Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of May 4th, 2017


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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday May 4th, 2017

Iceberg Lettuce from Sol Harvest
Apple Lemonade from Big B’s
Baby Turnips w/greens from Vida Verde
Beets from Sol y Tierra
Candela Radishes from Vida Verde
Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

THE ART OF FERMENTATION WITH SANDOR ELLIX KATZ  Our friends at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen passed along this event, which we thing some of our members might be interested in!

June 24th

9:00am – 12:00pm
Sandor Katz Tent
The Art of Fermentation: Come learn how simple it is to make your own kraut, kimchi, and other fermented delicacies. Learn about the healing qualities and nutritional importance of live-culture ferments, as well as their illustrious history and integral role in human cultural evolution. Empower yourself with simple techniques for fermenting these healthful foods in your home. Be part of the fermentation revival! VIP TICKETS are limited to 100 attendees. The VIP experience includes three hour hands-on workshop demonstration with Sandor Ellix Katz from 9am – 12pm. Workshop starts promptly at 9am. All VIP attendees will create their own ferment that they can take home with them in a official Fermentation Fest mason jar. Also includes general admission—a full day of vendor samplings and official Fermentation Fest tasting glass.
Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His books Wild Fermentation (2003, 2016) and the Art of Fermentation (2012), along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” Sandor is the recipient of a James Beard award and many other honors.

Beneficial’s New Pork Program
For anyone that didn’t get a chance to read about our new local pork program, you can read the full article in our blog archives HERE

Polk’s Folly


Polk’s Folly is a 40-acre family farm located in the eastern foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Our family originally purchased the property in 1976 and converted it from an abandoned and derelict kids summer camp into a horse ranch. In 2015, we began planting fruit trees and working towards establishing a diversified, sustainable farm. In 2016, we forayed into raising animals for protein, bringing the land back into production after almost a decade of rest. Our vision is to provide health and happiness to our community through the production of nutritious, delicious food, delectable libations, natural healing products and holistic healing arts. We believe that food is the best medicine. But since we lack the water resources and the climatic conditions necessary to grow annual food crops, we have chosen to pursue a model based on deep rooted perennial plants (trees and drought resistant perennial pasture grasses) and animals that feed on them. In 2017, we are delighted to be able to partner with Beneficial Farms and other local food retailers to make our pastured pork more widely available.

All Natural, Pastured Pork

Happiness and health begins with the soil. Our pigs are given access to fresh pasture all throughout the growing season, and during the winter are busy rooting away in designated areas to till and fertilize the fields in preparation for spring planting. Pasture grass is supplemented with malted barley from local breweries, fruits and vegetables from local grocers, milk, and the occasional treat of bread and pastries. Besides keeping the pigs happy, this also allows us to add organic matter to the soil. Together with careful grazing management, this allows us to build fertility and water absorption capacity in the ground, increasing the ability of the land to store water and weather drought as well as the number of animals the pastures can support. The symbiotic relationship between the pigs and the pasture is part and parcel of raising happy, all natural hogs. The soil is continually fed and renewed while simultaneously providing the hogs with protein, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients not found in store bought feed. It also gives them an opportunity to express their ‘pigginess’ in a way that is not possible in a dirt lot or a confined animal feeding operation. Consequently, the meat they produce is unparalleled in quality, taste, and nutritional value.

Heritage Breeds

The quality of the meat depends not only on the quality of the feed that the pigs receive, but also on the type of pig. We raise all heritage breed hogs. Some of our favorites are the Red Wattles, a very rare breed that maintains some more primitive traits such as the dangling appendages on the jaw line from which they got their name, a tendency to root, wallow, and play, and a dark and well marbled meat unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. For our breeding boar, we have a pure blooded Duroc, a close cousin of the Wattles and equally known for the quality of its pork, but bringing the added benefit of cross-breed vigor that helps ensure healthy and genetically sound pigs. Lastly, we have acquired several Mangalitsas, the ‘Kobe Beef of pork’. This famed breed, once thought to be extinct, hails from the Carpathian Mountains and is world renowned for their delectably deliciously crisp and light lard, and perhaps more so for their thick layer of hair that earned them the nickname ‘sheep pigs’!


Federal law requires that all meat processed for resale go to a USDA inspected facility to be slaughtered under the eye of a federal inspector. Luckily the only such facility in New Mexico is only 45 minutes away in the neighboring town of Moriarty. After slaughter, the meat is left to hang in a cooler for over a week, allowing it to tenderize, before being butchered and packaged.

On hot summer days, they need a little swimming hole (called a wallow) to keep cool. And some days so do we! Our pigs may very well live better than many people. Daily exercise, a healthy diet with lots of variety and tons of greens, lots of scratching behind the ears and back massages, we even occasionally give them beer!!

Sometimes I am not sure if our dogs think they are pigs or if the pigs think they are dogs. But one nice thing about pigs is that they are tough and fearless. Little to fear from dogs and other small predators. One of our sows will even stand down a full-grown cow!

Old Windmill Dairy Chevre
We have a variety of artisan chevre cheese from our friends at OWD. To save time creating items for each one, they are listed on the site as assorted, but if you email us your preference, we will get you the one you want.
We have:
2 Turtle Supreme
1 Chili Hot
1 Holy Chipotle
2 White Chocolate with Raspberry
2 Country Thyme
1 Sun, Fun Tomato
1 Lime & de Coconut

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 sometimes.

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.

Carrots: On the marketplace
Easter Egg Radishes: On the marketplace
Iceberg Lettuce: On the marketplace
Spinach: On the marketplace
Baby Bok Choy w/Flowers: On the marketplace
Desiree Potatoes: On the marketplace
Cantaloupe: On the marketplace
Red Bell Peppers: On the marketplace
Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace
Cucumbers: On the Marketplace
Iceberg Lettuce: On the Marketplace
Red Kale: On the Marketplace
Grape and Vine Ripe Tomatoes: On the Marketplace

Nice and spicy Thai minced chicken salad 

• 1 tbsp sunflower oil
• 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 225g/8oz each), minced up in a food processor
• flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 lime, juice only
• 1 tsp caster, granulated or soft light brown sugar
• 3 spring onions, finely chopped
• ¼ cucumber, finely diced
• 1-2 red chillies, finely sliced, seeds removed for less heat if preferred
• 1cm/½in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• ½ bunch coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped (about 2 tbsp)
• ½ bunch mint, leaves only, ripped
• 1 handful salted (but not dry roasted) peanuts (about 50g/1¾oz)
• 12 largish crisp iceberg lettuce leaves (cup-shaped are best)
1. Drizzle the oil into a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the minced chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly and breaking it up as you do so, until it turns from pink to white. Cut a piece open to check it is cooked and then tip the chicken into a colander set over a bowl. Leave to cool for five minutes (so it doesn’t cause the herbs to wilt) while also allowing any excess liquid to drain off, if necessary.
2. Pour the fish sauce and lime juice into a large bowl and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the spring onions, cucumber, red chilli, ginger, coriander, all but a small handful of the mint leaves and the peanuts and stir together well. Tip the chicken in and toss it through. Taste it and check to see if it needs a little bit more of anything to get it just to your liking.
3. Arrange three lettuce leaves on each of four serving plates and place a couple of spoonful’s of the mixture into each one. Scatter the remaining mint leaves over to garnish and serve. The best way to eat these is to simply just pick a cup up with your hands and bite in.


30 baby beets (each 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; about 5 bunches), unpeeled, all but 1 inch of tops trimmed, rinsed
4 large fresh rosemary sprigs, plus additional sprigs for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place beets in roasting pan. Add 4 rosemary sprigs and enough water to barely cover beets. Cover pan tightly with foil. Roast beets until tender, about 50 minutes. Transfer beets to work surface. Peel while still warm; place on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter with oil in small saucepan. Pour over beets on sheet; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Garnish with additional rosemary sprigs and serve.

Iceberg lettuce stuffed with veal  Iceberg lettuce stuffed with veal 

1 iceberg lettuce
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
200g of veal mince
1 carrot
1 onion
1 tbsp of chopped rosemary
3 tbsp of pine nuts
1 tbsp of marjoram leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 egg
salt and pepper and mix well
seasoned chicken broth
freshly grated parmesan, to serve
Blanch 6 outer leaves of an iceberg lettuce quickly in salted, simmering water so they wilt slightly. Lay them on a clean towel to cool and dry.
Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and lightly fry 200g of veal mince with a finely diced carrot, onion, a tablespoon of chopped rosemary and 3 tablespoons of pine nuts for a few minutes until just cooked.
Place the cooked veal in a bowl and add a tablespoon of marjoram leaves, 2 minced cloves of garlic and an egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Cut the iceberg leaves into 20 squares big enough to wrap small balls of the veal mixture. Place the packages in an oven dish and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and divide among 4 bowls.
To serve
Add a ladle of seasoned chicken broth to each and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.
Roasted Baby Root Vegetables 

• 1 bunch each baby beets, turnips, carrots, radishes and/or spring bulb onions
• Canola or olive cooking oil spray
• Olive oil, about 1 tablespoon
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove the greens from the vegetables, leaving about 1/2-inch of the stems intact. (If desired, cook the greens separately.) Remove any long roots at the bottom of the vegetables. Wash and pat dry. Cut in half vertically. (The carrots and any of the vegetables that are very small can be kept whole.)
Lightly spray a large rimmed sheet pan or shallow baking dish, large enough to hold the vegetables in one layer, with cooking spray. Place the vegetables in separate areas on the pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, just enough to moisten. Add garlic to everything except the onions. Sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper. (I prefer marjoram and thyme on the turnips and onions, marjoram on the radishes and carrots, and just salt and pepper on the beets.) Toss each vegetable with your hands to combine with the oil and herbs. Roast until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes depending on size. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

From the Mesa Top: May 4, 2017
Climatology 2017: Did somebody say that we were due for s wetter weather pattern by end of Month? W asked for it and we got it! The largest snowfall of this calendar year for much of the northern part of the state. Wet snow falling on dry and warm ground. Nearly a foot of snow, nearly 2 inches of water (when melted). Other than along the roads there were virtually no puddles. The ground soaked up all of the moisture.
When I predicted a return to wetter patter near the end of April, I was following what I see as a weather trend which is that “normal” in spring or fall: 2, maybe 3 weeks dry, then a return to wet… The wet side of the cycle can be brief, or extended; modest in impact, or quite vigorous.
We have had our dry cycle and then a vigorous wet “return”. Next we will watch to see if the wet side stays with us, or if we trend back to dry again for a while.
From the Wild: The sandpiper pair is settling in at the pond. There are also a large number of mourning doves with their sad song that hang around the chicken coops and feed area. The snow and soaking melt will bring wild flowers up quickly. Purple penstemen are on the way. It is a treat when we have a spring full of flowers
Cow stories: The pastures responded immediately to the deep soaking from the melting snow. It looked like the cool season grasses actually grew under the snow, as it melted, which seems impossible, but within hours of the snow melting off of the pastures, the grasses looked to be 2 to 3 inches longer.
As much concern as we have had for the growth we had seen so far in pasture/grasses, this gift of bountiful moisture from the sky should turn things dramatically toward the positive on all aspects of our pasture for the season ahead.
From the garden: In anticipation of the storm, as the first round of snowflakes fell, we were able to compost and spade 3 beds. We have an early planting of zucchini that needs to go outdoors, which is ahead of schedule. We are planning to put them out with heavy row covers and see if the forces align for us to get an early crop.
This year we are also rebuilding our greenhouse which was damaged by a late summer/fall storm in 2015, and which we could not get to last spring.
The deep soaking of the garden is likely provide us with a leg up on irrigation, even as much as a month from now.
Beneficial birds: We had a major muck-fest in the chicken yard due to the accumulation of manure since last major cleaning. It will be a lot of compost coming out of there. We need to spread what we have stockpiled, out into the garden, so make room for fresh piles in the compost yard.
Thank you for your support of our local farms and farm families,
The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family
Beneficial Farm CSA


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