About Us

Hidden Canyon Ranch & Farms

Hidden Canyon Ranch + Farms, is 44 acres of land nestled in the rolling Santa Rita Hills. Established in 2010, we have been gradually expanding our operation to include farming & ranching guided by the principles of biodynamics, regenerative agriculture, permaculture & sustainability.

Currently, we farm 7 acres of hay, a small vineyard planted to pinot noir, and patches of gardens. We farm with minimal use of inputs and follow organic practices in our gardens.

We ranch sheep & chickens without the use of hormones & antibiotics, feed them organic feed, and give them lots of room to roam about. We are proud to have added our first cow this year, Trixie, a yearling Jersey, that we plan to breed next year. Several other helpful creatures call the ranch home & comprise our animal operation. We treat all of our animals humanely and with great respect for the role they play in our bio-diverse universe.

As our knowledge and experience at sustainable, regenerative farming grows, so does our operation. We are almost done building our “Chicken Trailer” (our mobile chicken coop) which will allow us to add several more hens to our operation. We are dividing more sections of land into pastures for our hooved animals, rotating them through, then planting these pastures to organically farmed veggies. And our next big project is to create a plan to preserve what precious rainfall we get here through rainwater capture, storage & use.

We are excited to share our adventure & learning with you. Come be a part of it all and support regenerative farming by taking a Farm Tour, shopping at our on-site Farm Stand and online store, or volunteering at the Ranch.

Location

Hidden Canyon Ranch is located between the cities of Buellton & Lompoc, just off of highway 246 in rural Lompoc. 5425 Campbell Road, Lompoc, California 93436.

Our Mission

To work in harmony with all of nature’s elements.
To leave this earth better than we found it.
To listen to the land for what will best emerge through it.
To grow & raise nutrient dense, chemical-free, delicious food.
To educate others on this process as we ourselves are learning.
To provide a place of learning, healing and sharing.

Our Team

Erin O'Bryan

Erin O'Bryan

Proprietor, Chief Wrangler

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Growing up as the daughter of a zookeeper, Erin has always had a love of animals. Many a day was spent behind the scenes at the zoo and at home, with the menagerie she had accumulated. She learned to fly hawks & falcons, raise ducks, care for snakes and tend to bunnies. And Erin learned gardening at the knee of her mother, a master gardener, able to grow veggies from the most urban of spaces.

Attending college at UCLA, Erin’s interests turned to social justice issues. After graduation, Erin went on to study law at Loyola Law School, earning her J.D., and heading off to practice in New Orleans at a firm specializing in the rights of women & children. Eventually returning to her native California, Erin left her career in law to become a full-time mother, her most rewarding career choice to date.

As her kids grew older, Erin decided to return to school, this time for a degree in holistic health coaching, something she had been studying on her own for years. And it was her practice as a health coach that led her to the understanding that good health is fueled by good food, and good food comes from healthy soil & farming practices.

So it was only natural that Erin would begin to put this knowledge to work on her Ranch, first on the small vineyard, next on the hay crops and then on to the chickens. Gradually, large garden beds have been added, composting is going strong, the sheep & chicken flocks are expanding and the little biodiverse universe is growing by the day.

In her day to day running of the Ranch, Erin draws from the principles of regenerative agriculture, biodynamics & sustainability. And a constant awareness that mother nature is really the one in charge.

Ryan Roark

Ryan Roark

Ranch Manager, Winemaker, Farmer, Polo Player

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Growing up in rural northeast Texas, Ryan developed a love of land and being outdoors. His first jobs were helping friends on their cattle ranches and many a day was spent either on horseback or in the woods hunting deer and ducks. Just like his father and grandfather he went to Texas A&M where he completed a B.S. in Bioenvironmental Sciences. His love for vineyards and wine was born while spending a summer in France. After completing an exchange program at an agriculture university in Angers he spent one month at a small domaine in Savennières.

Since that summer he has worked at wineries and vineyards in the Napa Valley, New Zealand and, for the last ten years, Santa Barbara County. With his wife Jenn, he now operates a small farming and winemaking operation, Roark Wine Company, and manages a number of vineyards, including Hidden Canyon.

Over time he has become increasingly interested in more diverse farm systems with inspiration coming from regenerative agriculture, permaculture, biodynamics and some old Roman agriculture books. Our Ranch has welcomed all his expertise & ideas and is fortunate to call him our Ranch Manager.

Jenn Roark

Jenn Roark

Artist in Residence, Chief Gopher-Trapper, Farmer & Rancher

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Jenn is a constant presence here at the Ranch, and we are a better place for it! She keeps up on the “gopher problem”, works in the gardens, creates recipes using our freshly farmed ingredients, and adds her artist’s eye to all she touches.

And Jenn does all this while mothering (with husband Ryan of course) a very busy 4 year old, also known as our youngest rancher, Ellis. Btw, Ellis can tell you what plants around the ranch are edible, how to use a broadfork and how best to harvest a daikon. He even wrangles the lambs for us. But back to his mom…

Currently, Jenn is creating a labyrinth for us high atop one of our hills. We are excited to share that with you when it’s complete. We can’t wait to see what other visions of beauty she will bring to life for us here at the Ranch.

Jenn’s philosophy: “I am in constant awe of the beauty that is nature and it is my desire to create subtle, abstract work across various media that simply remind us of that beauty.”

To see more of Jenn’s inspiring artwork, go to www.jschepporiginals.com

Abby O'Bryan

Abby O'Bryan

Animal Whisperer, Wrangler & Tamer

From the time she got on a horse at age 9, to the time her mom caught her cuddling a very feral cat the shelter dropped off, she knew all creatures were her “spirit animals”.  When Abby says, “this is a good dog, you should get it”, we listen. And when Abby tells Spot, the 6-foot tall llama, not to spit, he listens. We would be lost without her animal guidance, training & compassion. Abby is currently completing her 2nd year of college majoring in psychology. We secretly hope she’ll become a vet though!

Declan O'Bryan

Declan O'Bryan

Ranch Photographer, Field Dragger, Gator Driver & Chief Ranch Swag Advisor

This young man is becoming well known for his talents in photography and we are lucky enough to have him take lots of our social media photos. He is also our chief advisor on our Farm swag. Declan doesn’t believe a t-shirt can be too soft! This year he is learning the under-appreciated skills of weed whacking & weed killing with a vapor torch. Fun stuff!

Stacie Morris

Stacie Morris

Chief Small Animal Wrangler

 

Stacie Morris, chief small animal wrangler. Stacie grew up in the area and is an avid outdoorswoman & animal lover. She has been with us for over a year now and we don’t know how we survived without her. She’s in charge of our small animals, especially the canine kind. But she’s become well versed with the hooved animals as well. Plus she’s also one of the hardest working farm hands we’ve ever come across!

The Log Cabin

Built in 2001 by Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia, the cabin has been featured in TV shows, music videos and photo shoots. Built of solid spruce logs imported from B.C., the house itself is a unique addition to the Ranch and houses many of our ranch dinners, cooking classes & other events.

Our Animals

Zoey the Ranch Dog

Zoey the Ranch Dog

In case you were wondering, Zoey is the real Ranch Boss. She tells the horses what’s what, keeps the goats in line, and out-runs all the rest of the ranch dogs, proving that you just can’t judge a book by its cover. She is so bomb that we are writing a book about her. Stay tuned!
Frito

Frito

Frito & Patch make up our dynamic duo of Border Collies and our official greeters. They are the friendliest dogs you will ever meet, unless you are a coyote, a gopher, or an airship (we’ll explain that one later!). Patch’s special talent is his soccer playing ability and Frito has a special way of reminding you of his presence. You’ll see 😉

Patch

Patch

Frito & Patch make up our dynamic duo of Border Collies and our official greeters. They are the friendliest dogs you will ever meet, unless you are a coyote, a gopher, or an airship (we’ll explain that one later!). Patch’s special talent is his soccer playing ability and Frito has a special way of reminding you of his presence. You’ll see 😉

Joshua

Joshua

Joshua & Luigi, our mini donkeys, also known as our early warning system. Mini donkeys are very protective little dudes by nature and sound the hee-haw when someone drives up the lane. They also chase the coyotes & deer out of the pastures while adding their own special blend of donkey doo-doo to the soil at the same time. While grazing, they eat some of the tougher stuff that cattle don’t like. Plus, they give us our daily dose of cuteness & cuddles. What rancher doesn’t need that?
Luigi

Luigi

Joshua & Luigi, our mini donkeys, also known as our early warning system. Mini donkeys are very protective little dudes by nature and sound the hee-haw when someone drives up the lane. They also chase the coyotes & deer out of the pastures while adding their own special blend of donkey doo-doo to the soil at the same time. While grazing, they eat some of the tougher stuff that cattle don’t like. Plus, they give us our daily dose of cuteness & cuddles. What rancher doesn’t need that?
Spot

Spot

Spot, the llama. (Pun intended. He elusive. Very.)  Llamas are also very protective fellas and this guy is no exception. He hangs out at a distance, ever elusive, with his little herd of horses. But if you “spot” him and wave some greens his way, he will gladly accept hand feeding. As he grazes the pastures, he adds to our complex system of nutrients going into the soil and, from his vantage point high up the hill, he keeps watch over us all!

Charlie

Charlie was raised to be a sheep dog and takes his sheep protection job seriously.  Before Charlie, we had too many sheep go missing in the night, and after Charlie our flock has grown in number & happiness. Go Charlie!

Mia

Mia

Mia, the little Queensland Healer, aka our cattle dog, is the best companion on the Ranch. ‘Nuff said.

Toby

Toby

Toby, our gentle giant. Great Pyrenese are wonderful livestock guard dogs and Toby is no exception. From our sheep to our chickens, Toby’s got us all covered.

Trixie

Trixie

Trixie, our young Jersey Cow, arrived at our Ranch and promptly tested our wrangling skills. It took a village, but we finally corralled her. Out of that experience was born her name. She is definitely not a demure “Buttercup”. But we like strong females around here! And cow manure makes THE BEST compost ingredient ever. Trixie sure gives us lots of that.

Marley

We adopted Marley, a sweet old Arabian, in his younger years. He gave us lots of joyful rides on the Ranch and now he spends his old man years roaming from pasture to pasture with the rest of the herd, adding his contribution to soil health while enjoying his happy life. He loves carrots and rubs behind the ears.

Red

Red

Red is our quarter horse mare born here on the ranch in 2016. She grazes our pastures, contributing to the health of the soil, and will occasionally allow one of our more experienced riders to take her for a spin. Yee haw!

Our Goats

Our Goats

Our tribe is a motley crew who have been adopted from various owners in the area. They love to be brushed, fed, and loved on. In exchange, they keep us supplied with their leftover hay that they leave their nutrient rich excrement in. And you guessed it – it goes in our composting. It’s a win win for all of us!

Our Chickens

Our Chickens

The contribution to the health of our farming & ranching enterprise by our happy hens cannot be overemphasized. As they follow the livestock through the fields, they eat the bugs, stir up the soil & manure, and add their own fertilizer to the soil. And the eggs they produce have dark yellow yokes bursting with flavor and higher in nutrients like Omega 3s & vitamins A & E than the most massed produced eggs*. Healthy chickens, healthy ranch, healthy us! Thank you girls!

*You can buy our eggs from our ranch store and our farm stand. Call to check availability.

Our Sheep

Our Sheep

Weed abatement, fertilizing, grazing the cover crop in the vineyards, and delicious, pasture-raised meat that’s also hormone free & organic. What more can we say?  We love our sheep!

*Contact us to pre-order.

Gina

Gina

Gina, the African Spurred Tortoise needed a home and how could we say no? She helps us get rid of some of our old produce & kitchen scraps. Besides, what ranch would be complete without a tortoise, right? We’re sure she has some hidden talents too that we are yet to discover. We’ll keep you posted.

The Vineyards

Our fist vineyard of pinot noir was planted in 2011. It is currently being farmed according to regenerative principles to encourage soil health, plant health and overall ranch health. This means that depending upon the time of year, you may see a budding cover crop growing between the vines or our sheep grazing the cover crop while naturally fertilizing the soil, or the chickens busily eating the pests while leaving their own brand of fertilizer behind as well…

Contact Us

Please contact us with any inquiries or to book your next project.