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 on both sides of his family. He runs a small family farm and cheese company with his wife, sons, and daughter. The Pachecos pasture 400 goats and 50 cows (“the girls”) on 230 acres along with horses, sheep, pigs, dogs, cats, chickens, and ducks. Everything they do is about saving the family farm.
All of the milk produced on the ranch goes into Achadinha’s farmstead cheeses. Their girls are pastured year round; they are also fed brewer’s grain from two local breweries, whey with Kombucha, and the best hay the family can find. No hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides are used. The flavors of the cheeses change based on what the girls are eating and the season.
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
In October, the pumpkin patch on the farm in Nicasio is open every day for visitors. Families can pick out pumpkins, enjoy a maze and hay rides, and shop for local products. The farm also offers tables, seating, and room to run.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »