Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of March 2nd, 2017


Check out the Webstore

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 2nd, 2017

Spinach from Sol y Tierra Coop

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Golden Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Red Bell Peppers from Preferred Produce

Button Mushrooms from Colorado Mushroom Farm

Atole from Tamaya



CSA Day Support:

We saw a bunch of support last week leading up to CSA Sign Up Day, through the social media campaigns we had running and through some of our member’s active sharing of information with their friends! A few restaurant partners of ours also have included awareness and promotion campaigns for our CSA in their latest publications! We are getting lots of inquiries, hopefully we end up with some strong members recruited. Keep helping us spread the word!!


Time for a face lift!

If everything goes well, we will be launching our new website format tomorrow! We have been working with our marketing partners, Boomtime, to give our public image a really overhaul, and catch up with modern technologies. We will post a link next week, but it will be the same URL, in case anyone is curious!




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 if 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. 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 can 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

Hubbard Squash: On the marketplace

Carrots: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat 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


What is Atole?

We have another New Mexico traditional food in your share this week, Atole! Atole is made from locally grown Org Blue Corn, which is roasted and dried, then milled. The Atole in your share is from Santa Ana Pueblo, Tamaya in Keres, who grows certified Org corn products and mills them onsite.

Atole is very comparable to cream of wheat, most commonly served as a hot breakfast dish. Atole needs to be boiled with either water or milk (almond, soy, dairy). 1/4c Atole to 1 cup liquid make a very thick drink, 1-2 tbsp to 1 c liquid make a thinner drink.

Since we are using corn meal, there are a wide variety of spices and seasonings you can add to make atole to your taste.




  1. Sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup and agave syrup.
  2. Cinnamon.
  3. Chocolate. The oldest recipes with chocolate do not have much sweetener and are quite bitter. Pureed nibs work great and are not as bitter as cocoa powder.
  4. Pureed fruits.
  5. Roasted and chopped nuts, Hazelnut is very popular in Mexico.
  6. Vanilla.
  7. Butter or cream to make it extra rich.


  1. Butter or cream.
  2. Onions, shallots, and garlic. Sautee and puree before adding.
  3. Chile.
  4. Whole kernel fresh corn. It does change the consistency but is one of my favorites.
  5. Roasted and crushed nuts.


Sautéed Spinach, mushrooms, and caramelized onions 




Step 1. Caramelized onions

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 onions, medium or large, sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Step 2. Adding mushrooms and spinach:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 or 15 small mushrooms, sliced (such as button mushrooms, shiitake, oyster, etc.)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups spinach

Optional cream sauce

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Step 1. Caramelized onions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat in a large skillet, when oil is heated, add sliced onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring with spatula. The onions should start to brown, but without burning (a couple of onions may be burnt here and there, but overall they should not be charred).
  2. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking onions for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir, as onions brown even more without burning. At this point add just a pinch of salt over onions.
  3. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes on medium or low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure onions don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn. Total you should have cooked onions for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Using spatula, mix the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with a pinch of balsamic vinegar you just added.

Step 2. Adding mushrooms and spinach

  1. After you have started cooking onions, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another pan, and add sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake with stems removed, you can use any small sized mushrooms) and minced garlic. Add just a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook mushrooms and garilc covered for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  2. Add cooked mushrooms to the pan with caramelized onions, add 3 cups of spinach and stir on low heat just until spinach wilts. Serve as is as a side dish or proceed to make a creamy sauce as below.

Optional cream sauce

  1. Add heavy cream, milk, Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the mushroom-onions-spinach mixture on medium-low heat and mix. Stir to coat on low heat for about 5-10 minutes until Parmesan cheese melts and starts to coat the vegetables.
  2. Serve as a side dish along grilled meats.





    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 8 ounces Sun Gold or cherry tomatoes
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • Kosher salt
    • 6 ounces capellini, spaghetti, or bucatini
    • 3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan
    • 8 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
    • Toasted breadcrumbs (for garnish; optional)


    1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook, covered slightly and swirling pan often, until tomatoes blister and burst, 10-12 minutes. Press down on tomatoes to release their juices. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
    3. Transfer pasta to skillet with tomatoes; set over high heat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining oil, cheese, and half the basil and toss until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Add remaining basil, season with salt, and serve with breadcrumbs, if desired.

Chilled tortellini, tomato and melon salad with lemon-mint dressing recipe 



For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard (or dark mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves

For the salad

  • 10 ounces dried cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups balled cantaloupe
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Mint leaves, cut into ribbons, for garnish


For the dressing

  1. To a bowl, add all the ingredients, and whisk until combined. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad

  1. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, and place in a covered bowl. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  2. When the pasta has chilled, combine it with the melon and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the pasta mixture a bit at a time, to your liking. Toss to coat.
  4. Before serving, add the black pepper, grated Parmesan and the mint ribbons.
  5. Serve immediately.


Crispy Onion, Red Potato, Pepper and Mushroom Hash 



5 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/2″ – 1″ pieces

4 medium red potatoes, diced into tiny pieces, about 1/2″

1 medium yellow onion, about 3/4 cup chopped small

1 large bell pepper, I used 1/2 of a red one and 1/2 of a green one, about 1 cup chopped small

4 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided

Optional: Eggs, cooked to your preference


In a large skillet, over medium high heat, cook the bacon and then drain on a paper towel. Drain the grease from the skillet, leaving just a teaspoon or two in the pan. Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until it has softened. Add the potatoes to the skillet, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and then stir. Press into the bottom of the pan and let cook undisturbed for 5-6 minutes. Stir and repeat 2-3 times until the potatoes are soft and slightly crispy and the onions are browned and crisp on the edges.

Add the peppers to the skillet, stir and cook a minute or two, until the start to soften. Add the mushrooms, stir and season with the remaining salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and then serve topped with a soft egg if desired. Enjoy!



From the Mesa Top: March 2, 2017

Climatology 2017:  A storm is headed our way!  Maybe some moisture, though the higher likelihood is that the storm will play itself out on the way here and we will be left with a lot of wind.  The intensity of the wind is surprising for February.

From the Wild:  The pair of great horned owls are busy at night.  Their hoots are clearly different, one deep, one higher pitched.  We imagine that those are the voices of the male and female respectively.

The diversity of bird species is on the increase!

Cow stories:  Bow had her calf.  Entirely as expected, on the coldest day with the fiercest wind.  A day earlier she had walked right down to the “maternity ward” and stood at the gate waiting to be let in.

Her little calf is healthy and strong.  In a couple of days, as soon as the storminess has padded and the promised end of week warmup begins, the pair will join the rest of the herd.

Beneficial birds:  Happy chickens, plenty of eggs

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s