Grown in Marin
University of California
Grown in Marin

Editor’s Column – March 2011

Water Buffalo
This issue is really about just doing what works here in Marin. A new species has arrived: water buffalo. Soon the new cheese will arrive: authentic, Italian style mozzarella cheese (farmstead), adding to the species list of milk animals, right along with goats, sheep, and, of course, cows. Why not? An innovative example of entrepreneurial hard work, Ramini Mozzarella, joins the cheese community and is featured in a new report by Ellie Rilla on the steady and successful development of the Artisan Cheese industry here in Marin and Sonoma counties. There are, at this writing, 22 commercial cheese plants in the two counties with four more on the way. What used to be discussed at the farm or ranch kitchen tables has bloomed, with lots of hard work, into a premium, world-class local industry. We are resuming what left off decades ago, as we return to the processing paths of the past. Add to that the new Cheesemaking program under way at College of Marin, and you get a good match for more to come.

Speaking of bringing back legacies, it is possible to bring back small twigs of the past by saving heirloom fruit tree varieties with grafting. The popular efforts to dig in locally and use local resources are growing. Saving and restoring older varieties that are well adapted to our bioregion is another part of this trend. -- Steve Quirt, editor                
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