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Closing a Circle: From the Basque Country of Spain to Marin County, California

The Barinaga family has been sheep-ranching in America for more than a century. My grandfather, Valentin Barinagarrementeria, travelled from the Basque village of Markina to Mountain Home, Idaho, in the early 1900s to make his life as a sheep-herder on a ranch in southern Idaho. He was a diligent worker and soon became a partner in the ranch, and eventually owner, with my grandmother Eulalia. Theirs was a typical American sheep ranch…

The Land

Our ranch is located in Marshall, on the east shore of Tomales Bay, with views of Point Reyes and the Pacific beyond. We benefit from the Northern California’s coastal air conditioner; for much of the summer we are shrouded in fog that produces cool days that keep our sheep very happy…
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