Tag Archives: beef

Grazing Management Primer – Part 3

Pond fenced with poly wire electric fence
Alan Newport
You can save a lot of money on water development by taking cattle to existing water sources with temporary electric fence.

Here’s a primer for managed grazing, Part III

A few more thoughts on grass regrowth, animal production and timing.

Alan Newport | Dec 08, 2017

In the first two stories of this series we covered some terms used in managed grazing, provided their definitions, and explained why the terminology and the ideas they represent matter.

In this third and final article of our managed grazing primer, we’ll cover some important concepts that aren’t based in terminology.

Plants: Taller and deeper is better

Early in the days of managed grazing there was a huge and largely mistaken emphasis on grazing plants in Phase II, or vegetative state.

Pushed to its logical end, this resulted in what then grazing consultant Burt Smith once commented about New Zealanders: “They’re so afraid of Phase III growth they never let their plants get out of Phase I.”

Young forage is high in nitrogen/protein and low in energy, while older forage is higher in energy and better balanced in a ratio of nitrogen/protein, although it has higher indigestible content.

This older attitude foiled the greatest advantages of managed grazing. It never let the plants work with soil life to build soil. It never let the grazier build much forage reserve for winter or for drought.

Last but not least, we were told for years the quality of taller, older forages was so poor that cattle could not perform on it. That is not necessarily true of properly managed, multi-species pasture where soil health is on an increasing plane and cattle are harvesting forage for themselves. It’s all in the management.

Balance animal needs with grass management

One of the most important concepts to managing livestock well on forage is to recognize livestock production and nutritional needs and graze accordingly.

If you have dry cows or are dry wintering cattle, you might ask them to eat more of the plants.

Remember the highest quality in mature, fully recovered forage is near the top of the plants and the outer parts of newer or longer leaves

Again depending on livestock class and forage conditions, an affordable and well-designed supplement program can let you graze more severely, also.

Erratic grazing breeds success

Nature is chaotic and constantly changing, so your grazing management needs to be also.

If you graze the same areas the same way and same time each year, you will develop plants you may not want because they will try to fill the voids you are creating and you may hurt plants you desire because they will become grazed down and weakened, perhaps at critical times.

If you move those grazing times and even change animal densities and perhaps also add other grazing species, you will create more diverse plant life and soil life.

Remember, too, that your livestock don’t need to eat everything in the pasture to do a good job grazing.

Cattle legs are for walking

Water is always a limiting factor for managed graziers, but the low-cost solution in many cases is to make cattle walk back to water.

Certainly you can eat up thousands of dollars of profit by installing excessive water systems and numerous permanent water points.

This can be overcome to some degree with temporary fencing back to water and using existing water sources.

Read Part I or Part II.

Jim Gerrish on Making Change

Another great article by Jim Gerrish, consultant and owner of American Grazing Lands, published in The Stockman Grass Farmer.

Published as “Grassroots of Grazing” Jim’s regular column provides “Making Change is about Creating a New Comfort Zone” in the December 2017 issue which offers his observations about how people in the grazing/farming/ranching world accept or reject change often needed for the business to survive, or more importantly, thrive so that the next generation will be willing to be involved.

His closing comments of the article:  (you’ll have to buy a back issue for Jim’s full article as well as great articles by other authors)

“I had already come to understand people were not going to change just because something made biological and economic sense.  We all have to be comfortable with the idea of change before we will be willing to even consider change no matter how much empirical evidence is thrown at us supporting that change.

For many of us that comfort level is based on acceptance by our family and community.

I have found it is much easier to sell the ideas of MiG (management-intensive grazing), soil health, grassfed beef, summer calving, and a myriad of other atypical management concepts to someone who has no background at all in ranching and no tie to the local community than it is to get someone with 40 years of experience on a family ranch to change.  The lifelong rancher may grudgingly agree that those ideas make sense, but the most common retort is still, “but I can’t see how we can make that work here.”

That individual is absolutely correct, until you can see that it will work here, it probably won’t.  The biggest part of that “will it work here” question is how the rest of the family sees it.  The better a family knows itself, the easier it is for that one rabble-rouse to make a difference.  If the lines of communication are broken, the more likely it is that things will continue to operate the way they always have.

Then we are back to that sad situation so common in multi-generational agriculture:  We advance one funeral at a time.”

Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands consultant providing service to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across the USA and internationally.  He can be contacted through www.americangrazinglands.com

American Grazing Lands, LLC on Facebook

When to Graze video

 

 

 

Fast Food – Chicken Fried Steak

Oh my goodness – i am such a good cook.  Start with quality ingredients and anyone is a star in the kitchen.  Start to finish – about 35 minutes.  Now, i must get outside or i’ll eat all!

Today’s lunch:

Chicken fried steak with smashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

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Chicken fried steak (our home raised grass finished round steak beef)

Organic Einkorn ancient grain flour

Olive oil

Sea salt

Organic black pepper

Farm fresh eggs

Milk and butter from local pastured cows

Organic russets from Wal-Mart

Organic broccoli from Wal-Mart

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Cheers!

tauna

Bourbon Meatloaf from WSJ

My son was required in one of his classes at uni to take subscription of the Wall Street Journal.  We had taken it for years, but it had gotten so expensive we’d dropped.  However, as a student, he could receive it for $50 a year!

Once in a while a fabulous recipe which meets my criteria is published and i nab it and usually tweak it just a bit. Here’s one i found just last week.

The original version is pictured far below, but here’s what i did:

MEATLOAF INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic

Sauté these in a medium hot skillet with 2 tablespoons butter, then add mushrooms and lettuce until softened – all in all about 6 minutes.  Don’t let it burn!

1 cup diced mushrooms

2 cups snipped fresh spinach

Add these items to the above skillet until softened

2 lbs grass finished ground beef

1 cup finely ground bread crumbs (i used what i had leftover from a failed baking experiment)

2 egg yolks from farm fresh eggs (save the whites for scrambled eggs in the morning)

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons brandy (i discovered that brandy is a substitute for bourbon)

2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Mix together, by hand, all these ingredients to make the loaf.

FOR THE GLAZE:

While the meatloaf is cooking, whisk together 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, 2 tablespoons unprocessed organic sugar like Florida Crystals, 1/2 cup ketchup, and 4 tablespoons farm fresh milk in a small bowl.  After meatloaf has baked about 6 minutes, remove it from the oven and brush glaze over top.

Return pan to oven and bake until meat is just cooked through, or internal temperature reads 145-150 degrees on a meat thermometer.  Making a 2-lb loaf, mine cooked for about 30-35 minutes in a 400ºF oven.  Remove  from over and let cool slightly.

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (1)
Chopped onion, grass fed butter hasn’t melted yet.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (2)
Home grown garlic

 

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (3)
Didn’t have any celery, but spinach is a substitute for just about everything!
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (4)
I use scissors to cut the spinach in smaller pieces – add to the onion/garlic mix to saute.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (5)
i keep these mixes in the frig pretty year round unless i happen to grow enough for us to use in the spring and summer.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (6)
Separate the eggs – i keep the whites of course to use for scrambled eggs later.

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (7)Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (8)

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (9)
Gather it up and roll onto the jellyroll pan.  Mine is 9×15″
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (10)
My loaf is far too great a diameter to be finished cooking in 26 minutes, so adjustments are to be expected.  This is using 2 lbs ground beef.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (11)
This is absolutely NOT what the glaze is supposed to look like – i forgot to add the ketchup!  Grrrrrr!
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (12)
Without the ketchup the glaze is far too runny…….
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (15)
….resulting in this burnt mess on the pan around the loaf.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (18)
My loaf was far greater diameter than the recipe, so i cooked it an extra 15 minutes which was just right.  Also gave opportunity for the glaze i messed up to burn a bit more.  😦

 

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (19)
Yup, it’s done.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (20)
Thank you to my sister-in-law, Shawna, for this perfectly sized Pampered Chef mini spatula she gave me for Christmas.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (21)
Restaurant quality meal (except for the glaze i screwed up).  The meatloaf has a delightful texture and flavour.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ Recipe (1)
Here’s the original recipe by Chef Lee as published in the Wall Street Journal
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ Recipe (2)
This is the whole article with the featured chef.
Salad (1)
These prepared lettuce or spinach mixes in a clam shell container are just the handiest things!
Salad (2)
Shredded Carrots on the salad.  Add whatever you are hungry for – sliced hard cooked eggs, mushrooms, olives, cheese, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

 

Enjoy!

tauna

Wheat Belly Pizza

My version:

2 1/2 cup almond meal/flour

 

1/4 cup ground flaxseeds

1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese – divided

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 large farm eggs

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup water (may not need this much)

8-10 ounces of grass finished ground beef or lamb or home made beef or lamb sausage

1 cup pizza sauce

Optional ingredients i usually add:  sliced black olives and sliced fresh mushrooms, extra cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F .

Use a Ninja Blender (mine is called a Fit Blender i believe) or some other type.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, pumpkin, sesame flour, ground flax seed, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, onion powder, and sea salt.  Mix well.  Then i add the two large eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, and the water.  Mix and combine thoroughly.

Butter a 10″ x 15″ pan (i use a stone jelly roll pan).  Place the dough on the pan, then spread the dough by hand.  You may have to keep your fingers wet using olive oil or water to keep it from sticking to your hands.

Bake for 20 minutes.

When you are ready, spread the pizza sauce, i sprinkle some Parmesan cheese if i have any, but usually i don’t, so i use some shredded raw cheddar or whatever i have on hand.  Then crumble the cooked meat on top of that followed by optional olives and/or fresh mushrooms.  Top with remaining mozzarella or other cheese.  Bake for another 12 minutes.

Cut into about 12 pieces; this is very filling.  One piece may fill you right up!

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Wheat Belly 10 day detox book

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The Bull is in the Freezer – Part 2

Allen had his checkup on 8 August.  Doctor’s orders full in work.  There I was upsetting the cart trying to make things run more smoothly in anticipation of the previous call of a 10 week recovery .  Thank goodness all is back to normal.  Only 17 days.  So many prayers – powerful!

As a dear friend says:  “Absolutely AMAZING!!! Wow, what favor from our Creator!”

Cheers!

tauna

 

 

Beef Short Ribs and Yellow Fat

Health Benefits of Grassfed Food stuffs

Buggers, my photo doesn’t properly show just how yellow the fat is from these super tender grass finished beef short ribs.  I buy grassfed butter from our friends, but it’s extremely expensive, so when i can, i use our home grown beef fat for cooking and flavouring.

Our cattle are fully finished on pasture only – no grain ever – which allows the fat to be high in vitamin E and betacarotenes, thus giving its yellow colour.

Absolutely tasty.  The broth will be frozen up for soup making.

Keep hydrated out there!

tauna