HONEY ROCK DAWN

We Did Good!

beefdonated

That right there is over ONE THOUSAND POUNDS of packaged Star Brand Beef that we donated to The Food Bank Of The Rockies! I say ‘we’ because I was not alone in this – nearly 100 wonderful people joined me to help make this huge, beautiful donation possible.

I hit up a trucker scale on my way to the delivery (loaded) and afterward (empty) and, drumroll…. ’twas precisely 1140 pounds of organic, humanely-raised, GMO-free, antibiotic-free, pastured, grass-finished uber-healthy beef. YES! We all need nourishing, healthy food and we all deserve it.

The Food Bank Of The Rockies is serving nearly twice as many people this year as it did last year. The circle of sharing is so real, and so important.

On a superficial note: I love my little red reefer truck SO MUCH! I was downright giddy, ecstatic really, while driving it again. I felt like I was traversing the snowy December landscape in Rudolph’s nose. Perhaps her formal name is Rudy, hmmmm…. Here’s an interior pic:

littleRRinside

Thank you, thank you, for your incredible support this year, and for Helping Fight Hunger with Star Brand Beef. This is just the beginning!

Snippets ~ Early Autumn Edition

Daisy is our queen

It’s dark at 9pm and it’s dark at 6am – the light changed while I was gone. It’s not summer anymore, equinox schwequinox.

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I’ve been home for a week since my final Star Brand Beef deliveries and, as always, it’s a little weird adjusting from my time as a turtle. My little red reefer truck was my home for three weeks, four delivery routes, 8181 miles – and I loved every second of it, despite the truck having issues every. single. day. (the truck kept me safe and all my beef safe, so, hooray for that). I absolutely love getting to spend time with my customers, long-time readers, email pals, and the opportunity to move beyond the veil of the internet into real life.

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I think it might be time to hire seasonal help next year, spring and summer. Maybe even sooner. More details on that as soon as I get logistics worked out in my head. I would love to give someone from “the outside world” a chance to come in and work in agriculture and be part of sustainable, ethical food production…… so much to figure out, though!

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Last night’s dinner: organic brown rice cooked in homemade bone broth, served with seared elk tenderloin. Does this sound like a special menu item at an elegant restaurant? Did I mention this was Charlie’s and Chloe’s dinner? Mike had a peanut butter sandwich and I had cereal.

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I’ve been home for a matter of days and have already dove head first into a giant new project, which will debut next year and which I know you will LOVE. It is a love project. After 2014 and 2015, when I was barely functioning and just trying to keep myself and my businesses alive, it feels SO GOOD to work hard!

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Farmily update: everyone is wonderful and happy and peaceful – Mike held down the fort while I was away, and, thanks to having my own truck, I got to spend time at home with the Farmily between each delivery trip. It made a world of difference for me and them!

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AND, since I’ve been getting emails about this already: the 2017 CHARLIE CALENDAR is coming! I would never break tradition! It will be ready to share mid-October….

Lilacs & Evening Light

sid_lilacs

My Kickstarter ended Friday and was funded at over 200%! HUGE love and thanks for sharing and supporting my Kickstarter, Star Brand Beef, and the revolution against feedlots and factory farms. The Kickstarter has been a catalyst for a lot of discussion and thought, which is powerful – sometimes uncomfortable, always good. There is much more to share, but right now I’m off to Thermopolis (quite possibly the best town name ever, after Shreve, Ohio) for speech therapy (this voice is still a work in progress) and a soak in the hot springs….

Sid. And So Much More.

I’m sitting on the kitchen floor, writing this on the blank back page of the phone book. I have a calf in my kitchen, and I’ve spent the majority of the weekend on the kitchen floor, myself. I’ve lost count of how many calves I’ve rescued or bottle fed or warmed back to life with towels and a warm fire, but each time, it feels like the most special responsibility.

sidsue

This calf was born Saturday morning, a twin, and his mother only accepted one calf (which is normal). Mike delivered the calf to me, saying “I know you’re so busy but can you take care of this?” And I was like, “Forget work! Forget email! Forget my Kickstarter! Give me that baby!” And I spent the weekend on the kitchen floor, first drying off the baby with towels, then warming some of my frozen stash of Daisy’s colostrum to bottle-feed him every few hours, then brushing him with a horse brush, then…. I don’t even know. It’s easy to just be with a baby.

I put Chloe on babysitting duty when I managed to tear myself away and retreat to my office. Chloe is slightly smaller than the calf and absolutely in love with him. She licks his face when he is awake and sleeps beside him when he sleeps. I feel it’s important he’s not left completely alone the first few days. This week, he’ll move into the front yard, and later he’ll join the rest of the cows – but I will keep bottle-feeding him.

Yesterday, Mike and were talking about how we wish he could be a kitchen calf forever, and possible names, and he mentioned Sid. Which I loooove. This is Sid. His eyes are iridescent gray.

sidsue2

Totally and completely related: Animal Cruelty Is The Price We Pay For Cheap Meat. If you eat meat, please read this. If you’re vegan and don’t understand why I started Star Brand Beef, please read this. My animals are deeply loved and I care for them with devotion. My mission in life is to give them a stress-free life. To make sure they are able to roam free on pasture and stay healthy on their natural diet of grass and hay. Star Brand Beef is the antithesis of factory-farmed meat. Pay a little bit more, eat a little bit less, and make a HUGE difference in the lives of the animals and the industry at large. Customers create change.

Mike was at the brewery and ran into a man who runs a feedlot in a neighboring town. This man was furious about the “all natural grass fat” trend. He said it was affecting his business. When Mike told me this I jumped for joy. Because I am no longer the only one around here doing what I’m doing. There are now a number of other local ranchers building their own niche businesses and keeping their cattle from going to feedlots. The fact that this kind of change is happening in my rural Wyoming county, to the extent that the local (albeit small) feedlot is feeling the effect? This is THRILLING.

HERE is my Star Brand Beef delivery route. Get yourself a chest freezer. Order the best, in bulk. Trust me, you’ll never go back to grocery store meat.

My Kickstarter ends Friday! If you would like any of the rewards – the postcard pack, the silk cowboy scarf, the Wyoming care package, a hand-painted skull – BACK THE KICKSTARTER! I will not, repeat, will not have these items in my Shop after the Kickstarter! Or, if you’d like to adopt a cow, you can do that through my Kickstarter, too. Sid is a perfect example. He will never be Star Brand Beef because milk replacer (baby formula for calves) is not organic. He will never be sold into The System because I just can’t do that. He will be among our Special Project cattle. As I state in my Kickstarter: They each take on valuable roles within the herd. This isn’t a “cost efficient” way to run a ranch (because it’s part animal sanctuary), but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Collected Thoughts

Star Brand Beef

Last night, I set up the blog page on my Star Brand Beef website and copied over some relevant posts regarding my philosophy behind Star Brand Beef.

I enjoyed re-reading these posts, some dating back to 2012, and thought you might, too. This one is my favorite – and even though it’s four years old, I vividly remember writing it, and it still holds true.

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