Our team had a lovely time at Zapata Ranch for our annual staff appreciation dinner! We dined over a delicious local Mediterranean-style meal, observed bison, held out the rain, and enjoyed an after-storm rainbow and campfire. We couldn't recommend booking a trip with these folks more! Their season is open March-October each year. We are in deep gratitude to our whole staff, for making this local food system magic happen each week!
Al & the VRFH Team
NEW: Beef from Rancho Largo!
Grady Gissom's love of ranching captured him at With cherished memories of spending his childhood summers on a family ranch in Wray, Colorado and then working as a ranch-hand in Hugo, Colorado during his college years, Grady always dreamt of one day owning and managing his own land. After ten years away pursuing education and meeting his wife, Lynda, and having their daughter, Brooke, the Colorado-native finally returned home in 1996.
They were welcomed by a brutal winter with 5+ feet of snow. The Grissoms quickly learned the definition of “neighboring,” while trying to care for their recently acquired cattle and vast acreage. The ranching community helped the Grissoms through that first winter and included the new ranchers in their customs of sharing and trading labor on family properties in remote settings. Jointly bearing the load of common responsibilities such as branding calves in the springtime and weaning them in the fall naturally created a close-knit social and interpersonal bond, as well as an added layer of education.
The first few years on the ranch were not without their challenges, but it turns out it is possible to make a living tending to 14,000 acres of grass and canyonlands in southeast Colorado. The Grissoms learned that ranchers do not manage ecosystems, instead they are immersed within them. They came to understand that management decisions were actually ecological adaptations. Each adaptation, changes the surrounding system, and changes the output. To this day, Grady stands by his mantra:We can’t tell our land what to do. Instead, the land tells us when, where, why and how we will graze in a given place and time.
Over the last 22 years we built an intimate relationship with the 14,000 acres of arid grasslands and canyons that make up Rancho Largo. The ranch is home to several hundred head of cattle that participate with countless otherspeciesin a thriving ecosystem. Rancho Largo is part of the largest intact working landscape in the entire Central Shortgrass Prairie Ecoregion.
Our transition from commodity beef to custom sales is an effort to serve all our values. We’ve spent over 20 years serving our local community and land values. Our efforts developed a “sustainable” production model. Direct sales provide the opportunity to focus on product values and serve a larger, more urban community.
A beef purchase from us is more than monetary transaction; we want to bridge the urban rural divide. We view our transactions with you as a dialogue. We want to know what sustainable and healthy means to you, and we want to share the realities of grassland based beef production with you. We expect our production methods and your perceptions to change through this dialogue. If you approve of our values, come onboard and let the journey begin.
Every creature - bacteria, fungi, amoeba, insect, plant, reptile, and animal - modifies their environment as they work to survive and we are no different. Our decisions impact living beings at Rancho Largo, and those living beings impact us. They are our partners.
+ Are your cattle confined?
No. All cattle spend their life on the 14,000 acres at Rancho Largo Cattle Company. The only exception is sick or injured animals that need ready access to feed and water while they recover.
+ Do you feed hormones, steroids, or animal bi-products?
+ Do your animals receive antibiotics?
Yes, sick animals receive antibiotics to cure microbial infections. These animals are marked, separated, and sold in the commodity beef market. They are never included in our custom beef production.
+ Are there health benefits to grass finished beef?
Yes, starch in the grain supplement does lower the PH in the rumen and decrease the bacteria that produce antioxidant Omega 3 fatty acids. Grain supplemented animals have less Omega 3 fatty acids but still provide healthy fats, essential for active people, and the full range of necessary proteins.
Our cattle are Pasture raised on 14,000 acres of grassland, Hormone and steroid free, antibiotic free, free of animal byproducts, GMO free, completely grass-fed.
Holy Basil + Lemon
Cardamom + Black Tea
Citrus + Blossoms
Lavender + Lemon Balm
4 ct case
Grilled Shishito Peppers with Aioli Adapted from All Recipes
*local option available Ingredients
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
20 shishito peppers*
⅓ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Whisk together sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add shishito peppers and toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Whisk mayonnaise, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic together in a small bowl. Refrigerate aioli until ready to use.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Toss shishito peppers in the marinade and transfer to a grill basket. Cook for 5 minutes, flipping peppers with tongs every 1 to 2 minutes to get an even char. Serve with aioli for dipping.
The Local Dish!
We're one week away form our next Farm Tour! Join us Monday, August 21st and get to know some of your producers in the north valley.
Tickets are available on our website or online market!
Al Stone: Markets Manager and Mycelium Architect
Ryan Davis: Ops Manager & Pallet Jack Cowboy
Nick Chambers: GM & Chief Fungi
JD Kettle: Red Hot Chili Pepp'r
Joshua Wagner: Wagz
Alex Disbrow: Tater
Kai Duby: Root Shepard
Maria Karahalios: Pepita
Alex Taylor: Lex
Allergen Notification: We handle and co-mingle on pallets boxes of tree nuts, eggs, and wheat.