We strive to create a self-sufficient and balanced ecosystem nurtured by diverse plant and animal populations; we mindfully consider the sustainable use of resources while tending the soil, supporting the flora and fauna dependent on its health and tapping the energy that powers the growth cycle. Our orchards and gardens are maintained in accordance with organic regulations.
Fertile soil is the foundation; to enrich its nutrient content and to reduce waste and water consumption, we produce our own CCOF-certified organic compost from the by-products of olive oil production. The solid waste that remains after oil extraction has a high moisture-content; we mix it with local manure and barnyard material to achieve the proper consistency for use. The liquid waste, or olive fruit water, is also used in the processing of the compost. That compost mixture develops the organic content of our soil, enhancing the quality and productivity of our plantings.
The wildlife in residence serve a similar purpose - our chickens forage on fenced pastures for insects and plants and their manure is used in the garden compost. Babydoll Southdown sheep, acquired from Canvas Ranch, graze the grassy spaces on the ranch as a precaution against fire; their work reduces the need for gas-powered mowers and fertilizers. We also manage sixteen bee hives (naturally, without pesticides or antibiotics) at the ranch and in three local locations. Our diverse plantings help provide year-round nectar and pollen sources. This is advantageous for the honeybees and other pollinators, as well as for the insects and animals essential to our ecosystem. McEvoy Ranch has been certified as a Bee Friendly Farmer by the Partners for Sustainable Pollination; our incredible Mille Fleur honey is our reward.
In June of 2009, we celebrated the installation of our 225 kW Norwin windmill, the first privately-owned turbine of its size in Marin County. The windmill tower is 97 feet tall, with 50-foot long blades. Its hilltop location was chosen after careful consideration of how to both harness adequate wind and limit impact on wildlife. The windmill will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 110 tons each year and is designed to meet 100% of our electrical energy needs.