Cosmic Roots Ranch offers farm tours, pig-petting | TheUnion.com

Cosmic Roots Ranch offers farm tours, pig-petting

Cosmic Roots Ranch wants you to come visit.

The ranch on Indian Springs Road, which specializes in raising heritage pork, has initiated open houses three times a week. Visitors can pet the pigs, take a farm tour, and buy a variety of products at the ranch's farm stand.

"We started the open houses about a month ago," said Cosmic Roots Ranch co-owner Ellen Cole. "We welcome everyone into our home, they can come and see what we do, the property we have, how we raise our animals. People can see where their food is coming from and how it's treated and respected."

Cole said visitors interested in the ranch's handmade soaps typically can find her making them on Tuesdays.

Families interested in some one-on-one time with piglets might want to wait until around Easter, when the majority of the ranch's babies will be born.

But, said Cole, Cosmic Roots already has a set of four-week-old piglets on hand.

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"They're incredibly fun, they will nibble on your fingers," she said.

But even the adults, she promised, are pettable and lovable.

"It's not something you get to be around very often," Cole said. "Our animals are happy and healthy and want to be next to you. It's fun to share that with other people."

Cole and her partner Jesse Olson purchased the ranch at the intersection of McCourtney Road and Indian Springs Ranch Road in 2015. Cosmic Roots Ranch is dedicated almost entirely to raising Mangalitsa pigs, a woolly pre-1800s breed from the Netherlands known for its fat quality and incomparable flavor.

"Our pork is USDA, non-GMO, pasture-raised and antibiotic-free," Cole said. "We also offer California-certified free range eggs, as well as 100 percent all-natural handmade lard soaps and candles."

New to the farm this year, said Cole, is a three-ton hog feeder.

"This will help us cut down on feed and expenses and physical labor," she said. "It's a 10-foot-tall feed tower for up to 90 hogs. It's self-feeding — they have to put their head in and nudge the bar to feed themselves."

Right now, the farm is prepping for the piglet boom.

"We have about 10 moms," Cole said. "We will have about 100 piglets in about two months. We're really trying to expand; we are ramping up to become a main pork supplier to our community and beyond."

Cosmic Roots will be offering a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables once the weather warms up.

"Our crops won many first and best-of-show prize ribbons in both the Nevada County Fair and Harvest Festival," Cole noted with pride.

The ranch will open a watermelon patch starting in June, and a pumpkin patch in the fall, with the option to pick your own or to buy at the farm stand.

"Our last big push for the year will be a fully enclosed farm store, that will be open to the public seven days a week near the entrance of our property," Cole said. "We plan to fill the store with everything we grow and create right here, with easy access to all."

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

Know & Go

What: Cosmic Roots Ranch

When: Open house and farm stand 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, 4-7 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday

Where: 16284 Indian Springs Ranch Road

For info: Call 530-913-5401 or go to http://www.cosmicrootsranch.com