About Open Space
Open Space is made up of Seth and Mica Nitschke. We are family ranchers here in beautiful central California. At Open Space Meats we work with great respect for the environment and with the cattle in our care. We never use hormones, antibiotics or feed grains to our cattle. We don’t use herbicides, pesticides or commercial fertilizers on our pastures. And our cattle are grown and finished 100% on pasture.
Grass; was meant to be grazed. Like most things in this world; “all things in moderation”. If you abuse your natural resources by overgrazing eventually it will catch up to you. By overgrazing you diminish the grass’ ability to replenish it’s roots, if a plant has unhealthy roots, eventually there will be no plant, or it will be replaced by less beneficial plants. The opposite is also true. If grass is never grazed or burned the old mature grasses that die eventually form a layer of thatch that keeps light from reaching new seedlings. If there is no new growth there will be less rootstock to hold the ground in place leading to the erosion of the topsoil. So grazing our lands responsibly is a win-win situation. Not only do the cattle get to graze the most nutritious plants for them, it actually helps the grasses reproduce more effectively and keeps the rangeland healthy and the water clean.
Open Space History
In the winter of 2004 Seth decided that enough was enough. He was tired of business as usual in the cattle industry. There were more and more corporations coming into the business and the little guys were getting squeezed out. Too many in the cattle business don’t appreciate the most important things we rely on, the land, the cattle and the customer! So Seth figured change begins at home, and it was time for a change.
Well then why grass fed beef? Seth has been in the cattle business most of his working life and part of that time Seth managed a small farm in far off Western Australia. In Seth’s words “ In Western Australia we were raising grass fed yearlings for the domestic beef market. Slow, easy, natural. We sold them to the local meat companies and tried our best to make a little money. All the beef we ate was grass fed and I really liked the taste, I just figured ‘it was an Aussie thing’. I loved Western Australia and will always consider it my second home, it was one of the best times of my life, so why not try it again. Grass fed beef that is. Slow, easy, natural. It worked before and I’ll get the chance to share ‘an Aussie thing’ with everyone else. As good as the Aussies were to me it would be a shame not to pass it on.”
How Open Space Meats Does It
At Open Space Meats our goal is to produce beef that is good for our customers, good for the environment, and good for the cattle.
When cattle are crowded together for long periods of time like in commercial feedlots disease will spread quickly through a large number of cattle. Because our cattle are raised on pasture and not in feedlots we don’t have to feed an (missing)
In the same spirit of working with nature we do our best to be faithful and responsible stewards of the land. To us it is just common sense. If we take care of our environment and keep our grasslands healthy they will produce healthy cattle. Healthy cattle are more productive. Because of this approach, we get the added benefit of clean water in the creeks, biodiversity in our native forage plants and abundant wildlife and birds in our pastures.