After a long stint of radio silence I am happy to have some real news to announce. Seashaken is partnering with Beneficial Farms to create a long term distribution system in New Mexico! Beneficial Farms is a family owned and operated CSA located just outside of Santa Fe. Not only do they grow their own produce - and make their own cheese! - but they work with other farmers, fruit growers, and meat producers throughout the area to bring their members diverse shares of the best regional food. Now they have decided to go out on a limb and add our salmon to that list.
Two weeks ago we launched our collaborative effort. Beneficial Farms offered their members the option of adding a whole coho to their share. Now a whole, Frozen-at-Sea salmon is a pretty decent commitment even for fishing families well versed in filleting, boning, and cooking their subsistence catch. Needless to say I had some trepidation about how receptive the landlocked New Mexicans would be to the idea. Oh me of little faith. We had an incredible showing, selling over thirty whole salmon (averaging around seven pounds headed and gutted) directly to Beneficial Farms' members.
Who is making all the magic happen?
Thomas Swendson, son of Colleen Warshawer (above mentioned cheese-making extraordinaire), has a professional life working for Mogro, a mobile grocery store which brings quality food to under-serviced communities throughout New Mexico (you should check out this groundbreaking project here). As if this wasn't enough he volunteers his few free hours to his family, working as the Special Projects Coordinator for Beneficial Farms. It is in this latter capacity that he took on the idea of Alaskan salmon in the high desert and it has been his energy and hard work which has catapulted us from the potential into the actual over the last few weeks.
Apart from our Boat-to-Farm partnership, Beneficial Farms and Seashaken are working together to bring salmon to various restaurants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Last week we saw our first fish land in professional hands!
Sarah Hartford, owner of Hartford Square, a delightful little bistro in downtown Albuquerque, took in this 8 pound 8 ounce beauty and poached it in white wine and dill. Seriously the best fish I have ever had in a restaurant.
We feel incredibly fortunate to have found Thomas, Sarah, and all the other folks who have received us so warmly in New Mexico. Stay tuned for more restaurants, farm shares, and other news as things develop!