“Got ‘Small-Batch’ Milk?”: The California Microdairy Revolution

Small Batch Milk - the California Micro dairy RevolutionCalifornia Is Leading The Charge on the Microdairy Revolution

Time for the best California dairy farms list! A movement has begun. It’s not a political or radical movement, it’s a food movement targeting awareness and health. 

The miracle of the internet, and its inherent ease of information dissemination, has led to us, as a society, to become privy to the dirty underworld of mass production. Widespread leaks of images and empirical data of what goes on behind the curtain has opened our eyes, and many of us now seek products not soiled by chemicals.

We want to know what goes into food production, and we want to know what’s actually in it!

Because of this food movement, small batch producers of both food and drink are gaining immense strength.

Food and beverages that contain organic ingredients, that are free of animal products and gluten, contain all-natural ingredients and those that artisanal and produced locally are what many of us now seek.

The milk industry is not discluded from this, and so the rise of the microdairy has begun. And in California, where dairy is a major industry, it’s starting to see a revival in small batch, artisanal microdairies, especially in the San Francisco area.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 microdairies in the San Francisco area!

The Best California Dairy Farms List in the San Francisco Area

1. McClelland’s Dairy

Grazing the fields of the lush Sonoma Valley are McClelland’s cows. This microdairy, family owned and operated since 1938, are committed to healthy, natural milk, and, of course, healthy cows!

In an industry that’s become so impersonal with its product, McClelland’s has succeeded in taking the artisanal approach, making it possible for consumers to visit the farm and see its operation first-hand with farm tours that they hold year-round. Milk connoisseurs can witness McClelland’s masterful milking process with their own eyes.

McClelland’s offers not only grass-fed, organic milk, but European Style Organic Artisan Butter. The butter is tumble churned in small batches to achieve the perfect texture, then sea salt from the Sea of Brittany in France is added.

2. Claravale Farm

Claravale Farm has a tradition of feeding its cows a healthy diet of hay, grain-based dairy feeds and the lush grasses of beautiful Panoche, California.

This microdairy, which was established back in 1927, believes that a good quality, high-producing cow cannot do well on green pasture alone. The perfect diet for a cow to produce the most delicious milk is a mixture of hay, grain and pasture. All of which Claravale uses to keep its cows at their best. Claravale offers solely raw milk.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “raw?”. But, there’s a raw milk revolution going on. It’s highly nutritious, it’s delicious, and, despite popular belief, is completely safe for consumption. Claravale Farm is licensed by the State of California to produce raw milk, and is regularly inspected.

3. Real Food Raw Milk

This microdairy, located out of Palo Alto, was incepted upon the idea of producing and distributing fresh, organic, raw milk and cream directly to consumer — plain and simple.

Real Food Bay Area is also the producer of a line of locally grown, organic meat products, eggs and sustainable seafood. Real Food Bay Area’s mantra is to provide local, healthy, sustainable, artisan foods. It is a mission that is truly taking hold in today’s food culture.

4. Evergreen Acres

This family-run microdairy out of Tres Pinos knows goats, and they have the only Grade A dairy herd in California consisting mainly of Guernsey goats

The goat milk Evergreen Acres produces is rich, sweet and creamy with a mild flavour. This microdairy produces a variety of goat milk products including raw goat milk in glass bottles, Goatgirt (a type of yogurt), goat milk soap, and raw goat cheese in cheshire and feta. Evergreen also produces pasture-raised, organic chicken and duck eggs.

5. Straus Family Creamery

Straus Family Creamery; out of Marshall, California; is one that is relatively new to scene, but not one that’s behind in the dairy game. Not at all. Straus was founded in 1994, and is a family-owned and operated microdairy on a mission to produce the highest-quality, organic milk products.

When it comes to producing milk, Straus cares about its cows just as much as its workers. When weather permits, the cows spend the sunny afternoon out on the pasture. At night, or in the winter, they cozy up in an open barn with their own natural bedding.

Straus’ products include milk and cream, ice cream, yogurt, Greek yogurt, butter, sour cream, all of which are organic.

Find Out How Many Dairies are in California?

The shift toward food awareness has breathed new life into the family farm, giving artisans a chance at revival. And, due to this revival, microdairies, and small-batch milk producers, are gaining a foothold in today’s consumer culture.

Support your local dairy by drinking milk in glass bottles!

Farm fresh milk from these artisan microdairies can be delivered right at your doorstep. Support our community, farmers and dairy cows!