Philosophy

Fallon Hills Ranch
Only four miles from the Pacific Ocean , our ranch flourishes in the cool marine climate, with lows rarely dipping below freezing and the summertime temperatures often in the high 60s.  Fog blankets the valleys in the morning and returns late afternoon during the summer, leaving our warmest weather for the late fall.

With just over 65 acres of pasture for our cows and sheep, our fields contain a mix of perennial ryegrass, subterranean clover, orchardgrass and wild fescue, providing balanced and continuous nutrition for our animals.  Due to its high digestibilty, the ryegrass is especially beneficial for our lactating ewes and cows and their young.  In addition, spring ryegrass is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, elevating the levels found in our meats.  Grass-fed beef and lamb typically have twice the levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally farmed products.  Ryegrass thrives in the cool, coastal climate of our ranch, where a long growing season creates high yields.  In addition, perennial ryegrass has a very tight, dense root structure that helps prevent erosion into the creeks on our ranch, helping maintain water quality for the entire Stemple Creek Watershed.

Another primary plant in our fields is subterranean clover, a fantastic protein source for our animals.  It also benefits the health of our pastures by fixing nitrogen in the soil, making the nutrients available to other plants.  The flowers, while delicious for our animals, are pollinated by the bee hives throughout the ranch, and help make honey for our family and friends.

We rotate our flocks between four main pastures to allow each field time between grazings to regenerate foliage.  Often, after our cattle eat the taller, more course grasses, we will bring in our sheep flock which prefer the younger, shorter leaves.  By systematically allowing at each pasture to remain fallow for three or four weeks between grazing, we are able to maintain vigorous grasses and healthy, grass-fed beef and lamb. 
A curious ewe peeks over the fence during shearing.

A typical afternoon on the Maloney Ranch--ewes and lambs grazing our front fields on the Sonoma/Marin County border.
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