Dear Friends and Partners,
Welcome to Alderspring’s weekend edition newsletter!
In this letter is a story by Maddy, at 16, the youngest Elzinga on Alderspring, a suite of pics about work on the ranch this week, what’s happening in our freezer, and a recipe to cook in this new month of September.
And, as always, if you have any questions, observations, or comments, just shoot us an email to Kelsey at email@example.com.
Next shipping day is September 7 (yep, a Tuesday due to the UPS holiday)!
This Week on the Ranch
It’s been an incredibly busy week on the ranch so far with sorting beeves, sheep and horses! We’ll be doing the great “herd join up” at the beginning of next week; right now, about 430 head (the ones that were on the range) are over on the lower valley ranch, and will be trailed the last 3 miles to headquarters. We’ll join them up with a little over 150 that summered at home, and we’ll be running in one large group of nearly 600 head for the rest of the fall. It’s a nice bunch to handle; they all come to our voices, and it is so much easier than managing two herds. But for this week, it is about staging to get that done!
Quote of the Week
“Since our break with nature came with agriculture, it seems fitting that the healing of culture begin with agriculture, fitting that agriculture take the lead.”― Charles Massy, Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture – A New Earth
Maddy’s Story This Week: Flint and Steel
There’s some sort of mystical bond between young girls and horses. It’s rare to see this in boys, but it often happens early in a girl’s life. They’re drawn to horses, even before they set their hand or hearts to one. On the outside, especially from the viewpoint of a male it looks like girls can go horse crazy.
And all of our girls grew up with them—some had more of a heart for it than others. Maddy is one of those that had a heart for, and with her steely and dedicated resolve, she decided to start one from scratch. It’s not for everyone; it takes a certain amount of steel. And Maddy is that. And Flint, her gelding is one that connected with her. Here’s her story about him!
Featured Weekly Cuts
We’ve changed this section up a little. Rather than a bunch of different links to the stuff we talk about here, you can now find it all in one place in the web store for your convenience, so you don’t have to chase items around. Let us know if this makes things easier for you (you can comment at the bottom of this page on what you think of the new setup)!
- REMEMBER: the price increases NEXT week on the 6th, storewide. I’m afraid inflation, as well as the rising costs of shipping, has hit us, too.
- Also, everything this week must ship 2nd Day Air due to the UPS Labor Day holiday. Don’t worry, we’ll return to normal next week. Idaho, Montana and Utah still ship ground!
A quick summary of this week’s deals (as always, only you newsletter readers have access to these discounts)!
- STOCK up on ALL ground beef: 10% off; includes even the specialty ground. Any kind. Any quantity. Last chance at this price, minus 10% with coupon.
- ONE POUND ribeye steaks. These are not the lean variety; they are our regular ribeyes, and finally are thick and deep. Straight off summer grass. Ten percent off.
- STEW beef. Ten percent off.
Remember, our inventories are VERY dynamic! Our goal is to turn it over 2 times a month to offer you the very freshest product right off of Alderspring’s pastures.
Recipes From the Ranch
Grilling Ribeye: How to Grill the Perfect Steak
In this post Glenn shares his favorite techniques for grilling Ribeye steaks to perfection. The perfect ribeye is all in the method and the quality of the steak, not in the seasonings. This recipe is simple: just salt, pepper, and a good Alderspring steak. The basic seasonings put the robust flavor of the steak in the spotlight.
10 Easy Ground Beef Recipes
Ever been in a ground beef rut, stuck making the same ground beef recipes over and over again? We love ground beef because it’s quick, delicious, and easy to cook, but we tend to end up making stir fries over and over again. If you’re in the same boat, give some of these ground beef recipes a try!
Weekly Happenings: Photos from the Ranch
Maddy and Linnaea, with partners in crime, Buster and the baby border Stu-Jake. I caught them heading out pulling a long gooseneck trailer behind their Powerstroke with horses in tow. They were heading down valley to the lower ranch to sort fat and ready beeves from over 400 head grazing the deep summer green. Then, Darrin would trailer the beeves home, where Maddy and Linnaea would catch up to them, and weigh them on Alderspring’s certified scales to know exactly what their gain was over the summer season. These were beeves ready for harvest; it’s a little bittersweet for them, as they both cared for them all summer, and now, are harvesting them for their finish and wellness that they gathered on the high ranges.
Linnaea on the mare Sunny with the dogs Stu and Buster after a successful sort. She and the dogs are just quietly standing here to hold the cattle in place until they’re ready to load them on the trailer.
That’s blue sky, taken yesterday, on the banks of the Salmon River at the lowest limits of Alderspring’s summer grazing range. We had a massive Northwester come in the other night, and it swept every ounce of smoke and foul forest fire air from our mountain valley! We couldn’t believe it, and stared in awe at the azure. It’s probably been 70 days since we saw this clearly. Grateful.
A nighthawk finds roost on the top rail of Alderspring’s corral fences. Genetically related to owls (DNA is very similar) and closely related to Whiporwills. They are in the nightjar family of birds (because of their “jarring” nightime whooshing vocalizations–I think they sound more like a Formula race car going by). They are also called “goatsuckers” because pioneers would see their wide opening mouths and some swore that the birds would suckle and steal milk from their goatherd).
I see maybe one of these a year, and it is because they usually roost on the ground, knowing that their “cryptic coloration” will almost invariably protect them (I’ve nearly stepped on them on the range). They rarely fly during the day, and come out in dusk and dawn to eat insects–with their mouth wide open. They actually fly at speeds of 12-30 MPH right smack into bugs in the air (which they very specifically identify before they eat them, shown by their eating preferences), with mouth wide open, and the air sends the bug right down the hatch. There, they hit digestive juices, and their soon demise. No nasty chewing. Just down they go, wings and all. One nighthawk study discovered 2,175 flying ants in a single nighthawk stomach from a single night. Sadly, on the decline, North-America wide, thought to be due to pesticide effects on their prey. Bugs are disappearing. And so are nighthawks. There used to be many more than today: one nighthawk fan counted over 43,000 passing nighthawks along the Lake Superior shoreline in 1990. Those numbers may be gone forever. And it breaks my heart. I love these birds. -Glenn
The pup Stu-Jake eagerly asking Linnaea if he can go chase those cattle. She, unfortunately, had to tell him no. Instead they were first off to put up a new hotwire paddock for that same group of cattle before opening the gate to move the herd onto fresh grass. We move the herd frequently in order to promote better pasture regrowth and diversity and to give the herd access to the best possible forage at all times.
And that’s it for this week! Thanks again for reading and 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.
Your partnership in Alderspring helps us maintain what is unique in today’s agricultural world; Alderspring is a Carbon NEGATIVE and Climate POSITIVE operation. We ran the numbers, and our cows help us capture more carbon in the ground each year on our irrigated pastures than we release!