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Our Goat Milk’s Journey, from farm to you.

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

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Redwood Hill Farm has been a family farm for over 45 years. It began in 1968 when our parents, Cynthia and Kenneth Bice (with then seven kids), moved from Los Angeles to Sonoma County and bought their very first goat named “Flopsy”. As a family and later under the leadership of oldest sister, Jennifer Bice, we have been making our cultured yogurt, kefir and artisan cheese for our goat milk loving customers since the early 1970’s. We invite you on a journey to follow our fresh goat milk as it travels from our Certified Humane® goat farm in Sebastopol, CA, to your neighborhood store.

The journey starts at dawn…

Our milking does headed into the parlor

Scott Bice guides the Redwood Hill Farm herd head into the milking parlor where it all begins. Dairy goats are milked twice a day, at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. An average milking goat will give 2,000 lbs. of milk in a year. Our top performing dairy goats, which are nationwide leaders in milk production, may give up to two tons of milk annually!

Redwood Hill Farm Manager Scott Bice with a Saanen milk doe.

Our dairy does look forward to milking time. They are very social animals, and Farm Manager Scott Bice not only knows them by name but also is also quite aware of their different personalities. Aside from getting a pat from the herdsman, milking time is when the does enjoy their custom milled, protein-rich grain mix, which makes up about 25% of their diet; the remaining 75% consists of fresh forages, brush and hay.

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We raise four different breeds of dairy goats on our farm, who in turn give us the best-tasting milk for our probiotic yogurt, kefir and artisan cheeses. Pictured here are Saanen dairy goats, a breed that originated in Switzerland. Compared to cow milk, goat milk contains higher levels of calcium, vitamin A, potassium and niacin.

Milking machines transport the fresh, raw goat milk through filters into our milk parlor’s holding tank, where it is immediately chilled and held at 38 to 40 degrees. Notice the “cream clouds” at the top. Goat milk, unlike cow milk, is “naturally homogenized,” which means that most of the fat globules are evenly dispersed throughout the milk.

Delivering the farm-fresh, raw goat milk to our creamery

David Bice filling the milk tanker

Throughout the week, our fresh milk is transported to Redwood Hill Farm Creamery, located only four miles from the farm. Here, family member David Bice fills milk into the tanker for another load.

Our milk tanker on the road

Enjoying the rural countryside of beautiful West Sonoma County is a perk for employees doing this farm chore.

Taking a milk sample in the receiving bay at Redwood Hill Farm

In the receiving bay at our creamery, Alfredo Monter-Jacinto takes samples of the milk for quality testing. Because we make quite a bit of yogurt, kefir and cheese, we also receive milk from six additional Certified Humane® goat dairy farms.

Our passion: making specialty goat milk yogurt, kefir and cheese

Redwood Hill Farm owner and cheesemaker stirring feta curds

In addition to yogurt and kefir, we make an assortment of handmade, artisan cheeses. We use raw goat milk to make Redwood Hill Farm’s gold medal-winning Raw Goat Milk Feta. Here, Owner and Cheesemaker, Jennifer Lynn Bice, and her cheese team stir the curds.  Feta curds are then packed by hand into molds, brined in a natural sea salt solution, and aged from six months to a year—just as traditional feta has been made for centuries.

Redwood Hill Farm California Crottin

Depending on the style of cheese, our 3 to 5 ounce artisan rind-ripened or ‘soft-ripened’ cheeses are aged for about 14 days in cave-like, temperature- and humidity-controlled aging rooms. At just the right age, slightly before ripeness and flavor reach their optimum, the cheeses are wrapped and packed by hand and then sold to stores up and down the West Coast. By the time the cheese has made its journey and has reached our customers, the flavor should be fully developed.

Adding cultures to our pasteruized goat milk to make yogurt.

By law in the United states, milk to make yogurt and kefir must be pasteurized, but there are different methods. We use the vat-pasteurization method, the gentlest for retaining a higher percentage of the milk’s natural enzymes. After pasteurization, specific cultures are added to the goat milk depending on whether we are making yogurt or kefir and depending on our production schedule for that day.

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After the yogurt or kefir containers are filled with the warm cultured milk and sealed, they are stacked and delivered to our creamery’s hot room for fermentation. At this stage the liquid milk thickens or “sets” as the beneficial bacteria cultures rapidly multiply.

Delivering freshly packed yogurt quarts to our creamery hot room for culturing.

After 4-6 hours, and at just the right pH level, the yogurt or kefir is moved into the chilling room. This important step holds the pH at just the right level and stabilizes the delicate texture.

Distributor truck picking up Redwood Hill Farm yogurt and kefir

Our carefully packed cheese, yogurt or kefir is picked up by our distributors and delivered to natural and specialty food stores, cooperatives, as well as many natural food sections of conventional grocery stores in your area.

Our goat milk yogurt and kefir is available nationwide at coops and natural, specialty food markets.

Everything we make is crafted with 100% Grade A whole goat milk.  Fresh milk is the key to making the best-tasting goat milk yogurt, kefir and cheese. Thank you for joining us on our milk’s journey from our farm to your fridge!

Redwood Hill Farm Goat Yogurt is “Foodie Award” Runner-up!

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Company News, In the News

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Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Yogurt was chosen as 2014 FOODIE AWARD WINNER runner-up by Vegetarian Times Magazine editors and readers.

We are proud to share the exciting news that Redwood Hill Farm Plain Yogurt was selected as a runner-up of VEGETARIAN TIMES (VT) Magazine’s 6th Annual Foodie Awards, which were announced in the October 2014 issue now available on newsstands. VT editors nominated 100 of their favorite products in 25 categories, covering all sorts of eating situations from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and treats.
Readers were asked to vote for their favorite products at vegetariantimes.com, where nearly 5,000 votes were cast. Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Yogurt was a runner-up in the “plain yogurt” breakfast category.

Recipe: “Lucky 8″ Salad With Goat Yogurt Peanut Sauce

Written by Nancy Lorenz on . Posted in Recipes

Redwood Hill Farm "Lucky 8" Salad with Goat Milk Yogurt Peanut Sauce

The number “8” is very lucky for the Chinese, so it’s not unusual to find a delicious dish with eight special ingredients on the table during Chinese New Year. Traditionally, eight ingredients like bamboo shoots, bean shoots and other “lucky” ingredients are stir-fried together to make something truly delicious.

You can choose any ingredients you love, but we like the crunch of the cucumbers, the slightly spicy radish wedges and the sweetness of the tomatoes when paired with the peanut and goat yogurt sauce. The egg ribbons add an Asian flavor to this salad, and the addition of fresh herbs give an added freshness with every bite. The carrots are also important since they are thought to bring luck.

Recipe: Tropical Getaway Frozen Yogurt Parfait

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

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Catch the cool, tropical breeze with this special frozen yogurt parfait made with Redwood Hill Farm Apricot Mango Goat Yogurt, topped with tropical fruits and nuts.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories 290, Fat Cal. 110, Total Fat 13g (20% DV), Sat Fat 7g (35% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 18mg (6% DV), Sodium 120mg (5% DV), Total Carb. 35g (12% DV), Fiber 3g, Sugars 17g, Protein 6g, Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 113%, Calcium 14%, Iron 10%.

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

 

Recipe: Rosemary Honey Yogurt

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

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Created for Redwood Hill Farm by Sabrina Modelle, The Tomato Tart

(TheTomatoTart.com, @thetomatotart.com, facebook.com/sabrinamodelle.thetomatotart)

I just love this simple yet elegant flavor pairing of Rosemary Honey and creamy, Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Yogurt created for us by the Tomato Tart, I think you will too.

The recipe calls for 24 oz. of Redwood Hill Farm Goat Yogurt but as Redwood Hill Fans know, our tubs of yogurt are in the one quart size. Reserve the additional 8 oz. of yogurt for another recipe.

Very easy and satisfying…enjoy!

Recipe: Make Your Own Greek Yogurt With Roasted Rhubarb

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Recipes

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Created for Redwood Hill Farm by Deb Smith, Smith Bites (smithbites.com)

Here’s a recipe for roasting rhubarb and using as a flavor add-in with Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Yogurt. I was excited to get this recipe as I’ve been growing fresh rhubarb in my Sonoma County garden for a couple of years now…and love using it in recipes! We hope you love it too. In addition, you can view Deb’s video for this recipe, SELECT HERE.

Enjoy!  ~ Sharon

Redwood Hill Farm Goat Yogurt has been nominated for Vegetarian Times 2014 Foodie Awards!

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Company News

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Calling all grocery shoppers…

Vegetarian Times editors need your help: for this year’s Foodie Awards, they selected 100 must-have veg products for all sorts of eating situations—from breakfast to lunch to a tasty evening treat. Now they wanna know YOUR favorites.

Drum roll please… Redwood Hill Farm Goat Yogurt is nominated for a Foodie Award this year! You can vote up to once a day in any or all categories from now until May 31, then look out for the winners in their October issue. Just by voting, you could win a $500 American Express gift card!

CLICK HERE and vote for your favorite Goat Milk Yogurt in Vegetarian Times’s 2014 Foodie Awards!

Redwood Hill Farm Goat Yogurt is Cream of the Crop

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in Company News

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Real Simple Magazine editors name Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt winner in its national Yogurt Road Test

The choice of yogurts can be overwhelming for consumers, so the editors of Real Simple Magazine took it upon themselves to find the “cream of the crop.” In the “Traditional” category, Redwood Hill Farm was named head of the herd as “Best Goat
Milk Yogurt.” Its sister brand, Green Valley Organics received “Best Lactose Free Yogurt” honors.

“We are honored and thrilled that the Real Simple editors chose both of our yogurt brands as winners in their yogurt road test,” said Jennifer Bice, owner, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. “We take great pride in how are products are made and the ingredients we use. All of our products are made at our solar powered, Green Business certified creamery using only the highest quality milk from goats and cows raised on Certified Humane farms. We keep our ingredient list short and, well, simple.”

Read the entire PRESS RELEASE here.

Specialty Food Magazine spotlight includes Redwood Hill Farm yogurt

Written by Sharon Bice on . Posted in In the News

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We worked with Food Writer Dina Cheney to provide information for her “Culture Club” yogurt category spotlight feature story which appears in the spring 2014 issue of SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE.

You’ll find quotes from Redwood Hill Farm owner and CEO, Jennifer Bice, featured on pages 80 (on whole milk and natural yogurt with the fewest ingredients) and 82 (on probiotics going mainstream), and mention of both Redwood Hill Farm and our lactose-free brand Green Valley Organics, on page 81.

This in-depth, state-of-the-industry report provides many insights from the specialty yogurt industry including, fellow Northern California yogurt manufacturer Liam Callahan of Bellwether Farms.

Read the digital Issue HERE