An organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole.
We make our own fertilizers on the ranch through an extensive composting operation that relies on organic material from each segment of the ranch. When we’re done with the crop season, we move organic material like old pumpkin vines and dead tomato plants into a compost pile, then we add chicken manure as the source of essential nitrogen. By spring, the compost is ready to go back on the field as fertilizer.
We use solar energy to power our commercial and residential needs. This clean form of energy production saves nearly 70 tons of carbon monoxide a year as compared to a natural gas power plant.
Vineyards are the backbone of Long Meadow Ranch. All of our vineyards, over 150 planted acres in Napa and Anderson Valleys, are farmed using organic practices certified by California Certified Organic Farmers. We farm Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
Our Prato Lungo (Italian for Long Meadow) groves are the oldest olive orchards in Napa Valley, dating back to the 1870’s. Abandoned for years, these trees were hidden by dense forest until Ted and Chris Hall discovered them while exploring the property on Appaloosas (excellent horses for mountain terrain) in the 1990’s. We cultivate eight acres of these ancient trees and even propagated them to grow new ones to fill in missing plots in the historic grove. Chris planted additional groves using Italian cultivars Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino and Moraiolo for our Napa Valley Select olive oil.
The Highland breed has lived for centuries in the rugged, remote highlands of Scotland, where extremely harsh conditions led to natural selection. Only the fittest, most adaptable animals survived. Long Meadow Ranch is proud to have one of the largest herds of this fine animal in California. Several hundred strong, these pasture-raised cattle are at home on our more than 800-acre Tomales Station. Our Highlands are grass-fed and grass-finished; and are raised employing a protocol that is entirely hormone- and antibiotic-free. We have acquired some of the oldest bloodlines in the country, representing the very best attributes of this classic breed. We rotate our fold to fresh pasture seasonally, allowing them to gain weight healthily while maintaining the grassland ecosystem. These are all factors that contribute to beef that has outstanding flavor.
With over 500 varietals of organic heirloom fruits and vegetables, our ranch defies the monoculture that reigns supreme in Napa Valley. Our chefs collaborate with our agriculture team to carefully select varieties that will thrive and provide the finest produce for our restaurant and farmer’s market throughout the year. Our bounty includes Purple Dark Opal basil, Black from Tula tomatoes, Delicata squash, Chioggia beets, Green Globe artichokes, Purple Peruvian potatoes, Blenheim apricots, Arctic Rose nectarines, Pink Pearl apples, Seascape strawberries and, of course, Black Mission figs from our 100-year old tree, to name a few.
Our growing flock of chickens roost in a state-of-the-art chicken coop on our Rutherford Estate. The Ameraucanas, Black Australorps, Buckeyes and Cuckoo Marans savor the organic fruits and vegetables we cannot use in our restaurant or sell at the farmer’s market. These supplemental snacks produce the most gorgeous orange egg yolks! In turn, their manure is a vital part of our compost, adding much needed nitrogen to our fertilizer.
Introduced to America by the Spanish, horses were commonplace among Native Americans in the Northwest by 1730 and were used for bartering with other tribes. Our saddle horses, Appaloosas, got their name from the Palouse tribe and are primarily used to work our Highland cattle and inspect the ranch. We also have a team of Haflinger draft horses who thrive in our hard-working farm environment and cultivate the land for our fruits, vegetables and vineyards.
Our beekeeper is fond of the quote attributed to Einstein, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” We believe honeybees are an integral part of our sustainable farming methods. Our colony of honeybees is hard at work pollinating our fruit trees, vegetable gardens and vineyards, as well as producing Long Meadow Ranch’s delectable organic honey.