Jim, Donna, William, Daniel, Elizabeth, and David Pacheco.
230 Acres in Petaluma, about 47 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Jim Pacheco is a third-generation dairyman, who runs the farm with his son, William, along with the rest of the family. Donna is the cheese maker. The Pachecos raise 500 goats and 50 cows (aka the “girls”) who roam freely on their 230 acres, along with horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, and ducks.
All of the milk produced on the ranch goes into making Achadinha’s farmstead cheeses. The girls are pastured year round; their food is supplemented with hay and brewer’s grain from two local breweries. No pesticides or hormones are used. The flavors of the cheeses change based on the season and what the girls are eating.
All the goats are milked by machine. In keeping with their award-winning formula, goat milk is first pasteurized then separated into curds and whey with vegetarian rennet. The curds are collected and formed into balls by hand (Capricious), or for their Broncha cheese, formed using a mold. The feta, which Donna makes by hand, is cured in a sea salt brine. To ensure quality, the whole process is done on site and by family members.
For their sausage, Jim and Donna only use older goats that have passed their milking age. The summer sausage is made by Taylor Sausage, in Oregon, a USDA-approved facility.
The Pachecos strongly believe in the importance of knowing where our food comes from. Farm tours are recommended.
An on-site spring is used for both drinking water for goats and irrigation water for fields.
Whey is fed to baby goats to increase their butterfat. The manure from the goats is used in their fields and personal gardens. Their goats produce so much manure that Jim and Donna are going to start composting for future sales. Any cheese that does not meet their standards is fed to their pigs.
According to the Pachecos, it’s the goats and cows who run the farm, not Jim, Donna, and William.
Petaluma, California 94952
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »