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Paul Martin’s American Bistro Vendor Spotlight ~ Bellwether Farms

Posted Date: January 3, 2011

Bellwether Farms, a family owned and operated farm, is located in Sonoma County, California, about an hour north of San Francisco, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their cheeses are used by chefs in many of the finest restaurants across the country, including Paul Martin’s American Bistro, and are regularly featured in The New York TimesMartha StewartSunset Magazine, and gourmet food publications everywhere.

Bellwether Farms raises East Friesian sheep, a Northern European breed of sheep. They are among the best milk producing sheep in the world. Taller than ordinary sheep, they’re known for their relatively long and pointy ears. Each ewe has from one to three lambs each year (though four or five is not uncommon) and these lambs stay with the mother for 45 days before milking begins.

Bellwether sheep are free to roam the pasture year round, but they’re also fed grain and alfalfa to keep them in top condition for milk production. Bellwether believes in letting nature do her thing as she sees fit, so their sheep are never injected with hormones to increase production.

Bellwether Farms is California’s original sheep dairy, and was its only sheep dairy until 2004. They now make cow cheeses as well. You will find their cheeses on our Butcher’s Board appetizer, among other dishes.

To purchase Bellwether Farms cheeses, visit