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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter  April 2016
Consolation Champs 

All-State game in Arvada
Lamar Coach Erik Melgoza, Taylor, Lisa (mom), and Allan
As most of you are aware, our Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates basketball team was ranked #1 in the state going into the state championship tournament. Unfortunately they were defeated by one point in the first round by the Centauri Falcons, a team we had already played 3 times in regular season and had beaten by 12 to 15 points each time. Our granddaughter Taylor and another starter were both fighting bronchitis and unable to play their normal game, a very frustrating experience. 

It was a terrible disappointment for the girls, but they went on to win the consolation round and placed 5th at state. Over the 4 years Taylor played with the Pirates they chalked up a 98-6 record, something they can be very proud of. 

She was chosen the Intermountain League Player of the Year by the coaches in our district, and was also selected to play in two All-State games, one in March, and one coming up in June, with the best 3A players in Colorado.

Taylor wants to play basketball in college, and is flying to California on Monday to look at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. It looks to be a good fit for her and we are hoping it all works out. We love her so much and wish her the best in college, and in life. She is such a special person and we could not be prouder of her.

4H Pigs 

Our grandson Kyler and granddaughter Taylor are competing in Market Swine again this summer. We are hoping our special needs granddaughter, Reece, will show the third pig, not for competition but just as a demonstration. She can be pretty fearful so I am sure we will not know if she will participate until it actually happens. Her sister and brother will be in the ring with her, which hopefully will calm and encourage her.

We bought the pigs in Nebraska on our way to Minnesota (see section on shorthorn bulls). We had a very interesting visit with Kyle Baade, a wonderful young man and the owner of Baade Genetics. He gave us an impressive tour of his pig operation. From the looks of the pigs they should do very well in the show in August. Kyler and Taylor plan to feed them an all natural, non GMO diet, setting them apart just a little from the rest of the pigs.

Artisan Bread
My very first loaf!
I have always preferred artisan style breads to any other kind, and just recently have taken it on as a passion to learn to make them. As it turns out, it is ridiculously simple to do. I watched a number of videos on YouTube and learned lots of tricks.

I have had a sour dough starter going for a few years now, and have been using that in each batch, in lieu of yeast. The loaves come out crusty on the outside, and light and airy on the inside. The most difficult part is planning ahead, as the dough needs to set for about 12 to 18 hours on the counter, before baking.

I use 1/4 cup of starter, 2 teaspoons of salt, 3 cups of bread flour, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Just mix this in a bowl (very easy since it is a very soft dough), cover and set for 12 + hours. You can cut this time down to 6 or 8 hours but it won't be as sour and light.

After the resting time turn the dough onto a floured board, and add just enough flour so that you can fold the dough into a very soft and pliable but flattish loaf. Place in a bowl lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise till doubled - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Place a dutch oven in a preheated 450 degree oven for a half hour. Pull the pan and gently set the parchment paper loaf inside, slice the surface lightly with a sharp knife, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and bake another 8 to 15 minutes. Ovens vary, but you just want to get the top nice and brown. 

Cool, cut and enjoy!

New Shorthorn Bulls

Allan and I traveled to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, recently to purchase two young Shorthorn bulls. We are very excited to see how they improve our herd genetics. Shorthorn animals tend to have richer fat, more tender meat, and the mothers produce lots of milk. Oftentimes you can milk the mothers, sharing the milk with the calf, because she can produce so much.

While enroute we called back to Texas to see how the cattle were doing because it has been so dry there and fires were being reported in the area. While the fires were very close, all was well, but we were informed that our best bull had died. That was extremely disappointing to hear. These new bulls are too young to service the cows in Texas/Oklahoma, so we are scrambling to find another bull to put with the cows this summer. We blew the budget on the new bulls, so we are praying that another not too expensive option presents itself. 

More Pictures! 

We moved our greenhouse from below the house up to the top, closer to the house. It is more accessible, flatter, and should be a lot easier to manage.

I am going to put raised beds inside. More pictures as that develops. Very excited to get it going, but needing to be patient as the guys work to finish it.

Remember all those baby chicks I showed you a few months ago?
Well they are grown and laying eggs - abundantly! Love my chickens.

It's been awhile since I shared pictures of the colt a good friend gave Allan after his favorite horse die from colic last year. He is doing great.
2015 All Star Award 

Just got notice that we received the Constant Contact All Star Award again this year for our newsletter and email marketing:

For another year, you demonstrated exemplary engagement with your audience. Once again, you set the standard of excellence. We are thrilled to present you with the All Star Award for 2015!

Every year, the bar to All Star status gets higher and higher. Only 10% of Constant Contact customers receive it. But 53% of All Stars, like yourself, are multiple-year recipients. We're proud that more and more customers have unlocked the success formula to building better relationships with their audience!

Relationships matter to us at Constant Contact. Thanks for making yours count. Congratulations again, and we hope you have another great year in 2016.

Thanks to each of you for your encouragement and support with our newsletter. And thanks for opening it in your browser, cause that is one of the things that pushes us to the top!
"No Fools" Special 
      • 1 Rump Roast
  • 1 Chuck Roast
  • 10 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 Boneless Leg of Lamb
  • 2 lbs Ground Lamb
  • 2 Whole Chickens
$220 ValueSale Price$199

Combine with other products to receive another
5% off on orders of $200 or more,
and 10% off on orders of $300 or more!

In Closing . . .   

This was a crazy long newsletter. Hope you made it to the end! So much going on, and so much to look forward to as summer gets closer and closer, and the days get longer and longer. Hope all is well with each one of you. We pray heaps of blessings on you and your family.
Lois & Allan

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