Dear Friends and Partners,
Welcome to Alderspring’s weekend edition newsletter! Thank you for partnering in what we do!
Below you can find beef discounts, Glenn’s weekly story, and lots of photos from the ranch this week!
This Week’s Story: “Calves in the Cold”
Weekend flash deal: 10% off Hot Dogs + Chorizo!
This Week’s Store Update & Coupons
NEXT SHIPPING DAY: Monday, February 5!
What’s In Stock
Beef was restocked earlier this week. We still have some inventory on many cuts, including…
- Some steaks + roasts
- Ground beef
- Some sixteenths (bulk beef) are in stock!
- Salmon still in
- Cheese still in
This week’s coupon cuts
Weekend flash: Hot Dogs + Chorizo!
Click the button below to get access to the coupon.
If you have any questions, observations, or comments, just send Kelsey an email at help[at]alderspring[dot]com.
Photos from the Ranch This Week…
It’s Jed with the mare Sally, photographed by Melanie. Since ranch work is a bit slower right now (not much to do but feed cows and occasionally fix equipment!), the crew members have each been working with an unstarted horse recently. We have several unstarted ones that have been on the back burner for a while because we haven’t had time. Now we’re all working to get them ready to ride on the range this summer. Jed is working with this big draft cross, Sally. They are doing great together!
And Linnaea is here (pic by Melanie) working with Sammy. Sammy has hardly been handled by people before now, so Linnaea has started by roping her. She uses the rope to help establish a connection and start gaining Sammy’s trust. Linnaea will pull on the rope (not enough to hurt) until Sammy looks or turns towards Linnaea, and then she will release that pressure. She is trying to teach Sammy that looking to us results in safety, comfort, and a release of pressure.
And just like that, our snow has melted from the ground this week. It was a warm January, and then it rained for part of today!
Here’s Glenn, checking on the cows and calves. These “calves” aren’t exactly babies anymore–they are all 6-8 months old right now (you can see several of them pictured)! We haven’t weaned these calves yet even though they are old enough (most ranches wean at around 6 months). It’s because they thrive and experience no stress when left with their moms all winter. As they get older, many of them will stop nursing and eat more hay and grass (or mom starts getting tired of her overgrown baby and will kick the calf off–“you’re too old for this, junior!”). But right now, these calves still have mom available for emotional support and as a little bit of warm milk if the weather gets cold. We have to feed the cows a little extra hay in order to keep them producing milk, but it’s worth it to have healthy calves like this. We’ve had almost no calves get pneumonia (a very common thing for most calves this age), and they are much fatter and weigh more than calves typically do at this age. It’s because most calves this age have gone through weaning stress, and during that time they eat less and lose weight due to anxiety (which also predisposes them to illness).
As for our other calves–this year’s coming calves–they are still safely tucked inside of mom’s belly. All of the cows in the picture above have another calf growing inside of them. Those calves won’t be born until May or June (most ranchers near us calve right now), and no matter the winter weather that hits, we have peace knowing those calves are safe and warm inside their moms right now. By May, we’ll have weaned these big calves (and because they’re older and ready to wean, it won’t cause them stress). The cow will be ready for her next calf, and those next calves will be born on green pastures and warm weather.
More in Glenn’s story this week about why we calve in the spring…and how we made that decision! Scroll down to read.
Quote of the Week
This week’s story: “Calves in the Cold”
This story was written a few years ago. It’s about how watching nature changed the way we calved our cattle. As in many ways over the years, observing and mimicking nature had effects we didn’t anticipate…
Winter firmly laid hold of our high country this week. Yesterday morning, while driving my pickup through Stanley Basin up the Salmon River from us, the ice fog was impenetrable by even my off-road lights. The mercury read 24 below zero at the Stanley Mercantile. It wasn’t quite daylight, and I have often run across town-living elk who chose not to migrate to lower country, instead wintering along the many hot springs and thermal areas that bubble up along the Salmon River.
It has been several years since I ran into one with a vehicle. The last time it happened, daughter Melanie and I were driving slowly through similar winter fog at the head of the Pahsimeroi Valley. Same cold, same ice fog. Suddenly, a mature cow elk materialized through the mist. In a microsecond after contacting our bumper, her toppled body imploded our windshield as we skidded to a stop. As we stopped, her body slid off the front of the hood with a sickening thud to the snow-covered roadbed in front of us….
Continue reading below!
And that’s it for this week!
Thanks again for partnering in what we do!
Glenn, Caryl, cowgirls and cowboys at Alderspring.
We’ve been crafting our pastured protein here in Idaho’s Rocky Mountains for nearly 30 years and delivering it direct to our partners for nearly as long. This is wild wellness, delivered from our ranch to your door.
Why is Inventory Low Lately?
Here’s where we’re at on the “low inventory” situation…and why it’s low in the first place! We know many of you have been with us for a long time and rely on us as your source of protein (and we’re so grateful)!
In the last few months, we’ve been hit by a lot of unexpected demand.
When it comes to raising beef, changes in demand can be very difficult to respond to quickly. It takes us 2-3 years to raise an animal to finish. That means we plan our inventory needs about 2 years in advance.
Many companies and producers we know of that sell direct-to-consumer respond to sudden increases in demand by buying outside cattle (often at sale barn auctions) and then selling that beef under their label. This is VERY common.
But this kind of “cow flipping” isn’t something we’re willing to do.
We know the entire history of every beef we sell. That’s important to us, and we know it’s important to you and part of why you trust us to raise your beef.
We’re working right now to gradually increase our available inventory to hopefully provide more beef! But at a certain point, we actually can’t expand further without compromising our standards.
We know that the reason many of you order from us is because we’re small scale. We butcher our cattle at a small processor that only does about 80 head of cattle per week (compared to thousands at a big facility). This also limits our capacity to expand, because they, too, are functioning at capacity right now. We also raise only as many cattle as our pastures can support without degrading our soils. And we’re still small enough that Glenn personally looks at every single steak before he puts it in your box to ship to you. These factors are why you order from us! But it also means occasional inventory limitations.
Your partnership with alderspring directly supports our mission to improve soil health, wildlife habitat, and animal and human wellness through regenerative ranching practices.
Here’s what we’ve accomplished with your help & support in just the last 12 years!
More information about our regenerative practices and outcomes can be found at the button below.