My family moved to a 210-acre coastal ranch in Marshall (near Point Reyes Station) in 2013. Originally my husband and I were seeking a change in environment for our young son, now 8, to experience his childhood. Little did we know at the time how much the ranch would transform all of our lives! The joys and sometimes harsh realities of farming and keeping livestock have been a radical education for our entire family.
In the beginning the only agriculture on the ranch was a 5-acre olive orchard that had never produced a viable crop. We set out to put together a grazing and agricultural plan that would bring the place to life as a real “family farm” without adversely affecting the natural ecosystems that surround us. We sought counsel from farmers and ranchers of all types, gardeners, scientists, local policymakers, and neighbors. Then we experimented to find out what projects would really work with our property and inspire us each day.
Over time what has emerged in us is a deep passion and sense of responsibility for our land, our community, and the respectful raising of livestock. We love animals. We love seeing them happy. We love making sure that nothing they have to offer goes to waste. We love harvesting them responsibly. It is one of the great blessings of life to grow food and share it with family and friends. Finding this passion has been a life-changing experience.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Jared Lewis, now a Stewardship Coordinator for Solano Land Trust, and Erik Carlsen, a local shepherd. Jared and Erik helped us take our first steps in agriculture and gave us the courage to pursue our dream.
“Meet Kelli Dunaj of Spring Coyote Ranch,” Point Reyes Light, 6/15/2016
“Eye of the Stockwoman,” Fibershed, 10/18/2016
“Behind the Scenes: A Visit to Spring Coyote Ranch,” Gardenista, 11/23/2016
“A Prairie Companion,” Knit Wit Magazine, 11/2017.