When walking up to McEvoy Ranch’s shop in the Ferry Plaza building, one thing caught my attention. The quote on their sign, that was largely displayed on a poster of two hands cupped holding a small olive tree. The quote read, “every great story has a beginning”. Immediately after reading that quote, I knew I wanted to know McEvoy Ranch’s story. With a quote like that, I knew behind the Ranch, there’d be a great story. To help tell that story, was shop employeeKeith, who I met the minute I walked up to the shop and started browsing. Keith was a great representative of the kind of enthusiasm and passion McEvoy Ranch has for its olive oil and other products. He was eager to answer questions and tell McEvoy’s story. So this is what I learned from the honest and passionate Keith about the farm and everything that goes into it.
The story of McEvoy Ranch begins with the main character, Nan McEvoy, who had a passion for beautiful Tuscany and wanted to produce an olive oil that mimicked that of olive oils from Tuscany. So 550 acres in Peteluma and 1000 seedlings (imported directly from Tuscany) later, Nan set out to make her vision come alive in Petaluma where the Ranch is now located.
Today, the Ranch produces various types of virgin olive oil including their Traditional blend (comprised of six Italian specialities: Frantoio, Lecinno, Pendolino, Maurino, Leccio del Corno, and Coratino), Olio Nuovo, and Limited Edition Blend.
Part of Nan’s vision of her olive oils included making sure that her growing practices were sustainable and protective of the earth. All of the Ranch’s 1800 Olive Trees are grown and harvested on the 80 acre site in certified organic soil and compost. Adding on to the Ranch’s sustainable practices is its use of farm animals including chickens who are free to eat insects and other pests, sheep who help groom the farmland by eating, and bee hives. The Ranch is also unique for its use of wind power from a 225 kW Norwin windmill that they bought in June 2009. McEvoy Ranch states on its website that the windmill will, “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 110 tons each year and is designed to meet 100% of our electricity energy needs” (www.mcevoyranch.com).
In addition to olive oil, the Ranch produces a variety of wines and recently introduced their line of olive body care products which includes, lip balm, body butter and lotions.
Mcevoy Ranch is a network of passionate people who strive every day to get their farming story out to the public. By making themselves extremely accessible at farmers markets and online, the Ranch is one inspiring story of environmental sustainability and growth, that one can revisit over and over again. After all, creating lasting stories is what the Ranch, is all about.
For more information on McEvoy Ranch and tours visit http://www.mcevoyranch.com.