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, what’s happening in our freezer, and a recipe to cook!
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 day is Oct 11!
Place your order by Sunday at midnight to get it shipped out on Monday!
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 ground beef and Wild Hunter pet provisions! Also, lamb and chicken are both back in!!!
This Week on the Ranch
Alfalfa. This week, the herd is out grazing pastures thick with tall alfalfa. They fill up on it like there’s no tomorrow (perhaps because they sense there is no tomorrow–fall is in the air, and soon all that alfalfa will freeze). So they consume it quickly and eagerly.
But though alfalfa is packed with lovely protein for those beeves, it can also be toxic to them if they eat nothing but that on an empty stomach. And so this week felt a bit like walking a tightrope for us. It required us to manage the beeves very carefully and intensively, moving them between temporary hotwire paddocks sometimes up to 7 times a day in order to prevent any alfalfa toxicity buildup. But at the end of even those days, we feel the reward in seeing content beeves with full stomachs, relaxed and chewing the cud.
Quote of the Week
“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”―Wndell Berry, Farming: A Handbook. Wendell Berry is a farmer, author, speaker, and activist. His writings on the subject of humans, nature, and agriculture are well worth a read.
Glenn’s Story This WEek: Full Curl Ramming on Highway 93
There were some massive rocks on the river canyon road the other day. One was the size of a Volkswagen bug (remember those?). It’s the time of year where we see it often, and usually the culprit is the wild animal that lives in the crags and rocks of these parts. It used to be the protein mainstay in this country for indigenous peoples.
Now, we share the country and the grass with those ungulates. But when I see them catching a drink from the river, or high above on a rock atop a roadside cliff, I’m happy to know that they still make their way through our mountains, where in many they’ve been extirpated.
So, here’s a reprint from a few years ago that details their existence. Fall work has been incredibly busy for the last few weeks as we are racing to get ready for the teen temps predicted for next week.
So come with me on a reflection about the king of these crags. It isn’t the wolf, or bear. Instead, I think this wild animal laughs at them in their vain attempts to follow.
Featured Weekly Cuts
A quick summary of this week’s deals
(As always, only you newsletter readers have access to these discounts)!
This week you can get 10% off on both the following cuts:
- Ground beef. This is a kitchen essential. Simply Alderspring grind, with lovely pasture fat and flavor.
- Wild Hunter. Designed specifically for your pets, this is a blend of Alderspring ground beef and some of our organ meats to provide “whole prey nutrition” for your pet!
Also note: Chicken and Lamb are both back in stock!!!
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.
Weekly Happenings: Photos from the Ranch
This week we’ve got something a little different! Glenn made this short video about grazing alfalfa this week. Click below to see the beeves out on pasture!
And here are a couple additional photos of happenings on the ranch this week!
Happy beeves out on some of that alfalfa!
Here’s Maddy one evening this week changing the bandage on the Janie mare (and yes, Maddy is wearing her pajamas. She always dresses stylishly for work). Janie cut her leg a few days back. It’s a clean cut that will heal up fine, but we’ve been changing the bandage frequently so it doesn’t get dirty or infected. Luckily, Janie’s been a sweetheart about it!
I (Linnaea–3rd of the seven daughters) try to check on this little bunch of cattle that we’ve kept here on the home ranch every day to make sure everyone looks good! Yesterday I got to take the 4-year old niece with me! She stayed on the four wheeler (turned off) while I got a closer look at a couple heifers. Everybody looked good, and I got to answer a lot of questions, including “why do cows run away from us?” (how to explain prey animals to a four year old?), “will the pivot get us wet when we drive under?” (yes, that’s part of life), “why did I name your dog Stewjake?” (you tell me, kid), and “can the four wheeler go faster?” (yes, but we won’t be finding out how fast).
Part of controlling our alfalfa graze (and any grazing we do) involves putting up and taking down a lot of hotwire. We use a pretty simple setup that makes it easy to set up and move temporary paddocks quickly. As you see here, it’s just a few cord reels filled with hotwire and some fiberglass fenceposts. We’ll pound in those posts with a hammer or rock, tie the wire on with a quick and simple knot, and head on to the next post. It’s all charged with a portable solar charger.
The fence isn’t super hot (we get shocked with it quite often, and it’s only a mild shock), but it’s hot enough that cattle and horses will respect it and not try and go through. It’s a simple solution that enables us to control where we graze and how much gets grazed off.
This type of grazing definitely is a bit of a science. We literally do the math on how much of a pasture we can graze for maximum plant productivity and weight gains for our cattle. Give the cattle too much time on a pasture, and they’ll overgraze it and slow root growth. Give them too much pasture to choose from, and they’ll get selective and start picking only their favorite species, making those species less likely to grow back. Give them too little pasture, and they’ll trample and waste a good portion of the grass. It’s a bit of a math conundrum…but it sure is fun to see the results when we get it right!
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.
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!