April 3rd, 2010
Passions take shape early in life. My passion for raising quality cattle started as a young child on a 320 acre Original Donation Claim property in rural central Pierce County. Old buildings with steeped history, our home set on stones with hand-hewn logs as support beams that even today hold the same historic ranch house where I reside. I grew up working cattle, showing beef calves in 4-H and helping develop a good herd of quality stock.
Time moves ahead, buildings change, fences are moved, repaired and built, families before ours came and moved on. Some things do not change, however. The land, now entering 150 years in agricultural use, remains fertile, healthy and vibrant. Historic, native flora and fauna abound. My passion to sustain this marvelous, intimate land have unfolded over a lifetime, first tended and improved by my parents, now my charge to take into the next century.
The pastures are key. Every cattle rancher is first a grower of grass. Retaining and improving productivity of ranch grasslands while preserving habitat for endangered wildlife, birds and flora that share the ranch pastures, oak savannas, and brushy woodlands is paramount. Cattle movement through various pastures offer soil enhancement and forage health under carefully supervised grazing.
The Camas Prairie Ranch embraces these age old ideals of maintaining a healthy vibrant ranchland providing home and feed for equally happy, premium beef cattle. Our new focus to market our cattle close to home, feed the cattle grass forages their entire lives and provide premium local grass fed beef as an end product, not shipping calves for sale at auction any longer, takes our ranching passion another step.
Grass-fed beef even has a light carbon footprint. Truth be told in words from a recent article in Time magazine: “Conventional cattle raising is like mining. It’s unsustainable, because you’re just taking without putting anything back. But when you rotate cattle on grass, you change the equation. You put back more than you take. It works like this: grass is a perennial. Rotate cattle and other ruminants across pastures full of it, and the animals’ grazing will cut the blades — which spurs new growth — while their trampling helps work manure and other decaying organic matter into the soil, turning it into rich humus. The plant’s roots also help maintain soil health by retaining water and microbes. And healthy soil keeps carbon dioxide underground and out of the atmosphere.” Time Magazine Monday, Jan. 25, 2010 How Cows (Grass-Fed Only) Could Save the Planet by Lisa Abend
Harlow Cattle Company’s delicious, healthy, humanely raised grass fed beef marketed straight from the ranch becomes a reality. The Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative offered a perfect opportunity to assist in finding like-minded customers. The Harbour Pub and Harlow Cattle Company, brought together by fellow Puget Sound Meat Producer Cooperative member, Tracy Smaciarz, owner and meat cutter at Heritage Meats in Rochester, now embark, with mutually shared passions, to serve the finest, local product available.
Passions meets opportunity! Excitement prevails! Harbour Pub now buys our locally raised beef, prepares and serves the premium product from the calves raised quietly and happily on prairie grasses and the deep, lush bottomland forages of the Camas Prairie Ranch. Our mutual passions unite! Benefits are all yours! The beef from our pampered cattle stays close to the fields where they were born, grew-up, grazed, cavorted and lounged. You enjoy a fine meal with superior nutrition, unique flavor and all naturally grass fed cattle.
The Harlow Cattle Company is operated by one woman, Becky Harlow Weed, once a small girl on this sizable ranch, now a mature woman with a lifelong passion realized and the constant assistance of her husband, Mark, working weekends on the ranch to keep the enterprise operating smoothly. With much delight, I present to you the delicious joys of my deeply passionate cattle raising enterprise. Enjoy!