Friday, November 19, 2010

Hats Off to Customers

Steel blue-grey sky and snow-covered fields outside the kitchen window as dawn creeps into the Wallowa Valley. On this 15 degree morning, I'm thankful the Oval cookstove still has coals in the firebox and all I have to do it drop in a couple chunks of wood to get the fire going again. It's the season of thankfulness and for days now I've been ruminating on how much I appreciate our Bunchgrass Beef customers. 
Cold morning in the valley

Customers--hats off to you! Not only have you supported us financially by buying our locally raised beef, you have been my teachers at Customer College. Your questions have helped me tell our story. Your feedback has given me perspective, everything from how great your cholesterol levels are to how people at your barbecue went wild over the amazing flavor of a Bunchgrass Beef burger. 

I love that you love feeding your families with natural, healthy local beef. I love that you are connected to Magpie Ranch and want to keep family ranches on the land, supporting local knowledge and our efforts to raise food sustainably. 

Packing salt to cattle in the canyon
I love how diverse you are and the many ways you inform me. Why does an animal yield more meat one year than the next? How come my raw burger turns dark after I leave it open in the fridge? How do I decide which "quarter" to buy? What do I do with this big roast? What makes this meat so flavorful? Why are the fats different in grassfed meat? 

When I'm struggling to get a fence back up on the edge of a canyon, or chopping ice at a water hole, or crunching numbers and making calls, your words of encouragement are right there, they are a part of what keeps us going. 

So give yourselves a gold star, for patience, for sincerity, for caring about local food and most of all, for letting us know what you think. And here's a big cowgirl whistle for you too. Plug your ears!

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef