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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter   September 2014

Nocturnal Mountain Lion Visit 
Spotting a mountain lion in broad daylight is a rare occurrence. Allan was understandably very excited when he captured this nighttime picture of two lions with his trail cam. 

They are solitary animals, very territorial, and actively avoid other cats except during courtship. Females have two to four kittens, which the mother raises alone. The kittens nurse for two months and then start to travel with their mother, at which time she teaches them to hunt. They will remain with their mother from 1 - 2 years.  

The mountain lion's range can vary in size from 10 square miles to around 370 square miles. Females tend to have smaller ranges than males. The mountain lion is the largest wildcat in North America, has powerful limbs, and can leap as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet. Mountain lions eat large mammals such as deer, and smaller mammals such as mice, squirrels, porcupines, raccoons, rabbits and beavers. 

While the likelihood that we will see these animals again is slim, Allan's camera is ready and waiting for another chance.

Bear Hot Tub
Did I mention that Allan is really enjoying his trail cam?  Thought you might enjoy these pictures of a mother and her two cubs enjoying the tire troughs we installed last year for watering the livestock. Needless to say they did a number on the floats and plumbing inside the tire. These are the same troughs as in the mountain lion picture above. Wildlife heaven!


Another's Point of View 
Ben Rote, of Memphis, Tennessee, has been interning with us this summer and graciously offered to help me with my newsletter this month. He writes:

Because at GrassRoots Meats we made a commitment to producing beeves of excellent quality and managing our land properly and ethically, we've been experimenting more and more with mob-stocking our cattle. In lay terms, that means putting more cows into a smaller space and moving them more often. Instead of having 32 head of animals in a 10 acre paddock for a few weeks, we turn that same 10 acres into 10, one acre paddocks and move the animals daily.

What does this do? First of all, it gives Allan and me control of the quantity and quality of the feed (grass) the cows eat. Without mob-stocking, cows tend to wander as a group across a piece of land and naturally trample down and waste precious feed. In addition, they leave certain plants in the pasture uneaten. Just as you or I would naturally gravitate towards chocolate cake or chicken wings at a buffet and forget to grab a salad or a plate of brussel sprouts, the cows eat the tastier forage first and leave other nutritious growth uneaten. By making the "buffet" of grass smaller we naturally encourage the animals to take full dietary benefit of all the plants available in the pasture. 

Secondly, this method of grazing encourages ecological succession by breaking up the soil, giving seeds in our soil's natural seed bank a chance to sprout and flourish among our diverse pastures. Those same hoof prints that give new seeds a chance to sprout act as natural reservoirs when it rains and give our pastures increased irrigation potential and fertility. 

Each day at GrassRoots Meats we strive to manage our lands better, in hopes that we may someday become the best production managers that we can be. This lends success to the quality of the cattle that graze our pastures and the products we are able to deliver to you. Each morning we arise thankful for the loyal customers who choose to join us in the harvest of our animals, and the rich life of abundance we are so blessed to live. 

Please don't hesitate to visit with us at the farmer's market in Pagosa Springs and maybe pick up a ribeye, some chicken breasts, or even a lamb chop or two. Also, feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our products or our management. 

Slight shortage of Beef 
Our processor had to cancel our August beef slaughter so we are juggling our beef supplies. While we are out of a couple of things, we are still in fairly good shape and able to meet demand - for the most part.  We have temporarily stopped selling the discounted packages of ground beef - our Ground Beef Family and Junior Ground Beef -and are not able to fill orders for Quarter, Halves, and Wholes until November. If you are considering one of these you may want to get your order in now, as there is no guarantee that we will have them available later in the year, or into next year. However, our supplies of lamb and chicken are good.

So sorry for any inconvenience this might cause you, but we do appreciate that the growth of our business has created a few of these problems, and that growth is thanks to our growing list of satisfied customers. Which I guess means that it is all your fault !!!

Making Stock September Specials

Ready to start making those delicious soups from beef or lamb stock?  Then stock up on these great specials . . .

Beef Neck Bones - $2.99 per pound - Regularly $3.99

Lamb Stew Bones - $2.99 per pound - Regularly $4.99

Lamb Ribs - $1.99 per pound - Regularly $2.99

Offer good only while supplies last, so stock up soon!

In Closing . . .   
We have been getting some much needed rain in Arboles recently and we are so very grateful. Pagosa Springs has gotten lots of rain this summer, so those leases are doing very well, but our lease in Bayfield is still pretty dry. Fortunately we still have enough grass and all of the animals are doing very well. I have been picking green beans and a few tomatoes from our garden, so life is good. Every chance you get, thank a farmer, because it can be a very thankless job at times and every bit of encouragement is much appreciated.  God bless you.
Lois & Allan

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