Capella Grazing Project
An interview by Vivian Dang [CAFF] with new CAFF member Marie Hoff of the Capella Grazing Project.
Marie Hoff is a rancher and member of Fibershed, California Woolgrowers Association, and the California Grange, in addition to CAFF. She started the Capella Grazing Project in 2013, which is currently based in Bodega Bay at Chanslor Ranch.
CAFF: You started with a degree in Dance from University of California, Berkeley. How did you develop your passion for holistic grazing management?
Marie Hoff: I don’t come from a farming background. I wanted to move from the city and so began volunteering at different farms. I ended up working with sheep and wool, because my interests lie in land management, livestock, and fiber.
CAFF: How do you manage both the Capella Grazing Project and working for Fibershed?
Marie Hoff: I’m really dedicated to what I do. It’s a good balance of work, working on a landscape and working for an organization.
CAFF: Your sheep not only graze vineyards, orchards, and grassland, but also leave manure with a healthy ratio of NPK. Is there a certain diet that you need to maintain for your sheep to ensure this ratio?
Marie Hoff: No, it’s based on what pasture or forage is available.
CAFF: How do you transport your sheep to local vineyards, orchards, and grassland?
Marie Hoff: It depends on the number of sheep. Often in a pickup truck!
CAFF: People have the opportunity to sponsor and name a sheep as part of Capella Grazing Project. Do you have a favorite sheep?
Marie Hoff: No, I like them all for their different roles. They’re all my favorites.
CAFF: What are some of your hobbies?
Marie Hoff: I don’t know if I have hobbies, but I still dance. And I like spinning yarn, which is movement.
For more information about the Capella Grazing Project, visit their website.