Toluma Farms, Inc.
Toluma Farms 2
In This Issue
Educational Tours
Multispecies Grazing
Team Toluma
USDA Grant
In April, Toluma Farms was proud to sell an agriculture easement to Marin Agriculture Land Trust (MALT).  This will ensure that this magnificent 160 acre piece of land will always have an agriculture focus.  The MALT easement prohibits uses and practices which would be destructive to the agricultural value of the land.

The funds from the transaction will be utilized to build a creamery on the property. 
Educational Tours
A big part of Toluma Farm's mission is to educate youth and adults about all the many facets involved in local farming.  We hold an 11am tour on the first Sunday of each month.  Please see our website Toluma Farms to sign up.

If your class or organization is interested in a larger tour or event please email us at

Marin Organics is sponsoring a tour Saturday August 21st from 11:30-1:30.  Please see their website for more info
Marin Organics.
 Multispecies Grazing

To continue with our multispecies grazing we have recently added chickens to Toluma Farms. We have broilers and layers.  The chickens, cows and goats will follow one another on the same pastures.  The benefits of multispecies grazing are many:

1. Animals prefer different types of grass.  Cattle prefer grass and goats prefer weeds, brush and shrubs.  This helps in controlling invasive non-native plant species, promotes the growing of good grass which assist with soil erosion problems.

2.  Parasite management.  Chickens and cows are the vacuum cleaner for the goats.  Worm eggs are deposited on the pasture in the manure; the eggs hatch and larvae are consumed by grazing animals.  Parasites are species-specific; that is goat parasites affect goats and not chickens or cattle. 
3.  We get to have delicious eggs and chickens right off the farm.

In addition, thanks to Berkeley professor Michael Watts, we have two healthy hives of honey bees.

2010 Summer Newsletter
Thanks for your interest in Toluma Farms. A great deal has happened at the farm in the last year.
Team Toluma
Team Toluma visiting Cowgirl Creamery
One of the best things about farming is the amazing people you get to work alongside. 

We have an phenomenal team of hardworking people at Toluma Farms.

Laura Freeman, who designed our beautiful new logo (see above) has been at Toluma Farms for over 2 years and continues on as Assistant Herd Manager and artist.

Hanna Hart, past Herd Manager, moved on from her position to learn more about cheese making.  She is currently interning at Monteilet Fromagerie in Walla Walla, WA.  She will return to Toluma Farms to share all that she learned. 

Cory Brush has been at Toluma Farms for over a year now as the Facilities Manager and milker.  Due to Cory the kids have a nice warm barn and the property has a fence that protect the herd for the next 100 years.

Jen Elson volunteered with the kids throughout the Spring and then started as a milker this summer.  Jen commutes from SF for her shifts, which demonstrates her commitment to the goats.

Eric Butler is the new Herd Manager at the Farm.  Eric studied Agriculture at UC Davis, worked on several organic cow dairies and grew up with a herd of goats. In the two months of Eric's management the farm has already benefited tremendously.  Eric is committed to improving the genetics of the herd and ensuring that the farm is financially sustainable.  Eric brought his small herd of Limousin Cattle to the farm.  The girls have had three beautiful calves this summer.

In the last year the farm had some fantastic apprentices.  Jenn Rogge was the Fall 09 apprentice.  She was a graduate from UC Davis.  Jenn found and set up a computer program to assist us in managing the herd data.  Luke Fajardo, (winter '10 apprentice) came to Toluma from PA and brought a great deal of knowledge with him.  Thanks to Luke we have a beautiful chicken trailer.  Ashley O'Lear (UC Davis student and summer '10 apprentice) has been milking goats and assisting many projects around the farm.

This Fall the farm will welcome apprentice Wendy Hurtado who is a recent graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

David Jablons and Tamara Hicks, are in their 8th year of making Toluma Farms an environmentally and financially sustainable farm. 
USDA Value Added Grant
Toluma Farms was one of the few fortunate farms in the United States that received a Value Added USDA Grant.

We will be using the funds from the grant to develop our own farmstead, artisanal cheese.  The funds will help pay for initial staffing, marketing, labels, consulting and packaging.  USDA News Release
The animal that brings us all together, the goat.  We all have something we love about these animals, whether it is the wonderful milk they produce or how smart and social they are.

Every single goat out of the 200 at Toluma Farms has a distinct personality.  Some are easy going and friendly, others bossy and competitive. 

The milk that the goats produce is something that individuals in the US are learning more about as it is gaining in popularity. Goat's milk is the milk of choice in most of the world.  Unlike cow's milk there is no need to homogenize goat's milk. The fat globules in goat's milk are much smaller which is one of the reasons it is easier for some to digest. Goat's milk is a good source of calcium, tryptophan, vitamin B2, potassium and phosphorus.
NRCS Grants
We are fortunate to have a great deal of support from fellow farmers, government agencies, foodies, and more.  This past year thanks to the folks at USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service we have been able to to improve water systems, manage soil erosion and install a new septic system.  All of these projects go a long way in assisting us in stewarding this property and protecting local water systems, birds, plants and all of the rarefied beauty that we have in West Marin. 
We hope you will come visit us at the farm!
Toluma Farms

Find us on Facebook

Animal Welfare Approved