Near the Sonoma coastal town of Bodega, on land that boasts as many rolling hills and forests as it does pasture, sits Salmon Creek Ranch, where John and Lesley Brabyn raise Pekin and Muscovy ducklings, Kiko goats, Angus and Scottish Highlander cattle, and honeybees that feed on the nectar of bay laurel and wildflowers. The couple’s pastures are certified organic, and their animals are raised organically and freely roam the land. And the meat and eggs that are produced from these humanely raised animals have food lovers (and chefs like Alice Waters from Chez Panisse) coming back for more.
John Brabyn grew up on a New Zealand dairy farm, and his taste for Muscovy ducks and Kiko goats (both originally Kiwi breeds) speak of his roots. Muscovys are appreciated for being leaner than Pekins, with a bold, meaty flavor, and their eggs are said to be creamier, with more vitamins and protein than chicken eggs.
Kiko goats produce wonderful meat, and they’re known for their rapid growth and hardiness. The cattle are grass fed, and the meat dry aged to improve its flavor and tenderness.
Salmon Ranch products are sold at their farm store (by appointment), at regional Whole Foods markets, and at the Santa Rosa Farmers’ Market.