Mountain Ranch


Norman and Aimee Gunsell


60 acres in Mountain Ranch, about 141 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 Guinea fowl. 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. Norm says, “Growing food is more an act of spirit for us than it is a mechanical endeavor. Maintaining good relationships with the soil and the animals we care for is our first priority. La agricultura para nosotros es una practica espiritual.”