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Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of August 31st, 2017

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday August 31st, 2017

Small Plums, Org from Rancho de Santa Fe
Small Peaches, Org from Rancho de Santa Fe
Gala Apples, Org from Rancho de Santa Fe
Hakueri Turnips from Jubilee Farm
Round Red and White Radishes from Jubilee Farm
Alluim Mix (Shallots, Baby Onions and Garlic) from Vida Verde
Grape Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Sorry for the delay in getting the member message out. We have more exciting news, tied to our delay, we started supplying the Santa Fe School District with some of our locally grown produce! We did have to make a mad dash this morning, meeting Preferred Produce in Socorro at 5, but we got 840 heads of Org NM grown lettuce into the schools!

We are thrilled to be working with the school district over the coming years, to understand the institutional needs they have, and how to help some of our farmers start supplying more local food to the kids!

Fall Beginnings and CSA Moving
You may have noticed that the nights are starting to cool off, the days are getting shorter and you can smell roasting chile in the air, it must be the start of Fall!
We are planning our annual Chile roasting project, where we roast and package 500lbs of fresh chile for our member’s shares this coming winter. We are also starting to see the apples getting closer to harvesting, along with the first harvests of our winter crops like winter squash, potatoes, garlic and onions!

It is with mixed emotions that we are moving our CSA distribution site in September.
For over a year and half, we have blessed to run the CSA out of the Live/Work home of the Leyba Family in the Oshara community. The Leyba family has been such a wonderful part of every Thursday morning, helping us out when we are in need, brightening up the morning with one of the kids playing the piano, Sonia’s amazing coffee and the overall loving atmosphere their home exudes.
We are haven’t taken enough time to thank them for all they have done for us, to bring the CSA into their family, and help us in so many ways! The Leyba’s are also one of our local producers: owners of Zia Soda, founders of Santa Fe Tea Company and key members of Patrick’s Probiotic Soda and Pristina Water. It is with a broken heart that we will not be seeing their family every distribution morning.
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Our recent decision to move our distribution location is in part due to our need to grow, and an opportunity to share a larger space with another local business. We are moving into a shared location with the Kombucha Project, near Siler and Cerrillos this September. Along with similar business goals, this new location offers a larger space for the CSA operations, including cold storage, as well as some key components we need to grow.
We look forward to sharing the developments of this transition as it happens.
We also would like to extend our thanks to the Leyba Family: Ezra, Sonia and their amazing children Zion, Lilly, Jamaica, Kingston and Moshia. We wish the world had more amazing families like this one in it.

CSA Membership Drive
We are calling on our members once again to spread the good word, about Beneficial Farm CSA!
We have always found that our members are our greatest advocates in sharing their experiences with being a CSA member, and want to see more friends and family try out CSAs.
Why is it important to recruit new members?
The simplest explanation is to support more farmers! That is a little too easy, I mean I did put a question in bold after all.
Over the last 2 years we have been trying to grow what Beneficial Farms does in our Community to Support Agriculture, what sets us apart and what we want to be.
We have identified 3 primary ways to help support our farmers, to be able to work with everything they harvest.
Our main support comes from our CSA members! Your understanding of how the harvests go, that not everything is perfect, and that you share in the bounty when the crops prosper is essential! For example, last week we did not get the plums in your shares, but we increased the other share items for a full bag.
We started working with restaurant owners and chefs over the last few years, finding those who want to support local, and can take large volumes of our crops. We have been able to partner with many great chefs in our area to support our farmers, and have developed a few amazing programs that could not have happened without their support.
We also have an amazing partnership with a company, where we are able to donate some of our farmer’s crops to the food bank, while paying them for their harvest!

All of these pieces play a vital role in our work in supporting our farmers, our capacity to commit to more of their harvest and find the uses for it. We want to see all of these grow together, as we grow our support to working with more farmers. There may be a day when we take everything all our farmers have grown, and still need more, but not being able to take their crop is a harder nut to swallow.

All of this goes into the large role Beneficial is working to fill in our local food world.
• Last week we brought in over 2,500lb of produce from our farmers, and we found a home for all of it!
• Beneficial eggs customers have increased by about 3x since December, and our signature non-gmo chickens have a demand for over 2,000 birds a year!
• Our launching of Polk’s folly could not have happened without member support, and we have a waiting list through 2019 for new restaurants.
• We are now on our 3rd year of the Seashaken project, and we are hoping to take the entire boat’s catch this year, 25K lbs!
• We are establishing a shared distribution network between a few key farmers and partners that has saved over 2,000 highway miles in the last 6 week!
We are working on growing the farmers we work with, the developing farmers we can nurture and the producers and projects we can support and be a part of. The relief we can bring to our farmers by taking their whole harvest, the input and support we can give new farmers and helping other producers expand their markets is what we are continuing to strive for. We want to do more and that means we need more families in our community to support the CSA.

We are offering a member referral gift to any current member that refers a friend or family member to the CSA. We will give our members a free share, $25 credit, for with the CSA for at least 6 weeks. No limits, we just need to know who refers who.
We have some nice flyers, anyone that would like some to share among friends, please let us know!

Thank you for your help, and all the support you show to us and our farmers
Thomas and the Mesa Top Farm Family

Double Up Bucks CSA!
We are happy to share with you that Beneficial Farms is the first CSA in NM to be a part of the Double Up Bucks program, we are now able to offer members on EBT their CSA shares for half off!
Please help us spread the word, we are looking forward to helping get locally grown, healthy food to the families in our community that need it the most.

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 fall 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.

Kale: Green Curly and Dino: On the marketplace
Chard: On the marketplace
Collards On the marketplace
Heirloom Tomatoes On the marketplace
Org Gala Apples On the marketplace
Green Cabbage On the marketplace
Green Tomatoes On the marketplace
Yellow Squash: On the marketplace
Bell peppers: On the marketplace
Mixed Color Carrots: On the marketplace
Herbs: On the marketplace
Jalapenos, Serranos and Habaneros: On the marketplace
Tomatoes: On the marketplace
Turnips: On the marketplace
Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace
Cucumbers: On the Marketplace

 

From the Mesa Top: August 31, 2017
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Climatology 2017: We have had a generally hot and dry week. Now there is a hint of change to cooler weather and some rains, scattered. It will take some good soaking rains to kick start the native plants into s second surge of growth.
It has happened before!
With many grasses in favored locations already seeded out at knee or thigh height, a second growth would thicken up those stands. Almost like two growing seasons in one.
Repetitive reminder message: Forestry and FIREWOOD: If you are interested in firewood, early season or later, contact Steve at stevew@plateautel.net.
We would welcome and offer special discount to orders that we can cut and load early
From the Wild: Many different wildflowers are in bloom. Some south facing and wind exposed areas have droughty plants like bullet stickweed. Cooler, shady and damp spots have the surprising 4 o’clock. There are many varieties scattered across the landscape.
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There are also a lot of deer moving around now.
Cow stories: The cow herd at Forest Trust is still finding plenty of grass. The fences are mended along the County Road and no cows have broken through the fence. There is at least one new calf since the herd last congregated at the water troughs.
The pattern of the herd has changed. They come back to water less frequently and when they do they drink a lot more water at a time.
The rest of the heifers (after we brought home the heifer and calf that we introduced to you last week) need to come off of their as well. With additional horses there and part of the pasture closed off to grazing, the pasture as a whole is not able to support all of the creatures that are there now. As soon as the farm truck mechanical issues are done being repaired, hopefully later this week, they will be moved
Beneficial birds: This is good laying hen weather. Cool nights, cool mornings and afternoons, and a bit of heat in the middle of the day which sends them to shade
Garden Stories: The cucumbers in the garden can’t be stopped yet. They are producing heavily still. The butternut squash are sizing up. Typically we see a very light frost around the full moon in September, which is early in the month this year.
With that pattern in mind, we may see a slow decent into fall, rather than the usual frosty spike followed by warmer weather again
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Thank you for your support of our local farms and farm families,
The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family
Beneficial Farm CSA

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Dena’s Tips 8/5/11

 

Here are a few tips from Dena for this week’s share:

Well, the ginger is apparently on a slow boat from Hawaii and should be here for next week’s share. Also, we were expecting baby watermelons and instead received a couple of other sweet varieties. These melons will still be tasty in the melon salad recipe with feta, red onion, mint or basil and lime juice. Mother Nature can always be counted on for surprises…

 

Other tips for this week’s bounty – 
If you cannot eat up all your summer squash, steam, puree and freeze it. Squash puree has a lot of uses including as a base for soup or curry. It adds body to either. – For a green curry out of this week’s share, add coconut milk to squash puree, green curry paste, garlic, onions, and simmer green beans and chard.

 

Escarole is a bitter Italian green. Mix with cucumbers and tomatoes, toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, add freshly ground pepper. There is a traditional Italian soup made with Italian sausage, white beans, garlic, onions, and basil. Add chopped escarole during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

 

Enjoy these beautiful veggies!

 

Dena
470-1969


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Steve’s Weekly Update 7/27/11

Climatology 2011:   One lovely female rain late last week, cooler and quite pleasant, but still hoping for more rain.  The pastures are desperately trying to green up and  grow.  It would not take a whole lot more rain to get them growing.  Our rotational grazing program means that the pastures are ready to respond to even modest rainfall.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: still no sign of the disaster relief paperwork.  We are finishing a new section of fence that will allow us to move the range cow and the dairy cows into some decent grass which will help reduce our feed costs for a few weeks.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   Yesterday we had four new cheesemakers-in-training all working together with Colleen in the cheese room.  Newly arrived Chase, a master re-modeler and wood-worker, who grew up on a farm , and Tevis and Ben, a mother and son team who are neighbors and friends of the farm, and Chelsea, our stalwart CSA volunteer who has been handling the El Dorado distribution.  Starting tomorrow, for the next cheese-making duties will be rotated among 4 or 5 of us.  Colleen will have some relief from the daily cheese-making that she has carried for the last few weeks.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Protein update:  We got so busy working on fences and the like that I did not get an inventory of the pork done yet, so I have not put it up for sale yet.  I have to admit though that we DID sample it and share a couple of pieces with our farm volunteers and it is by farm the tastiest pork any of us have ever eaten. Remember that these pigs were raised on whey from our own cows, and local wheat.  They lived outdoors in comfortable spacious, “forest” conditions that are natural for pigs.  Sorry to keep you waiting, but you can expect something from the pork to be available on the marketplace message that comes out to members later this week.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    Dena commented to me that it has been like pulling teeth to find produce for the CSA.  Michelle at the CDC has said that she has less produce than she can ever remember.

On the other hand as a farmer I am grateful not to be fighting the drought this year.

With all of that said, we have still been able to put together an interesting share for you this week.

First of the season cucumbers from Espanola Valley Farm, tomatoes, and a variety of melons from Los Poblanos,  beets from Synergia ranch, and radishes from White Mountain Farm.

And the crowning item of the share is White Mountain Quinoa.  I think we have a recipe for cold quinoa salad, which uses cucumber and even the dill sprig that will come with the Synergia beets, I think the beets can go in that salad too!

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA .  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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Steve’s Weekly Update 7/20/11

Climatology 2011:   Back to the furnace:  hot and dry.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: the disaster relief paperwork has not arrived in the mail.  Additional hay bill, for cows who, but for the drought, would be doing fine on pasture, is $150 per week.  I am fortunate to have so many contacts at the Pueblos where I work with MoGro who grow good hay on small fields and are willing to sell for more reasonable prices.  The price of commercial scale hay is up about 40% from a year ago.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   Cheese cheese cheese!  We hope to receive some feedback from members about last week’s cheese delivery.  Remember that we are also making fresh (pasteurized) mozzarella, along with our Salado Jack.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Protein update:  I picked up the pork and beef late yesterday and got it home and we will sort it out and develop a pork share that will be available on the market place Friday.  Our butcher remarked that the pork was very, very good1  We will not have the smoked/cured ham and bacon back for a while yet.  But we have lots of chops and steaks and the like.  There will be a more complete list along with the pork share offering.

All of the meat is stamped “not for sale” but remember that applies to retail establishments.  We are not subject to that constraint as a voluntary COOP.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    The organic cherries from Paolo Lugara’s Sage Creations farm in Palisades continue for one more week.  We also have melons from Los Poblanos.

This week we also have carrots, from Vida Verde, tomatoes one more time from Agricultura,  chard from Synergia ranch, and our special treat of the week is basil from Vida Verde and the legendary Matt Romero.

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA .  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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Steve’s Weekly Update 7/13/11

Climatology 2011:   We had a measurable rainfall event!  We hope and pray for more.  Meanwhile the entire state of NM has been declared an agricultural disaster area due to drought, along with all contiguous counties.  Looking over the land this morning, I actually think the best hope we have for recovery of our forage for the summer is a hail storm.  This may seem odd, but with the hail sitting on the ground and soaking slowly in, the grasses really take off.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: I am now feeding hay to all of the cows.  They are just not getting the nutrition they need because there is no grass.   Some of the older cows are suffering a bit, but I think we can take care of them.  The disaster designation means that if I can find the time to sit in the local FSA office and fill out paperwork, I might be able to get some emergency relief funds to help cover the feed costs.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   We are grateful to the CSA for this week’s opportunity to send out packaged cheese to all of you.  We are sending a mixture of different types of cheese.  We are also experimenting with the packaging process.  We hope to have all of the cheese vacuum packed.  All of the cheeses should be marked with a date and batch code so that if you have comments on the cheese, we can correlate those to our cheese log.  We hope that you enjoy the cheese.  And we look forward to your comments, which will help us continue to improve our cheese making and packaging processes.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Protein update:  We will pick up most of the pork and the new batch of ground beef next week. There will also be bacon and smoked hams curing that take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.  We will go back for those later in the summer.  We are getting some sausage made also.  Most likely the details on these new proteins will be available so that you can order next week for delivery on CSA distribution day the week after.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    The organic cherries from Paolo Lugara’s Sage Creations farm in Palisades continue for a short while longer.

We have cabbage and onions from Desert Gardens, tomatoes from Agricultura, and rhubard from Talon de Gato farm.

We are looking forward to an increasing variety of vegetables as we go on into the summer, and will do our best to keep the variety interesting.  Example:  Who thought they would get local rhubarb from the CSA?

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA.  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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Steve’s Update for 7/6/11

Climatology 2011:   Some rain here and there, and a couple of promising days of moist air.  More to come.  Soon, not a moment too soon!

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: The cows are doing fine.  There is more shuffling and moving about, from pasture to pasture, etc, that needs to be done this week.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   Daily small steps are being taken to improve the cheese room.  We are working out a reorganization of the utility areas around the farm house to create more space in the cheese room by moving the solar and electrical generating equipment.  It is hard to tell how big that job will be, but we feel that we are getting closer to calling for a “pre-inspection” review of the plant.  At that point we will have another major expense to shoulder, a machine that tests the milk for the presence of antibiotics, which are not allowed to be present in the milk.

We feed hay and pasture our cows, they get a few scoops of a grain mix when they are in the stanchion getting milked,  If we treat a cow for any illness, her milk is withdrawn from the supply  according to the specifications of the medication.  But because big dairies have been having antibiotics show up in the milk, all dairies have to test for it.  Sometimes it appears there is no end to the $$$ needed just to milk 8 cows and to turn 15-20 gallons of milk into cheese every day.

This week’s cheese share includes: Garlic basil mozzarella and Salado Jack from Mesa Top.

 

Mesa Top Protein update:  Pork should be available by mid July.  We ran short of the beef we have been offering as lean ground beef.  This gives me a chance to clarify:  All of our ground beef is lean, even what we have been offering as regular ground.  A typical ground beef is 80/20 (meat to fat) or even 75/25.  An 85/15 ground beef is considered lean.  All of our beef is 85/15 or higher (less fat).  We had some beef that was EXTRA lean, and from time to time that may happen, but for the future, we may end up only offering a lean ground beef.  We have heard from members who have used both types that they are indistinguishable.  That has been our experience here at MT as well.  We are taking in another young bull, who mainly yields ground beef, so we do not expect to run out.

 

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    The organic cherries from Paolo Lugara’s Sage Creations farm in Palisades have made it in, and we will be enjoying them for a couple of weeks.

We have carrots and beets from Los Poblanos, onions from Vida Verde, and kale/mustard mix from Gemini Farms.

For salad ingredients we have spinach and sunny sprouts.

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA .  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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Steve’s Weekly Update 6/29/11

Climatology 2011:   The big news is the Las Conchas fire.  It has put NM on the Reuters worldwide news service because of the threat to LANL.  I have word from my LA long distance runner friends that the risk to the town seems to be contained and that people may be able to return home soon.  Meanwhile there is an occasional hint of monsoon moisture in the forecast.   Hopefully relief from the heat is just around the corner.

Farm book-keeping and financial management:  We are still seeking Beneficial referral of accounting/bookkeeping talent.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: We are struggling to keep the cows healthy and happy despite the heat.  Feed costs are through the roof.  A lot of time spent has been just trying to find and then go and get affordable feed. We look forward to some relief from high feed prices as an indirect effect of the reduced petroleum prices that are occurring as a result of the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum reserves.

Last week we lost a momma cow to bloat, a manageable problem usually but this got out of hand.  Meanwhile the herd is generally in very good share, it is just a huge effort to provide for them under the current conditions.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   The tilt kettle is at last in service and the cheese making process is improved one more step!  We hope you enjoy the Monterrey jack and Gouda while we look into new cheese varieties.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Protein update:  Pork should be available by mid July.  We ran short of lean ground beef.  This gives me a chance to clarify what we are doing with our ground beef.  All of our ground beef is lean, even what we have been offering as regular ground.  A typical ground beef is 80/20 (meat to fat) or even 75/25) an 85/15 beef is considered lean.  All of our beef is 85/15 or higher (less fat).  We had some beef that was EXTRA lean, and from time to time that may happen, but for the future, we may end up only offering a lean ground beef.  We have heard from members who have used both types that they are indistinguishable.  That has been our experience here at MT as well.  We are taking in another young bull, who mainly produces ground beef along with the pigs, so we do not expect to run out.

 

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    This week’s previous, scarce New Mexico fruit is green gauge plums from Shiraz.

The rest of the share is made up of salad mix, chard, squash and snow peas.

And along with those fresh treats, we have more of the wonderful early garlic from the Baja bus.

 

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA.  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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