Agriculture, Climate, Environment

Stewardship Spotlight: Straus Home Ranch

September 30, 2020

Straus Home Ranch’s multi-phase carbon farm plan, created in collaboration with MALT’s Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP) and Straus Home Ranch owners and operators — Vivien, Michael and Miriam Straus, three of MALT co-founder Ellen Straus’ children — is in full swing.

Funded in part by a grant from the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program and the Marin Resource Conservation District (MRCD), compost was spread across 14 acres of Straus Home Ranch. The first phase of a multi-phase project, compost will improve the health of the soil, enhance pasture productivity and help the land sequester carbon. Several other infrastructure and erosion-control measures were also implemented to help water flow through the landscape and prevent the sediment from entering Tomales Bay.

Located on Highway 1, this 166-acre farm is nestled in a cove on the eastern shore of Tomales Bay.

Applying compost to the sweeping pastures on Straus Home Ranch adds energy, nutrients and microorganisms to the soil. Feeding the soil in this way increases the health and productivity of pastures, builds bigger root systems, adds organic matter to the soil and captures more carbon. Over time, the soil’s structure and aeration will improve, which will enhance the land’s ability to absorb and retain water and allow the pastures to stay green later into the dry summers.

Part of a recently completed SAP project, MALT stewardship staff worked with the Straus Home Ranch agriculturalists in the creation of a multi-phase carbon farm plan to improve soil health, pasture productivity and carbon sequestration.

Each year, MALT’s Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP) provides conservation planning expertise and funding to farmers and ranchers on MALT-protected farmland, supporting them as they care for the land.

Learn more about SAP today and how you can apply for and/or support this work!