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A Brief History of the Saanen Dairy Goat from Switzerland

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

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.

Important News from Jennifer Bice

Written by Helen Lentze on . Posted in Life on the Farm

Sebastopol, CA, December 1, 2015

My dear friends,

I have important news to share with you. Yesterday, on November 30th, I agreed to sell my business, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, to Emmi, a dairy and cheese company from Switzerland. Please allow me to tell you about my journey towards this decision. I want you to know why I chose Emmi – a company which is, to this day, majority owned by a cooperative of small-scale dairy farmers. I will describe how this change will benefit our community, and how it will allow me to deepen my relationship with my animals and the land that sustains us all.

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery Acquired by Farmer-Owned Swiss Dairy Maker Emmi

Written by Helen Lentze on . Posted in Company News

Founder Jennifer Bice finds like-minded partner to carry on her focus on people, quality and sustainability

Sebastopol, California, December 1, 2015 – Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s Founder, Jennifer Bice, announced today that she has chosen Switzerland-based Emmi to acquire her company, which will become an independently operated subsidiary of Emmi Holding (USA), Inc. The makers of the nation’s leading goat milk dairy brand, Redwood Hill Farm, and the nation’s leading organic lactose-free cow dairy brand, Green Valley Organics, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery will continue business as usual at their creamery’s location in Sebastopol, CA.

Bice has committed to stay on as head of the company, overseeing day-to-day operations for several years until she retires, retaining ownership of her farm and 300 goats. The company’s entire leadership team will remain in place, with all employees retained and all jobs secure for the community in west Sonoma County, CA. Emmi and Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery have agreed to keep the terms of the acquisition confidential.

“My succession decision is the result of years of careful planning and research,” says Jennifer Bice, Founder of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. “More than anything,” she continues, “I wanted to ensure that, after I retire, Redwood Hill will continue to thrive as a Sonoma County business, a community resource, and that we can continue our efforts to make pure, wholesome and organic food more accessible and affordable throughout the United States.”

Honoring Zimba

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

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

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

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

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

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.