The Land of Milk and Honey...and Eggs

Just great stuff happening for our CSA right now. Let me take a few minutes here and keep you up to speed with all that is happening around the farm these days.

 

Raw milk. About a year ago, I learned of a dairy family that was getting into the scene. As 6 dairies were closing their doors locally, Mike De Smet and his family were entering the market. I love stories like this because you can say “Dang you're crazy!” or “Dang you're brilliant!” But what you cannot say is that he is just following the crowd or herd in this case. The difference he thought, sell it raw.

 

Well raw milk is illegal for retailers to sell in Bernalillo County which accounts for 675,000 mouths. So he was committed to sell raw milk knowing that 1/3 of the state's population could not buy from him. Now that is what I call persistence. All that persistence caught a good break this week, as did we.

 

You see Bernalillo County does not consider our CSA a retailer. We are a membership. So they let Mike know that we can distribute his milk and open up a new market of 675,000 people to his dairy and I honestly could not be happier about this decision by the county.

 

In the past we have felt the need to bring in some regional suppliers of milk to fill our members' needs. Those days are gone. I feel great that having Scott Rasband and Mike De Smet as our partners, that there is no need to look outside the state for milk. Shoot, Mike and Scott are both within a 15 minute drive from our farm. Both amazing dairies that call our city home.

 

Beginning today, we will have the raw milk as an option for all routes and not just our customers outside of Bernalillo County. All members, all deliveries. Please let your friends and family know this as well. I have heard of folks who drive over an hour to pick up raw milk. Now, all they'll have to do is open their front door. We'll try to get a tour lined up soon of the dairy so you can come check it out. It is a beautiful place full of happy cows.

Secondly this week, eggs. I have seen for myself and heard from members that the quality of our eggs has not been the best that it could (should) be. So I would like to discuss this and let you know where we are right now.

 

In my effort to bring the highest quality and healthiest eggs to our members, I found a chicken feed that does not contain soy or corn. The thought was that soy and corn lead to higher saturated fats in the eggs. Well, this might be true, but it also leads to this thing in eggs called flavor. I think flavor is Latin for yumminess or something like that.

 

So the pale anemic looking yolks we experienced were not from a lack of fresh air for the birds. Not from a lack of fresh greens they ate. Not from a lack of free space they get. Not from a lack of TLC our farmers give them. It was solely from a lack of soy and corn in the feed. With that, it is a pretty easy fix once we saw the problem.

 

A month ago though we changed their feed and we are finally seeing the yolks change and get to a richer auburn orange color that I and all of our members expect from a farm-fresh egg. So if you have been turned away from he eggs due to the egg color, come on back to the pool, the water is warm and inviting. Our chickens want you back.

 

Last bit this week is some good news from our Arizona citrus growers. It looks like they are having a really solid year with the growth of the oranges and we will be beginning with the Navel orange harvest in a week or two at the latest. We found this group of family growers selling as one label 4 years ago and it really changed the face of our winter CSA. We get fruit that has only been off the trees for a few days instead of sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting for a buyer. Furthermore, we are able to give them more money than they would get from other outlets and you still get an amazing value for your peso. These are the win-win partnerships that we find through the CSA and that you help build year after year.

 

Happy munching, Farmer Monte

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