We took a Saturday day trip to Chowchilla, CA to visit the one and only Golden Valley Sheep Farm from the Dacarrett Family! Golden Valley Farm is the first and only sheep dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley that crafts the best artisan sheep cheese and milk we have ever tasted! What we love about this farm is that their animals are raised in a clean and spacious environment, and are fed from a new fodder production feeding system that not only allows for fresh fodder everyday to keep the animals (and us) happy and healthy, but also great in water conservation!
We were first greeted by this big guy known as Bandit, one of the sheep and farm protectors. He was quite intimidating at first, but once he gets to know you and that you mean no harm to the farm, he’s the friendliest and most gentle dog ever. He stuck by our sides while we were outside roaming the land.
Our first stop was to check out the new feeding system on the farm using the new Fodder Production Unit . This was very exciting to see because it feeds over 700 sheep with fresh, green, delicious grass ( Trust us- we tried it too!) to produce fresher dairy products while only using a mere 2% of the water normally used to grow the same amount of forage! This is so incredibly important as resources -especially water - become scarce in California.
We were then brought into the room where all the cheese is aged...so pretty much where all the amaziness happens that gives its taste, appearance and aroma. Their artisan cheese is similar to that of wine in which they are carefully aged and crafted to different varieties traditionally based on the influence of European-styled cheese and culture.
And here is the kicker - their cheese is not only full of delicious flavor, but also naturally low in fat - wait what?! Oh, that's not all - it's also more easily handled for people who are lactose intolerant, and is richer in many essential vitamins relative to other milk sources. This makes us very happy. Read more about their cheese here!
Our next stop was the actual farm for the animals! It was baby season, so we came just in time to see all the little lamb out and about - many of which were only 2-3 days old...and one that was only a couple hours!
These pictures are so adorable especially with the guardian barn cat, those little lamb...and that one lamb who seems to be either on a timeout or camera shy!
We also got the opportunity to milk some of the sheep that needed to be milked for the day! It was a lot harder than it looked...
And then there was this guy.
We ended our tour with a cheese tasting and some wine that we could not get enough of. Highly recommend trying their cheese if you have the chance. Here is a listing of places you can actually purchase their products, "Where to Buy" - many of which are in LA!
We had an amazing and peaceful time at the farm, and are incredibly thankful to the Daccarett Family for welcoming us into their home and land. There is nothing like a good day out of the city with good food and people! Big THANK YOU again, Golden Valley Farm!
Inspired? Interested or curious about the farm and their artisan cheese and milk? Come and check out the farm yourself and maybe stick around for some amazing cheese tasting!
For more information and to visit the farm: http://www.goldenvalleysheep.com/