Dear Friends and Partners,
Welcome to Alderspring’s weekend edition newsletter!
In this letter is Glenn’s weekly story, a suite of pics about work on the ranch this week, and an update on this week’s featured cuts!
Weekly Story: When Frances Met Dolly
Weekend flash deal: 20% off on filet mignon and sirloin steaks!
Plus this week’s featured cuts: Get 20% off on thick New Yorks, Bones, and Chuck Roasts!
And, as always, if you have any questions, observations, or comments, just shoot us an email to Kelsey at help[at]alderspring[dot]com.
Next shipping days are August 29 and 30!
Place your order by Sunday at midnight on the 28th to get your order shipped out next week!
Looking for this week’s featured cuts? Head to the page below. Scroll on down for Glenn’s story and other newsletter stuff!
This week’s cuts include 20% off on Thick New Yorks (we almost never discount these this much!), chuck roasts, and bones for broth!
In addition, we just posted some 16ths–called the “grassfed” 16ths that are discounted 20 to 25% off a la carte prices.
And finally, the weekend STEAK flash! 20% off on big FILET MIGNON and 20% off on sirloin steaks!
This week on the ranch…
That’s the riding crew just after bringing the herd home from the range. From left to right: Wesley (intern this summer, now a ranch hand!), youngest daughter Maddy, Josh (he also was an intern this summer and is staying on as a ranch hand), Brittany (crew boss on the range for the summer, returnee after interning last year), oldest daughter Melanie, Jeremiah (longtime ranch hand and now manager of a ranch we leased near the home ranch), and 3rd daughter Linnaea. This group here will be our main group of hands here on the ranch for the fall and winter, except for Brittany (she headed off soon after to work for and learn from a horse trainer)!
Millennial on her phone? Actually, that’s daughter Melanie, and she’s not scrolling through tiktok. In fact, there’s no cell service here. What Melanie is looking at is a downloaded photo that was taken on our range back in 2009 by a BLM tech. Since that photo was taken, the GPS point has been lost, as has any specific information about the location of that photo. She and daughter Linnaea are instead using clues provided by the landscape shown in the photo along with their knowledge of the rangeland to locate the exact photopoint (both girls have ridden up here so much that they know every tree and rock).
Why do they want to find the location of the old photos? Simply to retake them! We want to see the difference that 17 years of our management have made on the range, especially along streams that serve as key wildlife habitat. The reason why we want to see the changes will inform our decisions going forward, but it’s also because of you.
See, we use the term “regenerative” to describe what we do. But we don’t believe it’s right to use that word unless we have the data and visuals to back it up. That’s why we do soil tests over time (by the way, we’ve tripled our soil organic matter in the last 10 years), and why we spent weeks on a carbon life cycle analysis in order to find out exactly what our carbon output vs our carbon capture rate is (turns out we put 8 lbs of carbon in the ground for every 1 lb of beef we produce, and that’s after subtracting all of our carbon emissions).
Relocating and recapturing these photos is just another step in that process. We know based on our own observation and other data we have that the improvements have been dramatic, but these photopoints will be an excellent visual to see that. Once the girls finish retaking all of those photos, we’ll put together a library of before/after shots for you to view!
Linnaea snagged this overview shot on the way back from retaking a few specific photopoints. This used to be a thin stream threading through the landscape with a few willows dotted alongside of it. Now it’s a patchwork of beaver ponds that support a diversity of trees, shrubs, and wild grasses. Along the trail, you can also spot the signs of wildlife using this area: bear, elk, and deer poop is plentiful.
One of those beaver ponds, new as of last year. We love having these guys recolonize this landscape, because they bring so many other benefits. Ponds raise the overall water table and soil moisture, meaning more wet meadows, increased grass productivity, and ultimately more food for both cattle and wildlife.
Quote of the Week
“As to Dolly, there she was again, the very pink and pattern of good looks, in a smart little cherry-coloured mantle, with a hood of the same drawn over her head, and upon the top of that hood, a little straw hat trimmed with cherry-coloured ribbons, and worn the merest trifle on one side-just enough in short to make it the wickedest and most provoking head-dress that ever malicious milliner devised”
― Charles Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge
This week’s story: When Frances Met Dolly
Just this week, I completed Alderspring’s 2 day organic inspection. It was our 18th annual checkout. As always, it was pretty grueling. Just the organic systems plan itself exceeded 120 pages of excel spreads, maps, photos and affidavits. Then there was the tracebacks and “mass balancing” proceedings where the inspector picks a random package of our beef and records the lot number off of it.
Then, with my records, I prove and provide the exact origin of that animal, including what field it was born on and who the mother was, of course, clearly demonstrating organic origin and pasture throughout his or her life.
In the inspection we look at seed and seed labels, grasslands, alfalfa, soils, beeves in every class (including newborn calves), maps, cover crops, wildlife habitats, riverside conservation areas and irrigation systems. It’s extensive. She even asks about how we treat our animals (I think she’s satisfied when 421 head of inquisitive cattle surround her while we look at their eartags).
We joke together that people think organic certificates are nonsense (a fairly ridiculous thought, as my inspections get more grueling every year).
As we checked out our new ranch holdings in the Lemhi Valley, we drove along Agency Creek, a section of which passes through our property.
That’s when a flood of memories came rushing in, reminding me of Alderspring’s beginnings 30 years ago, and our ranching mentors, the Alders, who took a chance on us.
Part of their story is what I tell in the tome that follows–and it’s a tale intertwined with a fish named Dolly, and the origin of the naming of our ranch: Alderspring.
Read the rest on our blog by clicking below!
This Week’s FEatured Cuts From Alderspring’s Wild Pastures
A quick summary of this week’s featured cuts:
(As always, only you newsletter readers have access to these discounts)
FIRST! Flash deal for this weekend only! Save on STEAKS with 20% off filet mignon and top sirloin!
And this week (until Sunday the 28th at midnight MST) you can get 20% off on the following cuts:
- THICK New Yorks!
- Chuck roasts (flavor found here!)
- Our grass fed organic bones (purest broth bones you’ll find)
That’s oldest daughter Melanie riding the range on her mare, Spark, this summer. Melanie trained Spark (and most of the other horses we ride up there). Out of all of the girls, Melanie is the one most passionate about horses, and most naturally intuitive about getting along with them.
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.