Shop (or ship) all USA meat products and fresh produce, CLICK HERE

Coming this 4th of July weekend —

for a cause

Colorado Springs’ Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo Saturday, July 5, includes a “Chuck Wagon Champions Challenge” to benefit the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation. A dinner of classic cowboy cooking is $15. It’s 4 p.m. at the Norris Penrose Event Center.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Following the chuckwagon cook-off, 100 working cowboys from 25 historic ranches compete in traditional Ranch Rodeo events. CLICK HERE.

Recipe box
Be the god of the grill!

Recipes from the Garden of the Gods grilling class, CLICK HERE.

Enjoy the pleasures of summer!


Plan to serve USA beef for your July 4 celebration.

DID YOU KNOW?... The U.S. imported $4.7 million worth of American flags last year.



July 2008

“For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fresh Good Taste
His is food for the gods

One of the exciting new young chefs in town is Chef Nicholas Arnold, who hails from Wisconsin — lush land of farms and dairies — and brings with him to the Front Range a love for local, artisan foods and simple but fresh flavors. He is now Executive Chef for the Garden of the Gods Club after training at the equally prestigious American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.

“I had a lot of allergies as a child,” he explains. “Instead of putting me on Ritalin my parents put me on the Feingold diet, no white flour, tofutti soy ice cream, that kind of thing. I still remember the first time I had an orange. I was 15 years old the first time I tasted ice cream. So I was always completely into food.”

More on Chef Nicholas, CLICK HERE.

Our heroes have always been farmers… Make a point to celebrate Independence Day by supporting U.S. farmers and ranchers!

Did you know?... Family farms produce 86% of America's food and fiber. For every dollar Americans spend on food, the farmer gets about 20 cents.

Grilling 101

Beef grading, dry or wet aging, a description of lesser-known steaks. For some of the interesting tips and explanations that came out of class with our trio of experts, Mike Callicrate, Chef Nicholas Arnold, and Pastry Chef Richard Carpenter, CLICK HERE.

Saucy tomatoes

Area farmers markets are back in full swing and Ranch Foods Direct is making room for more fresh produce! One of the items worth celebrating is the return of local hydroponically grown tomatoes from Joe Mauro and family of Pueblo.

Hydroponics are earning extra interest right now as the result of the recent national salmonella outbreak, which has sickened more than 200 people in three dozen states. The culprit is still undetermined. Growing tomatoes, greens and herbs in a hydroponic greenhouse allows for a more controlled environment, reducing the need for pesticides and chemicals, and reducing contamination from soil, since the plants are grown in a medium that delivers nutrients via clean water. Small hydroponic operations in many communities also extend the season when you can get fresh, really ripe, locally grown tomatoes, one of the great joys of life.

Take the plunge! Be a Locavore.

A carnivore eats mostly meat. The omnivore typically eats a diverse mix of meats and plants and has lots of choices (thereby leading to the “omnivore’s dilemma,” which writer Michael Pollan made famous.) But a locavore eats local, deliberately choosing foods sourced within a close radius of home.

In Colorado Springs, that’s a challenge, due to the relatively short growing season.

Still, to show people it’s doable — and fun — the Peak to Plains Alliance has launched the Locavore challenge, setting the parameters to include foods grown within a 300-mile radius: Ft. Collins to the North, our border with Kansas to the East, Trinidad to the South, Paonia to the West. More information and a sign-up are available at the Ranch Foods Direct store. CLICK HERE for more about this program from local foods advocate Melissa Marts.

Fresh ideas for cooking it local

Michele Mukatis helps coordinate the Peak to Plains Alliance — of which Ranch Foods Direct is a member — but she’s also a holistic health counselor certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City with a Certificate of Merit in Colorado Gardening from Denver Botanic Gardens.

Through her business, Cultivate Health, she teaches people how to grow their own food, cook tasty, easy and fresh meals, and have fun, which she insists is “one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.”

This summer she’s offering a series of classes to help shoppers prepare local produce. In the wonderful venue of Venetucci Farm's outdoor kitchen, she will give instructions on how to make easy meals from farm-fresh produce, introduce some new fruits and vegetables from local fields and offer some uncommon preparation methods. “You get the best flavor experience and maximum nutritional benefits by using vegetables recently harvested rather than being shipped across country,” she says. And she’ll prove it! CLICK HERE for more.

“The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land,
of every place in history or society; they can be a part
of all our other pleasures and they last the longest, to
console us when we have outlived the rest.”

 French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


... Your local source of
natural beef, poultry,
buffalo, pork, lamb, eggs,
wild seafood, deli meats
and cheeses, meals
and more!

Member, Peak to Plains Alliance

Store and Meat Plant
2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907
Retail Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328

Mike Callicrate, Owner

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