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Winter Goat Milk Shortage in Effect

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Company News

RedwoodHillFarm_LaMancha_mother&kid

Goats Are on Maternity Leave – Busy Having Kids!

Each year, during a brief period in the winter, we experience a shortage of milk for our yogurt, kefir and artisan cheeses. This is due to the fact that goats are seasonal in their milk production. Unlike cows that can reproduce year-round, goats have their baby “kids” only once a year during winter and early spring.

At Redwood Hill Farm and the other Certified Humane® family farms we source our milk from, we stop milking the goats during the last two months of their pregnancy. This resting or “dry period” gives the mother goat’s mammary system time to regenerate and allows her body to replenish with nutrients needed to make milk.

The timing and extent of the shortage can vary greatly each year. We do our very best to evenly allocate what we have available to our distributors. However, the amount of yogurt and kefir that reaches your store may change from week to week. Mother Nature and Mother Goat are only so predictable!

What can you do to find our goat milk yogurt and kefir during this time?

  • Introduce yourself to the dairy buyer at your favorite store, and ask him/her which day of the week the order for Redwood Hill Farm goat milk products comes in. If it is possible, plan to shop on that day.
  • If you are a regular customer who depends on our goat milk products each week, your dairy buyer may be willing to set aside some of the order for you.
  • Check with the other natural and specialty food stores in your area to find other sources of Redwood Hill Farm goat milk products.
  • Finally, please do check back with us at contact@redwoodhill.com as we may have updates on milk supply and fulfillment of orders.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we care for our milking does and their precious kids during this special time of the year.

Homemade Kefir Ranch Dressing

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

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Cheers to a fresh and healthy
New Year!

Here is a way to pump up your intake of health-boosting vegetables and probiotics: Pair your leafy greens with homemade Ranch dressing. Originally calling for buttermilk, we’ve substituted our Plain
Goat Milk Kefir
in this Ranch dressing recipe and love the result. Use over fresh lettuce greens, as a dip for raw vegetables, or as a dressing for potato salad and coleslaw.

This recipe was adapted from one at Huffingtonpost.com

A Brief History of the Saanen Dairy Goat from Switzerland

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Life on the Farm

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Not all goat milk is the same – there are variations in volume, components, water content and butterfat depending on the time of year and on the type of goat breed. Of all breeds, Alpine and Saanen dairy goats are the top producers by volume. Milk from the Nubian dairy goat breed on the other hand, tends to be a bit higher in butterfat. To make our yogurt, kefir and cheeses consistent and delicious in flavor, we combine goat milk from Redwood Hill Farm and seven other family farms, sourcing milk from La Mancha, Nubian, Alpine, Oberhasli, and Saanen goats.

Honoring Zimba

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Life on the Farm

OldZimba_InBarn

Our Zimba passed away at the old goat age of 12 years with friends, herdmates, and sister Zoe by her side

Born in the Spring of 2002 in a kidding that produced twin does, Zimba (SG Redwood Hills Ransom Zimba) is the daughter of the sweet doe Grand Champion Redwood Hills Samurai Zariba and her sire, the wild and reckless buck Willow Run Atlas Ransom.

The Olive Harvest at Redwood Hill Farm

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Life on the Farm

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In Italy there are many festivals in November to celebrate the olive harvest, when family and friends gather to harvest the plump green and purple fruit by hand.

It was a cold but sunny morning three years ago, when we started our own family tradition: picking the fruit of our young trees by hand to make “green gold”—the buttery, peppery, and delicious olive oil.

Peanut Butter Pistachio Goat Milk Fudge

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

RedwoodHillFarm_GoatMilkFudge

Fudge for the holidays, with a twist: made with cultured goat milk kefir

We’ve added pistachios to a classic peanut butter fudge recipe using our fresh, award-winning, plain goat milk kefir instead of evaporated milk. The goat milk kefir works beautifully—the resulting fudge is smooth, creamy with a nice peanut-butter flavor and a hint of tartness. Chopped, unsalted pistachios give just the right amount of contrasting “crunch” to the creamy confection and are very pretty sprinkled over the top as a garnish. Adapted from goat milk fudge recipe on food.com.

This fudge makes a great homemade gift—just be sure to save some for yourself.

Avocado Kefir Smoothie

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

RedwoodHillFarm_AvocadoKefir_Smoothie

New research finds that eating an avocado per day, as part of an overall diet rich in healthy fats, may help cut the bad kind of cholesterol, known as LDL. “The avocado is this nutrient-rich, power-packed fruit that’s full of monounsaturated fat,” CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says. “It also has fiber and antioxidants in it. It’s high in potassium, and vitamins. It’s low in sodium, cholesterol and sugars.” Plus, she noted, “the ancient Aztecs thought it was an aphrodisiac, if you need another reason to eat them.”

Creamy, probiotic-rich goat milk kefir provides the perfect base for this thick, nutrient packed green smoothie. You’ll get the benefits of goat milk, plus the powerful nutritional boosts from avocado, quinoa, banana and cucumber.

Vegetable & Fresh Chèvre Gratin

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

Potato-Squash-and-Goat-Cheese-Gratin-Vegetarian-Recipe_2012-1231-01

This rustic recipe has been a favorite of mine since my long-time friend and goat cheese lover, Helen Jackson, gave it to me a few years ago. It makes a great vegetarian dinner or side dish and shows off how versatile cooking with fresh chèvre can be. Tip: do use a mandoline for slicing vegetables if you have one—this recipe is best when the vegetables are sliced very thin.

California Drought and Redwood Hill Farm — Part 2: Conserving Water

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Life on the Farm

Redwood Hill Farm Gravenstein Apple tree

At Redwood Hill Farm, we’ve been farming gardens and orchards just as long as dairy farming—nearly 50 years.

It is typical in Sonoma County to experience an extended dry period each summer without rainfall for many months. We are therefore accustomed to using water wisely and have implemented different water conservation systems which include composting, drip irrigation, reclaiming and reusing water, and dry farming. The severe drought conditions of the last four years have challenged us to perfect these techniques as we make the most of the water we have, now more than ever.