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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter    June  2020
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Allan's Mom
Allan's mom passed away on Memorial Day in a nursing home in Houston, Texas. We are very grateful that we went to see her in December (in spite of our auto accident) but knowing that she died alone makes us very sad. At least now she knows why no one came to visit her in her last days.
Mom and her boys in the good ole days
Mom & Dad - they loved their beach house.
One of our many family gatherings at the beach. Allan's dad died soon after this picture.

Reece, our specials needs granddaughter, with mom.
Reece and Mom 11 years later.

Allan and Mom just a few years ago.
Taken on our last trip in December. Her favorite food was ice cream!

Allan's Surgery
Many of you wrote to find out how Allan was doing, as I neglected to give you an update in my last newsletter. He has recovered pretty well from his surgery, and is doing physical therapy to try to get his shoulder operating at full capacity again. He has a ways to go, but is on track for full recovery.

However, his left leg has been swelling for a few months now, and while he mentioned it to his doctor in March, the Coronavirus quarantine prevented him from any follow up. Two weeks ago I did a search on the internet and found out that this could be pretty serious. He called his doctor, who sent him to the emergency room on Friday, only to find out that he has a blood clot in his left leg, as well as in his lungs. Holy cow! We should be getting medication for him today, and will hopefully be on the way to further recovery. Allan has had quite a time but he keeps plugging on. He is a very strong man!
Shipping Problems
The pandemic has created a lot of new shipping issues for us. Right now we cannot ship to Los Angeles or Las Vegas unless you are willing to pick up your boxes at the UPS Hub. Many of you have elected to do this, and we are very grateful for the extra effort you are willing to put out to be able to get your meat. Keep in mind that as we move into the hot summer months it is going to get even more challenging to get your meat to you still frozen. We have instituted a minimum order of at least 20 pounds to try to insure that we have enough mass in the box to keep it all frozen. We are using some new liners which seem to be working pretty well, but we will be exploring some additional options this month to see if there is even better packaging that we can use. We will keep you posted. We have managed to reduce your shipping costs quite a bit, which you may or may not have noticed. It is our goal to provide you the best quality at the most reasonable prices.
Meat Supply
SO glad many of you stocked up early, before the summer heat kicks in. However, it has left our supplies very low. That being said, we are processing animals throughout the rest of the year, and barring any unforeseen events (like a pandemic) we should have pretty good supply. We have run out of ground beef on numerous occasions - something that is very rare! We are working hard to remedy that problem as well. As we move forward we are going to be limiting your ground beef purchases to 40 pounds at a time. Much better than the one or two pounds at the grocery!

We have also suspended the beef packages, as well as quarters, halves, and whole beefs. We kept running out of key components to the packages and it seemed simpler for the time being to just remove them from the lineup. We may offer the quarters, halves, and wholes in the fall, but for now we are holding back to insure that the greatest number of you still have access to our meat.

We have a good supply of chicken, but our producer changed their packaging. We are not crazy about it, and have expressed that, but it is what it is and we are trying to make it work. If you are going to keep it frozen I would suggest slipping the package into a zip lock bag for further protection. Sorry for this extra work, but I really do think this chicken is worth it.

We just processed lamb recently and have a good supply of everything but the rack of lamb, which went quickly. We still have rib chops - same as rack, just cut up. 

We have also introduced a new line of pork. As I have mentioned, our normal producer pulled back for awhile, but we are hoping to have some animals in November. Until then we think we have found a good solution.

We are excited to offer you Beeler's Pork. Their sows are not housed in gestation crates, and the pigs are raised without antibiotics or added hormones , in any form.  They only use pure natural spices and ingredients in their bacon, hams, and sausages, and they never add MSG, sodium nitrate, or chemical preservatives. All Beeler's products meet USDA standards for natural pork by being only minimally processed and free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and other non-naturally occurring chemicals. The pigs eat a vegetarian diet free of animal by-products,  and are processed in USDA inspected plants with full HAACP plans in place.

We will be offering breakfast sausage, bacon, quarter hams, boneless pork chops, tenderloins, ribs, and small boneless roasts. We have tried just about everything and I can tell you the bacon is the best I have ever eaten, the breakfast sausage is wonderful, and Lisa says the ham is the best she has ever eaten. While many of you prefer bone in pork chops, they are not available and the boneless are so delicious that I don't think you will complain. I overcooked my tenderloin but it was still great - next time I will be more careful. The ribs and roast are next on my list to try. Please let us know what you think.

With all that is going on, we will not be offering specials for awhile. Once things settle down we hope to offer them again.
Garden Update
If you have been getting this newsletter for any time now you must certainly know that my garden is one of my passions. I am such a novice, but every year I learn something new and I don't care if I fail. I just love trying. 
Just got my potatoes planted in these blue buckets. Hoping they do well this year.
Look close and you can see the artichokes. Harvested 3 so far.
Cauliflower doing well. Snap peas just okay. Maybe already too hot in the greenhouse. Have more going in the outside beds.
My lettuce and greens could be doing better. They started out well, but then stopped growing. Not sure what the problem is.
Allan and I bought this blue spruce as an anniversary/Christmas gift to each other, but when he had his accident we had to wait to pick it up at the nursery. Finally got it planted last week. In the background you can see the maple that Lisa gave me for Mother's Day last year. It is doing very well. Yahoo!
I am really struggling with this bed. I used some dirt from our compost pile and later found out it had LOTS of roly polys in it. They keep eating down every bit of new growth. After doing some research I got the idea to cut the bottom out of solo cups and place them around the sprout for protection. It is working well, but slow going. These are my melons and I was hoping to be much further along.
Getting LOTS of spinach, kale, and cilantro.
Twice as many irises as last year. SOOO beautiful. If you haven't planted irises they are a must. So easy, and they make you look like you know what you are doing. Same for day lilies.

In Closing . . .   
It's not a GrassRoots newsletter without a beautiful sunset. Thank God for Allan - he calls me outside whenever he catches a great one.

Irrigation season is in full swing and Allan is working like crazy to get the water distributed to our many pastures. So far so good, but we are in an extreme drought again. So many challenges to this life. Would just love to be reporting that we are getting SO much rain that we hardly have to work. In our dreams, I guess. 

100% of our cows calved, and in fact a few heifers that we didn't want to get pregnant calved as well. No major difficulties this year, and for that we are especially grateful.

With Allan's mom passing we are reminded again how fragile life is, and how much we have to be grateful for - the most important of which is the confidence we have that this life is temporary, and by faith, through grace, we are assured that the best is yet to come. To live any other way is not to live at all.

God bless you with good health, and good family times. Treasure each day.
   
Lois & Allan

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