River’s Edge Chevre profile; NOP reorganized.

About 20 miles inland from Newport, Ore., along the Siletz River is the 12-acre Three Ring Farm and River’s Edge Chèvre, at the home of George and Pat Morford, is one of the newest and most ambitious artisan cheesemakers on the west coast. 

As a child, Pat owned a few goats and in 1972, she established her first herd; using the milk for drinking and for making cheese for her family. Although the family lived for many years on George’s commercial fishing boat, Pat continued to maintain a small numbers of goats, some of which came from Mary Keehn at Cypress Grove in California. Pat’s knowledge of goat genetics and overall experience were essential to create a top-quality herd.

In 1998, the Morfords bought their farm in Logsden, near the river, in a beautiful coastal valley of Sitka spruce and Douglas fir. Initially, they considered developing a dairy cow herd, but decided to embark on a long, slow path to create a cheese business. Licensed in 2005, River’s Edge Chèvre has quickly emerged as a top quality creamery with an array of outstanding products. The company’s extensive experience with dairy goats and the farm’s location form a strong foundation for making terrific cheese. The Siletz River and surrounding woodlands offer the goats a menu of delicious browsing plants and their milk exhibits a complexity of flavors.

Pat and her daughters developed a collection of more than twenty styles of wonderful chèvre and bloomy rind cheese, all with unique names taken from places along the Oregon coast. For example, the Illahee Tomme means in Chinook jargon “of the land or a place on the land,” an appropriate reflection of River’s Edge Chèvre. This cheese is made from raw milk, with a washed rind, in a two- to three-pound wheel that ages for three to six months. Various bloomy rind offerings include such names as Humbug Mountain, Cape Foul Weather, Siletz River Drum and Siletz River Stones.

One of the more unique styles is Sunset Bay. Named after a location southwest of Coos Bay, the two-pound wheel is coated with ash, develops a bloomy mold, and rich creamy texture. Pat adds a layer of Pimentón, a Spanish-style paprika that imparts a sunset red line with slight piquant bite. In just a few years, the American Cheese Society, American Dairy Goat Association, and the Wisconsin World Champion Cheese Contest have recognized River’s Edge Chèvre with numerous awards.

This profile was contributed by Jeffery Roberts, author of the Atlas of American Artisan Cheese. To find out more about the atlas visit: www.chelseagreen.com/2007/items/artisancheese.

River’s Edge Chèvre

• 6315 Logsden Road Logsden, OR 97357
• Cheesemaking established 2005
• www.threeringfarm.com
• Visitors by appointment
• Telephone: 541/444-1362
• Internet sales, Pacific Northwest, and some nationwide distribution

National Organic Program Reorganized

USDA’s National Organic Program has been reorganizing into three branches: Standards Development & Review; Accreditation, Auditing & Training; and Compliance & Enforcement.

Deputy Administrator for Trans-portation & Marketing Programs Barbara Robinson will assume overall leadership for the NOP in addition to her other duties, while Mark Bradley will assume leadership for the Accreditation, Auditing & Training Branch, and Richard Mathews will head up the Standards Development & Review Branch. No decision has been made for leadership of Compliance & Enforcement at this time.

USDA says these changes will help NOP continue to accomplish its goals of ensuring the integrity of the USDA organic seal, applying regulatory consistency, and providing transparency to its stakeholders.

More New Products Claim Environmental Friendliness

CHICAGO-Americans increasingly express environmental concerns, so manufacturers are taking steps to convey the eco-friendliness of their products. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), the number of new products with an environmentally friendly claim has grown substantially over the past five years. In 2002, only five such products were launched, but in 2007 there were a staggering 328. This was an increase of nearly 200% from the year before.

“We’re seeing rapid growth in new products with environmentally friendly traits,” comments Chris Haack, senior research analyst at Mintel. “More than ever, shoppers want to purchase goods that help protect and preserve the world around them. Manufacturers have responded with everything from recyclable packaging to products that maintain the body’s health to entire brands that support environmental causes.”

According to Mintel, people especially look for eco-friendliness when shopping for household paper products (66%), food (57%) and energy efficient appliances (48%). The environment, a desire for pesticide-free foods and the rising costs of energy are driving people toward greener purchases. One new trend observed by Mintel is foods that are not necessarily organic or natural but address other environmental concerns.

For example, some companies use Green Energy Credits logos on packaging, while others support major health associations.


Seth Goldman, president of Honest Tea, will be among the key speakers at this year’s  Organic Summit in Boulder Colo. Scheduled for June 25-27, the Organic Summit www.theorganicsummit.com is intended as a forum for discussion among the top level leaders of organic companies.  Honest Tea was founded by Goldman and a partner in 1998, and is the best-selling brand of bottled tea in the natural foods industry. In February 2008 the Coca-Cola Company purchased 40% of Honest Tea. Topics at the summit will include food security, representation of organic, eco-labels and domestic fair trade.

Last month Wal-Mart began selling six coffees under the Sam’s Choice brand in all of its U.S. stores. The line includes Sam’s Choice Fair Trade certified coffee, Sam’s Choice Rainforest Alliance certified coffee, and Sam’s Choice USDA organic decaffeinated coffee. Wal-Mart also said the six coffees are certified as “carbon neutral” because Cafe Bom Dia, its Brazil-based coffee roaster, has cut its net carbon emissions to zero.

Food processors concerned about the availability of Non-GMO ingredients can turn to the 2008 Non-GMO Sourcebook. The resource features more than 700 suppliers of non-GMO products and related services. Visit www.non-gmoreport.com.

Naturally Iowa Inc. has launched a new product line, an All-Natural frozen yogurt that contains probiotics that promote digestive health. The company says the digestive probiotics in its frozen yogurt were specifically selected for their intestinal health-promoting properties, which have been observed in animal studies and confirmed in human studies.

With FDA recently giving the green light on cloned animals entering the food chain,  the University of Minnesota has produced a timely report on the subject.

Is The FDA’s Cloning Proposal Ready for Primetime? was authored by James Riddle, and is available at wwww.organic-center.org.

Britons are becoming more likely to indulge in gastro-tourism, with some even travelling as far as Colombia to taste the local coffee. Visits to Parma in Italy to sample the local ham and to Greece to eat feta cheese are also proving popular with UK tourists,  a survey by travel website Expedia.co.uk found. Other regions foodies have visited include Roquefort in southern France for its cheese and Kalamata in Greece for the olives. Three per cent of the 22,000 people surveyed said they been to Colombia for the coffee, while more than half (51%) had sipped champagne in France’s Champagne region. As many as 11% now plan holidays solely around local food and sample local drink specialties. Expedia.co.uk.  Perhaps they could be tempted with American artisan cheese.