Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of May 25th, 2017

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday May 25th, 2017

Little Gem Lettuces from Vida Verde
Braising Mix from Vida Verde
Spinach from Preferred Produce
Cucumber from Preferred Produce
Vine Tomatoes from Preferred Produce
Zucchini from from Preferred Produce
Red Bell Peppers from Preferred Produce

Time to Spice Things Up!!!
We are pleased to share with you that we are launching a Spice Share. Once a month, on the first Thursday, people that have signed for the spice share will receive 3 different, unique spices with their normal order, along with recipe that use them. These spices will have a theme each month, sometimes it will be regional like Ethiopian, Peruvian or some months it will be a cooking topic like BBQ or Holiday baking.

We have partnered with Savory Spice shop, to help us find these spices, and help our membership understand what to do with them. Every week, we find lots of cool local foods for your share that challenge your cooking, and expand your skill set. The spice club is designed to do the same thing, but with spices from around the world, so you can explore all culinary flavors of world from your home. The owner of Savory Spice, has worked for 13 years in the spice world, also teaching History of Spice at the community college, so we are in great hands. We might even include a spice in your farm share when there are all the other ingredients for an amazing dinner.

Frankincense Tears, Juniper Berry Spice, Tikka Masala, there are so many new amazing spices to discover so let the journey begin! The first Spice Share will be available next week, we will let you know next Monday what we decide to do to kick this off, we promise it will not be disappointing!

100520504-spices

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!!
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.

Salad Mix: On the marketplace
Cilantro: On the marketplace
Sage: On the marketplace
Tarragon: On the marketplace
Spearmint: On the marketplace
Napa Cabbage: On the marketplace
Mustard Greens: On the marketplace
Purple Top Turnips: On the marketplace
Long Japanese Turnips: On the marketplace
Diakon Radish: On the marketplace
Spring Onions: On the marketplace
Swiss Chard: On the marketplace
Bok Choy: On the marketplace
Cantaloupe: On the marketplace
Red Bell Peppers: On the marketplace
Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace
Cucumbers: On the Marketplace
Grape and Vine Ripe Tomatoes: On the Marketplace

Zucchini and Spinach Gratin 

zucchini-spinach-gratin
Ingredients
• 2 lbs zucchini
• Kosher salt
• 1 lb frozen spinach*
• 3 slices of thick cut bacon (about 3 ounces), cut crosswise 1/4-inch pieces
• 1 large onion
• 1 handful of parsley (about 1/2 cup of leaves, lightly packed)
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 eggs
• Olive oil
* Or 6 packed cups of fresh chopped spinach leaves, blanched and drained
Method
1 Grate the zucchini. Toss the grated zucchini with about a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Place the grated zucchini in a large sieve (or colander) placed over a bowl to catch the water as the salt helps the zucchini release its moisture. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, then squeeze out the remaining excess moisture with paper towels or a clean tea towel.
2 Thaw the spinach, let drain while the zucchini is draining. Then squeeze out the excess moisture with paper towels or a tea towel.
3 Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the bacon and gently cook until lightly browned and most of the fat rendered out, about 10 minutes.
4 While the bacon is cooking, peel and finely chop the onion. Add the onions to the bacon and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.
5 While the bacon and onions are cooking, prepare the parsley and garlic. Place the parsley and garlic with a small pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse just a couple of times.
6 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7 Place the zucchini into a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, mix in the cooked onions and bacon. Mix in the spinach, parsley, and garlic. Mix in half of the Parmesan. Taste, and add black pepper and more salt to taste. Mix in the eggs.
8 Coat the bottom and sides of a 2 quart casserole or gratin dish with a tablespoon of olive oil. Put the zucchini spinach mixture into the dish and pack it down. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil.
9 Bake in a 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Serve immediately. Reheats well.

Tomato & Cucumber Sandwich  

recipe-of-cucumber-sandwich

Ingredients
Bread – 6 slices
Mayo – to spread, as needed
Cucumber – 1, thinly sliced
Tomato – 1 large, thinly sliced
Black pepper – to taste
Salt – to taste
Chat masala – to taste
Butter – to toast the sandwiches

How to Make Tomato Cucumber Sandwich
Start by applying generous amount of mayonnaise on both the slices for a sandwich.
Place cucumber slices as shown in the picture.
Season it with some salt, pepper and chat masala.
Place 3-4 tomato slices. Season the tomato slices with some salt, pepper and chat masala as well.
Pack the sandwich with another bread slice, mayo side in. If you do not have a sandwich maker, you can toast the sandwich on tawa as well.
Heat a tawa or a griddle. Place the sandwich on it.
Apply a coat of butter on the outside on both sides. Toast the sandwich till it becomes golden brown and crispy.
Press it gently with the spatula while toasting to pack it well. Healthy tomato and cucumber sandwich is ready. Cut in into 2 halves and serve hot. Enjoy!

Little Gem Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 

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INGREDIENTS
• 1 cup walnut halves
• 1 tablespoon walnut oil
• Kosher salt
• 1 small shallot, minced
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground pepper
• 4 ounces yellow squash, thinly sliced
• 3 thin red onion slices, separated into rings
• 4 heads Little Gem lettuce
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Preheat the oven to 350;. Toast the walnuts on a pie plate until golden, 12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the walnut oil and a pinch of salt. In a small bowl, combine the shallot, lemon juice and vinegar and season with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the squash with the onion, lettuce, walnuts, pecorino and half of the dressing and serve. Reserve the remaining dressing for another use.
Zucchini and Bell Pepper Stir Fry 

zucchini_and_bell_pepper_stir_fry_recipe
Ingredients
• 2 Green zucchini , cut into long stripes
• 2 Red Bell pepper (Capsicum) , de-seeded and cut into stripes
• 1 Onion , thinly sliced
• 3 cloves Garlic , finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon Red Chilli flakes
• 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Salt , to taste
Directions for Zucchini and Bell Pepper Stir Fry Recipe
1. To begin making Zucchini and Bell Pepper Stir Fry Recipe, wash, dry and cut the zucchinis and bell peppers into long stripes and keep aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a wok, add the finely chopped garlic and saute till it turns golden color.
3. Add the sliced onion and saute until it turns translucent.
4. Add in the zucchini and red bell pepper stripes, season with salt and flash fry them for a minute.
5. Add in the oregano, thyme and red chilli flakes and saute for another minute and switch off the flame.
6. Flavor it with your favorite herbs and serve the Zucchini and Bell Pepper Stir Fry Recipe along with Beetroot soup for a light yet nutritious weeknight dinner.

From the Mesa Top: May 25, 2017
Climatology 2017: It snowed again last week… in Taos it even accumulated a bit on the grass. A VERY cold night followed: mid 20s at Mesa Top. Now back to seasonable temps and some wind. No serious warmup in site. No immediate likelihood of storms or precipitation either,
From the Wild: Yellow clover and New Mexico Sunflowers are growing fast. Even the first few red cactus flowers have appeared on south facing, favored warm spots. Purple Penstemen is the latest wildflower to flower in the pastures.
Cow stories: The last round of moving the cows across the nearby pastures will be done in the next couple of days.
Watching the cows as they graze, it is easy to see that the larger cows have problems grazing the shorter grass. This makes sense because of the way cows graze. They don’t nip off the grass with sharp front teeth, like horses, goats, and sheep. They wrap their tongues around the clump of grass and pull it. This makes it more difficult for cows to overgraze than other grazers.
This also spells difficulty for the cows with the biggest tongues as the grass gets short. As a result the big cows (about 7 total who are 5 years old or more) are coming back and bellowing for hay every evening.
They will be kicking up their heels when they get to the new pasture
We have had eyes on the Forest Trust pasture and our Northern State Lease. Both look good and both are available. One last assessment of their condition later this week and we will chose a pasture and move those cows.
There are several cows also that are looking positively huge, and should be calfing in the next few weeks.
We will have to decide whether to hold back the heavy cows.
From the garden: All of the zucchini are out. Plus the pumpkins. The greenhouse repairs will complete this week, and then the cukes will fill it up.
Also the butternut squash will be planted out and then it is time to start weeding.
The zukes generally fed very well under the row covers during the cold nights last week.
We are hoping that by starting early, and transplanting early, and protecting them well under row covers, that we will have early fruit…
Beneficial birds: Chickens are fine, eggs are plentiful
Thank you for your support of our local farms and farm families,
The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family
Beneficial Farm CSA

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