Txiki Wins Best in Show at 2102 CA State Fair Cheese Competition 

July, 2012. Txiki won Best in Show at the 2012 California State Fair Cheese Competition in July. I was recovering from an emergency appendectomy and was unable to attend the awards ceremony and the Grape and Gourmet event on August 18, although I did send some cheese for sampling. The nice folks at the fair just sent me our ribbons and awards: a gold ribbon for our gold medal in semi-hard cheeses, and additional ribbons for Best of Division and Best in Show, as well as a plaque for Best in Division and a Golden Bear for Best in Show! Our Txiki little cheese did OK! In the photo above, Lisa and Anna show off our awards. 

 

Visit from Project Coyote

June, 2013. The mere mention of "coyote" evokes fear and dread in most sheep ranchers, as coyotes are responsible for the loss of countless lambs on US ranches. Traditionally, ranchers have killed coyotes to try to prevent lamb losses. Indeed, most agricultural counties employ a trapper to kill offending coyotes. But Marin County, under the leadership of our Ag Commissioner Stacey Carlson, has taken a different approach; instead of employing a trapper, Marin has a cost-share program to help ranchers with non-lethal means of controlling predators. The county pays for the upkeep of livestock-protection dogs like our Great Pyrenees. Our dogs don't need to fight or kill coyotes; their mere presence with the sheep ensures that the coyotes stay away and prey on wildlife instead of lambs. The county also will share the cost of predator-proof fencing, or construction of "night pastures" where sheep can be gathered close to human habitation at night. Camilla Fox, of Project Coyote, found that Marin County's rate of livestock loss to predators is half of the average rate of loss in counties that employ a trapper. It is great news that what is good for the coyote is ALSO good for the lamb. We certainly love our dogs and rest easy while the coyotes are howling at night, because our lambs are safe in the care of Big Otis, Oso and Shep. Recently Camilla and a group from Project Coyote visited our ranch and interviewed me for a video they are preparing on the Marin County program. (Photos: above: Camilla Fox with one of our lambs; below: Caroline Kraus filming.)

 

 

Our Protection Dogs Made the Front Page of the San Francisco Chronicle 

April 28, 2012. Barinaga Ranch was featured in an article by Peter Fimrite on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle Friday. The piece, about Marin County's innovative program to support livestock protection dogs as a non-lethal means of predator-control, included some beautiful photos by Chronicle photographer Michael Macor, including the one above.

 

Baserri is Centerfold in Culture Magazine's Fall Issue

August 26, 2011. Barinaga Ranch and Baserri are featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Culture Magazine. The article was written by Bay Area food journalist Molly Watson and the gorgeous photos are by Petaluma photographer Paige Green. Thank you Molly, Paige and Culture! Read Culture's blog for more about our cheese, referring to a lovely mention in Ray Bair's Cheese Plus newsletter. As part of their centerfold coverage, Culture took Baserri to the streets in Cambridge, MA. See people on the street tasting and commenting on Baserri.

 

 

Outstanding in the Field Dinner a Big Success

 

 

June 16, 2011. One hundred twenty guests enjoyed a lovely June evening on the ranch and a fabulous menu created by chef Christian Caiazzo, of Osteria Stellina in Point Reyes Station. Christian's menu showcased our products, from our sausage, lamb and liver to our cheese, as well as potatoes from David Little's farm in Tomales and wines from Pey Marin. The arriving guests were able to watch the afternoon milking and visit with our lambs before enjoying appetizers in our bayview pasture accompanied by sparkling mead from Heidrum Meadery of Point Reyes Station. The dinner table was set in our south pasture with a 180-degree view of Tomales Bay. A good time was had by all, and we are looking forward to hosting more events on our ranch. If you are interested in having a special event here, contact us through our "contact" page and put "events" in the subject line. We are hoping to have the Oustanding in the Field team back next summer. Check out jeweler Kirsten Muenster's blog entry about the event with a lovely set of photos.