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: “Beeves in the Back of Beyond”
Weekend flash deal: 15% off our beef garlic and chorizo sausages!
Plus this week’s coupon cuts: 15% off beef hot dogs, individual chuck roasts, and organ and variety meats (beef heart, tongue, liver and oxtail.)
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 Monday, August 11th! No shipping Monday, September 4th. This week’s coupon is good until Sunday September 3rd at midnight.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY: 15% off beef garlic and chorizo sausages!
You can also save 15% on the following cuts!
- All beef hot dogs – These are made like the original frankfurter, and they’re GOOD.
- Individual chuck roasts – Just in time to warm you up this fall.
- Organ variety meats – This is beef tongue, heart, liver and oxtail.
If you have any questions, observations, or comments, just send Kelsey an email at help[at]alderspring[dot]com.
This week on the ranch…
Here they are…the crew, back from the range and all piled up on a pickup for a quick group photo. We were blessed to have an incredible crew working here this year, and these people are just a few of them! Many of our summer interns and short-term summer employees have already left, headed back to college or on to their next opportunity. We miss them all and are so thankful for the time, dedication, and great attitudes they brought this year. This work isn’t always easy, but a great crew makes it fun.
That’s the beeves on the range this week, just a few days before we started them on the 6-day journey back to the home ranch from the high pastures of the range. Here, Melanie’s crew is lining the cattle out down a steep and rocky hillside after a great morning of grazing high timbered meadows. On rocky hills like this, the crew backs off pressure and lets the cattle single-file their way slowly down. Pressure and stress makes for hurt hooves, where a quiet single-file line allows the cattle to pick their way.
Here’s a big steer with a mouthful of that green goodness. On the range, the crew gently guides the cattle over a grazing loop away from camp and back again. This way the cattle always have access to fresh grass, and changing topography means continuously changing plant communities and species. The result? Diverse forage of hundreds of plant different species in a given day. It’s what makes for flavor in beef, and we believe, wellness.
Here’s Jed, stopped with the horses at one of our temporary stock tank locations. We pump water out of creeks and into these stock tanks on the range so that our cattle never have a need to step foot in those streams. At this time of year it is especially essential that we avoid any impact in streams, because trout are spawning. Instead, a hose with a fish screen on it brings water from creek to tank. Cattle drink clean water, fish swim happily on, oblivious of their near miss of an encounter with bovine.
Here is Lily and Clancy, nudging a few cattle along as the rest of the herd moves on.
The grass at this elevation isn’t always the thickest, though it is green and nutrient dense. The key is running the cattle in a loose enough herd formation to allow each animal to have sufficient grass, while keeping them together in the trees. It’s a tricky balance!
Cow camp can be seen in the mid right hand side of the frame, tents tiny specks of white amidst a sea of dense evergreen.
Cattle graze one of the highest ridges on our allotment, amidst the burned tree skeletons remaining from the Rabbit Foot fire of 2018.
The last light on the Lemhi Range is a sight not soon forgotten. Photos just don’t do it justice.
The sheer expanse of country below the crew’s grazing territory for this past stint was pretty astounding!
Wesley and Maddy, aboard Reba and George, after a good day of grazing the high reaches of our allotment.
Maddy mans the afternoon stock tanks. The hose filling the tanks is a little fragile, and can easily be broken by thirsty cattle pushing for position around the tank. Someone has to stand there to ensure that the tanks continue to fill so all cattle can quench their thirst over time.
Lily and the gritty mare Bobbie keep the cattle moving along.
Maddy, aboard Flint, moves the cattle off a high alpine meadow, bound for the thick timber standing between the herd and the night pen.
Wesley, riding Sunny, herds the cattle back to camp after a day of grazing.
Maddy and Wesley talk about the best way to bring the cattle back to camp for the night, while Lily keeps them moving along.
Lily, Wesley, and Maddy insisted on a photo of them standing on their horses, and Melanie acquiesced. What is a stint on the range without a few shenanigans?
Melanie’s saddle, built for her by a talented local maker almost a decade ago, has covered so many hard miles on the range. High quality gear is a worthy investment.
The canvas tents of cow camp, seen from the opposite ridge, are dwarfed in this vast high country.
On the way out from our recent stint, storm clouds rolled in and rain began to fall. The mountain roads can become downright treacherous with a little precipitation, so Maddy drove as quickly as possible to stay ahead of the storm while dodging rocks that would inevitably result in a flat tire.
Melanie’s mare, Spark, gets a much-needed rest as the cattle drink their fill from the stock tanks in the afternoon. Spark is wearing support boots to protect the fragile ligaments and tendons of her lower legs while she navigates steep terrain and down timber.
This is our highest camp ever, in the history of our time living and grazing our cattle on the range. Off to the right, in the hazy distance, is the valley where the home ranch lies. Over the next few days when you’re reading this, we’ll be trailing the cattle over the expanse of mountainous terrain, bound for home ranch pastures.
With day length decreasing, days are not quite as long as in the beginning of the summer, but we still unsaddle after dark every day.
Montie is Wesley’s dog, and she would die for him. Here she braves cattle jostling for position at the tanks to take a little swim on a hot afternoon.
The horses were happy to see beautiful green grass in this alpine meadow just downhill from our last cow camp of the summer.
Here’s the crew putting in the new cow camp as evening fast approaches on August 26th.
The ride from our camp of a few weeks ago to the newest camp last week was 4 or 5 miles. We trail the extra horses from one camp to the next, with some ponied off a saddle horse and the others running loose. It’s a bit of an undertaking, but we know our horses well and have never had a real mishap. The key is knowing which horses get along within the confines of their pecking order, and pairing accordingly.
Lily rode Reba one of the days last stint, and got along great with her! Reba has come a long way since we started using her on the range last summer, and has become a reliable mount with a great work ethic.
While the lower range country is crisped by the hot summer sun, we found verdant green in the high reaches of this last camp. The cattle thrive as the grazing season in the mountains comes to an end for this year.
Maddy and Wesley (aboard Toby and Jimmie) watch the herd as the afternoon shadows begin to lengthen.
Maddy was the crew boss for this last stint, which involves deciding where to graze the herd and ensuring they get to water in a timely manner. It’s a big responsibility!
While we were grazing some open country, Wesley took the opportunity to read a few more pages of his Louis L’Armour novel.
Crew left to right: Josh, Jed, Annie, Linnaea, Lily, Maddy and Wesley.
Montana shared this photo – that’s Tony digging out and replacing a leaky section of pipe that feeds a few wheel lines.
There’s Josh and pup, Mack, lugging fire hose up a small mountain. We had about 3/4 mile of hose strung out in this location that we had to gather and set up at our next tank location.
Quote of the Week
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.”-John Lubbock
This week’s story: “Beeves in the Back of Beyond”
The late August sun glinted through the trees along the ridgeline above. I was alone, putting together a remote stock water system in an essential wilderness, with a fire pump, 300 feet of surplus firehose and two 1000 gallon poly tanks. I had pulled the hose-lay on foot over my shoulder up a steep thickly forested hillside starting at a tiny pristine creek, carrying cold and crystalline clear spring water, the molecules of which would eventually find their way to the salt waters of the Pacific Ocean, nearly 1000 miles away.
And they were thirst quenching molecules. I drank my fill from my cupped hands in the tiny pool that I placed my draft line basket strainer (keeps trout in the creek instead of the tank!). I thought the same thought I usually had when I drank directly from one of the spring fed creeks on the range. Never before had I tasted such beautiful waters.
The slight sound of an engine stopped me in my up-and-down traverse of the spruce and fir subalpine forest. I cupped my ear to trace the sound. It was a bush plane, likely shuttling elk hunters on scouting trips in the Frank Church Wilderness, the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states, the boundary of which was just 6 miles away..
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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