We believe that food should have a “face.” In other words, you should know who is growing your food and know that your farmer, rancher or fisherman is personally accountable to you. We are the only internet provider of high quality protein where you can actually know the person who grows what you eat, rather than some vague “we work with family farmers across the midwest.” We take great pride in this, and believe that it is the future of agriculture to connect people directly with the producer of their food, even when the producer works in remote areas like we do here at Alderspring Ranch.
This matters both for the producer and for those who are blessed to eat their food. In the absence of personal accountability it is easier for the producer to cut corners, because the end product is diluted in a giant sea of mediocre food. But if you know us by name, we can take pride in our work as producers of the best food you can buy. We can be artisans and be rewarded for it. And you, the eater of that exceptional food, can form a relationship with your producer.
Here are our partners. You can click on the links above, or on the pictures of your producers below to reach pages with more extensive information about them and how they work hard to bring you the very best.
One of the last sources of truly wild and uncontaminated protein on our planet is Alaskan wild salmon. After an extensive search (we are really quite picky), we are proud to announce our partnership with fisherman Traveler Terpening. After selling direct to customers for several years, he branded his program, calling it Salmon and Sable (“Sable” refers to Sablefish, another wild fish he catches).
Traveler and his small crew fish for wild sockeye near the mouth of the Ugashik River on the Bristol Bay side of the Alaskan Peninsula. Traveler’s approach to catching fish is the closest thing to an artisanal producer of wild protein that we could find. He catches and handles his fish by hand, and his handcrafted care shows up in the exceptional quality of his salmon. Let me say this in a different way: we know of no other salmon fisherman that handles his catch in this manner. Not only does he land and curate his fish, he also carries it across the beach into his small packing house, where he fillets, vac packs and blast freezes every fish by hand. He even purchased a commercial pin bone picker for $10K, but found to his dismay that he did a much better job…by hand (Anyone need a bone picker machine?).
Needless to say, he hand picks them, and hand packs every single fish. Everyone else we know of hires an assembly line commercial cannery/packing facility to process their catch, co-mingling it with all the other fish, usually transforming to something less than it was. Integrity is often lost, even though their label says “fisherman direct.”
Traveler’s fish are different. They are truly his, and the pride he has in every fillet is evident.
This is pork uncompromised, raised by our son-in-law Ethan and our daughter Abby. Their pastured pork comes directly from Alderspring fields, where the pigs forage a diversity grasses and forbs. The pigs are fed a supplemental and carefully selected diet of local barley, red wheat (most of it locally grown in Alderspring’s Pahsimeroi Valley), and untreated sugar snap peas that Abby and Ethan source, grind, and mix themselves. None of these feeds were sprayed with glyphosate, and all are completely soy and corn free.
Based on Ethan’s experience at Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms and Abby and Ethan’s experience together raising pork down under in the far reaches of Australia, they have developed a traceable, portable, and humane protocol for raising their pastured pork. They’ve brought the flavor back into pork and taken the guilt out. You can learn more about Abby and Ethan’s pastured pork, available every fall, by clicking the link above.
Brian and Kathleen Bean raise award winning grass fed lamb on their family ranch outside Sun Valley, Idaho. Lava Lake’s grass-fed lambs range freely over nearly one million acres of pristine central Idaho mountain rangeland, resulting in a nutrient-dense, clean, wild protein. Brian and Kathleen are committed to sustainable agriculture and are spearheading conservation actions in Idaho’s beautiful Pioneer Mountain region through their non-profit the Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation.
Dairy. For many of us this word evokes the wholesome goodness of Rosie the cow munching on a lovely grass pasture with blue skies and clouds drifting silently over the red barn backdrop. As recently as the mid-1900s, most dairies were like this throughout the US. The last 60 years have seen a revolution in milk production as the industrial model has been applied to dairy cattle. Now much of the milk produced in the United States comes from “mega dairies” with thousands of cattle, many of whom never taste fresh, green grass or feel the dirt beneath their feet, instead living their entire lives on concrete in a feedlot. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We at Alderspring have bought wonderful Rosie-the-cow-like products from Lifeline Farms, of Victor, Montana for over 20 years. Nestled at the foot of the snow-crested Bitteroot Mountain range, Lifeline Dairy was founded in 1984 and is run by husband and wife Ernie Harvey and Jen Holmes and their kids Isabelle and Liam. Together, they have built a successful dairy farm that is a return to the small scale dairies that once supplied our nation’s milk. However, Ernie and Jen have gone quite a few steps further to ensure not only the long term wellness of their dairy cows, but the wellness of their customers (sound like Alderspring?).
Alderspring has been blessed with young people coming to work here direct from work experiences with the pastured poultry guru, Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm in Virginia. Alderspring’s pastured poultry was raised by Ethan Kelly in 2014, and by Joshua Madany in 2015-2018. This delectable pastured chicken is raised here on Alderspring’s organic pastures, supplemented with organic barley. We raise heritage breeds known for their amazing flavor and ability to forage. The pastured poultry enterprise gives our young employees an opportunity for a business venture of their own with the help and support of Glenn and Caryl. In 2014-2017, our pastured poultry was only available to Idaho customers, but another former employee, Josiah Barrett, started a USDA small-scale processing plant in Boise, Idaho a few hours from the ranch. There Josh can now get his chicken processed the way he wants: on a small artisinal scale that means careful, clean, and traceable processing of each bird. In 2018 we shipped wild pastured poultry nationwide.