Dan Macon

A life-long resident of the Sierra foothills, I've been farming full-time for the last 5 years. We raise sheep, goats and beef cattle, and we also sustainably harvest a wide range of local forest products.

Web Site: http://flyingmule.blogspot.com

Farm-to-Fork – Why the Sacramento Bee Just Doesn’t Get It

Jul 18, 2014

The Sacramento Bee seems to have embraced the Sacramento region's growing "farm-to-fork" movement, but recent editorials, guest editorials and news coverage suggest a lack of understanding of what it takes to put food on our forks.  At best, ...

Next Year

Jul 12, 2014

I went fishing today.  Not remarkable, I realize - but what is remarkable was the water situation on the middle fork of the American River, where we fished.  We drove beyond the town of Foresthill to French Meadows Reservoir, part of the Placer County Water Agency's (PCWA) Middle Fork American River project.  We started...

Learning to Work: The Continuing Education of Ernie the Border Collie (and Dan the Shepherd)

Jul 11, 2014

I spent yesterday moving our ewes from a targeted grazing contract just outside of Auburn to our main leased pasture closer to home.  This work involved hauling five trailer loads of ewes from Christian Valley back to Oak Hill Ranch near the corne...

Pasture Envy

Jul 9, 2014
Pasture Envy

I'll admit it - sometimes I have pasture envy!  This condition is probably due, at least in part, to my decision to raise sheep in a Mediterranean climate - one that turns golden brown in the summertime.  And while there is much to like about...


Jul 5, 2014

Fire season has begun in earnest.  Large fires are burning in the coast range north of San Francisco, as well as on the Modoc plateau.  Wildland firefighters are reporting that fuel moistures are unusually low because of the drought - they ar...

Foothills ewes graze, keep brush and fire hazard down

Jun 30, 2014
Foothills ewes graze, keep brush and fire hazard down

We've provided vegetation management services using targeted grazing for a number of years.  Every year, I receive calls from landowners who are interested in using sheep or goats to solve their fuel loading problems.  Invariably, several pot...

Gear Review – Footwear for Farmers

Jun 27, 2014
Gear Review – Footwear for Farmers

For me, like most farmers and ranchers, function is more important than form when it comes to fashion.  I need clothes that are durable and comfortable.  While I often choose the least expensive option when it comes to pants and shirts, I never skimp on footwear!  I’d rather pay more for durable boots that...

Of Wolves and Hard Work

Jun 23, 2014

Note: On Saturday, June 14, 2014, the Sacramento Bee published an op-ed piece entitled "Hard work remains to keep California's wolves safe" (to read the article, click here). While I'm certain that the Bee's readership is not universal in its support of the listing of the wolf as endangered by...

Do we have the food system we deserve?

Jun 17, 2014

I heard a story on National Public Radio last night about large scale farming.  Based on the 2012 Census of Agriculture, NPR reported, just 4 percent of U.S. farms produce 67 percent of our food.  The story focused on one large family farm in...

Drought Update – Marketing our Lambs 2014

Jun 13, 2014
Drought Update – Marketing our Lambs 2014

As I've written previously, one of the consequences of the drought is a change in how we market our lambs.  In the past, we've tried to market most of our lambs as meat, directly to our customers.  We sold lamb at farmers' markets, to restaur...

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