Holistic and Sustainable Farming Practices
Our Mission is to provide consumers with sustainably-sourced, rich-tasting, and nutrient dense foods through holistic farming practices.
In 2011 while taking a break from a path in finance, I was given the opportunity to work on a transhumance farm that practiced biodynamics in the Swiss Alps. The combination of high-altitude, fresh air, livestock, fresh alp butter, and the grueling work that is haying, drew me away my chosen path and inspired me to form Silver Sky Ranch.
As the ranch grew, family members started chipping in when work was needed, and kept the business running while I recovered from a vehicular collision 2015. In 2019 brother Andrew joined the ranch full time and is assisting in taking our business to the next level by allowing me the time to focus on expanding the business and taking on new ventures.
At Silver Sky Ranch we farm holistically, using livestock to achieve our goals of improved water and mineral cycling, all while considering the macro-ecosystem that the ranch is within and the micro-ecosystems that are within the ranch. Practically, this entails adaptively rotating the animals through the pastures and using them as a tool to control/maintain/invigorate plant growth in order to maximize photosynthesis. By allowing plants adequate recovery, they have time to grow deep roots that die off when plant tops are grazed, leaving food tunnels for earthworms to bore out and improving infiltration. Mimicking nature by moving dense herds quickly over the rapidly growing pastures, their hooves will push plant matter directly into contact with the soil which allows micro-flora to begin decomposition. Both decaying roots and incorporating plant matter into the soil sequesters carbon and moves CO2 into the soil where it improves infiltration and holds soil moisture. This results in a redution of carbon releasing into the atmosphere.
100% Grass Fed, Free Range, Organic & Sustainably Farmed
Meet Our Animals
Our philosophy is that happy and healthy animals provide the best product. Our animals are free range, fed the best quality organic foods and grasses, and work symbiotically together to bring you sustainably-sourced and nutrient-rich foods without the large carbon footprint of traditional farming practices.
Cattle on Silver Sky Ranch are of Scottish decent, being either the Highland or Angus breeds. These breeds were created to live in challenging environments and thrive on meager forage. They were chosen for their mothering abilities, their ability to thrive on a grass only diet, and finish with a degree of marbling.
Since Northern California experiences a Mediterranean climate with cold, wet winters and dry, warm summers, the cattle are rotated through the pastures in varying densities, often combined with other stock such as sheep, goats, or horses during spring flush to achieve high enough densities to keep growth in a vegetative state. Through the dormant season, cattle (and other ruminants) act as bacterial spaceships, transporting microbes in their gut until they flourish with the onset of winter rains.
The outdoors, stress-free environment with high-quality forage results in meat that is nutrient dense and rich in flavor. All stages of their lives are out on open pasture except during inclement weather when they are given access to shelter. They are never fed antibiotics or hormones, are finished purely on grass and raised in accordance with holistic management principles.
The hens at Silver Sky Ranch are hard working stock just like the cows, and rotate through the fields following the cows so they have fresh tender shoots to eat and cow pats to scratch through for insects. The fresh green matter deepens and darkens the yolk into a rich orange color. Insects provide additional protein to their organic supplemented grains so that hens are healthy and can lay nutritious, rich-tasting eggs.
Through the dormant season the chickens follow the cows foraging through bale grazing aftermath. This stimulates their natural foraging instinct and helps break down residues to clear the way for the next seasons growth.
In keeping with biodiversity, we raise a variety of different breeds of hens such as Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Ameracaunas, White Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds roam the pastures.