Old Dog Ranch is a fifth-generation family farm on the Calaveras River in San Joaquin County, California. Our family has lived and farmed at the ranch since 1912.
Growing up on the ranch (which is named for two of the family’s beloved, long-lived canine companions), Mollie Sitkin loved experimenting with ingredients picked from the fields and orchards just outside her kitchen door.
Today, Mollie makes the Old Dog Ranch line of walnut snacks and walnut butters with organic Chandler walnuts from an orchard her father planted the year she was born.
That ten-acre orchard—which stands on land where Mollie’s great-great-great grandfather raised forage crops for his sheep a century ago—was certified organic by CCOF in 2015.
Going organic is just one way the Sitkin family farms sustainably and responsibly. We use drip irrigation to conserve water, build healthy soil with cover crops and manure, and choose crop varieties that flourish in our microclimate here on the banks of the Calaveras.
Walnuts thrive in the deep, rich topsoil of the San Joaquin Valley. Old Dog Ranch grows Chandler walnuts for their excellent flavor, golden color, and easy-to-crack shells, and for the trees’ natural resilience: Chandlers leaf and flower later than other varieties, making them naturally resistant to winter frost damage and rainy-season blight.
Mollie is proud to source certified organic and sustainably grown ingredients from her family’s farm and other local producers.
Peppers grown at Old Dog Ranch are smoked over pruned walnut branches to flavor the walnut snacks. Honey for walnut butters comes from the ranch’s own hives. Other local farms and family-owned businesses supply organic Meyer lemons, organic rosemary, and cocoa.
Mollie and her three-person crew of employees grind, stir, season, and toast Old Dog Ranch products in small batches at a CCOF certified organic commercial kitchen in Pacifica, California. At mid-day, the team always pauses to prepare a shared lunch from ranch-grown produce and farmer’s market finds.
Creative new flavors are developed seasonally, making the most of our region’s abundant foodshed—and making for some happy taste-testers back at the ranch, which three generations of Sitkins today call home.