Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of April 6th, 2017

Check out the Webstore

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday April 6th, 2017

Desiree Potatoes from Jubilee Farm
Green Salad Mix from Anthony Youth Farm
Yaya Carrots from Anthony Youth Farm
Red Bell Peppers from Preferred Produce
Spinach from Vida Verde
Green Kale from Preferred Produce

Pre-Ordered Smoked Hams
For members that ordered Kyzer hams for Easter, we believe we will be getting them in from the smoker this week. We will email you directly to confirm that they are going to be distributed this week, and make sure you are ready for them! There are still 2-3 of them available on the marketplace for anyone who didn’t get an order in.

Fun Egg Developments
Never a dull moment here on the farm! We have been out in the Coop stores demoing eggs the last few weekends, frying up some delicious eggs, and getting customer input on the different egg carton concept designs. We have yet to set up our time to see Santa Fe members, but that will be coming soon!
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We are also very hard at work on the upgrades we are making to our egg processing “facility”. We have moved our large sink from the cheese room over to the straw bale, while finding a great deal at Iconik Coffee on a sink that fits the cheese room better. Steve is almost done plumbing in the new sink, which we will be adding our soon to be new egg washer to. As we continue to grow our flock and production, we are finding it hard to keep up with hand washing every egg our chickens lay, so this will be a huge help! We have also ordered our egg grader, to be able to weigh out the eggs into categories, something required to sell our eggs to restaurants. Funny thing about egg graders, there are only a handful of manufactures that make small scale egg graders, the main two are in Europe, ours is coming from the Netherlands.

Based on some input from the Coop marketing department, we had a different carton design drafted up. We would love your input on this concept, we’re are looking trying to do it on craft paper / cardboard like material if this seems to be a better option.
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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, Juicing: On the marketplace
Desiree Potatoes:
Cantaloupe:
Red Bell Peppers:
Yaya Carrots:
Baby Red Russian Kale:
Sprouts: Sunflower and Buckwheat on the marketplace
Cucumbers: On the Marketplace
Spinach: On the Marketplace
Green Lettuce: On the Marketplace
Kale: On the Marketplace
Grape and Vine Ripe Tomatoes: On the Marketplace

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata 

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INGREDIENTS
• 6-ounce baby spinach
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut in small dice
• 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
• 10 fresh marjoram leaves, chopped
• Salt
• 8 eggs
• Freshly ground pepper
• 2 tablespoons low-fat milk

Nutritional Information
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PREPARATION
1. Steam the spinach above an inch boiling water until just wilted, about two minutes; or wilt in a large frying pan with the water left on the leaves after washing. Remove from the heat, rinse with cold water and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine, and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until tender, five to eight minutes. Add the garlic and salt to taste, stir for about half a minute, and stir in the chopped spinach and the marjoram. Stir together for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, spinach and red peppers. Clean and dry the pan, and return to the burner, set on medium-high. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Drop a bit of egg into the pan; if it sizzles and cooks at once, the pan is ready. Pour in the egg mixture. Tilt the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the frittata with a spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking.
4. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while. From time to time, remove the lid, tilt the pan, and loosen the bottom of the frittata with a wooden spatula so that it doesn’t burn. The bottom should turn a golden color. The eggs should be just about set; cook a few minutes longer if they’re not.
5. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Uncover the pan and place under the broiler, not too close to the heat, for one to three minutes, watching very carefully to make sure the top doesn’t burn (at most, it should brown very slightly and puff under the broiler). Remove from the heat, shake the pan to make sure the frittata isn’t sticking, and allow it to cool for at least five minutes and for as long as 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Cut into wedges or into smaller bite-size diamonds. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or cold.

Potato and Beef Mince Hash 

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Method
Place the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water. Boil for 6 minutes then drain.
Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Increase the heat to high and add the beef mince. Fry for 5 minutes until beginning to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil and the cubed potatoes and rosemary for 5 minutes until beginning to color. Return the beef mince, season and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve topped with a poached egg.
Tip – this recipe is nice with roasted cherry tomatoes.
Ingredients
1.75lb smooth potatoes, such as Desiree, cubed
2 tsp olive oil
1lb extra lean beef mince
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
4 poached eggs, optional

Egg White Scramble W/ Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Spinach 

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Last week, I did a post-vacation cleanse to detox my body from all the unhealthy foods I ate. I started my day with a protein smoothie and a veggie egg white omelet. I love simple, filling, and healthy recipes and this is one of those.

In a frying pan, saute one cup of zucchini slices, one cup red bell pepper strips, and one cup green bell pepper strips. After the veggies are sauteed, add them to a mixing bowl. Combine the veggies with two cups of fresh spinach and stir until the spinach starts to wilt. Stir in your favorite seasonings. I added one tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, and one tsp onion powder.

In a frying pan, scramble five egg whites with your vegetables until eggs are fully cooked.

Steamed kale with ginger-infused carrots 

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INGREDIENTS
• 1 pound carrots
• 1/2 pound kale, chopped
• 1 teaspoon dried ginger
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
DIRECTIONS
Peel carrots and remove ends. Slice into nickel-width bias-cut slices and place into a large pot. Season with ginger, onion and garlic powder.
Cover carrots with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow carrots to cook 20 minutes. Drain water.
Add kale and stir on low heat until kale is wilted. Taste and add more seasoning, if desired. Serve warm

Simple Spinach and Red Bell Pepper Pasta  

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Ingredients
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/2 medium Onion; chopped
3 cloves Garlic; minced, more or less to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon basil; (or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
1 medium Red bell pepper
10 ounces Fresh spinach; coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt; or to taste
Pepper; to taste, Freshly ground
parmesan cheese; to taste (optional), Freshly grated
Preparation
Cook the pasta and drain.
Heat the oil over medium high heat, and cook the onion, garlic and basil until the onion is tender.
Add the pepper strips and cook for 3 minutes longer.
Stir in the spinach. Heat for another minute, until warmed through.
Toss with the pasta, and add salt and pepper.
Top with parmesan cheese (leave out for vegan version).

Spiced potato wedges 

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Ingredients
• 2kg red-skinned potato, such as Desiree
• 1oz butter, melted
• 1 tbsp tandoori curry powder or jerk seasoning
For the dip
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp clear honey
• 5 tbsp mayonnaise
Method
1. Make the dip. Ripple the mustard and honey through the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Cover and chill.
2. Preheat the oven to fan 355F/ conventional 390/gas . Cut each potato into eight wedges, then cook in boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, mix the butter and spice with a little seasoning. Drain the potatoes, then add to the bowl and shake. Transfer to two baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and browned. Serve hot, with the dip.

From the Mesa Top: April 6, 2017
Climatology 2017: We had another storm over the weekend and now are at the beginning of a third storm in a week. Snow in April! Snowing hard enough to cover the grass, end even the roads just a little, and whiten up the trees.
These storms are soaking very nicely into the ground.
Hopefully when the warm weather comes it will not be accompanied by too much wind, and the saturated soils will provide a surge of growth or pastures and even weeds!

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From the Wild: Some blossoming early flowers: Easter daisy, and one lone columbine a fairly rare flower for our elevation)
Cow stories: The morning after the storm of early last week, we woke up to find a cow had put herself into the covered coral area and had a tiny tiny calf. This little one has already managed to get on the wrong side of the fence twice. Once she got caught in a rainstorm. Another time she hid herself between a rock and a tree and eluded a search party for over an hour. We will have to be careful as this little one is so tiny that it can easily get into serious trouble.
The momma is Minnie, heifer from Maymo. Minnie was lost at birth for 3 days in early September 2014. She probably had only a small nursing of colostrum before Maymo got lost. She was kept alive by nursing Abigail, who was dry at the time, but must have somehow produced even a small amount of nutrition!!! Little Minnie was found, gaunt but still tough and strong, and walked home to be rejoined with her mother. She was vigorous and healthy, despite her ordeal.
Then when she was only 12 months or so, she was bred. This is pretty early for heifer to be bred. She lost that calf late last winter.
Now she has her first live calf!
Hopefully she will settle down and join the milk line. Maymo is a good producing cow, but also her first calf she did not have so much milk.
Minnie is pretty small, and likely when she calfs next she will produce a larger amount of milk

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Beneficial birds: The chicken house is ready for more birds!
Thank you for your support of our local farms and farm families,
The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family
Beneficial Farm CSA

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Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of March 30th, 2017

 

Check out the Webstore

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 30th, 2017

Red Globe Radishes from Anthony Youth Farm

Red Russian Kale from Vida Verde

Chard from Sol y Tierra

Quinoa from White Mountain Org

Vine Tomatoes from Preferred Produce

Green Leaf Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Cucumber from Preferred Produce

 

 

Fun Egg Developments

Never a dull moment here on the farm! We have been out in the Coop stores demoing eggs the last few weekends, frying up some delicious eggs, and getting customer input on the different egg carton concept designs. We have yet to set up our time to see Santa Fe members, but that will be coming soon!

We are also very hard at work on the upgrades we are making to our egg processing “facility”. We have moved our large sink from the cheese room over to the straw bale, while finding a great deal at Iconik Coffee on a sink that fits the cheese room better. Steve is almost done plumbing in the new sink, which we will be adding our soon to be new egg washer to. As we continue to grow our flock and production, we are finding it hard to keep up with hand washing every egg our chickens lay, so this will be a huge help! We have also ordered our egg grader, to be able to weigh out the eggs into categories, something required to sell our eggs to restaurants. Funny thing about egg graders, there are only a handful of manufactures that make small scale egg graders, the main two are in Europe, ours is coming from the Netherlands.

 

Based on some input from the Coop marketing department, we had a different carton design drafted up. We would love your input on this concept, we’re are looking trying to do it on craft paper / cardboard like material if this seems to be a better option.

 

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, Juicing: On the marketplace

Kale, Russian Red: On the marketplace

Radishes: On the marketplace

Chard: 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

Grape and Vine Ripe Tomatoes: On the Marketplace

 

Healthy Turkey & Cucumber Lettuce Wrap 

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Ingredients

4 leaves green lettuce

4 slice roast turkey

½ cucumber, sliced

250 g hummus

sprinkle of paprika

Step-By-Step 

Top a lettuce leaf with a slice of turkey, cucumber, hummus and paprika, then, as if it were a sandwich, wrap it up with another piece of lettuce.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

serving suggestion This can be done with a variety of ingredients, such as tomatoes, avocados or peppers, as well as salmon, chicken, lamb or prawns.
White cheeses, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, turmeric, oregano, all work too. Whatever you have in your fridge!

 

Spaghetti with braised kale and walnuts 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large shallot, minced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 bunches red kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook about two minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until garlic just starts to become fragrant.
  2. Add the kale and stock and stir to combine. Cover and braise kale for about 15-20 minutes or until very tender. Remove cover and stir in butter.
  3. While kale is braising, cook spaghetti in a pot of salted boiling water. When spaghetti is done, using tongs, carefully pull the pasta out of the cooking water and add into the pot of kale (reserving some of the starchy pasta water).
  4. Add in the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and walnuts. Add some of the starchy pasta water if sauce is dry. Adjust seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Tomato-Chickpea Soup with Rice and Swiss Chard 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes or 2lb fresh tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat 3 teaspoons oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and chard stems (not leaves) and sauté until onions are translucent and stems are softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Cook 2 minutes, then add stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until oil is hot and shimmering. Add chickpeas, sprinkle with salt, and fry over medium-high heat until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel, and then stir into soup along with rice.

Stir chard leaves into soup over medium-high heat in batches, waiting until just wilted and soft before adding more. Simmer 1 minute to heat everything through, and then season with salt and pepper. Let cool before storing in an airtight container for the next day, or freeze for future use.

 

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Edamame and Radish

quiona salad

INGREDIENTS

2 cups quinoa
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 cups fresh or frozen shelled edamame
4 or 5 small-to-medium radishes, sliced very thinly into discs or half-moons
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the quinoa. Bring 7 cups water to boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes). Drain the quinoa and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the quinoa on the baking sheet to cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Fill the pot with 4 more cups of water and return to a boil over high heat. Add another teaspoon of salt. Add the asparagus and edamame and blanch until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. While the vegetables are boiling, prepare an ice bath by adding ice and cold water to a large bowl. Remove vegetables from heat, drain, and immerse in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Let them chill completely in the ice water.

Make the vinaigrette. Put the vinegar in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil, followed by sesame oil. Whisk in ginger, along with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Assemble the salad. Put the cooked and cooled quinoa into a large serving bowl and toss to break up any clumps. Add the blanched and cooled asparagus and edamame, as well as the radishes. Add 1/2 cup vinaigrette and toss. Taste and season as needed with more vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Serve or refrigerate for up to 1 day (let sit at room temperature so it’s not refrigerator-cold and season with more vinaigrette, salt and pepper before serving). Just prior to serving, add chopped parsley.

 

Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Tomato & Onions 

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Ingredients:

8-10 leaves rainbow chard
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2-3 small tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. pure water
Pinch fine ground sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

 

Let’s get started.
First, let’s admire my colorful veggie babies.

Now, wash the chard…

… and fold in half.

Slice stems and leaves into ribbons across the stem.

You can seed and chop your tomatoes or just chop/use them seeds and all—it’s your preference.

Place oil in skillet and warm to medium heat. Brown chopped onion for 7 minutes.

Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes…

… and chard.

Sprinkle with vinegar and pure water.

Cook for about 5 minutes, until chard has wilted, and liquid is absorbed.

Season with fine ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

Apricot, Kale, and Quinoa Salad 

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Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
1.5 cups water
2 small or 1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon course-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cups finely chopped, washed kale
4-6 pitted and sliced fresh apricots
1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup roughly chopped or whole almonds, toasted
Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Instructions
1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 12 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool. (Note: most quinoa packages will tell you to use 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa but I have found that leads to mushy quinoa, so I think 1.5 water to 1 cup quinoa is much better).

2.  In a large bowl (this can be the bowl you plan to serve the salad in, whisk mustard, garlic, apricot preserves, oil, and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper).

3.  Once dressing is complete, add all you other ingredients right into the dressing bowl- kale, onion, apricots, toasted almonds, and cooled quinoa.  Toss the salad and enjoy!

 

 

From the Mesa Top: March 30, 2017

Climatology 2017:  We had one of the more unusual weather scenarios last week:  one day at noon last week we had 67 degrees in early afternoon and it was snowing 2 hours later!

That storm was a pretty good one:  the snow fell hard and the ground absorbed it and the snow melted as it fell.  A bit over ¼ inch of precipitation all together.

The weather pattern is stormy again.  The record warmth is behind us for now.  More storms are in the forecast.

From the Wild:  We have noticed an early emergence of snakes. The garter snakes have appeared around the house and in the garden.  They two, perhaps three weeks early.  We have to start a major cleanup push in order to eliminate the places where rattlesnakes will tend to wait and hunt for rodents.

Cow stories:  We lost Bow’s little calf.  Momma Bow was very unhappy for a couple of days but she seems to be forgetting her loss.

The pastures are finally beginning to grow thanks to the rain/snow from last week.  We are still holding the cows off the pasture, feeding more hay.  It is expensive but essential:  until we see a surge of spring grass growth we have to absorb the higher cost.  If we have a really “bad” spring form standpoint of forage production, we might be forced to sell more cows.

Meanwhile the search continues for pasture that we can lease.

Beneficial birds:  The chicken house is being rearranged and re-partitioned to create more usable in door space for the hens.  This space is needed for late winter pullets, who are coming into production now.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA

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Member Message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for Distribution of March 23rd, 2017

 

Check out the Webstore:

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 23rd, 2017

Cantaloupe from Preferred Produce

Juicing/Cooking Carrots from Schwebach Farm

Red Globe Radishes from Anthony Youth Farm

Cilantro from Anthony Youth Farm

Spinach, Red/Green Mix from Vida Verde

Cremini Mushrooms from Rakhra Mushroom Coop

 

 

“Juicing Carrots”

This week we are sending out a large share of carrots in your bags, from Schwebach Farm. These are larger, odd shaped carrots that we have a great deal for members on, and they are still super sweet! For anyone that has a juicer at home, these will be an easy recipe idea, but we also recommend the recipes for carrot bread, carrot pancakes, shredded carrot salad ect.

Vida Verde is back

We are also seeing some of the first crops from Seth at Vida Verde, who farms along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. Seth works with local home owners to let him grow food in their back yards, instead of grass or rock gardens!! He has a few beds and greenhouses throughout the area, and continues to help people see the value in letting him raise food on their property vs just having an ornamental display.

vida20verde20spinach_zpsh5dsjgv2

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.

What do you like, or dislike, what would discourage you from the carton if you saw it in the store ect?

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

20626d39-e24b-4f68-a6db-09b77e11a564_zpscfrxldd0image1_zpsydw2oyw5

The second option is based around bright watercolor imagery

image4_zps092hrsv1

 

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!

 

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, Juicing and YaYa: On the marketplace

Cilantro: On the marketplace

Radishes: 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

Green Lettuce: On the Marketplace

Kale: On the Marketplace

Salad Mix: On the Marketplace

Grape and Vine Ripe Tomatoes: On the Marketplace

 

CARROT APPLE BREAD 

carrotapplebreadcollage

INGREDIENTS:

1 large egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup grated carrots (about 1 large peeled and trimmed carrot)
3/4 cup grated apples (I used 1 medium unpeeled Fuji; try Gala, Honeycrisp or similar)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside. (I haven’t tried the recipe in an 8×4-inch pan and cannot comment on how long it will take to bake, but use an 8×4 pan if you prefer a taller loaf.)
  2. In a large bowl, add the the first eight ingredients, through nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix.
  4. Add the carrots, apples, and fold gently to combine.
  5. Turn batter (it’s very thick, this is what you want) out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  6. Bake for about 45 to 52 minutes (I baked 50 minutes) or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Tip – Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped loosely over it at the 35 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of carrots, apples, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock and don’t worry if it takes longer to bake than the baking estimates provided.
  7. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Optionally, serve with or glaze with Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, or Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

Mushrooms and Spinach Italian Style 

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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 14 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounces clean fresh spinach, roughly chopped

 

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic in the oil until they start to become tender. Add the mushrooms, and fry until they begin to shrink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the spinach, and fry, stirring constantly for a few minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
  2. Add the vinegar, stirring constantly until it is absorbed, then stir in the white wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the wine has almost completely absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve hot.

 

Shredded Carrot-Ginger Pancakes with Asian Dipping Sauce 

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Ingredients

Pancakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrot (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 3 tablespoons cracker meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • Green onion strips (optional)

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

How to Make It

  1. To prepare pancakes, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine egg substitute, cracker meal, and salt in a small bowl. Add egg mixture to carrot mixture; stir to blend.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-low heat. Using about 1/4 cup batter per pancake, spoon 4 pancakes onto hot pan, spreading each to a 4-inch diameter. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until bottoms are lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan; repeat procedure with remaining batter. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Garnish with green onion strips, if desired.
  3. To prepare dipping sauce, combine soy sauce and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Serve with pancakes.

 

Cantaloupe Cilantro Sorbet 

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Ingredients

  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. water
  • 1 ripe cantaloupe
  • 1/4 C. cilantro leaves

Directions

Combine the sugar and water in a sauce pan until the sugar dissolves. Let cool. Meanwhile cut up the cantaloupe and put in a blender. Then add the cilantro leaves and blend until smooth. Combine the puree and the sugar syrup together and put in the refrigerator until chilled. Freeze in your ice cream maker per the instructions.

 

Moroccan Shredded Carrot Salad 

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Carrots, fresh
  • 1 handful Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 2 pinches Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin, ground

Radish Greens with Mushrooms and Herbs de Provence 

radish_greens_with_mushrooms1-586x439

Ingredients

1 ½ teaspoon grape seed oil

2 slices of onion (about a ¼ cup)

3 cremini mushrooms sliced thin

2 small red radishes sliced thin

1 bunch of radish greens

¼ teaspoon herbs de Provence

1 tablespoon dry white wine

1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Directions

Warm the oil in a skillet on medium and add your onion, mushrooms, and radishes.

Sauté for 5 minutes and add your radish greens.

Sauté for an additional 3 minutes and add the herbs de Provence, white wine, and red pepper flakes.

Let the wine evaporate (1-2 minutes) and serve.

 

 

From the Mesa Top: March 23, 2017

Climatology 2017:  A large number of temperature records have been rewritten across the state on a daily basis for the last week.  Fire danger is high.  A windy day is forecast for Wednesday, which will raise the fire alert level to critical

Stormy weather is forecast for Thursday and into Friday before the above normal temperatures return over the weekend

From the Wild:  Coyotes Serenade, Great Horned Owls hoot.  And as the weather stays warm, flies begin to buzz!

Cow stories:  It looks like our weak and feeble little calf has been suffering from some sort of respiratory infection.  It is rare and miraculous that he would be alive at all, 2with such an ailment as a newly born calf.  Usually if they cannot breathe through their noses, they cannot nurse.  He was aggressive enough to nurse SOME anyway, so we didn’t notice his condition.

Now he is getting medication and extra souped up milk replacer with vitamins and minerals and calories, which he likes.  Then he also nurses on momma Bow.  Which also means that we are now milking Bow again as well.

Regarding antibiotics:  We encounter a lot of publicity these days around the negative aspects of antibiotic use in livestock food production.  This general, sweeping condemnation is naively simplistic and almost cruel!

Are the advocates REALLY meaning to deny care to sick animals? Or are they, by excluding them from inclusion in more sustainable growing practices like organic and grass fed, condemning them to finishing in a feedlot and sale as commodity beef?

Some illness, in any species, requires antibiotic or other western medicine intervention as the most likely way to restore the health of the patient.  It is true of humans, and of any species.

When antibiotics are used for non-therapeutic reasons, to keep animals from getting sick so that they can be crowded together more, or fed less sanitary feed, then we are dealing with the opposite of good care.  These sorts of situations lead to the exposure of large amounts of antibiotics to environments that are teeming with illness microbes, which in turn are very likely responsible for the rise of antibiotic resistant disease strains.

The “no antibiotic” call should be a call for “no non-therapeutic antibiotics”.  Care for ill animals should be by veterinary approved medication, in accordance with label recommendations.  Once healthy the patient should be just like any other healthy animal:  ready to live the good life until that one bad day that all livestock face eventually.

Beneficial birds:  The warmer temperatures are making it easier and less expensive (less fuel burned to keep the little chippers warm) to raise the current flock of pullets!

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA

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

 

Check out the Webstore

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

20626d39-e24b-4f68-a6db-09b77e11a564_zpscfrxldd0

 

image1_zpsydw2oyw5

The second option is based around bright watercolor imagery

image4_zps092hrsv1

 

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 

img_0429-2

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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Check out the Webstore

Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday March 9th, 2017

Salad Mix from Sol y Tierra Coop

Hubbard Squash from Jubilee Farm

Portabella Mushrooms from Rakhra Alamosa, CO

Hakurei Turnips from Sol Harvest Farm

Cucumber from Preferred Produce

Kale from Preferred Produce

Carrots from Schwebach Farm

 

 

 

Restaurant Week in Albuquerque!!

We got a bit behind in talking with some of our Santa Fe chefs to plan for Restaurant week, but we did get the chance to work with Zinc in Albuquerque for their restaurant week menu!!

For those who are not as familiar with it, New Mexico’s culinary world hosts a 3 week long event to showcase our state’s remarkable dining establishments know as Restaurant Week. Santa Fe, Taos / Northern NM and Albuquerque each have a week long special during this time, where the chefs create an amazing menu that is at a fraction of the cost it would normally be. This is a Win-Win for the restaurants and the patrons, this is a slower season for restaurants and in exchange for the resounding support their patrons show during these weeks, the special menus are offered at substantial discounts.

 

Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro

Sunday, March 5 – Sunday, March 12

 

Dinner Menu

$35 per person

 

First Course (Choice Of One)

Mussels Poulette  —  Leeks, cream, parsley, haystack potatoes, grilled bread

Wedge Salad Of Asian Pear, Roasted Beets & Fourme D’Ambert Cheese  — Banyuls vinaigrette, hazelnut toast

Crispy Duck Confit Eggroll  —  Served with peanut curry and chile-lime dipping sauces

Onion Soup Gratinee  —  Topped with a toasted baguette and melted layers of gruyere and fontina cheeses

 

Main Course (Choice Of One)

House Made Braised Beef Ravioli Bourguignon  —  Simmered in Burgundy red wine sauce with baby carrots, pearl onions, mushrooms and English peas. Plated with celery root-potato puree and shaved Reggianito cheese
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Baked Stuffed Dover Sole  —  Crab & scallop filling, cous cous, green beans & local spaghetti squash, Sauce Grenobloise

Pan Fried Pork Schnitzel  —  Sweet potato & jalapeno hash, braised red cabbage, caramelized shallot brown sauce and bacon-vanilla porter jam

Beneficial Farms Rotisserie Free Range Chicken  —  Black truffle & chicken sausage stuffing, marble potatoes, apple cider braised root vegetables, tomato confit, Vermouth velouté

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Dessert Course

Double Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake  —  Classic New York style cheesecake layered with pecan caramel swirl, Oreo cookie crust and white chocolate sour cream

3f505825-f6e6-4c9b-9f10-55f00c2163a3_zpshuhil7ck 

 

Of course since our family’s chickens are a main course for the dinner, we had to go and ensure that the chefs did our birds justice!

 

As we began our meal, famished in expectation of such a filling meal, we soon became lost in conversation, libation and delicious appetizers consisting of the duck confit eggrolls and onion soup gratinee. The eggrolls were very savory, paired with the dipping sauces, creating an excellent prelude to the main course. The onion soup could have been a meal in itself, a bowl of molten cheese and onion soup was brought out with the cheese still slightly bubbling from its last crisping. It took 2 of us to attempt to finish the soup, but as amazing as it was, it did require to be saved for home to have any room for the rest of the meal!

As our main course came out, giving some ample time to further delve into conversation and digest, we were again in awe of the presentation, aromas and plethora of the dishes placed before us. The hand made beef ravioli were exceptionally rich in flavor, with a mound of celery-root mashed potatoes hidden underneath. For the deep, rich beef loving patron, this will hit the spot. The rotisserie chicken was a meal fit for a king, easily shareable between 2 people! The layer of black truffle sausage and duck fat under the skin added a layer of flavor to our already very flavorful chicken breast, where I found myself trying savoring both pieces of meat individually. The sear amount of protein on the plate almost masked the vegetables, hidden away under the breast and thigh. Roasted marble potatoes, braised radishes and grape tomatoes all made for wonderful pairing with the chicken, with a well-made sauce to ensure the overall flavor balance. Needless to say, the main courses were only half consumed, something we are very thankful for today as our leftovers.

Our dinner wrapped up with delivery of the slices of cheesecake. Though our stomachs screamed no, our eyes could not object to such beautiful deserts being presented in front of us. At first, we marveled and nibbled at the dried/toasted apple skins resting on top, testing our resolve to see the meal through to the end. Soon though, the call of the cheesecake broke through all resolve, and we took the first bites. The combination of caramel, chocolate, nuts and cheesecake all shown through brightly, without an overpowering of sweetness or singular flavors. Our resolve only lasted so long, and even the desert got wrapped up to take with us.

 

The entire evening at Zinc last night was one for the history books, a beautiful setting with a course pairing of spectacular foods, leaving us with a magical memory. If only we were wine drinkers, Zinc has an extensive wine list that is sure to pair well with any of your choices. Our other regret is that we only tried half of the menu, if what we experienced is of any comparison, the other dishes will be equally as amazing in their own rights!

Of course, we have our bias, Zinc is a very good partner and supporter of local farmers, as shines true on their menu. We love restaurant week, and even though we are late, we want to encourage our members to go out and support their local restaurants, especially when they buy local! We hope some of our Santa Fe members will make the drive down to dine at Zinc this week, it is one of the best menus we have seen in a while, and we are sure you won’t be disappointed!

Albuquerque Restaurant Week Listing 

 

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!

 

New Website Link

 

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.

 

Delicata 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

Hakurei Turnips: 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

Mushrooms: Button and Portabella: On the Marketplace

 

Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole 

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Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

 

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms, cook 1 minute, and set aside. Melt margarine in the saucepan. Mix in flour, garlic, and basil. Gradually mix in milk until thickened. Stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Remove saucepan from heat, and mix in cooked pasta, mushrooms, spinach, and soy sauce. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, and top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly brown.

 

Cabbage, Carrot and Purple Kale Latkes 

 13recipehealth-articlelarge-v2

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds, or half of a small cabbage)
  • 2 cups finely chopped purple kale or curly kale
  • 7 to 8 ounces carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground or crushed
  • 3 tablespoons oat bran
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  •  About 1/4 cup canola, grape seed or rice bran oil

 

PREPARATION

  1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Place a rack over another sheet pan.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the cabbage, kale, cilantro, chili, baking powder, salt, cumin, oat bran, flour, cornmeal and buckwheat flour. Taste and adjust salt. Add the eggs and stir together. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then stir again.
  3. Begin heating a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill with 3 tablespoons of the mixture. Reverse onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining latke mix. You should have enough to make about 20 latkes.
  4. Add the oil to the pan and when it is hot (hold your hand a few inches above – you should feel the heat), slide a spatula under one portion of the latke mixture and transfer it to the pan. Press down with the spatula to flatten. Repeat with more mounds. In my 10-inch pan I can cook four at a time without crowding; my 12-inch pan will accommodate four or five. Cook on one side until golden brown, about three to four minutes. Slide the spatula underneath and flip the latkes over. Cook on the other side until golden brown, another three minutes. Transfer to the rack set over a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
  5. Serve hot topped with low-fat sour cream, Greek style yogurt or crème fraîche.

 

Italian Chicken Sausage Stuffed Portabellas 

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Ingredients

  • 8 portabella mushroom caps (3 to 4-inch diameter), cleaned with stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package al fresco(R) All Natural Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
  • 1 (8 ounce) container cream cheese spread with onion and chives, softened

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chives, minced for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Over medium-high heat, in a heavy, medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp oil. Add chopped sausage and saute until sausage is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and 1/4 tsp pepper; mix well.
  3. Brush both sides of mushrooms lightly with remaining olive oil. Place mushroom caps, cavity side up, on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each cavity with sausage mixture. Lightly sprinkle each with Parmesan.
  4. Bake mushrooms in preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until hot throughout. Sprinkle each with minced chives for garnish.

 

Maple-Glazed Hakurei Turnip and Shiitake on Soba Noodles 

hakurei-turnip-soba-3

Ingredients

  • About 3/4 pound of Hakurei turnip (minus the leaves)
  • A handful of Hakurei turnip leaves (about a dozen leaves)
  • 2 oz shiitake mushrooms (about 8 medium-sized mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup light, un-toasted sesame oil (see modified instructions below if using dark toasted sesame oil)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pound of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2 Tbsp tamari or shoyu sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (or mirin)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Optional: fresh cilantro and sesame seeds for garnish

Directions

  1. Wash the turnips and leaves well. Finely slice the handful of turnip leaves. (Place the rest of the leaves aside to use in another dish). Cut the turnips into bite-sized pieces. If they are small, you can simply cut them in half. If they are larger, cut them into quarters or roughly 3/4 inch cubes. Remove the tough stems from the shiitake mushrooms (I put mine in a freezer bag to make stock later). Slice the shiitake tops thinly.
  2. In a skillet, warm 2 Tbsp of the light sesame oil over medium heat. (If using dark, toasted sesame oil, it has a much stronger flavor so use 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil instead of sesame oil for this part of the recipe. Use the dark sesame oil only in the dressing for the noodles). Add the chopped turnips, mushrooms, and salt into the warmed oil and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup and 2 Tbsp of water. After about 5 minutes, the water will have evaporated and the turnips and mushrooms will be nicely glazed. At this point, add the sliced turnip greens and cook until wilted and dark green, about 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
  3. While you prepare the glazed turnips and mushrooms, place a large pot filled with 8 cups of water on high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the soba noodles. Cook according to package directions (usually they are done in about 7 minutes). Do not overcook the noodles. As soon as they are done, drain all the water out and rinse the noodles in cold water to remove excess starch (this gives the noodles a lovely texture and ensures they won’t clump). If the noodles are too cold after rinsing, quickly dunk them in a fresh pot of boiling water.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the remaining 2 Tbsp sesame oil, the tamari or shoyu sauce, the rice vinegar, and the fish sauce. Stir well and then add the drained noodles, tossing gently to coat the noodles well.
  5. Serve the noodles with the glazed turnips and mushrooms and garnish with a little cilantro and sesame seeds.

 

HUBBARD SQUASH COFFEE CAKE 

hubbard-squash-coffee-cake-300x225

Ingredients

14 ounces Blue Hubbard Squash puree, divided

1 Egg, beaten

3 ½ ounces Butter, melted

1 Cup Milk

1 Cup Walnuts, chopped

12 ounces Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

Directions

Oven 350F

Whisk Flour, Salt, Sugar, Baking Powder & Baking Soda together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine 7 ounces Squash, Egg, Butter and half the Nuts, the add ½ Cup Milk. Mix wet ingredients into the dry and fold in with a large spatula- pour in more milk until you have a thick batter that is not too runny. Transfer batter evenly into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spoon the remaining Squash in 3 lines along the length of the batter.

Sprinkle with remaining Walnuts and place on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F for a further 10 – 15 minutes. Test that cake is done by inserting a knife or cake tester in the middle and ensuring that it comes out clean with no batter sticking. Cool to room temperature before cutting into portions.

 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms 

16730

Ingredients

  • 3 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion

 

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Clean mushrooms and remove stems, reserve for other use. Place caps on a plate with the gills up.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Grill over hot grill for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

 

From the Mesa Top: March 9, 2017

Climatology 2017:  The spring pattern of weather is for sure upon us now.  Warm, dry, pleasant days, interspersed with wicked windy days which are the southern reach of storms blowing through the central and northern Rockies.

From the Wild:  The water level on the reservoir is holding at a healthy level.  The micro-aquifer is well saturated, and clear water is seeping through downstream from the reservoir.  The water level in our hand dug well has 10 feet of water in it also.

We have completed our exclusion fence so that cows cannot get to the water edge and get stuck in the muck.

This also means that work can begin on improving the shore vegetation and improving habitat for migratory birds.

We saw a flock of half a dozen ducks today, including a very strikingly colored male.  Typically we see wood ducks, but these are something different… Not yet identified

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Cow stories:  Bow is on the milk line.  A line of one right now.  Now that milking has begun, the kinks can be worked out of the dairy room, and we can begin again to inch our way toward inspection as a grade A facility.

The main cow herd are still basking in the sun and gorging on hay.  The check book says to PLEASE kick them out on pasture:  try to avoid more hay expenses.

But the pastures are a month or more from beginning to grow much at all.

The seasonal struggle to find standing forage is about to get under way.

Still plenty of fences to repair

Beneficial birds:  One more flock of pullets to be started soon at Mesa Top.  Other producers also contributing to the “Beneficial” brand.  New logo and carton and web site in the works.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA

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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!!

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.

 

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.

Flavorings

 

Sweet

  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.

Savory

  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 

 

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Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

 

PASTA WITH SUN GOLD TOMATOES 

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INGREDIENTS

  1.  
    • 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)

PREPARATION

    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 

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Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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 

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Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

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Member message for Beneficial Farm, CSA for distribution of February 23rd, 2017

 

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Here is what we are planning for your Beneficial CSA Share for Thursday February 23rd, 2017

Green Leaf Lettuce from Preferred Produce

Spinach from Sol y Tierra Coop

Red Russian Kale from Anthony Youth Farm

Cucumbers from Preferred Produce

Cilantro from Anthony Youth Farm

Chicos from Casados Farm

 

 

Grab your cup of coffee, tea, or later in the day beer or wine, and tuck in for some words on the national efforts on local food support!

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National CSA Sign-Up Day!!

It is that time of year again, where we join the national movement of over 1353 CSAs throughout the US and Canada to promote local CSAs on a massive scale!! We spend a lot of time every week working with our local farmers and producers, but since we are so focused on local, we don’t always share the work on how local is part of a national movement!!

Our friends at Small Farm Central are key advocates that are helping to promote buying local, on a national scale. They have been working to promote local CSAs for years, providing educational, technical and marketing materials that a single small CSA could not easily manage, but for the combined support of all the nation’s CSA’s. Of their many achievements, one of the biggest efforts of late has been National CSA Signup Day, first recognized 2015, for February 28th!!

One of the coolest things we hear when a member signs up, is that they were a CSA supporter where they lived, and want to continue to support a CSA! This lets us know that no matter where you go, as a member, you will continue to support local food in your new communities! This is reflected in the work that SFC is doing, bring all our CSAs together to support each other. Some of the members on our mailing list have moved but stayed on the list, and we hope that they are supporting the CSA in their community!

 

A Vision for 5 Million CSA Members by 2030!

From Simon Huntley of Small Farm Central

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future of CSA farms over the past few years. With CSA Day 2017 upon us, I wanted to take time to reflect on where we are, where we are going, and why we are doing this.

I am passionate about CSA farming because I see the special connection between farmers and eaters, but also see a path to an economically sustainable small-to-medium scale farm. I believe that economic sustainability is tied inextricably to agricultural sustainability and that CSA is an important part of that puzzle because it allows a farmer to control his or her market with a degree of certainty and margin that no other marketing channel allow.

In addition, CSA is the most direct connection that an eater can have with his or her farmer and is a connection to the land that an eater can’t get in any other way. Through CSA, we imbue food with meaning, story, and connection. In a world of intractable problems, being a CSA farmer or CSA member is an act we can take to make life better for our land, economy, and community as a whole.

The CSA Market Right Now

However, CSA only touches a tiny minority of households. I was focused on this fact through the Local Food Marketing Practice Survey that was released in December by the USDA (hat tip to Elizabeth Henderson for emailing the data to me). This data is for the United States only, but I think the lessons can be applied anywhere in the world.

They list the total sales of all 7,398 CSA farms at $226,000,000 in 2015. In a lot of ways, I look at that data and think CSA has been a huge success in 30 seasons in the United States. This is a concept that has resonated with the public without any corporate, governmental, or moneyed interests behind it.

On the other hand, let’s look at that data in terms of the overall food marketplace.

If we take the average share price data from our CSA Farming Report of $450, then we get the number of approximately 500,000 CSA shares sold in 2015.

There are 124.6 million households in the U.S., so that means approximately 0.4% of US households purchase a CSA share each year.

So, despite the huge success of the CSA concept, it is still very niche. Looking at these numbers, I can’t believe that 0.4% is the ceiling of CSA.

I think CSA farming is so important for farmers and eaters, so I am setting a goal of growing the overall CSA market by 10x, to 5 million households, by 2030.

Even with this exponential growth of CSA, we will still be serving only 1 in 25 households in the United States. That is still a small slice of the population and I believe that is possible for us to get there.

However, what got us to 500,000 CSA members, will not get us to 5 million. We need to reimagine what CSA is to appeal to a much wider demographic and we need to get better at articulating the values of CSA. Your customers and potential customers work hard for their money too, so we must appeal to their values and their interests as we plot a way forward.

While we reimagine CSA, we can’t lose sight of what has made CSA such an impactful concept. I believe that if we simply compete with the grocery stores or the Blue Aprons of the world, we lose. CSA must be about more than a simple box of food.

What will this growth of the CSA market mean for your farm? What will this growth mean for the overall local food market? How do we get there?

I ask these questions, but I don’t have the answers. I have some guesses. However, I believe that reaching this goal it is possible if we all work together on the local, regional, national, and international scale. I want to start the conversation with you because I believe that this growth is essential for a thriving local food economy and, I worry that if don’t radically grow CSA, it will become more niche and eventually wither on the vine.

I firmly believe that when we all do better, we all do better. Your success is my success.

I would love to hear from you: how do you feel about this goal? Is it reasonable? Do you have ideas on how we can get there?

I can be reached at simon@smallfarmcentral.com. We can continue the discussion on the CSA Farmer Discussion group on Facebook (request access here), at winter conferences, and in the fields.

I look forward to growing with you over the next 13 years!

 

Historic CSA Farm Charter set for USA & Canada

Written by Steven McFadden (Member of BFCSA) on February 10, 2017

I’m pleased to share this press release, just developed by a community of people who recognize the importance of community farms (CSAs), and who see the potential for enhancing our environment, improving our diets, supporting our local farmers, and cooperating for mutual benefit with our neighbors. ~ SM

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms across the United States and Canada are setting roots more deeply in the land as they unite this year under a community-developed Charter for CSAs that provides a clear definition of what CSA farms are all about.

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Logo for the CSA Charter by Ruth Blackwell

With 30 years of history and development, over 7,500 healthy, sustainable community farms have been established in the US, and many thousands more in Canada. These sustainable farms are directly networked with hundreds of thousands of households in the towns and cities where they are based and provide weekly shares of fresh, healthy, locally-grown food.

Together, regional networks and independent CSAs in the USA and Canada are banding together to launch an innovative and strengthening Charter for CSAs. The Charter will be inaugurated on CSA Sign-up Day, February 24, 2017.

CSAs that endorse the Charter are making a public commitment to uphold the principles and practices delineated in the Charter. It will provide a window of transparency for member households and for farmers, helping define and clarify what CSA farms are all about.

In the words of Elizabeth Henderson, CSA farmer and author of Sharing the Harvest, “CSA is a tremendously flexible concept for consumer-farmer connections. It’s an alternative system of distribution based on community values. The economics of direct sales make this a win-win solution for farmers and farm members. The farmer gets a decent price and the member pays less, since there is no middleman.”

“For the farmer,” she added, “CSA offers the possibility of a broad support group. Those groups are composed of local people who know about the farm, who genuinely care about it’s survival, and who are willing to share the farmer’s risks and rewards.

“In reciprocity, CSA farm members have the opportunity to eat fresh, healthy food, to connect with the earth, to know and trust in the people who grow their food, to deepen their understanding of seasonal eating, to support the local economy, and to take an empowered stance of accepting responsibility for one of our most basic needs.”

Anthony Graham, a farmer for 30 years at the Temple-Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire, said, “When we started the Temple Wilton Community Farm, we were interested in community and in the ‘culture’ of agriculture. What we were attempting to set up was a way for a community of people to support the existence of a farm through good times and bad by making pledges of financial support over the course of one year. By agreeing to support the existence of the farm our members became co-farmers.”

You can find the full Charter for CSAs in the USA and Canada here, along with background information and a list of the CSAs that endorse it.

 

Your CSA Recap

Between these two amazing articles by such strong CSA advocates, we also wanted to make sure you look at the links as well. Please check out the Charter for CSAs in the USA and Canada which we will be participating in and just as importantly, the map of the participating CSAs across the nation! Zoomed out, the USA is almost complete covered by local farmers supporting their neighbors, something we hope to see grow to also be true as you look with a few miles of your home!!

Anyone on social media, please consider temporarily changing your profile picture to our “I Support My Local Farmer” ribbon!! No matter where you live, which farmer you support, all the local farmer’s in the nation need our support, and we can show it to them!

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Beneficial Farms CSA is Looking for More Members

This is an excellent time for us to talk to our members, and ask them to help us reach out to your friends and neighbors! A lot of our time these last few weeks has been focused on how can we support our farmers even more this year than we have before. We are digging deep and finding ideas we will grow, but so much of our capacity to support farmers comes from you! Our CSA is the oldest in the state, cultivating relationships between farmers/producers and your families for the last 23 years, and we are not planning on slowing down or stopping the support of our local food network.

We are offering a $10 bonus for current members who refer a new member, provided they stay on for their first investment, and an additional bonus for re-newel for their support. We are also doing a bunch of fun stuff behind the scenes you will see shortly, our new website being a soon coming component.

 

There are two main components to the CSA model, the farmers and the community support! We want to continue to grow what we can do for our farmers, and with that, we need the community to grow and continue to support us!

This organization isn’t run by some corporate out of state company, it is built on your support and want for local food, that directly employs farmers, ranchers and producers through the state, we just help bring it together!

 

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.

 

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 are Chicos?

For those immersed in NM cuisine, you may be familiar with chicos, as well as the other traditional crops like chili pods, posole and atole. Chicos are one of the golden foods traditionally grown in NM, which are prized and valued by those who have tried them. Chicos are made by taking sweet corn, roasting it over flames, then drying the cob to produce dried chicos kernels. Upon re-hydrating these kernels in your recipe, you bring back an unforgettable flavor of roasted sweet corn. As our friends at Edible found “They’re actually listed on the U.S. Ark of Taste, a catalog of outstandingly delicious traditional foods in danger of extinction.”

New Mexico has a wealth of hidden food culture and foods not found anywhere else in the world! While we have a lot of more recognizable foods in our CSA, we want to ensure that our members experience these hidden treasures and come to cherish them.

We also wanted to take a moment to recognize the importance of our pueblo farmers, and their crops. We work with Peter Casado of Okey Owingeh Pueblo, just North of Espanola. They practice pesticide free farming, and seed saving, as many of their crops are traditional native grown foods. With the traditional pueblo grown crops, they predated any Org practices, passing down traditions of holistic growing habits through the generations. The time I have spent with them has shown me that in such a rich agricultural based society in which they learned how to grow certain foods and combat the elements hundreds of years before pesticides were invented, and those practices are passed through tradition and various stories or metaphors. Also, the very isolated nature of the pueblos has insulated many of their crops, practices and field from western influence. Unlike a corn grower in Nebraska, that decides to plant non-gmo corn, but their neighbor does and then their fields cross pollinate and his crop becomes GMO, pueblo farmers have a natural and cultural buffer against many of the things we are now realizing are harmful to our health.

 

I guess we should have been talking to the original stewards of the lands before we tried to mess with it, we are now learning a thing or two.

 

Chico Stew 

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicos
  • 10 cups cold water
  • 2 T. oil
  • 1/2 pound pork, cut in ½ inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 4-5 dried green or red chiles, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Soak chicos in cold water overnight, then cook (with the water) in a crockpot all day on low. If you prefer, you can just simmer them on the stove for about 3 hours after soaking.
  2. Heat the oil on medium flame, and sear the pork.
  3. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent.
  4. Add the salt, oregano, chiles, and the chicos with all their water. Cook 20 minutes (or longer, as desired) to blend the flavors and rehydrate the chiles.

 

Apple Cucumber Spinach Juice 

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger root

Start by thoroughly washing your spinach to remove any dirt or grit that could be still on the leaves. Then carefully wash your cucumber, apple and lemon.

Cut your cucumber and apple into smaller chunks so as to make your juicer happy. Then cut your lemon in half and remove the rind but leave on as much of the white as you can. Then cut a 1/2 inch piece of ginger root and remove the outer skin of that.

I started by putting my ginger and lemon in the juicer followed by the cucumber chunks. By putting the ginger in first, you are getting as much of that ginger juice pushed through as possible. Then I added in the handful of spinach and followed that with the remaining apple. I followed the spinach with the apple in order to help the juicer process it because spinach can be hard on your juicer.

Once everything has been processed and juiced, you’ll be left with one cup of this delicious apple cucumber spinach juice to enjoy!

 

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad 

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Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cucumbers, very finely sliced (see photos)
  • 4 tablespoons minced cilantro, to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the jalapeno and garlic and add to a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to incorporate the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Finely slice the cucumbers. Use a mandolin if you have it, but a very sharp knife will do the trick. (See photos below.) Add the cucumbers to the dressing and stir together.
  4. Finely mince the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Stir to combine. You can either let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a couple hours, or serve immediately.

 

Spring Salad: Lettuce and Cantaloupe with Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing 

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For the salad: 

  • One large head of green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • Half a large cantaloupe, divided into wedges and sliced in 1/4-inch pieces

 

For the dressing, whir up in a blender:

  • One ripe avocado
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • salt
  • splash of olive oil
  • water for thinning, as needed.

Toss with salad just before serving. Excellent as an accompaniment to spicy rice and beans.

 

From the Mesa Top: Feb 23, 2017

Climatology 2017:  A warm and dry week, then windy, then a cold day or two, and back again.  The merry go round of transition from winter to spring.

From the Wild:  A pair of ducks was spotted on the reservoir!  It is time to keep an eye out for migrating birds.  We finished a new fence that is close to the edge of the reservoir and now we hope to begin more habitat improvements with the idea on mind that more migratory birds will hatch their clutch of eggs and stay through the summer. Brush piles and plantings.

There is a natural water hole that has developed a coyote willow thicket.  It would work to take cuttings from there and dig them in around the edge of the reservoir, right at the high water line.

Cow stories:  Out on the pastures, fences are being repaired.  Our best looking pasture for spring is the northern NM State lease.  We have one section of fence to repair on that lease.  Also a ¼ mile section to build that will also connect to another one of our pastures.

Meanwhile, more signs of spring:  In favored spots that are damp and south facing, green grass is appearing.

The cows are lazily and happily enjoying the best of worlds: Sun and warmth, hay a plenty, and no flies!

Bow, one of two remaining cows from the very beginning of the Ayrshire project, born in summer 2008, will calf any day now.

There are other momma starting to fill out as well.

Spring calfing should be ramping up.

Beneficial birds:  The hens have rebounded from winter to an excellent level of egg production.  With one crop of pullets already moved to the main coop, we are almost ready to start one more batch.

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

The Warshawer/Swendson/Agard Family

Beneficial Farm CSA

 

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