Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of March 16th, 2017

 

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 16th, 2017

Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra Coop

Chard from Sol y Tierra Coop

Desiree Potatoes from Jubilee Farm

Red Bell Pepper from Preferred Produce

Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Sunflower Sprouts from Sungreen Living Foods

 

Spring is Coming!

We are starting to see the first signs of spring from our Albuquerque farmers, Chispas Farm was a welcomed impromptu addition to last week’s share, when we had to make a last-minute scramble. This week we are getting chard from Sol y Tierra down in Anthony, along with the salad mix we expected last week, so things are certainly coming out of the ground!

 

Egg Carton Re-Design

We are staying very busying these days working on re-branding our Beneficial Eggs and increasing our customer base. As we mentioned a few months back, we are the very grateful recipients of USDA grant to help us grow Beneficial Eggs. Last Friday we got the initial concept designs from our branding consultant, 2 unique options on how we can re-brand our egg cartons. They are very different directions of artwork and we are now posed with needing to figure out which one our customers will respond to the best.

As members of our CSA, many of you regularly receive our eggs in your shares, in recycled egg cartons to reuse packaging and keep costs down. Since you know our story and the quality of our eggs, you are already on board with supporting our eggs. The challenge we are looking at with the new packaging, is how do we impart that information to others through our packaging, in a way that gets them interested and supporting our farms. In La Montanita and Wholefoods, our eggs compete with a lot of other brands, which means we need to work harder to get people to pick up our eggs, read about them, and try them.

 

We would really like your input on the two design directions we have. Please email us back which one you feel will best represent the eggs you already love, and what packaging would make you pick them up even if you didn’t know us.

These images will be the top part of the egg cartons, folded to fit over the eggs and latch to the base. There are two images per design, one is the outside and one is the inside of the carton once you open it up.

 

The first option is based around classic chalkboard signs

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The second option is based around bright watercolor imagery

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Even if you reply with a simple Black or Color preference, we really appreciate your input. We would like to hear more about why you like one over the other, aspects that one has that could enhance the other ect. We know our eggs as producers, you know them as consumers who choose them even without the packaging, so we want to make the packaging speak to the best qualities of our eggs, to share them with more people!

 

 

New Website!

Well, we are now live with our spiffy, new website! We are very pleased with the way things have turned out, upgrading our public front to match the modern age of technology. We hope that you get a chance to check it out, we are trying to include a lot more information on it! Please feel free to send us any ideas or suggestions, especially for our long time members, we want to make sure that we continue to represent our CSA as best we can!

http://www.beneficialfarm.com/

 

 

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!!

Shares@Beneficialfarm.com

CSA Phone: 505-470-1969

 

Substitutions:

*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.

 

Carrots: On the marketplace

Chard: On the marketplace

Arugula: On the marketplace

Garlic: On the marketplace

Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace

Cucumbers: On the Marketplace

Spinach: On the Marketplace

Desiree Potatoes: 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

 

Swiss Chard and Spinach Ravioli Nudi in Simple Tomato Sauce 

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INGREDIENTS

Ravioli Nudi

  • 1 pound (455 g) swiss chard, stems removed and reserved for another use, leaves shredded
  • 8 ounces (225 g) fresh spinach leaves
  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh sheep’s milk or well-drained cow’s milk ricotta cheese
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) flour, plus more for coating the nudi
  • 3 cups (720 g) Simple Tomato Sauce (below), heated to a simmer

 

Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • Fine sea salt
  • 5 large fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the shredded chard leaves in cold water. Place the leaves, with the water still clinging to them, into a large saucepan, cover, and set the pan over medium heat. Cook the chard, tossing it from time to time, for 12 to 15 minutes, until tender and most of the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat, and using tongs, transfer the chard to a colander and let it cool. Rinse out the saucepan and return it to the stove.

Rinse the spinach leaves in cold water. Place the leaves, with the water still clinging to them, into the saucepan, cover, and set the pan over medium heat. Cook the spinach, tossing it from time to time with tongs, for 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to the colander with the chard to cool.

When the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze as much excess water from them as you can. Transfer them to a cutting board and chop finely. You should end up with about 1 packed cup of freshly chopped greens weighing between 7 and 8 ounces (200 and 225 g).

Place the greens in a large bowl and add the ricotta, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a generous grinding of pepper, the nutmeg, the Parmigiano, and the egg yolks. Mix together gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle in the flour, and gently fold it into the mixture.

Pour some flour into a small shallow bowl. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet lined with waxed paper or dusted with flour. With your hands, pinch off a piece of the greens mixture, form it into a ball about the size of a chestnut, roll it in the flour, and set it on the baking sheet. Continue to form the nudi until you have used all of the greens mixture.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt generously. Carefully drop in 8 to 10 nudi. Within 1 or 2 minutes, they will begin to float to the surface. Continue to cook the nudi for another 5 to 6 minutes, until they have floated to the surface and are puffed up. With a large skimmer, remove the nudi and transfer them to a warmed serving bowl. Spoon about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the nudi and mix very gently. Continue to cook the nudi until you have cooked them all. When they have all been added to the serving bowl, spoon additional sauce over the top and sprinkle with Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

To make the tomato sauce: Warm the garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to press down on the garlic to release its flavor. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic begins to sizzle. Don’t let it brown. Carefully pour in the tomatoes and their juice (the oil will splatter) and stir to coat with the oil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently, stirring from time to time, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the oil is pooling on the surface. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Tate and add more salt if you like.

 

Sunflower Sprouts Salad with Chili-Lime vinaigrette 

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Serves: 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or garlic oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or 2 teaspoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper flake

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice

1 shallot, peeled and sliced

12 cherry tomatoes, whole or halved

2 cups sunflower sprouts, washed and drained

1/4 dill or cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds

Whisk olive oil, sea salt, sugar, black pepper, chili powder, lime juice until it is well mixed. Fold in shallot, tomatoes, sunflower sprouts and dill, and mix gently. Sprinkle sunflower seeds before serving. Serve immediately.

 

Potato, Bell Pepper, and Spinach Hash 

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups cubed red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ½ a yellow onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet or other non-stick, oven proof skillet.
  2. Add potatoes, toss to coat with the oil, cover the skillet, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini into bite sized pieces. After the 10 minutes are up, uncover the skillet and stir in the onion and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook for another 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are softened and vegetables are golden brown.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle mixture with garlic salt, salt, and black pepper. Make 4 small wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each one. Immediately place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake until whites are set but centers are still runny, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven, toss the grape tomatoes and chives on top, and serve.

 

Eggs Nested in Sautéed Chard and Mushrooms

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 pound of fresh chard
  • 2-3 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 eggs

Method

1 Cut out the thick, tough center ribs of the chard leaves. Chop the ribs into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms to the bowl. Cut the remaining chard leaves crosswise into 1-inch ribbons, set aside.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large, stick-free sauté pan (with cover) on medium high heat. Add the onions, chard ribs, and mushrooms. Sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are a little brown on the edges and have started to give up their moisture.

3 Add the green sliced chard leaves to the sauté pan. Use tongs to turn the leaves over in the pan so that the leaves get coated with some of the olive oil and the onions and mushrooms are well mixed in with the leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4 Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Crack one or two fresh eggs in the center of the pan, over the chard mushroom mixture. Lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, checking after 3 minutes. When the whites are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and use a spatula to gently transfer the eggs and chard to a plate to serve.

Serve immediately. Cut into the egg yolks so that the runny yolks run over the chard and mushrooms and form something of a sauce.

 

Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist 

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Ingredients:

For the tabbouleh

  • 1/2 cup dry adzuki beans (or use 1.5 cups cooked beans)*
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (makes 2.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley, thick stems removed and minced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh Cilantro, thick stems removed and minced
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped (makes 1 & 1/4 cups)
  • 3 large green onions, chopped
  • Herbamare or fine grain sea salt & black pepper, to taste

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup + (1 tbsp, optional) red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Herbamare/fine grain sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions:

  1. Adzuki beans: Soak the dry beans overnight in water OR use the quick soak method like I did: Place beans in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat and let it sit for 1-2 hours. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans and then place back into the pot with new water, covering the beans with water by about 2-3 inches. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to low-medium, simmering for about 35-45 minutes. Watch closely and add more water if necessary. Alternatively, you can use canned beans for a time-saver.
  2. Sweet potato: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a sweet potato into 1cm rounds. Lay flat on baking sheet at bake for about 15 minutes each side, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.
  3. Quinoa: Add 3/4 cup of dry quinoa and about 1 & 1/4 cups water in a medium-sized pot. Stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover with lid, simmering for about 15-20 minutes and watching closely. Quinoa will be light and fluffy when ready and the water will be absorbed.
  4. Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season to taste. Or feel free to use a mini processor if you have one.
  5. Tabbouleh: Combine the drained & cooked beans, quinoa, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Pour on the entire amount of dressing and stir well. Season to taste. Makes about 5.5-6 cups and should keep for at least a few days in the fridge.
  6. To assemble the salad: Add 1 cup shredded kale onto a plate or large bowl. Spoon on 1.5 cups of tabbouleh on top. Garnish with goji berries, pepita and hemp seeds, and a handful of sprouts (all optional). Finally, add the grilled or baked sweet potato rounds on the side.

 

IRISH POTATO SOUP WITH CHEESE AND RED ALE 

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, coarsely chopped (Desiree can be substitute)
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Irish red ale
  • 4 cups lower sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole or 2% low-fat milk
  • 7 ounces grated Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
  • Garnishes:
  • 3/4 cup finely minced parsley (optional)
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese, preferably Cashel (optional)
  • Crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Method

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 6- to 8-quart stockpot. Add onion, leek, and celery; cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are barely soft.

Add potatoes, ale, stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.

Melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan; gradually add flour, whisking until smooth. Cook 3 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in milk, whisking until hot and thickened. Add cheese, stir until melted.

Stir cheese mixture into potato mixture until combined. Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley, blue cheese, and bacon, if desired.

 

From the Mesa Top: March 16, 2017

Climatology 2017:  Ho Hum, a tranquil week ahead. A Far cry from the winter storm blowing along the Northeast Coast that is going to pummel the area with 1-2 feet of snow.  It was about 20 years ago that we had a similar mid-March storm here.  It covered enough of Northern NM that I-25 at La Bajada Hill was closed.

From the Wild:  We had a visit from one of the State Foresters to look at the deep canyon, which is full of large ponderosa and cedar.  He classified the area as “Pinon Juniper and Ponderosa transition forest”.  He is designing treatments:  thinning and tree removal, to encourage more ponderosa germination.  Interesting to learn was that a tall ponderosa has about a 50 foot wide crown, and can benefit from bare ground under the full width of its crown.  To encourage more ponderosa seedlings, the proscribed treatment will involve clearing out the area under all of the large ponderosa

He explained a design of brush piles that are 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 4 ft. that are constructed as turkey habitat.  He also suggested that we talk next with NM Game and Fish Department about species re-introduction, particularly Meriam turkey.

We need to see if similar structures would be effective for migratory birds along the reservoir shore and up to the exclusion fence.

Cow stories:  We took on one more load of hay.  This will keep the cows off of the pasture until the end of month.

We stopped milking Bow, hoping to kick-start her little calf who is rather weak and feeble

Beneficial birds:  The spring pullets are started at Mesa Top.  Keep an eye out for our new egg carton design:  members who are interested in offering feedback will be appreciated.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA

 

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