Toluma Farms 
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In This Issue
Goats
Chickens & Eggs
Sheep
Garden
Team Toluma
Tomales Farmstead Creamery
Land Restoration
Barn Raising
Tours
Goats 

 

Our total current herd consists of about 200 goats, 140 of which are milkers. Additionally, we have 50 first lactation does, all of which were born on Toluma Farms! We are producing 0.8 gallons of milk per day per goat at the moment and we are in the thick of breeding season. 

 

We have maintained our Animal Welfare Approved Certification as well as received Certified Humane certification this past year.

 

New Buck 

 

 

We are excited to introduce our handsome new buck, "Lars," from respected breeder Lauren of des Ruhigestelle Saanens. "L'Argent," meaning "money" in French, was named by our "Name our Buck" contest winner Amanda Lesky; "L'Argent" has been selected as the #1 Saanen young buck in America for production (based on USDA statistics)! We have high hopes for this little fella. 

Chickens & Eggs

 

As of late, we have 100 laying hens on the farm! There are 40 active laying hens and 60 pullets (babies/teenagers); we are currently producing 2-3 dozen eggs per day.

Sheep

Toluma Farms is excited to have acquired 13 sheep! This past spring, 12 ewes and 1 ram were purchased from Marcia Barinaga at Barinaga Ranch. We plan to milk eventually and we will begin breeding this October, little lambs expected next spring, 2012. 

 

Garden

 

Our small, organic garden continues to flourish. Jennifer O'Mara, Wendy Hurtado, and Scott Cosca built raised beds for the garden which gives us fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. We are currently growing: lettuces, beets, squash, peas, strawberries, tomatoes, and artichoke! 

  

 

 

 

2011 Summer Newsletter

Thanks for your interest and support of Toluma Farms.   

 Team Toluma
Team Toluma 2011

 

As new people stumble upon Toluma Farms, our staff is constantly growing and evolving.

 

We'd like to thank all of our staff, volunteers and apprentices, both currently and from over the past year. 

 

Eric Butler (herd manager) has done a tremendous job in the past year managing all aspects of Toluma Farms. His leadership and positive attitude make the farm a great place for everyone. 

Laura Freeman (assistant herd manager) has been keeping the heard healthy at Toluma Farms for many years. Extremely artistically talented Laura assist the Farm with logos and maintaining the Facebook site. Her loyalty and consistency have been invaluable to Toluma Farms. 

Jennifer O'Mara (volunteer), a San Francisco native with familial Marin roots who regularly breaks from her work in strategic and financial analysis to get away for a "good for the soul" day up at Toluma. 

Sharon Jones (volunteer) started volunteering at Toluma Farms after 30 years of teaching Technical Communication at UC Berkeley; she loves the goats. Participating at the farm is an important complement to her desire for simple, delicious food, grown sustainably, and she is looking forward to the upcoming Toluma Creamery.

Jen Elson (milker) lives in San Francisco and works part-time at Toluma Farms, milking the goats during the week. Learning sustainable farming is a great balance to Jen's city life and connects her to her roots.
  

Carrie Sendak (volunteer) is a Watershed Biologist at SPAWN, Salmon Protection And Watershed Network that works to protect endangered salmon. Her help with the garden and the goats has been a significant contribution to the farm. 

 

Sarah Hunt (volunteer) is the farm's current apprentice. A recent graduate from Kenyon College, Sarah was born and raised in Massachusetts and is living in California for the first time! Her passion for food policy through her college coursework sparks interesting conversations at the farm.

 

Scott Cosca (immediate past apprentice), a native Californian and graduate from UC Berkeley, worked at Toluma until this past June. His useful experience of working with heavy equipment stems from farming in his family's vineyard and Toluma Farms wishes him the best of luck in his next adventures! 

 

Wendy Hurtado (past apprentice, fall of 2010), a graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obisipo, came to the farm with beehive experience, gardening skills, and a passion for farm education for youth. During her apprenticeship, she volunteered at Tomales Elementary School and cooked wonderful meals for the staff.  

 

Nena Johnson (apprentice) worked on Toluma Farms on her month-long sabbatical from Stone Barns Center. A Middlebury College graduate, she earned a Grande Diplome in Classic Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute. She serves as the Public Programs Director at Stone Barns and oversees the Center's Apprentice Program and curriculum. The team has never eaten so well as during Nena's 4-week apprenticeship! 

 

Anne Marie Vandendriessche (cheesemaker) is new to the farm. Anne Marie was born and raised in Napa and has recently returned to California after 6 years of working on small family farms in France. Based in South-Eastern France, she worked or apprenticed on over 10 different farms, milking and making mostly goat and sheep cheeses. While in France, Anne Marie also received a diploma from the Centre Fromager de Carmejane, an agricultural school that specializes in Farmstead Goat Milk Cheeses.

 

David, Tamara, Josy and Emmy (owners and Farm Manager) continue to split their time between San Francisco and Tomales.  They are the liaison between the urban food community at those that produce the Farm and Dairy's amazing products.

 

 

 

Team Toluma 2011 B
Tomales Farmstead Creamery

 

Toluma Farms is pushing forward with the production of farmstead artisanal cheeses! Our new cheesemaker, Anne Marie, has worked on ten different farms across South-Eastern France, milking and making cheese; we are thrilled to have her at Toluma. Anne Marie just recently returned from American Cheese Society's "Festival of Cheese" in Montréal, a competition including 1,676 cheeses this year. Moreover, Eric, Tamara, Anne Marie, Sharon, Wendy, Jen E, Jen O, Scott, Sharon, Carrie, have all been taking cheese courses at College of Marin, taking advantage of the school's new Cheese Certificate Program. 
 
Tamara and David had the good fortune to escape last November to beautiful Vermont to take a cheese course at Three Sheperds Cheese in the Mad River Valley. Cheesemakers, Linda and Larry are wonderful cheesemakers and teachers. The course was held at the beautiful Round Barn Inn. 

 

Additionally, these past six months, we have been working with Dutch cheesemaker Fons Smits (cheesemaker for the new Traders Point Creamery in Indiana) on developing our very own cheeses. We hope to start producing a fine goat cheese in the spring of 2012 and proceed, eventually, to a mixed milk cheese (both goat and sheep).  

 

 

You can find Toluma Farms on the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail map (a project of the Marin Economic Forum lead by Vivien Strauss). This map provides a free and informative guide to visiters, offering an overview of each cheesemaker, the history of cheese in that given area, and even some interesting cheese facts. 

 

 

 Get a cheese map!

Land Restoration
Land 2011
Land 2011
Land restoration continues into its 8th year at Toluma Farms. Over the past year, Toluma Farms has completed significant water improvement. In collaboration with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we have done substantial roadwork by means of installing water bars and embedding gravel to prevent soil erosion. We have also established two new springs for the animals, improving not only water quality of the land but also that of the animals' drinking water. Finally, we have positioned a drainage system throughout the house, garage, and barns for collecting roof water and delivering it directly to the streams (further preventing any road erosion). 
Barn Raising
Barn 2011

 

We have put lots of hard work into the restoration of our main hay barn throughout this past year. Approximately 3,200 square feet have been added to the hay barn, along with new roofing, siding, and a restored front. Lighting has also been installed throughout the barn so that staff members can more effectively distribute hay at night. Lastly, we have installed a new grain tank and feeder system for the milking parlor, enabling us to buy grain in bulk and benefit the environment.

Tours 
SFS 2011

We have welcomed nearly two educational tours per month throughout the past year. The educational tours include students from: The San Francisco School, Sonoma Ecology Center, Prospect Sierra Middle School, a Co-Op Preschool from San Enselmo, Springstone School, EAST BAY GREEN TOUR, and the Artisan Cheese Festival. We continue to host guided tours and group tours on the first Sunday of every month at 1pm. Sign up here.

 

We will also be holding a MALT family tour on September 17th, 2011. Sign up here.with MALT.

 

 

We hope you will come visit us at the farm!
 
 
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Newsletter by: Josy Hicks-Jablons