Haverton Hill Creamery in Richfield is very unique. Like most creameries, Haverton Hills, owned and operated by a Joe and Missy Adiego, produces butter, ice cream and milk – but what is very special about the Adiego’s product is that it is made from sheep’s milk.
Yes, you read that right – sheep’s milk.
“Most people don’t even realize there is a breed of sheep that can be milked,” Missy said. “But there is and the products sheep’s milk makes is wonderful.”
The Adiego family, including three daughters, Avery, Hadley and Leary, moved to Richfield, at 23309 Richfield Road, two years ago from Petaluma.
“We needed a change after leasing property from someone else. We wanted to purchase our own property and we found the perfect place here in Richfield,” Joe said.
It was in 2010 the Adiego’s opened Haverton Hills Dairy and Creamery outside Petaluma where they milked a flock of 600 East Friesian dairy sheep, a breed known for its ability to provide excellent milk production. Joe said the operation wasn’t that different from a cow dairy.
But when the time came for the move to Richfield, the family decided to leave the work of a dairy behind and just bring the creamery to their new home, along with a small flock of dairy sheep they raise for genetic purposes (Joe does his own annual shearing of each sheep in the flock).
“We now purchase our sheep’s milk from another dairy and just focus on our creamery and producing the best product available on the market,” Missy said.
The family loves the rural lifestyle of Tehama County.
“We have been so welcomed here,” Missy said. “As soon as we moved in our neighbors came over and introduced themselves and the community and school have been great.”
The move also put the creamery closer to its distribution hubs which stocks the shelves of the many outlets for Haverton Hills products.
Locally, Haverton Hills products can be purchased at the creamery, or at Richfield Schoolhouse Market, 6031 Alameda Road.
Running a creamery is daily work, but the Adiegos love it as they handcraft small batches of their award winning butter, six flavors of ice cream and bottled milk during the work week, all of which Missy explains can often be used by people who can’t tolerate cow’s milk for a variety of reasons.
Joe says sheep’s milk is naturally homogenized, easily digestible, contains three times more protein than cows’ milk, and is high in calcium, low in saturated fat, and contains higher percentage amounts of several vitamins, Folic acid and many minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorous.
Besides all that, the product is just plain good to eat.
“We have always been known as the local family farm, and that will never change. We love to give back to the community, and we are offering private education tours to local schools and groups,” Missy said.
The Haverton Hills farm in Richfield is growing and changing as the Adiegos make improvements and set down roots.
Missy, a former competitive equine hunter/jumper, has set up a beginners jump course for her daughters, and Joe is in the process of building a new barn. The girls, along with taking care of their animals, are involved in school and recreation programs.
“Our farm is our lifestyle. We love what we do, the products we produce along with all of our animals. Everyday is a new challenge; no day is the same, but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” Missy said.
For more information on Haverton Hill, visit http://www.havertonhill.com/.