Spring Hill Jersey Cheese

Larry K. Peter

Larry Peter has owned Spring Hill Dairy in Petaluma for over 20 years. As a child in Sebastopol, Larry helped his father milk the family’s lone Jersey cow to make butter and cheese for family meals. Later in life, this family tradition inspired Larry to begin making farmstead cheeses on a commercial scale. Spring Hill is committed to using 100% Jersey milk from their own herd of pasture-grazed cows to produce their cheeses. The milk from Jersey cows contains a higher percentage of butterfat than milk from Holstein cows, making them an ideal breed for cheese making. However, because Jersey cows have a lower quantity yield than Holsteins they are no longer common in most commercial dairy operations. The cows are milked every 12 hours, then the milk is pasteurized, cultured, and aged anywhere from 3 weeks for fresh cheeses to 3 years for cheddars. Spring Hill offers tours and other educational opportunities for those interested in learning about the dairy and farm industries of California.

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Markets:Downtown Berkeley (Saturday)Season:
Year-RoundProduct: Butter and farmstead cheeses, including quark, ricotta, and a range of cheddars and jacks, as well as specialty cheeses like fresh curds, dry jack, and old world portugueseFarmer's Name: Larry K. PeterMailing Address: 621 Western Ave
Petaluma, CA 94952
Email: info@springhillcheese.com, michelle@springhillcheese.com
Phone: (707) 762-3446
Website: www.springhillcheese.comFarm Location:
Petaluma, Sonoma County, CADistance From Berkeley:
45 mileSoil Type: Grassland SoilWater Source: WellAbout the Farm:
Spring Hill Jersey Cheese is owned and managed by Larry K. Peter. He employs 20-30 year-round farmworkers.Organic Certification: Certified Organic by CCOF since 2005Waste Management: Waste is collected and then spread in the fields as fertilizer in the fall.Acreage: 1200 acresHerd/Flock Size: 500 Jersey cowsHerding Practices: All animals are raised on an extensive pasture with shade, water and access to a barn for shelter.Feeding Practices: The cows graze on pasture from January to July, and are fed a mixture of silage, hay and grain for the remainder of the year. The silage is produced in-house from red and white oats, favas, and other ingredients grown in Spring Hill’s pasture.