And a Bit of Fun Too!

The UC Davis Humphrey Fellows kicked off the new year with a trip to Pt. Reyes National Seashore. When we think of protected lands, we generally think of places where people can enter and look, not also live and cultivate. In 1960, this historically agricultural area was on track to be developed as an urban extension of the San Francisco bay area. Local farmerslighthouse banded together to form farmland trusts while the seashore was receiving federal protection. The result is a unique area that is both conserved and cultivated using organic and more sustainable techniques producing world class specialty products like oysters, milk, and cheese.

Our day started at the lighthouse where we tracked grey whales migrating from Alaska down to Mexico for the winter.

drakes bay oyster farm
Later, we visited Drakes Bay Oyster Farm to see sustainable oyster production in the works and learn more about the controversy surrounding the National Park Service's attempts to shut it down. Thanks to Ginny, many of us got to taste our first oysters! So delicious...  On the right, Ginny Lunny, a lifetime resident of Inverness, California, shows us oyster production techniques. While at the farm, we heard about the difficulty of propagating the native oyster varieties, as they have largely been absent from California waters since 1900. A recent article highlights new research from the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory about the other side of the controversy, showing that the varieties cultivated today could further threaten the chance to repopulate the native variety. This is definitely food for thought!

We then continued on to Cowgirl Creamery to taste their exceptional artisan organic cheeses and discuss thegroup  Marin Agricultural Land Trust. It's a win-win-win scenario: the land is managed in a way many generations can use, the high quality, value-added cheeses provide a comfortable life for area families, and visitors get a chance to visit this beautiful place and enjoy world-class cuisine.