November 2016 CUSTOMER NEWSLETTER     

The New Header
"Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."  - Kenneth Boulding (an economist)  
As campaign season (finally) winds down, now it's your turn to spread some fertilizer around... 
As Americans all across the country finish casting ballots and wait with equal parts anticipation and dread for Tuesday's election, Ranch Foods Direct continues to make it easy to vote with your dollar for healthy, tasty, one-of-a-kind products from local farms, processors and kitchens! Support the local economy and select USA products whenever possible... it's your patriotic duty, but also an easy, rewarding and often delicious choice!

NEW IN STORE: Need a break from TV campaign ads and 24-hour election coverage? Get out and winterize your garden with premium Garden Mulch with Biochar! Recommended for fall application, this product helps retain soil moisture, protect plants and stimulate beneficial microbial life. (Avoid tilling or disturbing mulch and soil after application to prevent disruption of soil microbes.)

Ranch Foods Direct now carries a full line of high quality gardening products for use throughout the year! Directions are printed on the packaging. (Or just ask!)     
Need a drink? Try bone broth bliss!    

Steeped in ancient cultural tradition, restorative bone broth is trendy again among health conscious and paleo-inspired eaters...

It's even caught on as a beverage, according to a New York Times article, "Bone Broth Bliss." Some bars now feature broth "flights" and customized broth drink flavors. Chef Marco Canora (author of the cookbook,
A Good Food Day) swears by its transformative health effects. "Instead of sipping coffee all day and wine all night, I started walking around with cups of broth of my hand," Canora says in the article.
"It's been known through history and across cultures that broth settles your stomach and also your nerves. When a recipe has that much tradition behind it, I believe the science is there too," adds Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Broth: An Old Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World.

Among true broth aficionados a jiggly, gelatinous broth is considered the gold standard. Why? Since gelatin "gels" when cooled, a gelatinous texture indicates a high level of the rich protein that enhances hair, bones, teeth, skin, nails and joints. (If a broth doesn't gel that likely means it's diluted by a higher ratio of water.)

Ranch Foods Direct bone broth meets the gold standard. It's slow simmered in small batches and contains bits of roasted meat (but no artificial preservatives.) It comes from cattle that are naturally raised and fed, processed on-site and handled with care at Callicrate Cattle Co. (Allow for one day of thawing time in the fridge.)

Bone broth in 28-oz containers (in store now): $8.75 each 
  Smoked Ham and Bean Soup 
      adapted from a recipe by Judy Purcell, author of Serve and Savor (a great holiday gift idea; in store now!)

2 cups dry beans (soaked)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 large carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 5 quarts beef broth
2 cups cooked smoked ham or turkey
1 cup lentils (unsoaked)
1 whole bay leaf
2 tsp. cumin

Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda in 4 quarts water in a large pot. Add beans and soak at room temp for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat and cook veggies until caramelized. Add garlic, cooking til fragrant. (If using a slow cooker, transfer softened vegetables to the cooker at this point and continue with remaining instructions.) Add soaked and rinsed beans, lentils, meat and bay leaf to the pot; cover with broth. Be sure liquid is 2-3 inches above ingredients to allow beans to absorb liquid. Add water, if needed. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours on the stove or 4-6 hours in a crockpot set on low. Add salt, pepper and seasonings during last hour, adjusting for flavor. Optional: Stir in 1/2 c. concentrated broth (or demi-glace sauce) for richer flavor. 
Farm-to-table pioneer raises turkeys with room to roam    
During the holiday season, Ranch Foods Direct will offer customers a choice of turkeys from Red Bird Farms of Denver, priced at $3.99 per pound, or from Gunthorp Farms, priced at $5.99 per pound.

Red Bird Farms is a privately held Denver-based company and a long-time poultry supplier to Ranch Foods Direct.
Described as "one of the best-known and most desired high-end meat brands in the Upper Midwest" by Graze Magazine, Gunthorp Farms is a small family-run operation in northern Indiana very similar in method and philosophy to Ranch Foods Direct's own Callicrate Cattle Company.
Gunthorp Farms illustrates that the politics of food - like any other - sometimes requires taking a stand and firmly planting a foot. While family patriarch Greg Gunthorp watched the agriculture industry changing around him, he committed himself to two goals: 1) he would not be the last generation of his family to farm the lush rolling hills of northern Indiana; and 2) he would not be the first to raise livestock in large confinement systems.
Since then, Greg has emerged as a national leader in the local food and farm-to-table movement with special skill in the art of raising pastured pork and poultry. He and his family adhere to regenerative farming practices designed to optimize the health of the land and livestock. He built his own USDA-inspected processing plant so he could process his animals right at the farm. Leading chefs soon took notice: his meat has been served in some of Chicago's most famous restaurants, including Rick Bayless's Fronterra Grill and the former Charlie Trotter's.
In October, Greg and his family invited Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate to tour their farm and to participate in a round-table discussion with officials from USDA's Food Service Inspection Service. They and other small farmers and processors had the chance to share their concerns about bureaucratic and regulatory hurdles that are forcing small slaughter plants out of business.
Without small plants, small livestock farms cannot remain viable, Mike emphasizes. "The lack of small processors serving family farm agriculture is really hurting the local food movement," he says. "It's becoming virtually impossible to find free-range turkeys in Colorado because so many small farms have either gone out of business or stopped raising them because they have nowhere to go to get the birds processed."

GOBBLE GOBBLE: Ranch Foods Direct will have fully cooked, smoked turkeys and Callicrate Pork hams in a variety of sizes for sale throughout the holidays. Pre-order available now; turkeys begin arriving in mid-November.
DID YOU KNOW? When selecting a turkey, figure on enough for one pound of meat for each dinner guest. Ranch Foods Direct has a detailed tip sheet and turkey roasting instructions; pick up the info in store. 

Coming soon: a deli counter with prepared items!

For wholesale accounts and service:
Peak to Plains
4635 Town Center Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Cell: (719) 314-9727
Office: (719) 574-0750