Sierra Orchards

Julie and Craig McNamara

Agricultural Operation

Nut crops


Animal Welfare Approved (AGW), Audubon Bird Friendly, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, USDA Organic (e.g. CCOF), Xerces Bee Better Certified

Health and Safety Certifications


Who They Sell To

Retail (direct to store/butcher-direct to online grocer/seller/wool-aggregator), Consumer Packaged Goods (includes processors and manufacturers)

Sierra Orchards

Regenerative agriculture is a systems- and place-based approach to agriculture that restores ecosystems, communities, and economies. It builds healthy soils, reduces air pollution, utilizes water efficiently, and increases biodiversity while promoting equity and public health.

By simultaneously storing carbon, building resilience to extreme weather, and eliminating chemical inputs, regenerative agriculture also empowers farmers and ranchers to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The overall REGEN1 score is a combination of community engagement and education, practices, and outcomes; weighted based on the level of verification from self reported to certification to 3rd party validated.

Click on the tabs to learn more about each REGEN1 Benefit


Animal grazing, Brush management, Compost application, Cover cropping, Grassed waterways, Handweeding, Hedgerows, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Irrigation scheduling, Integrated crop livestock, Livestock exclusion areas to protect habitats, Managed grazing, Moisture sensors, Multi-species cover cropping, Natural/organic pesticides only, No till, Bird friendly, Riparian buffer, Silvopasture, Windbreaks, Pollinator friendly




Animal Welfare Approved (AGW), Audubon Bird Friendly, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, USDA Organic (e.g. CCOF), Xerces Bee Better Certified

Farm/Ranch Vision

Sierra Orchards consists of 450 acres of Yolo Silty Clay Loam, 60 feet deep. Over a mile and a half of Putah Creek divides our land. We are active conservationists and have planted the creek banks with thousands of California native plants enhancing wild areas and creating hedgerows that stretch for miles. At any given time, we are conducting half a dozen research project on the farm. From birds, bees, and bats, to carbon sequestration, composting and food waste as fertilizer, we are actively engaged in on farm research. For the past 25 years we have been the home base of the Center for Land-Based Learning. This innovative 501c3 non-profit was founded by Julie and Craig. Its mission is to inspire, educate, and cultivate future generation of farmers, agricultural leaders and natural resource stewards. We also train beginning farmers for a satisfying career in farming. We farm 100% organic, regenerative agriculture. We work hand in hand with the University of California, NRCS, CDFA, both national and international non-profits, researchers, and land trusts. We have earned several awards including the Leopold Conservation Award, the James Irving Award, and the Agriculturalist of the Year Award.

Membership in Hubs/Networks


Region: Winters, CA

Putah Creek Watershed

What is distinct about this region?

Winters truly is the epitome of a Mediterranean climate: deep soils, abundant subterranean water, ample sun. We can grow any crop under the sun, actually about 400 different crops. Our soils are especially suited for walnuts where the terroir imparts a robust flavor to our crops. In the fall of the year, Chinook salmon return to spawn in its upper reaches. Over one hundred years ago the Patwin, a band of the Wintu people fished and hunted along its banks, harvesting acorns and grinding them in metates.

Can you share a story about how you connect to the land?

An amazing cadre of families from Michoacan and Jalisco Mexico have come to this land over the past sixty years to help tend the crops. The difficulty and inequity of their lives and those of migrants from around the word have been chronicled in Cary McWilliams seminal book Factories in the Field. From the time of white settlement, about 1840, to the present time, one white farmer or another exploited millennia of soil health and water storage, as well as the bodies of those who physically cared for the crops. Farmers drew from rich soil resources to grow crops that would then be exported to markets far away. The annual cycle of “plow, seed, scythe, plow” pulled nutrients, minerals, and biology out of the soil until little was left, compacting it under hooves, then tires and steel, with every pass.

Is there something about the location of your farm/ranch that lends your product special qualities?

The richnes and depth of our soils, access to high quality water. Sierra Orchards is nestled along the verdant banks of Putah Creek, a marvelous watershed that sends its clear, fresh waters 124 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge.

What is unique or special about your farm/ranch?

We have a vision of stewardship and legacy inspired by the past and the future that includes passing the farm onto the next generation