Norman and Aimee Gunsell
60 acres in Mountain Ranch, about 128 miles to San Francisco
Norman has been farming ever since his family moved from the East Bay to Calaveras County in 1966. He met Aimee in 1994 and, along with their children, the two began operations at Mountain Ranch. The Gunsells keep flocks of 800 to 1,500 chickens, including heirloom varieties as well as the more standard Cornish Cross varieties. They raise 2 to 6 beef cattle at a time and a small flock of heritage turkeys. The birds are raised on pasture, where they can forage during the day, and have spacious, well-ventilated shelter, where they are protected from nighttime predators. They are also given certified organic feed. The Gunsells also grow vegetables for their soups and tamales.