The moos seem to get further back in the timeline … so here’s an update for May and June! I always think of lots of things to tell you about, when I am out on horseback, in the corral or driving to a meat delivery, checking on cows and calves or simply away from the “writing” mode with the phone ringing and customers to care for.
May was as busy as always, with us shipping our yearlings that we keep on the Los Vaqueros watershed in the east Bay Area. Some went to our friend on the Humboldt coast to grow on grass, others came home to eastern Shasta County and still others found their way to Texas. Yes, Texas! We are super excited to have our cattle selected as the first ones for a large grassfed beef venture that could supply the US with truly, 100% natural grass fed beef. We’re taking a shot at competing with the beef imports from New Zealand and Australia and keep consumers money here in the states, while getting a great product that fits their needs. I’ll have more updates as the cattle grow and fatten … we plan to visit them in the fall.
With all mommas and babies vaccinated and marked we start putting them out on our summer ranges. Our cattle are truly range cattle. The ones closest to home spend their summer on 40,000 acres of USFS permits on the Hat Creek Rim (famous as one of the premier hang-gliding launches in the western US). The pastures they graze are about 4,000 acres in size with limited water. We’ve already done two pasture rotations this year, with many more to come as we work to keep the cattle on fresh feed, with good water and leave enough stubble and cover for the range grasses to regrow or seed out for next year. This is just one of the ways we ensure sustainability.
Speaking of sustainability, on the Hat Creek Rim ranges, Pam’s great Grandfather, Andrew, put his first cattle there in 1903. This was before there was a USFS to administer grazing permits. He took out his first permit in 1908 with 21 head of cattle. We are still running cattle on that same range over a century later.
One of the wonderful things about living where we do and doing what we do is providing a safe haven for lots of wildlife. This is the time of year when babies of all types abound! On the left is a hatch of mallard ducklings floating in the irrigation ditch behind our house. On the right, you’ll see an antelope trying NOT to be seen on my way out to our Lassen County range.
We’ve also been working out details and putting together great food, beer, wine, musicians and local artisans for our event on September 8th , the Third Annual Hat Creek Beer, Food and Wine Festival. I should have more details in my next post … Hopefully the moos will come on July 1st! Writers block not-with-standing.