Charlie and Elizabeth Sowell.
115 acres in Ione, 110 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Charlie and Liz became egg producers by accident. The couple raised pastured cattle on their ranch while running a feed and tack store. When a customer wasn’t able to take home the chicks she had ordered, they took the flock home. Now they have 1,900 laying hens, along with around 25 cows, in addition to the feed store. The hens are out on pasture all day and sleep indoors at night. Charlie moves their portable barns around a couple times per week, as needed. He supplements the hens’ diets with feed made entirely from US-grown grains.
The pasture is kept alive in the dry months using sprinkler irrigation.
Rolling Oaks Ranch’s Ameraucana hens lay green and blue eggs, giving them the nickname “Easter Egg hens.”
On G. L. Alfieri Farms stands a building constructed during the California Gold Rush that served as a stagecoach stop. The site was also home to the first schoolhouse in San Joaquin County.
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 »