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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.

Our ranch is protected by a conservation easement held by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT). MALT, which was founded by visionary dairy rancher Ellen Straus and wetland biologist Phyllis Faber, was the first land trust in the United States dedicated to preserving farmland and keeping it in productive agriculture. 

The 800 acres under our stewardship are grazed by beef cattle owned by Bill Barboni, as well as by our sheep. With the help of MALT and other agencies, we have undertaken a variety of stewardship projects to maintain the health of the land and the quality of the watershed.

We practice targeted grazing during the growing season to manage our pastures for maximal productivity, water-holding capacity, and soil-health. We have planted numerous windrows that provide shade and wind-protection for the sheep, in addition to sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. We also have a carbon-sequestering program of compost application and seeding. Our fiber products are certified “Transitional Climate Beneficial” by Fibershed, acknowledging that they are made from the fiber of animals grazed on managed landscapes in a system transitioning to Carbon Farming. 

We acknowledge that this ranch is part of the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok people of present-day Marin County.  We recognize the centuries of attempted erasure, displacement, and genocide these communities have endured, and that many inequities exist to this day. We honor with gratitude the land itself, and the centuries of stewardship of this land by the Coast Miwok. We hope that in the future, we and MALT may work productively with the Coast Miwok to better steward the land of West Marin. 

 

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