Chileno Valley Ranch, Chileno Valley
586 ACRES MALT-PROTECTED SINCE 2000
Agriculture has been a way of life in Chileno Valley for nearly 150 years. One of the pioneer dairymen was Swiss immigrant Carlo Martinoia, who worked his way across Europe and Africa as a bricklayer, ending up in 1852 in northern California. By 1856, the industrious young man had changed his name to Charles Martin and purchased pastureland in Chileno Valley where he prospered. Sally Gale, Martin’s great-great granddaughter, now owns this 586-acre ranch, where, along with her husband Mike, she raises grass-finished beef and offers pick-your-own apples and pears on their orchards in the fall.
Sally and Mike Gale are committed to the restoration of the riparian area adjacent to Chileno Creek, a tributary of Walker Creek, which runs through the property. “The public has a right to clean water and healthy streams,” Sally has said and the sentiment is echoed by her husband, “We got this land in trust, and it’s our responsibility to leave it better.”
Sally has been working with PRBO Conservation Science to monitor birds on the ranch and hosts a bird count two times each year. They’ve also put up Barn Owl, Tree Swallow and Western Bluebird boxes along their fences.“Chileno Creek and the area where Chileno Creek and Walker Creek meet, their confluence, is wonderful habitat,” she says. “It is all ranchland and stretches over five ranches. Maintaining a dense, protected creek area next to an open pasture, such as is maintained by cattle, provides safe nesting sites as well as feeding sites for birds.”
How to Purchase Chileno Valley Ranch Products
The Gales raise grass-finished Angus beef as well as lamb, and sell directly to consumers. In addition, they run U-pick apples, pears, and tomatoes on Sundays each fall and have offered plein air painting workshops during the summer.
For their autumn U-pick schedule and information about purchasing beef and lamb, visit the Chileno Valley Ranch website.
Watch a short film about life on the Gales' Chileno Valley Ranch.
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