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: Forbidden Fruit on the High Ranges
Weekend flash deal: Fatty Ground Beef
Plus this week’s featured cuts: Get 20% off on big leaner ribeyes, specialty grind, patties, and osso bucos!
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 Sept 5 & 6!
Place your order by Sunday at midnight on the 4th 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 big leaner ribeye steaks, specialty grind (chuck, brisket, sirloin, round!), pre-shaped patties for the grill, and osso bucos. Fatty ground beef is our flash for this weekend at a blazing 20% off!!! No limits!
In addition, we just posted some 16ths–called the “grassfed” 16ths that are discounted 20 to 25% off a la carte prices.
This week on the ranch…
Daughters Melanie and Linnaea headed back to the range this week, but this time on foot with hiking boots and backpacks instead of horses and saddlebags. Melanie got the photo above as she and Linnaea were hiking out after spending the afternoon retaking photo points.
These photo points were shots that were taken over 20 years ago now and before we started managing our rangeland. We wanted to see what the changes looked like after two decades, and almost a decade now of “inherding,” our intensive management paradigm.
The girls recaptured almost 30 photos yesterday. These are just the first few they’ve been able to organize so far!
Above is a photo taken in 1999 vs. the one the girls took yesterday. This is a pretty exciting photo to us because it shows what can happen when we avoid grazing stream areas like this! Overgrazing in spots like this will eventually destroy root systems that hold the soil in place, which results in downcut banks and stream erosion like you see in the 1999 photo. Since we’ve avoided grazing in this area (and all streams on our rangeland) for the last 8 years, the plants and root systems have been able to recover and expand, and the stream has actually shifted to the left (out of the photo frame) into a smaller, contained channel with no downcut banks.
Here’s another of the girls’ retakes that is exciting to us! In the 1999 photo, you have what was a beaver pond and is now a cow mud hole, with only a few struggling woody species (like the willows in the top right). Cattle left to their own devices tend to graze all the grass (notice that all grass in the 1999 shot has been grazed to nothing), then move on to eating shrubs like willows. In the 2022 photo, we’re excited to see that thick willows have come in, and in the right foreground you actually see aspens regenerating. It’s a result of controlling where our cattle graze, and grazing areas that can benefit from intentional cattle use while avoiding spots like this that will be damaged by cattle use.
Linnaea snapped this shot after retaking her last photopoint and beginning the hike back to the truck. The mass of willows you see here is an oasis of water and thick green grass. It’s home to the wildlife we share this landscape with (indeed, on her hike up Linnaea spotted sign of bears, deer, and elk). What you may not guess from this photo is that about 2 months ago, our cattle actually grazed within a few hundred feet of these willows…without ever touching the habitat area here, thanks to riders on horseback who act as fences that keep the cattel out of spots like this.
But it wasn’t all hiking for the crew this week! Today the girls, Josh, and Jeremiah saddled up to trail the Alderspring herd from a ranch we’re leasing back to the home ranch. Here you see youngest daughter Maddy putting three of the horses (including her gelding, Flint, who has a penchant for making faces) out on pasture again after a successful ride!
Quote of the Week
“The sky,” he wrote on his slate, “is my living room. The woods are my parlor. The lonely lake is my bath. I can’t remain behind a fence all my life.”
―E.B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
This week’s story: Forbidden Fruit on the High Ranges
It was in early summer of 1988 that we stepped out of the Dodge 4-wheel drive pickup high up on the shoulder of Ramsey Mountain in Idaho’s Lemhi Valley. I was an aspiring forester, working for the US Department of the Interior, and I had two line officer/supervisors in tow for a tour of our latest tree plantation. The Douglas-fir forest had burned in a lightning-caused wildfire, and we had put lodgepole pine tree seedlings in the ground in an attempt to diversify the monoculture of fir.
The blackened overstory still stood for the most part, now a sort of skeleton forest over an incredible carpet of green that resulted from the fire. Seeds that waited long in the ground were now expressed by flower stems of purple fireweed that waved in the wind. Where the hillside bent to the south, forest trended toward the drier habitat of sagebrush. Here, the degree of floral expression was the same, albeit with different species. As we walked along the forest edge, one lovely cream-colored flower dominated the ground cover.
I was fairly new to the plants of mountain Idaho, especially to the sagebrush biome, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. As if sensing my curiosity, my direct supervisor, James Wilson, stooped down to the ground with his Buck pocketknife opened. It was a large knife, for a folder. James was an avid elk hunter, and always had several knives on his person. I was a little surprised to see him in the dirt and rocks with it. Bill Helgemann and I stood just downhill from James, watching him dig around one of the beautiful flowers. It was obvious he was trying to get the whole plant—roots and all.
“What do ya got there, James?,” Bill inquired.
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! Fatty Ground beef! No limits, and 20% off when you use the coupon!
And this week (until Sunday the 28th at midnight MST) you can get 20% off on the following cuts:
- BIG leaner Ribeye Steaks!
- All of the “Specialty Ground Beef”–Ground brisket, sirloin, chuck, and round!
- 20% off on our pre-shaped burger patties!
- Don’t love to grill? Stock up on Osso Buco/Beef Shank for fall weather!
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.