Sometimes it catches me completely off guard how quickly the time zooms by! My Grandma used to say that time goes by faster and faster, until it slows down completely. Guess I should be happy we still are experiencing the busyness of life! I’ll do a pretty thorough update here, since I haven’t posted one since late September. Geesh!
October and November find us on horseback a lot, gathering up cows and calves from the summer grazing ranges. Our horses, dogs and cows can easily walk 20 miles a day and more bringing them home from our Hat Creek ranges.
From our Lassen County ranges, they get to have another truck ride to our home ranch. Once we get the cows and calves home, we’ll start processing them. By processing we mean weaning the calves off the cows, giving everyone their vaccinations and doing health and pregnancy checks. Cattle are seperated into groups based on their age, and where we plan to move them to over the upcoming couple of months.
While all of this cattle movement and care takes place, we still keep taking our fattened cattle to the butcher for harvesting and providing the beef for sale to local families, restaurants and Orchard Nutrition. Many custom half and whole beef orders are fulfilled during this time, as folks fill up their freezers in the least expensive way possible with our healthy, natural, grass fed beef.
We make plans to market a lot of cattle during the upcoming months. Young steers will be sold, any cows that are not pregnant or bulls that have done their job and need to move on all get sold. A major concern for us (and anyone working in natural resources) is watching for what mother nature will bring us in terms of moisture. Rain and snowfall are crucial to refill above and below ground water systems that have been used from all summer and fall. Our constant thought is praying for rain!
Lots of local organizations hold their annual fundraisers this time of year. We support as many of them as we can, helping to support local needs, community organizations and charities. In that same light, we were pleased to be able to raise over $1000 for our local hospital, almost that same amount for our local fair as well as funds for the library, volunteer Fire Department and others
from our 3rd Annual Hat Creek Beer, Food and Wine Festival. Job well done to all who attended and lended a helping hand!
We had a wonderful time hosting and touring a group of agriculture, natural and human resource students from the University of Arizona. Excellent group of interested, intelligent and polite young folks who had an interest in learning about grass fed beef and sustainable agricultural practices.
December finds us sending truck loads of cattle to places all over. Some to Texas, Watsonville, Brentwood, Oak Run, Petaluma and other locales. Some have been sold, some are headed to winter grazing lands. Other cattle we plan to button up here and feed hay purchased and made locally for the winter months.
The holiday season was especially joyful this year. In 2016 we lost my Mom, Henry’s Dad and my brother. I think we all as families are coming out of the grief and taking greater joy in each day and family member and friend still present in our lives. Memories and voids are with us, but the pain seems lessened.
Christmas shipping for our beef was at an all time high … with boxes of beef going all over the USA to happy and grateful customers. Each box is hand packed by Henry and I, with a custom made greeting card and a bit of information on our beef soon to be on their table!
Watch for some updates and changes to our website as we transition into winter mode and take a short amount of time off from shipping beef.
We’ll still be taking orders, and reservations, but shipments won’t be going out until February 1st. As always, we appreciate each and every one for their belief in sustainable, local agriculture. Don’t forget to make your purchases of Hat Creek Grown, 100% Grassfed beef.