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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter   May  2019
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Meet the Valdez'
We had the great pleasure this past week to visit with Demetrio and Olive Valdez of the Valle Escondido Ranch in Antonito, Colorado, home to the pastured pigs we are now using in our program. The San Antonio River runs right through this fertile 600 acre ranch. In addition to the pigs the Valdez' raise miniature horses, Tennessee Walker horses, beef, and layer chickens, as well as run a gravel pit. They sure have a lot on their plate!
Dimetrio & Olive Valdez
These magnificent trees are over 200 years old!






So Olive said she asked Dimetrio for a rock, and instead of a diamond ring he created this lovely ring with lava rock that he hauled in. She planted all the trees, and today it makes a beautiful statement in their circular driveway.

The San Antonio River

Our granddaughter, Reece, went with us.
Allan and the miniature horses


It's All About Pigs 
So this month my focus in on pigs. The Valdez' are raising pigs that are free to roam and forage. They love the roots of the sage brush, and in the summer feast on the Kosha Weed and the White Weed, both highly nutritious and prolific. He supplements their grazing with organic sprouted barley and organic potatoes from the San Luis Valley.

His pigs are very docile and friendly. Demetrio was showing us how just rubbing this boars head caused him to completely relax and lay down. The boar is 100% Mongolese, and the sows are Large Blacks, resulting in a 50/50 cross. The curly haired Mongolese are extremely hardy and handle the winter freeze and summer heat very well.

 
He has pigs in multiple stages of production. Those that Allan is standing with will be ready for harvest soon, while those below need a lot more growth.




And of course this sow is caring for the latest crop. They are in a feeding frenzy, and I did not speed up this video at all. I would say, "Poor Mom," but she seems pretty happy.

Sow with piglets at feeding time

Pastured Pork Lard
Lard has gotten a bad rap over the years, but with new research, the word about the advantages of lard from pastured pigs is getting out. 

Here's a quick read from
Dr. Weil about pork lard:


We have the suet, or kidney fat, in stock now so that you can render your own healthy lard.

Allan's Latest Water Project
Yes, we do lead a busy life, but it's all good. Keeps us young, I guess. Allan's latest project, to stave off the water wars so prevalent in our area, is a new water system on one of our leases in Arboles. We are now getting more water than we ever have, and are able to get it to areas that have never had irrigation water before. It's a miracle!
From the headgate at the top to a splitter in the middle, and another splitter at the bottom, this water system is already producing great results, and the season is just beginning. We are so grateful to have it. The pastures are looking good already.
The Orchard 
The orchard is starting to bloom and promises to yield some fruit again this year, God willing and there isn't a late freeze. The bright pink is the peach tree, with an apple to the right and choke cherries at the back.









Cherry trees above, and apple on the right.
My raspberries, blackberries, and
strawberries are waking up too.
My Garden 
Been planting in my greenhouse this week with an eye on getting my outside beds ready soon. It was a good winter for the greenhouse, though, and I have lots of produce coming on from last year's crops. That's an unexpected bonus, and so much fun!
The asparagus is producing well again, with at least one or two meals for Allan and me each week.  That is always such a treat. I also have onions coming back that I missed during last year's harvest.
Spinach & Green Onions
Carrots
I have quite a few buckets of potatoes planted and ready for this year. This is the best start ever. My friend, Susan, planted them for me. That was SO helpful!

Broccoli

 
May Specials 
Pork Shanks - $4.99
regularly $5.99

regularly $6.99

regularly $6.99

Ground Pork - $6.49
regularly $6.99

In Closing . . .   
After so many years of drought we are finally getting rain. Between more irrigation water than ever, and more rain than we have had in years, Allan will not know what to do with himself this summer. I am hoping he has a little more free time to just enjoy life. He works so hard in the summer, and the winter is not long enough to recover. 

Hope all is good with you and that blessings are raining down on you as well. 

May all of you beautiful mothers be blessed this Mother's Day.

God bless you, and God bless America. Thanks to all who have served our country, and may we never forget those who have fallen. 
   
Lois & Allan

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