Marin Sun Farms Tour

This past Sunday, we drove to Marin Sun Farms in Point Reyes for their farm tour. It was so clear that we could see the Pacific from the ranch. But the sunshine was deceptive: the day was a biting coastal combination of bright, sunny skies and bitterly cold winds.

David Evans is one of the family farmers at the Historic H Ranch in Point Reyes, and the founder of Marin Sun Farms. He knows just about all there is to know about West Marin and about ranching, particularly ranching on federal land. And he’s such a good communicator that he kept the attention of motley group of cold, wind-blown visitors. (Evans was in sandals the whole day while I shivered in my “windproof” REI jacket.)

A side note: It was a truly strange group. One of those experiences that Mr. WholeHog and I have had at concerts of bands that we like where we look around and think, we should have something in common with these people given that we are all here, but all interactions seem to point out our many differences.

Back on the Farm: “I don’t say we’re a sustainable farm,” Evans told is right off as he noted how often the term “sustainable” is thrown around these days and how few things are truly sustainable. “I say we’re working on creating sustainable models.”

Evans showed us some of the models they are using – such as their rotational grazing system for their cows, goats and chickens. We saw where the baby chicks and turkeys live for their first few weeks and then how they are protected when they are brought to pasture. We visited the free ranging laying hens that squawked in protest when we all peeked into their mobile coops. (I forgot to bring my camera but Marin Sun has some great pictures on their website).

And, this being a real farm tour of a farm that produces primarily meat, we also saw where the chickens are slaughtered, Joel-Salatin-style. This is one of the best aspects of buying locally and supporting local farms: you can literally see how these animals live before they end up on your plate.

The tour wraps up with lunch at Marin Sun Farms’ butcher store in Point Reyes Station and a peek at the butchering facilities and their meat refrigerator (where I happily spotted a whole hog!).

We left even more committed to Marin Sun and grateful that we can support someone like Evans who tends his animals and his family’s land with such thought and integrity. We left jealous of those in Berkeley who have access to a meat CSA from Marin Sun – a MEAT CSA! It’s such a good idea it deserves to be shouted out!! – and packed our little cooler with a dozen eggs and one whole chicken, feet and head still attached.

We were so tired that we were almost literally holding our eyes open across the bridge on our drive home and promptly crashed out for a lovely Sunday evening nap.


One Response to “Marin Sun Farms Tour”

  1. Let Me Take You Down « Whole Hog Says:

    […] for a hike. A little farther away, Point Reyes has so many of our favorite things: hikes, beaches, farms. Up north, there are apples to pick and pork to eat. But a recent trip down Highway 1 reminded me […]

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