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: “Vermont Sheep and Stone Walls”
Lamb sausage, pork back!
Switching to Shipping Every 2 Weeks
We’re switching soon to shipping only once every two weeks! We know this is a big change! We’re doing this because we get fresh inventory in every two weeks, so we think it will help with inventory management to ship on the same schedule.
Because deliveries will be less frequent, though, we’ll make sure to let you know when we’re shipping so you can plan ahead on your beef needs! We’ll continue to send out newsletters, and we’ll also send a text update when it’s shipping week (you can sign up for text updates on the page below).
This week is a shipping week (we’re shipping October 30th)! We will NOT be shipping the week of November 6th.
This Week’s Store Update & Coupons
NEXT SHIPPING DAY: Monday, Oct 30th! Order by the 29th at midnight to get your box shipped on the 30th!
What’s In Stock
We’ve about run out of beef in the store for the week. Fortunately, we will be restocking soon (including bulk beef) and you newsletter readers will be the first to know about it. What’s still in stock: some lamb (including new lamb sausage!), beef sausages in several flavors, New Yorks, osso bucos, ground beef, leaner ribeyes, and raw milk sheep cheese.
This week’s coupon cuts
We still have flatirons on sale! You can find that coupon at the button below.
Note on Hams
For those of you who want one of those Thanksgiving hams! We recently restocked hams and recommend getting one now if you want it for Thanksgiving. We have limited hams available.
If you have any questions, observations, or comments, just send Kelsey an email at help[at]alderspring[dot]com.
A Note on Inventory
We wanted to explain in a little more detail here what’s going on with the low inventory lately. 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)!
The last couple weeks, we’ve been hit with an unexpected wave of demand.
When it comes to raising beef, sudden 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. We know many producers who respond to sudden increases in demand by simply buying outside cattle and butchering those cattle under their label (this was especially common during the sudden demand hit during covid). This kind of “cow flipping” goes against our standards and isn’t something we’re willing to do.
With that said, we can’t make dramatic increases but we do have the ability to slightly increase our inventory within the next few weeks here. We’re hoping this resolves some of the problems you all are having with getting your meats!
The reason many of you prefer to buy 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), and we raise only as many cattle as our pastures can support without degrading soils. We carefully curate every single steak. Our small size means we can pay attention to detail. But it also means occasional inventory limitations!
Recent Photos From the ranch…
Here’s Bryce saddling up to move cattle to another pasture! Bryce was one of the last of our summer employees to head out. He stuck around to work on the ranch through the fall. Now he’s home in Florida, where the weather is warmer (we’re jealous)! We’re going to miss having Bryce around here. He not only worked hard and gave his all every day, he also had a great attitude while doing it and kept everyone laughing! He epitomizes the attitude we try to have around here that though we take our work seriously, that doesn’t mean we have to be serious while doing it.
Photo by Brittany of the cattle looking pretty content on that fall pasture. It’s actually some of our best grazing of the year, full of sugars stored up in still-green grass. This is the time of year when we let the cattle spread out and graze a little more. As the grass goes dormant, we don’t worry so much about controlling the grazing to optimize regrowth. Now we just want to leave enough to have good soil cover heading into winter.
Snow hit the mountains this week, along with a cold snap at home. Here’s the old mare Ginger. She’s passing 20 now and is happily retired to Alderspring pastures. Despite her age, she’s the picture of health (and we don’t mind seeing her a little fat heading into winter). She was Glenn’s trusty range mount for years and has well-earned her retirement. In her younger days, while Glenn was riding through some steep country looking for cattle, she slipped off the trail. Glenn bailed off her back in the nick of time while Ginger continued to roll down the mountainside. They were able to get her standing up again, but it was clear she had a bad shoulder injury. Glenn slowly led her the miles out of the backcountry back to the horse trailer. The vet checked her out and said there wasn’t much he could do, but that there was a slim chance she’d heal up on her own. And she did. She limped around the pasture for a winter, but gradually returned to walking completely normally. She faithfully carried many a rider on the range for several years after with no sign of the accident except for an odd indent that is still on her neck. She has a bit of arthritis showing now and is retired from riding. She’ll live out the rest of her life with us. She, like many of these horses that have been such loyal partners to us, has earned it.
It’s ranch hand Jed, working on the last of the “winterizing” on one of the pivots. Every fall, irrigation systems must be shut down and drained so that they’re ready to restart next spring. It’s cold work, though, as the weather turns. Not so fun to touch those cold metal pipes and get wet when there’s a brisk wind blowing at you!
Photo by Melanie. Brittany here also came to work for the summer and ride the range and stayed on through the fall. She headed back home last week. She’ll be missed, as she’s become a close friend over the past 3 summers of riding with us! Winter is our slow season when we don’t need as much help (it’s pretty much just feeding cows once the snow hits), but we miss having such a great crew of people around. They say that “good help is hard to find these days.” That’s because we have them all here.
Melanie snapped this photo while working horses the other day. These 3 are waiting for their turn to be worked with outside the round pen we have in our barn. All of them are unstarted and haven’t interacted much with humans before. This makes starting/training them more challenging in some ways and easier in others. It’s challenging because they’re pretty unsure about people and Melanie has to work harder to build their confidence and trust. It’s easier, though, because they are “clean slates.” They haven’t been taught any bad habits by people, so Melanie doesn’t have to undo any past negative “training.” As a family, we’re all continuously impressed by Melanie’s ability to build a solid foundation with these horses.
Quote of the Week
“For winter was coming. The days were shorter, and frost crawled up the window panes at night. Soon the snow would come. Then the log house would be almost buried in snowdrifts, and the lake and the stream would freeze.”-Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the “Little House on the Prarie” series
This week’s story: “Vermont Sheep and Stone Walls”
Last Week: The bronze, red, and gold of fallen leaves carpeted the road before me, often obscuring the double yellow lines. Negotiating countless curves with my rented pickup through fog-shrouded spruce and fir forested gaps in the ancient spine of Vermont’s Green Mountains, I made my way down through picture-book New England villages complete with covered bridges (stop before you enter, as most of them are one-lane).
The last time I had been over these mountains was 40 years ago. There were more people than I remembered, and the demographic had apparently changed to a large degree from dairy families and loggers to two new classes of people. The first class, I perceived, was individuals who now worked remotely from a bucolic setting compared to a midtown Manhattan or Boston office; the second were people who worked in tourism or services to support the first group. Many of the places still sported some animals—a cow here, or perhaps a herd of goats or sheep, and a few horses….
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.
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.