Thanksgiving at Alderspring; Beef Sticks, Roasts, and Winter Broths
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!
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 Nov 29!
Place your order by Sunday at midnight on the 28th to get it shipped on the 29th!
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 deals include our lovely boneless leg of lamb roasts (we almost never discount these), eye of round roasts for medim rare holiday roasting, our magnum fatty ground beef, butter, and a continuation of the 25% discount on our “Mountain Man” beef sticks. We’ve also added a weekend flash deal on bones and other broth builders!
This Week on the RancH: Thanksgiving
We didn’t sent out this weekly tome yesterday for two reasons: first, our Thanksgiving party extended into yesterday, as friends and family stuck around for leftover food and good times. And second, we’re just not big fans of the whole “black Friday frenzy,” especially in the way it abruptly follows a day focusing on gratitude for what we have. And so, we’re sending this out today instead of yesterday!
This week has been a week of festivities and good food and celebration of another wonderful year. There is certainly much to be grateful for. Even in a year of drought, we’ve been blessed with an abundant harvest, healthy cattle, and wonderful people, both family and friends, to work with.
Perhaps one of the biggest things we are grateful for this year is the resilience of nature when its systems are intact. We knew before this year began that our soil organic matter metrics had improved dramatically over the past few years of careful grazing management, but we didn’t understand the full implications of those increased numbers until those soils were tested this year. Organic matter translates to not only more carbon stored in the soil, but a higher capacity to hold and absorb water. In a year where every drop of water counted, our soils were able to hold water and stay productive.
So this year we are grateful simply for soil. We’ve seen firsthand this year just how much that stuff under our feet matters, and that if we invest in it through our sweat and labor, it returns to us an abundant harvest.
The above chart shows the year-by-year change in the number of cattle we could support on the ranch during an 8-month period of growing season. Some weather variables impact these numbers (for example, 2016 was such a drop because of heavy snows and a very late spring that year, and in 2020 a thick smoke cover in the sky slowed grass production).
The upshot of this chart shows a very exciting pattern: in the past years, our grass productivity (number of cattle we could support on the same number of acres) has increased steadily, and this year our productivity still increased even though 2021 has been the driest year on record for our area in 127 years.
These numbers are important because they show the economic benefits of regenerative agriculture! “Sustainability” can’t just be about protecting wildlife or improving landscapes (though those things are important). It also has to make economic sense if it’s going to be more widely adopted…and these numbers show exactly that.
Quote of the Week
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”―Maya Angelou
This Week’s Story From the Ranch: A Thanksgiving Card from Alderspring
This story comes from around this time a few years ago…but it still rings true!
It was the weekend before Thanksgiving Day. Winter had already staked claim on the country, but we had to ride.
Thirteen-year-old Melanie and I left the woodstove warmth of our cozy kitchen after a breakfast washed down with hot coffee. In the mudroom, we put on silk scarves and oilskin slickers over wool and leather to ready for whatever winter winds would dish out on the high ranges. At this time of year, the right kind of clothing serves as a boundary between life and death, and the gear we use is chosen carefully….
Click below to read the rest on our blog!
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 the following cuts:
- Boneless Leg of Lamb! One of our favorite roasts!
- Magnum Fatty Ground (lovely pasture fat full of Omega-3s!)
- Eye of Round Roasts…a beautiful performer when cooked to medium rare (don’t slow cook this baby).
- Pastured Organic Butter for all that holiday cooking!
We also have our Mountain Man beef sticks at 25% off this week (these make a great stocking stuffer)!
AND a weekend deal on all broth builders (beef bones, osso buco, tendons, chicken backs, oxtail, and chicken feet).
Also note: Lamb, Pork, Chicken, and Sockeye Salmon are all still in!
And then…THE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE!
If you’re thinking of giving Alderspring as a gift this year or just want to know when those shipping days will be over the next two months so you can get your beef when you need it, here are the details!
- We won’t ship the last week before Christmas. This means your last chance to get a gift order shipped before Christmas is to place your order by December 12! Leave a note in the comments at checkout if you place a gift order before then but you’d like us to hold your order and not ship it until December 12th.
- We’ve switched to 2nd Day Air shipping only starting after Thanksgiving and until the 1st of the year. This is to make sure your order gets to you quickly and still frozen even during typical UPS holiday delays!
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!
Here are Maddy and Linnaea this Monday, doing the bimonthly sort! Every two weeks, we’ll bring the herd into the corrals to choose a few finished beeves. Our goal is to make sorting as smooth and quiet for the herd as possible. It’s better for both us and them: creating a quiet, low-stress experience means that next time we bring them in to sort, they’re going to be relaxed and easy to handle for us. As a result, sorting is no cowboy movie scene with lots of whooping and hollering. Instead, it’s nearly completely silent, and happens all at a walk (whether we’re horseback or on foot, quiet and steady wins the day).
Maddy, standing in the gate to keep the ones they’ve sorted off from coming back out while Linnaea is bringing in the next one.
Linnaea and Stew turning the herd through the gate and back onto pasture after sorting. The pastures in the background appear brown, but there are still traces of green and plenty of captured summer sun to be found there.
That’s the 8 month old border pup Stew, checking out his kingdom the morning after a light snowfall dusted the ranch. Luckily, the cold doesn’t seem to affect Stew at all…he’s got a thick winter coat that makes him quite impervious to the chill (and makes us a little jealous).
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!