Our cheese is all natural and uses only a few basic ingredients...
Milk, salt, and natural enzymes... That's it!
No growth hormones, no additives, and no preservatives.
1. Our Feed:
At Spring Hill Dairy, we grow our own feed. We start by planting our own forage silage mix. Some of the grasses include red and white oats, bell beans, rye grass, and fava beans. Silage is a feed fed to ruminants (cows, sheep, deer, etc.) that is high in nutrients and moisture content and keeps for long periods of time. Ruminant animals have a four chambered stomach and need roughages and forages in their diet to keep their digestive tract working correctly. Once the forage is harvested, we add more ingredients and let the grasses ferment for protein optimization. It is then fed to the cows for a delicious and nutritious meal! Our cows also enjoy a pasture based diet from January thru July.
3. Curds and Whey
Once the milk is pasturized, it goes into a vat where a starter culture is added to start the cheese making process. A solid curd begins to form. Using a curd knife we then cut the curds. The curd is cooked in the whey (the left over liquid portion) depending on what type of cheese is being made. The whey is then drained and sent back to the dairy for the cows to drink or made into other by-products. The remaining curd forms into a solid mass of cheese and is placed in a trough for the remaining whey to drain. The cheese is cut into blocks with a cheese knife and the blocks are continuously turned to keep the whey draining out.
Petaluma Creamery and Spring Hill Jersey Cheese are available in retail stores and Farmer's Markets throughout Sonoma County, the Bay Area, and California. We hope you enjoy!
Visit our store at 711 Western Ave. Petaluma, CA
for free cheese samples!
2. Milking and Pasturizing
The cows are brought into the milk barn to be milked every 12 hours (two times per day). Multiple cows can be milked at a time in our barn. The milk machine has suction that pulses on each teat drawing the milk from the cow. The milk is 99.8 degrees when it comes out of the cow. Each cow produces about 8 gallons per milking. The milk then travels through a series of pipes and ends up in a tank where it is picked up by a truck and delivered to the Petaluma Creamery. The milk is emptied from the truck and travels through more pipes until it ends up in the pasturizer. The pasturizer heats the milk to 163.5 degrees, killing any harmful and unwanted bacteria in the milk.
The cheese is put through a curd mill which cuts the cheese into uniform slices. Next, salt, herbs, and seasonings are added for flavor. The curds and desired flavors are mixed and tied in cheese cloth. We make 8 pound wheels for jack cheeses and 40 pound blocks for cheddar cheeses. The cheese is pressed for at least 12 hours, vaccumed sealed, and refridgerated for aging. Aging allows the cheese to mature allowing optimal flavor. Each cheese takes a different amount of time to age: Cheddar 2-3 years, Jack 30 days, Dry Jack 1 year.
621 Western Avenue, Petaluma, California | 707-762-3446