SMIP Ranch

The weekly scultpure tour group wasn’t the only thing descending on the rolling ranch land that’s home not only to the Djerassi Resident Artists Program but the sculpture created there and left behind. When we visited the property, located off Bear Gulch Road in Woodside, it was shrouded in a heavy, drippy fog. While that limited the views, it enhanced the moodiness and mystery of individual pieces.

Sculpture tours are offered each year from late spring to early fall. Director’s Tours, led by Margot Knight, are $50 and include in-depth observations about 25 pieces as well as a visit to the Artist’s Barn; three dates remain this year. Two-Mile Tours are free but require registration and cover about 15 sculptures; reservations for July/August/September/October dates open on Wednesday, June 6 at 9:00 am (650-747-1250).

Djerassi sculpture tourStanford University Professor Emeritus Dr. Carl Djerassi, widely known as the “inventor” of the birth control pill, purchased the working cattle ranch in the 1960s, using the proceeds from company stock sale. Originally called SMIP (Syntex-Made-It-Possible) Ranch, it was renamed Sic Manebimus in pace (Thus we’ll remain in peace). Note: today an entity called SMIP Ranch Produce, part of the original parcel now owned by Carl’s son Dale and his partner Kristi Spierling, supplies 30 kinds of vegetables to Woodside’s Village Pub restaurant.

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