm started.  Buzzing flies!  And then on Sunday when a little bit of hand shoveling was needed keep the water that was running across the land directed to the right places, worms in the shovels full of mud. These are very unexpected January sightings


Cow stories:  Momma cow #1 (ear tag #) had her bull calf some time during the night or early morning of the rain storm.  Sher found a fairly dry and sheltered spot, but when morning came and we spotted her calf in a fairly muddy spot and shivering.

A distraction / extraction action had to be performed to get the calf without psycho mom trampling the intervening humans.  This was successful and the little calf got to get all cleaned up and warm by the fire and then brought out to his mom and the two of them were all set up in a sheltered and warm spot with plenty of fresh straw on the ground.





We are keeping an eye on a couple more possible calfers, coming soon

Beneficial birds:  The pullets are getting tough.  They are being hardened off prior to moving them to a pab in the big chicken house.

Less heat, even at night, unless it is very cold.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA






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