Meet a Local Farmer: Josh Norwitt of Tilted Ranch
We are a Sonoma County family farm in our 4th generation of land stewardship. Currently we raise Scottish Highland Cattle, along with herbs and vegetables for our Petaluma restaurant, Wishbone. The ranch name is Tilted Ranch, but the family has grown livestock and veggies under different names in the past. There are still a couple of foam snapback hats floating around from the late ‘70s with “Norwitt Bros” ironed on the front.
Right now we share 100 acres of windswept coastal grassland with a herd of about 25 head of the most beautiful, vital, intelligent cows. We appreciate their intrinsic right to exist happily and healthily and thank them for the nourishment they provide our community.
Describe a typical day on your farm.
The best days on our farm include running with the goats, adorning the cows’ horns with day-old bagels, giving the young bull “Wade” a hug, fixing a fence-line or 10, working on the road forever, accidentally touching the electric fence, and jumping on the trampoline.
Name three unexpected sensory delights of farming.
The smell of dirt: sweet, funky, alive. Digging ditches in a blasting storm to keep the road from washing out: the deep wet bone chill keeps you alive. Blazing hot shower water on a poison oak rash: It. Feels. So. Good. It just does, okay. So wrong, yet so right.
What sustainable or environmental practices are you most proud of?
The animals here are 100% grass-fed and we use pasture rotation to keep our soil healthy.
If you could change one thing about the food industry, what would it be, and why?
EAT LESS MEAT! The massive scale of the industrialization of meat production has lead to enormous environmental issues. If we all ate less meat, a whole lot of problems would be solved.
What is your greatest challenge as a farmer?
Gophers. Aaaaaaand gophers. Did I mention gophers?
When you’re not farming, what are you doing?
Where can people find your products?
At our restaurant, Wishbone, 841 Petaluma Blvd North in Petaluma. Or to special order from Tilted Ranch, call 707- 241-0444.