You Voted for Local Heroes
The results are in and all the votes are counted! Here are our readers’ picks, and congratulations to all the winners!!
FARM / FARMER: Shepherd’s Lamb—Antonio and Molly Manzanares can be found weekly at the Santa Fe Farmers Market selling their organic lamb, also available at local restaurants, through the mail and at La Montanita Coop. Check them out online at www.organiclamb.com
CHEF / RESTAURANT: Torino’s At Home—two years in a row! A heavy favorite with both travelers and locals alike, owners Daniela and Maxime Bouneou serve up some of the best Italian food this side of the Atlantic. Great takeout (think Lasagnas and chicken piccata), or sit down for breakfast or lunch and swoon over the perfect panini or a steaming bowl of freshly made tagliatelle with creamy gorgonzola sauce. Located inside Santa Fe Village Mall at 227 Don Gaspar, 505-982-4545, or www.torinosfoods.com
FOOD ARTISAN: Sweetwoods Dairy—two years in a row! New Mexicans love their goat cheese and have voted two years in a row for the red-ribbon cheeses of Sweetwoods. You can find Sweetwoods Dairy cheeses at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, La Montanita Coop and many other grocers throughout New Mexico. Sweetwoods is located in Pena Blanca, and can be reached at (505) 465-2608.
BEVERAGE ARTISAN: Brad Kraus may not be a name you recognize— but our hops lovin’ readers know him as the man behind the brew. Brad has been brewing beer for 27 years, 19 as a professional brewer. He was the brewmaster at Santa Fe Brewing Company, Rio Bravo Restaurant & Brewery, and Wolf Canyon Brewing Company before joining Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery. Brad has a career total of six Great American Beer Festival medals, including two gold, as well as numerous medals and awards in other competitions. He is a brewery consultant, having worked on projects in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru. Brad is also the acting brewmaster for Isotopes Brewing Company and Abbey Beverage Company, the only monastic brewery in the U.S. In addition to his work in breweries Brad is a Master Beer Judge as ranked by the Beer Judge Certification Program and has served with a select field of international judges for the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. If you’re drinking microbrews in NM, chances are Brad had a hand in it.
NON-PROFIT: Santa Fe Independent Business Alliance has a winner with its Farm to Restaurant Project. The Alliance mission is to promote the health of independent businesses, but it doesn’t stop there. The Project’s theme of “Do you know where your food comes from?” is an effort to get more local foods into restaurants by encouraging farmers, food producers and chefs to work in partnership.
These regional connections forge stronger local communities, stronger local agricultural economy, and create jobs, building a healthier localized economy. Look for the wildly popular Farm to Restaurant Cook with the Chef series, pairing local chefs with farmers at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. For more information visit www.santafealliance.com
Beneficial Farms Cooperative CSA:
Join a CSA, save money, eat local food!
CSA’s are good for you. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model is consistently less expensive than buying local food at the grocery store or farmers’ market. Steve Warshawer, Beneficial Farms CSA founder, agrees and says: “We can work together to turn the lessons of the current economy into sustainable habits that lead us to a healthier planet.”
Founded in 1994, Beneficial Farms CSA now works with more than 30 farms throughout New Mexico and Colorado as a cooperative CSA. This approach allows multiple farms to support a single membership body and enables members to receive a wider variety of food and extend their supportive relationship to many more family farms. CSA member payments early in the season are passed through as investments to core farms, helping them with early-season costs so that they can more fully develop their farm plans. Key farms in New Mexico include Harmony Farm in Abiquiu, Mesa Top Farm on Glorieta Mesa near Santa Fe, Shiroz Vineyard in La Luz, Desert Gardens in Hatch and Garden Hers Farm in Dona Ana.
Beneficial Farms CSA provides fresh local food year round and members can join at anytime. Warshawer explains: “Though it is occasionally necessary to source a desirable item out of region, we place our emphasis on expanding capacity and availability of local foods year round.” The summer season reaches full capacity with items like peaches, cherries, apples, spinach, salad greens and squash, as well as 40 other fruits, vegetables and greens. Beneficial Farms CSA also sells eggs, beef, chicken and flour as well as seasonal items available in bulk such as tomatoes and peaches. Beneficial Farms has implemented more ways for members to communicate, via their blog and at the weekly distributions of food shares. “Community is important to our members, they like to see each other when they pick up their food and share information online,” Warshawer says. “Members provide their preferences for food on the blog and that helps me plan future food shares. We were able to add garlic recently because a member posted a request on our blog.” The CSA members are sharing recipes, cooking tips and food storage tips online as well as volunteering at the distribution points. Warshawer has plans to incorporate seeds, seedlings and garden classes this spring and summer. Pick-up locations include Santa Fe and El Dorado, and a bike courier service for home delivery of shares in Santa Fe is also available for a weekly or monthly fee. Members pay for the CSA season in advance, or can pay a deposit and have a payment plan. For more information on membership, call (505) 470-1969 or visit www.beneficialfarm.com.