It's Rally Season on the Anywhere Ranch and Winter Stopped by to say HELLO....
Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Hey there! How are you doing? Hope you are enjoying this change of weather as much as we are!
We were sliding through the last hot and dry weeks of summer as the nights started to bring cooler air and hints of frost and the grass was starting to crisp up. I call this end of summer/beginning of fall Rally Season because it is the last big push of the busiest time of year for us, before we get to slow down for a bit for the fall/winter. The quick and dramatic season changes are part of why we love this amazing place that we live.
The Centennial Valley can truly put on a show at all times of the year and leave a person feeling small and humble, yet inspired and awestruck at the power of nature. A dramatic season change is surely what we got!
But there are no complaints here!
Luckily we got our whole flock of broiler chickens processed just as the storm began to roll in. At 4am that morning I weighed, labelled, and set the last bird in our stand-up freezer and stood back to admire the harvest. 90 pastured broilers averaging 4.5lbs each. Chris and I felt so proud and accomplished!
Chris and I look forward to Fall every year. It is the one very strict vacation we take annually. Without it I think we might run ourselves into the ground! We enjoy hunting season as fully as possible. Usually in the form of a couple of early morning and afternoon creeps through the forest. I find myself lost in the kaleidoscope of color the forest has as it envelops us; the crunch of frost underfoot, and the thrill and the goosebumps on my skin with the cooler weather and the sound of elk bugling through the trees. Ahhhhhh. Nature is truly the master of what we try to do here on the Anywhere Farm. There are no free-er ranging animals and no pure-er resources than those that exist on their own in wild places, which need no help from man to thrive. It is a good humbling reminder for us every year. In between forest explorations we will be shearing sheep, building winter pens, stacking hay, cutting firewood, building fence, winterizing buildings, consolidating burn piles, butchering a hog to mix in with our game meat (we are going to try out making some breakfast sausage, snack sticks, summer sausage and our own bacon this fall/winter- I'll be sure to share the process!) and the usual feeding and moving of the animals.
I also am just finishing up week 5 at my new job at 307 Meat Company! Phew! Chris is going into fall construction mode all over the valley putting on several roofs and doing lots of jobs to help others prep for winter. The shorter days are really starting to become noticeable, yet there are still plenty of things to do between sun-up and sundown. We are switching our sheep flock over to finishing/condition building mode as the leaves on branches start to fall. Our sheep can make good use of these leaves jam-packed full of energy since the hard frost came so early and the trees didn't have time to suck a lot of that energy down into their roots. This lush greenery will help the sheep put on that nice fall finish before processing and it will help the ewes and rams get nice an chunky before breeding season and the colder temps.
Speaking of leaves, I'll be bringing the Greenwaste Trailer back to Laramie next week to collect fallen leaves to use for our land remediation projects and animal feed/bedding. If you live in Laramie and want a place to drop off your fall leaves consider the Greenwaste Trailer. It will be sitting between TrueValue and Oreilly's for the next month or so, and I'll be hauling it back and forth periodically to empty it out as it fills up. We will be breeding the sheep in November, but the rams are already getting to be.... well, rammy! They are butting heads and chasing ewes around trying to decide who is the dominant ram who will get to claim the whole flock as his own- newsflash, I'll decide! HAH! If you are interested in a fall lamb to fill your freezer, I am taking reservations and deposits now. I project these lambs to yield around 35lbs of meat once cut and wrapped. We have a butcher date scheduled for October. Reply to this email or give me a call or send me a text at 307-399-4893 if you want to chat lamb! I am also taking reservations and deposits for hogs. I originally thought I would be able to butcher this batch in November, but it looks like January/February is going to be more reasonable. We have 2 pure-Mangalitsas in the bunch, they yield a very rich in lard and dark meat, the rest are Berkshires, still very rich and dark, just not quite as much lard. If you are interested in a whole, or half a hog let me know. Half of this new batch is already reserved so don't wait too long!
So, what's in the freezer now? You might be asking. We have a couple last cuts of lamb (shanks, roasts, steaks) and pork (country style ribs, hearts, fat). If you are interested in any of these I am discounting these cuts to get the freezer clear for our fall inventory.
Chicken: is $5/lb and our birds range from 3lbs to 5lbs with most of them averaging 4.5lbs. We also have gizzards, hearts, livers, feet and tails (for making chicken stock) for sale!
Beef: We still have 1/2 a beef from Rardin Grass-Finished Beef in our freezer that we will be selling in 10lb variety boxes. We have many satisfied customers who filled their freezers with 1/8ths, 1/4s, and 1/2s of this beef in bulk, but if you don't want to commit to that much meat at a time, we have created this more manageable option We have a large variety of cuts, including brisket, T-Bones steaks, tenderloin, soup bones, rump roasts, brisket, short ribs, back ribs, stew meat, round steaks, chuck roasts, chuck steaks, ribeye steaks, and more. Each box comes with ground beef and your choice of cuts, as supplies last, for $120 delivered to your door (if you live in Laramie or Centennial, otherwise we can coordinate a pickup location).
Hope you are staying warm and enjoying the cold snap before it warms back up this weekend! -BJ, Chris, and the TOTW Crew