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: “When Bovines Ruled”
Weekend flash deal: 15% off Korean style short ribs and beef chorizo
Plus this week’s coupon cuts: 15% off wild hunter, regular ground beef, roast and ground packs, and osso buco.
Scroll down for Glenn’s weekly story and updates from the ranch this week!
this week’s coupon cuts
Remember, only you newsletter readers have access to these discounts!
Next shipping day is August 28th! Get your order in by Sunday the 27th at midnight to have it shipped the next day. No shipping Monday, September 4th – so our next shipping day after this one will be September 11th.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY: 15% off Korean style short ribs and beef chorizo
You can also save 15% on the following cuts!
- Wild Hunter Blend – This is similar to organic ground beef, but with some organ meats added in for the health benefits!
- Regular Ground Beef – Stock up on this freezer staple at 15% off.
- Roast and Ground Packs – It’s simply 20lbs. of roasts and ground beef at 5% off our a la carte rates.
- Osso Buco – The grass fed beef shank is like the perfect stew in one little package.
If you have any questions, observations, or comments, just send Kelsey an email at help[at]alderspring[dot]com.
this week’s webstore inventory is straight from the wild range pastures.
We selected these finished beeves straight off range pastures. On these mountain meadows, in a single day one of our cattle selects from over 200 different native plant species. We’ve looked, and we know of no other beef producer in the world finishing beef on diverse native mountain pastures like this. This really is grass fed beef like no other, and we’re excited to serve it up on this week’s webstore restock.
This week on the ranch…
There’s Melanie, oldest Elzinga daughter. She’s not pictured often, as more often than not she is the one behind the camera for most of the photos we share here. As the range season winds down, and most of our summer help has returned or set out for their fall plans, it’s mostly the daughters and longer term employees on the range now.
Entering these last few weeks of summer, we are grazing the highest country of our rangeland. Grazing through timber is the norm now, and getting our stock water tanks setup requires creativity. This high country has a lot of natural water and marsh habitat, but most of it we don’t allow the cattle to graze or drink from in order to protect it.
There’s Annie with the Ruby mare. Navigating the timber with the herd tends to be more technical and hands-on, but most days riders and horses alike still get a siesta of some sorts in the afternoon while the cattle are drinking and chewing cud.
Melanie pictured here atop one of the mares we acquired last year, Merry. Melanie has done a lot of work with Merry, and she’s turned into quite the horse for us on the range.
During this time, when the herd settles down enough, the crew will pull saddles to let the horses backs air out and take a break. They do good work for us, and we want to do right by them. The timber makes for good shade, out of the hot sun, and proves much more comfortable than the sea of sage brush in the low country.
That’s Linnaea, the third oldest of the Elzinga daughters, crew boss, photographer and web store extraordinaire. Everyone wears a lot of hats around here, and Linnaea is no exception.
Melanie captured this image on the range, depicting the vastness of territory we have the pleasure of traversing each summer. These mountains stretch hundreds of miles, and from this point, you can almost see our neighboring town of Salmon, almost an hour’s drive from the home ranch.
This image captures what we look at most days while grazing the herd through timber, as it should be. Heads down mean relaxed cattle, and as you can see here they have plenty to eat! It’s not uncommon to have pulled down off the range already by this time of year, but thanks to the heavy moisture this season has brought, cattle are thriving on some of the most beautiful and diverse mountain forage.
Melanie shared some beautiful thoughts to go along with a few of these images featuring evening in cow camp. Here is an excerpt:
“The last graze before the cattle head into the night pen is one of my favorite times of the day. The sun sets and the timbered and sagebrush laden hillsides fade into soft velvety folds in the failing light, spreading out into seeming infinity before us. The cattle are content, full from a day of good grass, and ready to lay down in the confines of their hot wire enclosure near our own camp, safe from the passing predators for the night. Linnaea counts them as they pass through the gate.”
You can read the rest on Instagram by clicking below!
Quote of the Week
“In the mountains, you are sometimes invited, sometimes tolerated, and sometimes told to go home.”-Fred Beckey
This week’s story: “When Bovines Ruled”
It was all I could do to keep my eyes open last night as cowboys, Josh, Clinton and I bumped out the 50 miles of dirt 4-wheel drive track to get back to the ranch. A half moon just before midnight helped light our way, as it did an hour before, helping daughter Linnaea and her crew negotiate a nearly 400 head herd of beeves into their new night camp locale.
There, in the electric fence enclosure and stock tanks (pumped 300 feet from a nearby creek) we set up, they would be safe from a potential wolf attack, especially since Linnaea and Annie would be ‘spiked out’ in a tiny canvas tent just 25 feet from the resting herd.
It is remote. I jokingly call this area the “Alaska” of our range due to its altitude, dense timber stands and just plain wilderness stature. There’s a lot of places we have our cattle right now that few humans, even indigenous peoples ever walked. The nearest human that wasn’t on our crew was easily a 40 mile four wheel drive road away.
The woods, the meadows, creeks, lakes and bogs are pristine and the domicile of thousands of years of wild animals. Wolves, bears, beavers, elk, deer (all still present) and even forest bison, prehistorically (they we try to emulate with our occasional, once every 3 to 5 year visits with our herd).
Linnaea somehow managed to herd her crew and cattle over ridges and valleys of trackless, trail-less steep mountains and cliffs, forest and meadow to camp over 6 miles to the new camp location, which she only knew by a google pin prick on the map placed by me the day before as I’m the crew’s line scout and chief recon and planning lead.
To be honest, I didn’t think she’d pull it off. But she was willing to try (doesn’t lack for confidence, that one!), and her and crew quietly ambled horseback in out of the dark forest off a nearby mountain peak about an hour after sunset with hundreds of cattle, and the beeves cruised into the night ground in the shadows of trees under moonlight.
Why do we do it? Why do we herd our beeves this way? For one thing, it’s good for them. They get the very best in wild vegetative diversity. They drink pristine waters, and eat pristine vegetation. It’s unparalleled in nutrition. Our cattle almost never get sick or have foot disease or pinkeye. There’s almost no flies on their backs.
People often mention to me how dirty cattle are that they see on farms. Ours aren’t. They glisten with shiny coats. They get fat on the diversity. In fact, I would submit to you that cattle are very clean animals. It is only humans who make them dirty, muddy, fly covered and gross.
I think that is wrong.
The other part of it is that I think we fit into an ancient ecosystem role. Large ungulates always grazed the grasslands and open forests of our continent. The plants are adapted to such. And if we keep them from grazing continuously and very intermittently, we can continue nutrient cycling while blessing our partners with wonderful food.
The third thing is that if we control our animals, we can stay completely out of sensitive habitats. We completely avoid all creeks year round (right now, they have spawning Bull Trout in them). We stay out of bogs and unusual habitats that have rare species in them. We can do that by fostering herd instincts in our cattle while being with them all the time, 24/7 on horseback.
If you’d like to read a historical account I put together from a trapper’s journal, long before settlement. It’s pretty fascinating, and it shows that large animals have always been a part of our Central Idaho ecosystems!
Read the story on our blog by clicking below!
And that’s it for this week!
Thanks again for partnering in what we do!
Glenn, Caryl, cowgirls and cowboys at Alderspring.
Left to right: range riders Rachel, Bryce, Brittany, Beau, and daughter Annie. We said goodbye to many of these people as they headed back to college in the last few weeks! On the back of the pickup? Two 5,000 gallon stock tanks that this crew is transporting to a new location. We’ll pump water directly out of the creek and into these stock tanks to provide a clean drink for our cattle without ever letting an animal step into the creekbottom & damage wildlife habitat here. We put fish screens on our pump lines so none of the fish up here (some of which are endangered) end up in our stock tanks. It’s a win-win for getting cattle great water while protecting the wildlife we share this landscape with and keeping our springs and creeks completely pristine and untouched.
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.
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