Honoring Zimba

Our Zimba passed away at the old goat age of 12 years with friends, herdmates, and sister Zoe by her side

Born in the Spring of 2002 in a kidding that produced twin does, Zimba (SG Redwood Hills Ransom Zimba) is the daughter of the sweet doe Grand Champion Redwood Hills Samurai Zariba and her sire, the wild and reckless buck Willow Run Atlas Ransom.

Zimba claimed the loving personality of her mother, and was often found standing at the entrance gate to the barn awaiting workers and visitors alike in hopes for a scratch or pet. One day, Sharon Bice came to the gate where Zimba was waiting and the now famous photo of our cover girl goat was shot (image on left). With that photo Zimba quickly became the face of Redwood Hill Farm’s show herd and her portrait graced postcards, magazine pages, and was even painted on a United Natural Foods Inc. semi truck trailer that would deliver the Redwood Hill Farm award-winning dairy goat products to stores.

Zimba embraced her fame, and her picture made a cameo appearance along with actress Jennifer Lopez and Alex O’Loughlin in the 2010 film “The Back-up Plan” where Alex portrayed a goat farmer and cheesemaker. A poster of Zimba appeared in a scene from the shop as well as various Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery goat cheeses (image below). While the film didn’t get great reviews, our herd gives it two hooves up! Zimba was capacious in her mammary system and her talents, writing blog posts for the Bleat Beat Blog on our website.

Zimba never let fame affect her work ethic and always performed as one of the best milkers in the dairy. She had two lactations that exceeded over 3,500 lbs in the standard 10-month period in which lactations are measured.

While working hard in the milking parlor, Zimba’s littermate sister Zoe (image below) was hard at work in the show ring, earning her Grand Championship status at a young age.  Although they had different claims to fame, these 2 sisters were inseparable on the farm, always entering the milk parlor together and sleeping nuzzled to each other in the barn.

Zimba is survived by her sister Zoe, as well as kids, grand kids and great grand kids in our herd and herds throughout the nation. Zimba’s last summer was spent with pride as her daughter Zoo Loo was named the Senior Reserve National Champion at the American Dairy Goat Association’s National Show in Redmond Oregon.

Flowers for the service were happily eaten by Zimba’s herdmates.


The Olive Harvest at Redwood Hill Farm

In Italy there are many festivals in November to celebrate the olive harvest, when family and friends gather to harvest the plump green and purple fruit by hand.

It was a cold but sunny morning three years ago, when we started our own family tradition: picking the fruit of our young trees by hand to make “green gold”—the buttery, peppery, and delicious olive oil.

This year's harvest at Redwood Hill Farm with family, friends and farm animals

This year, the harvest came earlier than expected, with the olive oil extracted at a local press in Hopland on November 4th. The harvest amount varies each year—the trees are growing and produce a little more each year. Weather conditions and other factors can also determine total pounds that are produced.

Looking through an olive tree at Nicole Bice who helps her dad, Farm Manager Scott Bice, with the 2015 olive harvestWe have five different varieties at the farm, including Frantaio, Leccino, Maurino, Pendolino and Ascalano, which make a great blend of extra virgin olive oil. Olives start out green, then turn purple and later black. We always look for a good balance of green and purple olives, to get the flavor profile we are looking. Maybe, one day, we will be marinating our feta with it.

We harvested 35 olive trees that have been in the ground for nearly 5 years as well as another 60 that have been in the ground for 2-3 years. All in all we were able to fill buckets that hold approximately 45 lbs., getting six gallon of oil. The precious bottles are only opened for holiday-themed potlucks or gatherings for family and friends, which lasts us throughout the year.

The 2015 olive harvest is loaded into the farm truck for delivery to the Hopland olive press.