Home Kitchen & Laundry The Sea Ranch Lodge Introduces The Farm, a Haven for Regenerative Farming...

The Sea Ranch Lodge Introduces The Farm, a Haven for Regenerative Farming Practices

Credit: The Sea Ranch Lodge

SEA RANCH, CALIF.—The Sea Ranch Lodge, set along the dramatic coastline of Sonoma County, has unveiled The Farm, a haven for regenerative farming practices located on agricultural land just south of The Sea Ranch Lodge. With a mission to provide wholesome sustainable dining at The Sea Ranch Lodge, The Farm features a myriad of farming and ranching techniques that surpass conventional practices, from regenerative beef and lamb farming and mushroom cultivation to honey harvesting and composting. Guests and locals can enjoy The Farm’s fresh bounty with Lodge programming including farm tours, hiking, birding, and picnics.

“The Sea Ranch Lodge Team is continuously exploring ways to limit our environmental impact—our long-term goal is to create the most sustainable and closed-loop program locally possible,” said Kristina Jetton, General Manager, The Sea Ranch Lodge. “This project marks the beginning of an exciting journey that transcends traditional farming, where waste transforms into bounty. We eagerly anticipate the integration of locally produced provisions into our farm-to-table menus.”

The Farm at The Sea Ranch Lodge represents a groundbreaking commitment to sustainable, regenerative farming practices, reinforcing The Sea Ranch Lodge’s dedication to providing guests with a unique and locally sourced dining experience. Highlights include: 

Regenerative Beef & Lamb Farming

The Farm boasts a small yet growing “flerd” of cattle and sheep, committed to maintaining pastures and soil through a chemical-free and medication-free approach. Grazing outdoors 365 days a year, the closed herd is carefully bred for genetics suited to the unique location and climate, ensuring the highest quality meat for Lodge guests.

Sustainability in Egg Farming

Credit: The Sea Ranch Lodge

The Farm houses a flock of 60 laying hens, set to increase to 90 this year, as well as handful of roosters that enjoy daily feed from The Sea Ranch Lodge’s food scraps, excluding any chicken scraps. The hens roam freely outdoors during the day and return to their coop for safety each night, supplying The Lodge with 24 eggs per day in the colder season and up to 40 eggs per day in the warmer months. The Farm also extends its offerings to include homemade chicken jerky treats for pups which are sold in the The Sea Ranch Lodge General Store. On tours, guests can observe the hens in their natural habitat and even feed them if it’s lunch time.

Mushroom Cultivation from Lodge Waste

The Farm has embarked on a new program, cultivating oyster mushrooms on a substrate of old hay, straw, and used coffee grounds sourced from The Lodge Café. With a goal to deliver 20 to 30 pounds of mushrooms to The Lodge weekly, the program is thriving and showcases the Lodge’s commitment to minimizing food waste. On tours, guests can observe the mushrooms and cultivation chambers to learn more about the growth process.

Veggie Ventures

The Farm initiated vegetable cultivation in the fall of 2022, experimenting with beds to identify the best-suited plants for the windy and foggy location. In response to challenging spring winds, a low-tech caterpillar tunnel is being installed for added protection. The Farm is focused on primary crops this year including head lettuce, mixed greens, tomatoes, kale, carrots, potatoes, fava beans and radish, with a goal to dramatically increase their yields. Additionally, The Farm is expanding outdoor production based on the success of certain wind-resistant plants.

The vegetables cultivated at The Farm will be seamlessly integrated into The Sea Ranch Lodge’s Dining Room experience. Chef Eric Piacentine, inspired by the farm’s bounty, will curate special farm-to-table dishes showcasing the freshness and unique flavors of the locally grown produce. From vibrant salads to flavorful side dishes, guests can savor the essence of The Farm in every bite, creating a culinary journey that connects them directly to the sustainable and regenerative farming practices of The Sea Ranch Farm.

Buzzing Bees for Sweet Rewards

Credit: The Sea Ranch Lodge

Two colonies of Italian honeybees were introduced in April 2023, which proved to thrive in the wind-protected area. The bees have produced an impressive quantity of honey, with plans to expand hive count in the coming year. The Sea Ranch Lodge’s Pastry Chef crafted two delectable desserts incorporating the cultivated honey, showcasing its sweet and light flavor, which guests can savor in the Dining Room.

Eco-Friendly Composting

The Farm practices sustainable waste management by composting leftover chicken feed and other organic materials. Coffee grounds, wood chips, and additional carbon-rich materials contribute to a compost pile that enhances the fertility of garden beds. This compost is then utilized in several greenhouses that is used to grow greens and fruit vegetables to serve at The Lodge.

Lodge Programming Highlighting Farm Bounty

With a panoramic plateau gracing the hillside above the barn, The Sea Ranch Lodge will showcase The Farm’s bounty with picturesque picnics featuring local provisions. Guests are invited to revel in the beauty of The Farm’s landscape, offering a firsthand experience of the farm-to-table journey complemented by stunning ocean views to the west and a burgeoning crop of native huckleberries to the east.