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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter November 2013
In this issue...
-- Looking Back
-- Our Little Orchard
-- Bye Bye Sheep
-- Projects Complete
-- My Pumpkin!
-- November Special
-- In Closing ...

Looking Back
Thanksgiving is a time for looking back and expressing gratitude to our Creator for all that we have, and all that we have accomplished because of his abundant blessings.

Our kids were taught in school that the first Thanksgiving was a celebration to thank the Indians for helping us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The pilgrims were thanking God for his favor, a biblical celebration that God himself ordained after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. They were to celebrate the harvest, and were to acknowledge once again that it was God's favor that allowed them to prosper yet another year. "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." The pilgrims knew that if they acknowledged the source of their abundance then God would continue to bless them, and their offspring. May we never lose sight of this.

Our Little Orchard
I wanted to show you a picture of our little orchard that we recently planted on the ranch, but the leaves had fallen from nearly all of the trees making the photo a little like one of those Highlight games with the task being to find the trees in the picture. This is the only one with enough leaves left to show off the tree.

We planted 2 apple, 2 cherries, 1 peach, and a bunch of chokecherries - wild cherries, for those of you unfamiliar with our mountain chokecherries. Chokecherries are pretty bitter if eaten right off the tree, but mixed with sugar they make a delightful jelly or syrup. The trees we planted are already about 4 years old so they should produce some fruit next year. Allan and I are very excited about this addition as having a small orchard has always been a dream of ours. We will keep you posted on their progress. If anyone out there has orchard experience and can pass on some tips they would be greatly appreciated.

Bye Bye Sheep
I am not sure who won on this deal - the sheep, the coyotes, or the neighbors - but the sheep are gone. Allan loaded them up, all nine that were left, and took them to the sale barn. Not even the small check we received afterwards helped to offset the disappointment we felt about selling them. And for all that we lost to the predators. We fully intend to buy some again one day, but we will be better prepared to care for them when that day comes.

In case you are wondering about our meat program, the lambs we process are raised by our producing partner, Justin, who lives in the San Juan Valley, south of Alamosa, Colorado. We are so very grateful to him for the wonderful job he does raising the sheep, allowing us to offer lamb to all of you. We regularly get compliments on the lamb, and it is so rewarding to know that we are able to sell such a great product. Thank you, Justin!

Projects Complete
What a year! Project after project, and push, push to get it all done. We really do thank God as we look back at all of the changes and improvements that were made. We laid over 4000 feet of underground 6 inch pipe, installed a complete livestock watering system, planted and harvested a greenhouse and outside garden, installed a cross fencing system with steel post bracing on the entire property, built a back porch for the house out of steel pipe, and are just now doing the same for the tack and feed shed. We still need to do some work on the roof of the shed, some repairs on the greenhouse, and rebuild the dam on the pond below the house that was partially washed out in heavy rains this year, and then the snow can fall. What a year!

While this was a year of building, we hope next year is a year of reaping the benefits of all the ground work that was laid. We are already planning for a better garden and kicking around ideas on how to better market the harvest. We seriously need to get younger, not older, but that is not likely to happen. Allan has been working through some pretty severe shoulder pain, but even that is on the mend. Life is good, and winter will bring some much needed time for rest.

My Pumpkin!
I didn't get many pumpkins this year, but I did get this very perfect one that I am especially proud of, and that adorns our dining table. I plan to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving.

We harvested quite a few acorn squash and although the early one that I cooked was just okay, the one I harvested much later was quite sweet and yummy. I had to pick some of the pumpkins a little green and some of the squash not quite ripe, but I am giving them a chance to ripen in a sunny back room of the house. Another experiment!

November Special
As our way of saying thanks for all you mean to us, we are offering you a 15% DISCOUNT (instead of the usual 10%) on any Custom Package order of $200 or more for the month of November. For many of you this will offset most if not all of your shipping costs. Yahoo!

In Closing ...
Speaking of shipping costs, I just hate that it costs what it does to get these orders to all of you. I am sometimes tempted to build the shipping costs into the meat prices, but I struggle with whether this is really in your best interest. We do appreciate each and every one of you, and welcome your feedback on this and any other issues that you feel could help improve our service to you. God bless you all, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Lois & Allan

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