From Marketing Executive to #Petaluma Farmer: Deborah Walton created Canvas Ranch

In Mill Valley she used to grow vegetables in her backyard. On the Canvas Ranch 28 acre property 13 years ago, not knowing a lot about farming or livestock, she started a small vegetable garden.  She started with just a half acre only to watch them get eaten by gophers and quickly learned  the value of a few good farm cats.  She grew one of everything in Two Rock mirco climate to see what worked best. Now she has four acres of mixed vegetables grown year round from asparagus to zucchini and dry farm crops.  An entire acre is dedicated to her heirloom tomatoes.

9-27-2014 Best LR-6

She was influenced by a trip to Italy which caused her to go to Montana to purchase cashmere goats.  If she had goats she might as well have sheep too. The canvas ranch is also home to Heritage breed sheep.  While in Europe she not only fell in love with the cashmere sheep, but also the grain Farro of which she now has 7 acres which is harvested by hand.  Farro is one of the oldest wheats from Babylonia times and she sell this to local chefs and at farmers markets.

Recently she was interviewed on KSRO radio Garden Talk.  In this interview she tells about Canvas ranch and the history of CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture.   She was one of the original CSAs in the area. However big business got into CSA labeling and has watered down the true value of the CSA model.  For example some people go to San Francisco and purchase bananas off a truck and package them with CSA labels and sell them at local farmers markets.  Canvas Ranch, Tierra Vegetables in Windsor, and Laguna Farm in Sebastopol are true CSAs. Here is a short clip of that show.

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