Joan Lunny’s Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


3/4 cup sugar

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup milk from the farm

1 cube butter, melted and cooled

1 Tbs lemon extract

1.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs poppy seeds


Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan. Blend together sugar, milk, butter and lemon extract, and set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds. Combine wet and dry ingredients, spread in pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.


As a newlywed in 1951, Joan Gawley Lunny came to Inverness, where she and her new husband, Joe Lunny, Jr., embarked on their journey as the next stewards of the Lunny Ranch, founded on Point Reyes by Joe Sr. and Ethel Lunny in 1947. Raising the bar on dairying and ranching came as naturally to the couple as raising a brood of six hard-working kids—Joe III, Ginny, Chris, Kevin, Carol and Bob. Undaunted by the challenges of remote seashore ranching, they will always be remembered as pioneers. Judicious risk-takers, they were progressives in ranching, willing to try something new to achieve a better and sustainable outcome for their family, land, livestock, neighbors and community. Before the marketers coined the term “farm to table,” the Lunnys broke ground in science-based animal husbandry, agronomy and agri-business marketing, becoming the first certified-organic grass-fed beef cattle operation in Marin. And when the oyster farmer across the road retired, expanding into mariculture seemed like a natural fit. Bay Area foodies and chefs responded to their commitment to environmentally sustainable oyster production with overwhelming support. Drakes Bay Oyster Company will live in the hearts of the thousands and will remain a model for sustainable food production forever.

Charming, compassionate, a model of civility, the epitome of grace, a great teacher, a great cook, and a woman of unconditional love for her family, community, church and country—these are words we’ve heard a lot at Sacred Heart to describe Joan’s many attributes. She passed away on June 10; may she rest in peace. All are welcome to join the Lunny family and others at the Sacred Heart coffee hour, for goodies such as Joan’s lemon poppy seed bread, along with conversation and community after the 9 a.m. mass on Sunday mornings at Sacred Heart Parish, in Olema.  


Ann Miller is a former Point Reyes resident and retired global agribusiness commodity marketer whose current business card reads “Itinerant Wanderer.”