Old Dog Ranch | CUESA

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Old Dog Ranch

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People

Mollie and Roger Sitkin, along with 5 part-time employees.

Farmland

1,000 acres in Linden, about 98 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Farm History

Located in the San Joaquin Valley, Old Dog Ranch has seen many transformations since Mollie’s great-great grandfather purchased the land in 1912. It was originally a sheep ranch, and Mollie’s father, Roger, started growing apples, blueberries, and annual crops when he took over. Apple trees gave way to walnut orchards, which thrive in the area’s deep, well-drained soil and low winter temperatures. A small portion of the land is farmed; 90% of the ranch is wildlife habitat. One of the Sitkins’ three walnut orchards is Certified Organic with another currently transitioning to organic. To diversify the farms’ offerings, Mollie launched the farm’s value-added product line, including seasoned walnuts and walnut butters. Mollie also planted specialty peppers to be used in seasoning the walnuts, and introduced five bee hives that produce the honey used in the walnut butter.

Certification

Some of the farm has been certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) since 2012, while some is currently in transition.

Soil

Sandy loam augmented with compost.

Water Use

Drip and sprinkler irrigation from an on-site well.

Weed Control

Hand cultivation, mulching, and fire.

Pest Management

Crop rotation, releasing and planting habitat for beneficial insects, and pheremone disruptors.

 

Fun Fact

Old Dog Ranch is named for the Sitkin family’s two long-lived canine companions, Mollie Dog and Poppy.

Location

PO Box 370070
Montara, California 95236

About CUESA

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 »