For us, being a sustainable ranch and creamery is non-negotiable. We love where we live and work, and want to keep it looking as beautiful as when we got here. It's a constant work in progress, but here are just a few of the ways we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint as a business, so we can feel better knowing our company is minimizing waste and reducing energy.
Using California Sunshine
We have a 50KW solar array on the farm that produces roughly 90 percent of the energy we use here.
Water, Our Most Precious Resource
We rely on spring water and rain catchment that is refreshed by the annual rain for our water source for our orchards and creamery. We also utilize the manure and waste from the goats to fertilize our orchards.
Happy, Well-Fed Piggies
We feed the whey, cheese waste, and avocados to our pigs. They get a few hundred gallons of whey per week from the creamery.
"When I first moved to the farm, my goal was to raise meat responsibly for personal consumption and for family and friends, said Jack Rudolph, Stepladder owner. "I purchased a few Gloucester Old Spots and after a heavy wind storm that blew off hundreds of avocados in our orchards, I collected the damaged fruit and fed them to the pigs. The pigs were thrilled and that’s how our Avocado-Fed Pork came to be.
Michelle and I now raise a limited amount of heritage pigs on our property, with a range of pure and cross breeds of Red Wattle, Large Black, Gloucester Old Spot and Berkshire. Heritage breeds often have a higher fat content, which makes their meat more flavorful and moist. Our pigs aren't raised in confinement, which means happier, healthier animals and less environmental contamination. They live on a 12-acre forested pen overlooking Rocky Butte with plenty of room to roam in the sun and shade. They are 100% antibiotic and hormone free."
When you order cheese from us online, you'll receive a box, ice packs and of course, your cheese shipment. Everything in our packaging is recyclable and made with recycled materials.
Manure & Compost Mounds
Our goat herd lives a hard life - napping in the sun, grazing in the pasture, visiting the milking parlor and playtime with the crew. All that hard work and fun translates into lots and lots of manure. Yes, we said it. Goats poop a lot, and it keeps our crew very busy keeping their pens and areas clean.
Luckily, we have use for all that nutrient-rich manure. Pictured above is some recently-cleared space where we will be planting a new group of avocado trees. We used the manure mixed with hay to create mounds. Over time, the nutrients from the manure will make their way into the remaining soil to help the avocado trees flourish.