Toluma Farms 
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10 year anniversary of Toluma Farms!
In This Issue
Team Toluma
Tomales Farmstead Creamery
Land & Crops
Thank You




Toluma Farms eggs make their way to two San Francisco restaurants, Piccino in Dogpatch and Plow in Potrero Hill. 


Piccino Café 






Herdmanager, Eric Butler, continues to grow his beautiful herd of Limousin. This breed of highly muscled beef cattle originated from the Limousin and Marche regions of France. If you are interested in purchasing beef or "cowpooling," please email Eric.



2012 Fall Newsletter 

This newsletter is dedicated to two amazing women whom will be greatly missed: Dean Giacomini and Daphne Zappos. Many of us benefitted greatly from their vast knowledge of cheese, love of agriculture, and enthusiasm for life. You will be missed by all of us at Toluma Farms. It was a great privilege to know you.

 Team Toluma
staff 2012


Eric Butler - Herd Manager
Marissa Thornton - Assistant Herd Manager
Michaela Haynes - Apprentice
Anne Marie Vandendriessche - Cheesemaker
Callie Murphy - CPA/milker
Tamara J. Hicks - Farm Manager/Owner
David Jablons - Plant Manager/tractor guy/Owner 
Josy Hicks Jablons - Newsletter editor

Emmy Hicks Jablons - San Francisco School goat-liason 

Sharon Jones - Volunteer/Consultant
Jennifer O'Mara - Volunteer/Consultant
Nena Johnson - Volunteer/Consultant 


This Spring we said a sad goodbye to our Assistant Herd Manager, Laura Freeman, who had been with Toluma Farms for 5 years. Laura and a few of her beloved Nubians moved back home to Washington State. Fortunately, she is still maintaining our "goat of the month" postings on Facebook. 


We are thrilled to have welcomed our new Herd Manager, Marissa Thornton. Marissa is a 6th generation Tomales farmer and is actively farming on her family's land. Marissa graduated from Chico State University with a degree in Animal Sciences. 


We were fortunate to have two amazing apprentices this year: Blogger and Certified Public Accountant Callie Murphy came to Toluma Farms to learn as much as she could about goats and sheep. We are thrilled that she is going to continue on with Toluma Farms as our bookkeeper/CPA. Our current apprentice Michaela Haynes comes from Washington State (via college in Boston). She has brought to the farm her amazing baking/cooking/gardening skills!


eric and sheep
Tomales Farmstead Creamery
milk tanks


With the obtainment of our building permits for Tomales Farmstead Creamery, the construction of the creamery is in full swing! With a dynamite team of Kevin Furlong, Tim McCloskey, Spirito Ballatore, Lee Erickson, Jerry Frate, and Cheesemaker Anne Marie as project manager, the creamery is going to be glorious. We are hoping for completion in late October. The beautiful, stainless-steel tanks are just awaiting their proper place in the creamery. Stay tuned for details on the Grand Opening! 

Animals goat/land


The goats continue to thrive at Toluma Farms. We acquired a new buck, Sage, from Mann Key Alpines in Colorado. His dam is

on the top ten list for total lbs of milk as well as fat, thus we are expecting great things from this little guy.


The big animal news of the past year has been sheep! We had a very successful lambing season and have purchased additional sheep from local sheep producers. We now have over 50 heads of sheep in our flock. They have been a nice addition to the pastures, as they eat different grasses than the goats, whom are browsers.

Since the sheep stay outside at night, they needed a protector. Five-month-old Dillon, who was raised by the Cunninghams down the road (everyone is down the road), recently joined the Toluma Farms clan. Dillon is part Anatolian Shepherd, part Great Pyrenees and part Komondor (all livestock guardian breeds). 


Some kidding season stats:


Total Does Kidded: 135

Total Kids Born: 286

Bucklings: 150 
Doelings: 136 
Singles: 22 
Sets of Twins: 61 
Sets of Triplets: 43 
Sets of Quadruplets: 6, a new Toluma record!

Land & Crops
Land 2012
Land 2012

Over the past year, Toluma Farms has created a road to allow the planting of organic Oat Hay on the back 80 acres of the land, which has produced 450 tons of silage. Additionally, we have added an additional spring head, which allows water access to additional pastures. This enables us to have ten pastures in rotation for the goats, sheep and cattle.


Marin Organic donated organic local varietals of young apple trees. We were fortunate to have high school students from Lawrence Academy, MA working on the farm for several days. The students planted the 100 grafted apples in pots and we plan to have them in the ground by early 2013!

tour 2012

Toluma Farms enjoyed the hundreds of children and adults who visited us throughout the year. We continue to uphold our commitment toward getting people on the farm so that they can experience firsthand what comprises the production of local, artisanal food.


girl and goat  

The San Francisco School adopted two kid goats for its 3rd year. The 2nd graders took a trip out to the farm in the spring and chose two goats to bring back to school; they will then spend 6 weeks on an in-depth animal husbandry curriculum.


Our next tour is sponsored by Marin Agriculture Land Trust (MALT) on September 22nd (visit MALT's website). 
Thank You 

Our family learned one thing quickly when we entered the world of farming 10 years ago-success will depend on the community supporting you. A deep thanks goes out to all of the people and organizations that supported us in many ways throughout the year: 


Albert Straus

College of Marin Cheese Certificate Program
Cotati Large Animal Hospital
Cowgirl Creamery - Sue Conley and Peggy Smith
Giacomini Family
Hunt and Beherens
Kevin Furlong Construction
Marin Agriculture Land Trust
Marin Organic Certifying Agency - Anita Sauber
Marin Organic - Kerry McGrath
Natural Resources & Conservation Services -Brooke Cole 

Ellie Rilla
Nicasio Valley Cheese Company
Pozzi Hay
Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery
San Francisco Bay Area Builders - Alex Pavloff
Spirito Ballatore Construction
Tim McCloskey Electric
UC Cooperative Extension

USDA Rural Development - Karen Firestein

Vivien Straus  

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Toluma Farms Website

Newsletter by: Josy Hicks-Jablons
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Toluma Farms | 5488 Middle Rd | Tomales | CA | 94971