Lifestyle

Redwood Hill Farm Tour

redwood hill farm

Tucked away about 50 miles north of San Francisco is the goat farm and creamery of Redwood Hill Farm – the first goat dairy in the US to be Certified Humane Raised and Handled.  This family-run operation has been at it since 1968, when the Bice family moved to Sonoma County and the children were given goats as pets.  They started selling raw goat’s milk as 4H’ers. Forty-five years later, there are now 62 employees at Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery (one of whom is their very first employee whose been there for 32 years!)

Jennifer took over the family farm in the late 1970’s and five of the ten siblings have a hand in the daily operation (sales, graphic design, farm, etc.).  The current location of Redwood Hill was purchased in 2002 and is a beautiful 10-acre property (plus a newly purchased 10 aditional neighboring acres full of apple orchards, olive trees and more) where the family goats are cared for and milked. Jennifer currently shares the farm with approximately 300 Nubian, French Alpine, LaMancha, and Saanen Does that come and go as they please in the large yards and barns dotting the property. When older goats ‘retire’ from the milking line, they live out their days lazing around the farm.

redwood hill farm_0012

redwood hill farm_0011

My family visited over the summer and my daughter fell in love with all the goats and they with her! They were so friendly and adorable, we wanted to take one home.  Of course 300 goats are not enough to fulfill the amazing growth of Redwood Hill Farms products, so there are an additional 5-6 local farms that contribute their goat’s milk, all of which have also been Certified Humane.  For detailed information on their organic and natural approach to farming, visit here.

redwood hills farms

The goats are all milked on site twice a day and the milk stored in the milking room until the trucks come to take it to the creamery.  This barn (photo below) is next to the milking room, so it’s just a short walk for the goats, who are all known by name to Jennifer, her brother Scott (who is the farm manager and also lives on the property), and the staff.

redwood hills farms

What impressed me almost as much as the care of the goats was learning that, with 2,548 panels, the farm and creamery are 100% solar! This just made me love and want to support this farm even more.  Between the stewardship of their animals, their environmental practices, the employees that are like extended family… and that they are running this company successfully should be a wake up call that a sustainable business model can still be profitable.

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redwood hill farm_0013

I’m sorry, but I think this little gal could have easily fit in my camera bag to take home…

redwood hills farms

Just down the road three miles is the creamery…

redwood hills farms

I was pretty excited about this tour for a few reasons. My daughter has a sensitivity to lactose and goat’s milk is naturally low in it. And the other reason is that I love goat’s cheese. Jennifer was kind enough to give us a tour herself and, the day we visited, they were just starting a batch of Chèvre. I also got to see Camellia and Cameo at different stages of production.

Here, enzymes are being added to the milk, which helps the proteins bind together to form a curd. We were too early in the process that day to see the final curds and whey, but it was still fascinating to see as much as we did. As a side note (and yet another ‘this company is awesome!’ moment), the whey is siphoned out and given to a local farmer who uses it to feed his pigs. The container in the picture on the right has 900 gallons of goat’s milk run through it May to September and is used for Chèvre.

redwood hills farms

redwood hills farms

After the curd is molded and drained of whey, it is brined and then the cheeses are brought to the drying room for 1-3 days.  Next, it’s on to the aging room for approximately two weeks.  It’s here where the fuzzy mold starts forming on the surface after six days. And at the two week mark, this Camellia is packed and held until shipped.  redwood hill farm_0005

redwood hill farm

redwood hills farms

Here, their Cameo (a Camembert-style cheese) is topped with fresh lemon verbena and peppercorns (and rosemary in the winter). This would make a lovely hostess gift (but I would probably eat it before it got that far.)
redwood hill farm_0015

redwood hill farm

redwood hill farm

Redwood Hill Farm isn’t just about cheese, by the way.  They have a great line up of goat yogurt and kefir products. Here the kefir and yogurt are coming off the line were they’re placed in the fermentation room.

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redwood hill farm_0008

redwood hill farm

The line of artisan goat’s milk products also includes delicious aged and smoked chedders. You can see and order all of their products here as well as their line of organic lactose free cow’s milk  (Green Valley Organics). Or better yet, find a store near you.

redwood hill farm_0022

redwood hill farm

One of my favorite, easy treats… the Bucheret drizzled with honey.

redwood hill farm

A few more recipes:

I also noticed that they have wine and beer pairings on their website!

Big thanks to Jennifer and sister Shelley for taking their time to show us around Redwood Hill Farm. Tours are available in the spring if you want to visit the happiest and most adorable goats ever for yourselves. Subscribe to their newsletter to get info on dates as soon as they’re posted.

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100 Comments

  • Reply
    eContests » Redwood Hill farm Goat Cheese Goody Bag
    September 8, 2014 at 11:34 pm

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    • Reply
      Gloria DesJardins
      September 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Would love to win & try your products

  • Reply
    Leila
    September 8, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I am extremely picky, but a girlfriend and I went out for mom’s night out last month and I ended up trying goat cheese on accident (I was told it was hummus). It is now my new favorite thing so I am really excited about this giveaway! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      September 8, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      Oh Leila, isn’t it scrumptious???? Good luck!

  • Reply
    Pu Ye
    September 9, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I love cheese, this is great

  • Reply
    Tandi Cortez-Rios
    September 9, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Yum! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • Reply
    June Snyder
    September 9, 2014 at 4:29 am

    my favorite goat product is goats milk soap.

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      September 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Oh wow, I’ve never seen that before. I bet it’s wonderful!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Julius Bufkin
    September 9, 2014 at 7:25 am

    I love cheese. Thank for sweepsteaks

  • Reply
    Judith Carlow
    September 9, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Yum ! love cheese of all types !

  • Reply
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    September 9, 2014 at 7:48 am

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  • Reply
    kay
    September 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I love goat cheese.

  • Reply
    amelia
    September 9, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Awesome giveaway….I admire the work and dedication of these artisans that produce this great cheese…thanks.

  • Reply
    Caitlyn
    September 9, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I love cheese made from small-production artisans. It is always such better quality!

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      September 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I agree. And being able to see the goats first hand was a great experience.

  • Reply
    Jessica Padilla
    September 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I would love to try the cheese. Thanks

  • Reply
    manda
    September 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Love the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Redwood Hill Farm Goat Cheese Goody Bag Giveaway | Just Sweep
    September 9, 2014 at 10:05 am

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  • Reply
    Brent
    September 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

    It all looks so tasty!

  • Reply
    Tyneisha Fondren
    September 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

    This would be my first time trying goat products!! Would be an exciting experience; thanks for the chance!

  • Reply
    Zenetta
    September 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I did not know goat milk yogurt was even available. I already love goat cheese and I’m sure I will love the yogurt.

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I have been lucky enough to tour both the farm and creamery. You can see the goats smiling at the farm. I know the products taste better because the goats are happy and the employees are happy to work for such a wonderful family.

  • Reply
    Tina Lee
    September 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Loved reading about your tour and learning the operation of the farm! Would love to try the yogurt especially.

  • Reply
    Barb Stenby
    September 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    i love all your goats! your kefir is delicious too!!

  • Reply
    Luci {Luci's Morsels}
    September 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I always love your tours of locals farms and businesses. This is especially great because of the goats! and I love all my Nor Cal businesses!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  • Reply
    Adella Gonzalez
    September 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try goat cheese. I love all kinds, so I know I’d love it.
    I’ve been an advocate of local farm/businesses for years. I appreciate all that you do.

  • Reply
    MD
    September 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    For many years I shied away from goat cheese, milk, or yogurt but my wife is a chef and I am in culinary school. I decided to try it and now LOVE goat cheese. Goat’s milk on the other hand I just say “neah neah” to! LOL

  • Reply
    crystal
    September 9, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I love just about every kind of cheese. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  • Reply
    Michelle Ness Arana
    September 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    After looking at those photos, I am so hungry! YUM!

  • Reply
    Kathleen Prine
    September 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I really enjoyed the article. I also enjoy following Redwood Hills on facebook.

  • Reply
    Melanie Cameron
    September 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Great giveaway!…. love Goat Cheese

  • Reply
    anne
    September 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    goat cheese is my favorite!

  • Reply
    Alisha H.
    September 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I have never had goat cheese but I’ve wanted to try it!

  • Reply
    Sarah O.
    September 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Those crostini look to die for. I love goat cheese, especially with fruit!

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      September 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Sarah, I could seriously eat that every day. Let me know if you make it.

  • Reply
    Beckie Bergeron
    September 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I love any type of goat cheese! So yummy!

  • Reply
    Becky Ensinger
    September 10, 2014 at 4:20 am

    I would love to win this!

  • Reply
    Becky Ensinger
    September 10, 2014 at 4:21 am

    I would love to win this! I love goat cheese.

  • Reply
    Pamela Makuta
    September 10, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Love the cheesy giveaway! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Diana G
    September 10, 2014 at 4:57 am

    I have become obsessed with goat gouda. Just love all goat cheese, it’s so good.

  • Reply
    Sophia b
    September 10, 2014 at 6:36 am

    I love this! Hope i win!

  • Reply
    beth
    September 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I would love to win this!

  • Reply
    hayley s
    September 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

    That Cameo cheese looks so good! Actually, it all looks really good! Goat cheese is the best!

  • Reply
    Rose Reeder
    September 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I really would like t try Redwood Hill Farm Goats Milk Goody Bag filled with artisan cheeses, yogurts, kefirs and a t-shirt

  • Reply
    jacquie
    September 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

    oh those goats are so cute! I would like to be able to try the products from the farm.

  • Reply
    shelly sklar
    September 10, 2014 at 11:59 am

    love goat cheese//mmmmm/

  • Reply
    Ryan hill
    September 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I like goat milk and have used it for muscle recovery after workouts too. I wonder if the goat milk whey would be good for that too. Haven’t dabbled much in goat cheese or yogurt yet, but I’m always up for new foods so winning that giveaway would be a great way to start 🙂

  • Reply
    Tosha H
    September 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I love their kefir and admire the company so this would be awesome to win

  • Reply
    RichysRich09
    September 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I would love to go to your farm and take a tour…WITH SAMPLING!!!! (:

  • Reply
    Carolsue
    September 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    The Cameo cheese looks soooooo good! I’d love to win this!

  • Reply
    Florentina
    September 11, 2014 at 1:40 am

    This is a delicious opportunity. Although I’m not sure you can deliver outside of the US, but it doesn’t hurt to try anyway.

  • Reply
    Sippitysup
    September 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I have a real thing for goats. Thanks for making me smile. GREG

  • Reply
    Cheshire Cat
    September 11, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Bahjet Yousif
    September 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply
    Erika JM
    September 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve never tried goat milk or cheese before, so this would be my first time.

  • Reply
    Jenny Willis
    September 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I would love to try goat cheese.

  • Reply
    Erin Madigan
    September 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Yum! I absolutely LOVE Goats Milk! 🙂

  • Reply
    gina
    September 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I absolutely adore goats and all their amazing products!

  • Reply
    Jordan
    September 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I have to say that I do not like cow’s milk and haven’t touched it in years, but I absolutely adore goat’s milk and would love to win this giveaway!

  • Reply
    Diana
    September 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I love goat cheese so much!

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      September 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Right? I could have it as my three meals a day!

  • Reply
    Becky L
    September 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I love goats. They’re just so adorable and spunky. We had two pet goats when I was a teenager and they were so much fun. Rocky and Lucky loved to drive our horse named Katie crazy but when Lucky passed away she stood in the corner of her lot and grieved for him. The goats on this farm are so beautiful and well groomed. Looks like an amazing place to work or visit.

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      September 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      What a great experience Becky! Totally jealous! And the ones sat Redwood Hill where so fun. I could have stayed there all day just watching them!

  • Reply
    Virginia Rowell
    September 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I would love to try this. Especially the the Bucheret drizzled with honey.

  • Reply
    Crystal Renee
    September 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I absolutely love goat cheese and I’m always incorporating it into our meals. I would really love to try this and thank you so much for having the giveaway!

  • Reply
    Tracy Jones
    September 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I would love to win this. This a great giveaway.

  • Reply
    Missy
    September 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I love goat cheese. When I was a child I drank goats milk, it must stem from that.

  • Reply
    betty league
    September 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I have not ever had the pleasure of trying goat cheese. I would love TOO! thank you

  • Reply
    Beth
    September 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve always loved goat cheese, but I went to a local sustainable living fair and got to hear a little more about the things they produce. I found it all very interesting and I really think I would like to have some goats of my own!!

  • Reply
    Danielle Jones
    September 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I have never had goats cheese before but would like to try it.

  • Reply
    Mariaelena
    September 14, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Yum! I love cheese!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    September 14, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I LOVE cheese. Every kind. Looking at the process, it is just so beautiful. What an amazing art. It is just so neat. I have really wanted to try to make my own, but haven’t yet. I would Love to try this cheese. I truly have an appreciation of good cheese, and for the process behind the scenes. Just amazing.

  • Reply
    Clenna Emery
    September 14, 2014 at 6:57 am

    I react to cow’s milk but love goat’s milk. Thank you for the giveaway.

  • Reply
    David Fultner
    September 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

    i love goat cheese. So many tasty recipes.

  • Reply
    Kassie Brown
    September 14, 2014 at 10:21 am

    These products look amazing. I love the presentation of the cheeses and the care that looks like goes into every one of the products.

  • Reply
    Jesselyn A/Jesstinger
    September 14, 2014 at 10:32 am

    My brother used to have a small goat farm (adorable Nubian goats!) in Kentucky and we all got spoiled with his wonderful goat cheeses, yogurt, milk and other dairy products. We still really miss those wonderful tangy treats!

  • Reply
    Theresa N
    September 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

    It all looks so good.

  • Reply
    Carol N
    September 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    This looks lovely!

  • Reply
    Crissie Woolard
    September 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    These products look amazing. I love goat cheese

  • Reply
    Pam Hoffman
    September 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I love any kind of cheese, especially goat cheese!!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Sounds delish

  • Reply
    Melissa Mazzur
    September 14, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    cheese is a way of life!

  • Reply
    Lana
    September 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I love goat cheese, but my 14-year old adores it! And Redwood Hiil Farm products are divine:)

  • Reply
    The Happy Wife/Danielle Garcia
    September 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I love goat cheese and soaps made with goat milk, but have not tried to drink kefir or goat milk. I would love to try it some time.

  • Reply
    Garm
    September 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    This is new to me. I’d like to try goat cheese or milk.

  • Reply
    Rose Santuci-Sofranko
    September 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    This sounds like a great prize. Thanks and God bless!

  • Reply
    Sarah S
    September 15, 2014 at 2:31 am

    That looks like an awesome place and sounds like a great giveaway!

  • Reply
    ken ohl
    September 15, 2014 at 3:15 am

    love to try all these cheeses. thankyou, ken

  • Reply
    kristy balser
    September 15, 2014 at 6:34 am

    I love goats and there milk and cheese my son could eat goat cheese at all meals love the site and keep on making great things !!!!!

  • Reply
    Laura P. Craig
    September 15, 2014 at 8:41 am

    YUM! I love goat cheese but have never had Kefir made from goat’s milk…would be interesting I’m sure.

  • Reply
    Teresa Thompson
    September 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I would love to try it all.

  • Reply
    Randi Cook
    September 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    What a great yummy package! Got my fingers crossed as I would love to try the milk and cheese!

  • Reply
    Kerri
    September 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I’m counting the days until my LO is old enough to share cheese with!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Upton
    October 12, 2014 at 12:17 am

    We are visiting this region in November. Your post has me even more excited. Would love to win the package to get my taste buds prepped.

  • Leave a Reply

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