Bringing Back the Dairy Farming History of Harmony

HVCreameryChillin' in Harmony

DairyThe town of Harmony may be small, but it has a big history when it comes to dairy farming.

Let’s go back to the 1700s. (Don’t worry. We won’t be there all day.) In the late part of that century, cattle first arrived in California, bringing with them the potential for some of the best craft ice cream you can imagine.

The California dairy industry was originally centered around San Francisco because of the great pasture land and high demand for delicious dairy products. Then, one of California’s prominent dairy families, the Steele family, moved to SLO County in 1866 and brought the industry to life in the area. Between 1900 and 1910, creameries and dairy co-ops started popping up all over the state. Harmony, always a trendsetter, opened the Harmony Valley Creamery Association Co-Op in 1901.

At the time, milk, cheese, and butter were their primary concerns. The operation closed in 1955 before they could discover craft ice cream flavors like Doo Dah Mint ‘n Chip.

And that brings us to the present with the Harmony Valley Creamery!

The creamery is satisfying the dire need for fresh, local ice cream, but the vision doesn’t stop with incredible flavors and a vintage Scoop Truck. (Although, really, with that kind of accomplishment, what more could someone expect from you?)

We dream of bringing dairy farming back to this tiny town.  What better way to shine light on the history of our charming hamlet while making craft ice cream with the most local milk we can find?

Don’t be surprised some day when you see beautiful, happy dairy cows grazing in the fields and hills nearby when you drive into town. You “herd” it here first.

Questions about owning a dairy farm? Actually, we do know a bit about that, so we might be able to help. But we really shine when it comes to ice cream questions. Contact us and ask!

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Happy Cows Jump for Joy on Koslapp Day

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Happy Cows - Koslapp

Winter can be long and dark for many parts of the world. Imagine how long and gloomy it would be if you were kept in a stable or barn the entire snowy season?! Well that yikes!-feeling is exactly how the dairy cows of Sweden feel every year. Winter is harsh in the Scandinavian country and milk farmers keep their cows inside to shield them from the elements. But something exceedingly wonderful happens when spring comes…

Koslapp!

The cow-release (or “Koslapp” in Swedish) is an annual event in this northern country. But it’s not just for farmers and agricultural workers anymore. The urban public has made Koslapp a regular family and tourist event! Traveling from their respective metropolitan jungles, people make their way to the peaceful countryside to witness dozens and dozens of happy cows jumping for joy as the barn doors open broadly and triumphantly and they are released from their winter confines.

As we imagined before, being cooped up in the cold dark would be no fun, even if it was good for us. But now imagine the elation of seeing emerald-colored, lush grass and open spaces for the first time in months! The reaction? Pure happiness! The freed cows kick their back legs, wiggle, run, frolic, and leap at one another playfully. This is how they show they are feeling goooood! The watching crowds laugh and point. For them, this is a celebration of the coming of a new season and they get the privilege of observing it with the fun-loving dairy cows of the country. You can watch the ecstatic reaction of the cows for yourself on this USA Today article published online; it is sure to make you smile widely!

Koslapp not only warms the hearts of people young and old, but it also brings wonderful awareness to the farming community across the world. Many dairy farmers in Sweden are using Koslapp and social media to help the urban population understand exactly where their food is sourced and how. When we get a glimpse into the dedication and passion embodied by our world’s farmers, we start to understand their importance in our life.

 

Here at Harmony Valley Creamery, we love happy cows and we love happy people! Bringing that bubbling-up sensation of laughter and cheerfulness inside a person is exactly why we make taste-bud tingling, craft ice cream. And celebrating the heritage of dairy farming is also important to us. Our little town and family creamery was founded by Swiss-Italian dairy farmers in 1869. If we had been alive back then, we would have ran and frolicked with the cows on their “Koslapp” day as well!!

Today when you pick up a spoon or reach for a sugar cone topped with rich, cold cream, think of our cousins and the happy cows all over the world and in Sweden, jumping for joy that spring has finally come! (We won’t tell if you jump and frolic a little yourself as well!)

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SLO Farmer’s Market To Debut Scoop Truck

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SLO Farmer's Market Scoop Truck

What better way to spend a summer evening than browsing the local goodies at the SLO Farmer’s Market?  From chocolate to seafood, cheese to kombucha, veggies to cookies to jerky, you can find just about anything you’d like to snack on or take home. For 34 years, the market has been a gathering place for community members and tourists who want to enjoy music and activities and meet local business owners while they shop for fresh produce, baked goods, and more.

More, you say? What is this “more” you speak of?

For one thing, it’s ice cream! (And more ice cream!)

That’s right! Starting on April 5th, Harmony Valley Creamery will be at the SLO Farmer’s Market every Thursday from 6:00-9:00 pm, scooping up cones and cups of udder deliciousness. You know, like we do.

Here are just a few of the activities you can participate in at the farmer’s market every week:

  • Eating ice cream and shopping for sandwich ingredients.
  • Buying a scoop for your date while listening to live music.
  • Getting a double scoop and checking out STEAM Alley on the last Thursday of the month for interactive learning in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Great for all ages!
  • Mixing craft ice cream flavors (like School’s Out Strawberry with Local Yodelers Cookies ‘n Cream, or Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean with Blue Door Butter Pecan) while checking out the market’s expansion onto Chorro Street, starting in July.
  • Enjoying a craft ice cream cone and getting a pint to take home.

The options are nearly endless!

We don’t want to take credit for making the SLO Farmer’s Market awesome, because it has always been pretty awesome. But we are adding some seriously delicious craft ice cream to the mix, but you be the judge.

Come see us at the SLO Farmer’s Market every Thursday! You can’t miss us: we’ll be the crew in the vintage Scoop Truck.

Ice cream questions? We’ve got answers! Contact us any time.

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The Magic of Vanilla Ice Cream

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Vanilla Ice Cream

Over the years, vanilla ice cream has gotten a bad rap: even the word “vanilla” has come to mean “unexciting, normal, conventional, boring.” But here at Harmony Valley Creamery we have a soft spot in our hearts for this classic ice cream flavor and its unlimited dessert potential- maybe it’s because we use only the finest real bourbon vanilla beans from Cook’s Vanilla in our premium vanilla ice cream.

Here are just a few delectable recipes using the creamy goodness of vanilla ice cream as the secret (or not-so-secret) ingredient in your next delicious dessert.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

There’s just something about that cake-like outside and the creamy ice cream filling that makes an ice cream sandwich so scrumptious. But why stick with the standard chocolate crust when there are so many other tasty options? These 55 Most Delish Ice Cream Sandwich recipes are sure to set your tastebuds tingling, using everything from cereal (Lucky Charms ice cream sandwich, anyone?) to cookies, donuts, and cinnamon rolls as sandwich fixings. There are even recipes for peanut butter and jelly and s’mores ice cream sandwiches!

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

With only four ingredients, this recipe for Super Easy and Delicious Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie has a name that doesn’t lie- it’s easy as pie! Reviewers rave that this recipe is “super easy and super tasty” and “you won’t go wrong by making this dessert.” It’s a perfect option for pleasing the peanut butter fan in your life with a cold, creamy creation.

Caramel Almond Ice Cream Torte

Sandwiches and pies are fine and good for your everyday treats, but if you want to step up your dessert game and really pull out a showstopper, this Caramel Almond Ice Cream Torte from Real Simple is just the ticket. With three simple ingredients, this dessert is easy to assemble but impressive to serve. Reviewers recommend picking a “good ice cream” for the base (may we recommend Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean?) and using a hot knife to cut the torte when serving.

Key Lime Ice Cream Cupcakes

We know nothing says summer like ice cream, but nothing says summer-chillin-by-the-beach-without-a-care-in-the-world like key lime. The description of this recipe for Nut-Crusted Key Lime Ice Cream Cupcakes states, “One bite of these scrumptious Nut-Crusted Key Lime Ice Cream Cupcakes, and you’ll be whisked away to a tropical place.” With slivered almonds, freshly squeezed key lime juice and, of course, vanilla ice cream, you might want to pack your bags and put on some sunscreen, because a tangy, creamy, flavorful paradise awaits!

These are just a few of the fun recipes we’ve found to kick vanilla up a notch from so-so to sensational, but the possibilities are endless! Use your own imagination- and our velvety vanilla– and see what you can do with the magic of vanilla ice cream. Contact us to find a place to pick up some Harmony Valley Creamery ice cream near you and start your own not-so-“vanilla” vanilla adventure!

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It’s Ice Cream Party Time!

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Ice Cream Party

Few things say “celebration” like ice cream- we go out for ice cream to celebrate special events, we have ice cream and cake to celebrate a birthday- so why not just have an ice cream-themed party? Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or just a boring Tuesday, if you love ice cream and your friends do too, then throw an ice cream party to celebrate. Here are some great ideas to get you started.

Ice-creamy Invitations

Every fun themed party starts with an amazing invitation- and ice cream parties are no different! A colorful, triple-decker ice cream cone invitation can give your guests the “scoop” on your party, with the reason for the celebration on the top scoop, the date and time on the second scoop, the location on the third scoop, and an RSVP on the cone (so you can make sure you’ve got enough Harmony Valley Creamery ice cream for all your guests).

Delicious Decorations

Get your guests into ice cream party mode with some fun ice cream-themed decorations. Try making your own ice cream cones using balloons and kraft paper, or gather some urns and fill them with tissue paper poufs to create some oversized ice cream sundaes. Don’t forget the straw! If you’re hosting your party at night, using colorful lanterns for your scoops will give you both fun decor and functional lighting.

A Sprinkle of Fun and Games

What’s a party without some awesome party games and activities? Try playing Pin the Cherry on the Cone, or let guests try their hand at breaking open an ice cream piñata. Let kids team up to color their own ice cream trucks and then have races to see whose truck is the fastest.

Once your guests have worked up an appetite, bring out the star of the show and play a fun game of Roll-a-Sundae, where guests get a bowl of plain ice cream (we recommend Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean) and then roll a die to see what toppings they’ll get to use to create their own delicious dessert. Or send them on a Sundae Scavenger Hunt to gather the fixings for a superb sundae.

Frosty Favors

When it comes time to say goodbye, don’t let your guests leave empty-handed. Some cotton candy cones will keep everyone’s sweet tooth satisfied on the way home, or if you want to keep those cavities to a minimum, try serving up nail polish, lotions, and other beauty treats in an ice cream carton with a body scrubber scoop on top.

Kids will love blasting each other with ice cream shooters, or blowing bubbles with ice cream cone bubble bottle necklaces.  Let them play the part of the ice cream man by handing out some soda jerk hats and plush ice cream treats. You can make sure everyone has somewhere to keep their goodies with colorful ice cream tote bags.

As you’re planning your next ice cream party, be sure to invite Harmony Valley Creamery ice cream. Click here to find out where to pick up a few pints near you, or if you’re planning a grander affair, contact us to schedule the scoop truck to come by. We’ll make sure your party is a sweet success and provide cold, creamy, yummy ice cream for you and your guests to enjoy!

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Beat An Ice Cream Path On Valentine’s Day

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Valentine's Day Ice Cream

On Valentine’s Day stop thinking it takes a dozen roses or fancy diamonds to make a celebration special, because that’s simply not true!  Everybody loves ice cream, and what could be more romantic than sharing some memorable moments with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day over a big bowl of craft ice cream from the udderly awesome Harmony Valley Creamery? It’s all you need to put a Valentine’s Day smile on your sweetheart’s face.

Chocolate is a lover’s delight and an all-time favorite, Harmony Chapel Chocolate with your Valentine is a great choice, and as we say at Harmony Valley Creamery, “this chocolate ice cream’s so good you might want to marry it!”

Another fine choice for you and your sweetheart would be a pint of School’s Out Strawberry. WARNING: Eating a bite of this craft ice cream may make your heart skip a beat!

And if you really want to get your taste buds to dancing then share a scoop or two of the famous Doo Dah Mint N’ Chip. This scrumptious flavor will freshen your breath for a Valentine’s kiss.

Even though Valentine’s Day rolls around only once a year, you can still enjoy the craft ice cream from Harmony Valley Creamery seven days a week, all year long! Get your appetite ready, skip lunch if you want and go for the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted.

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Ditch the Wedding Cake – Serve Ice Cream!

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Ditch the Wedding Cake - Serve Ice Cream!

Kate + John: Image by Jessie Clapp Photography

Planning a wedding? Looking for a fun alternative to a traditional wedding cake? Now picture this: Harmony Valley’s vintage Scoop Truck dishing out fabulous craft ice cream on your big day. Not only will it be an adorable addition to your summer wedding, but also a huge hit with your guests. With all the options offered, everyone will be enjoying their favorite treat.  As the old adage says, “we all scream for ice cream”!

Why spend valuable planning time debating over cake flavors when we can pull up and offer something for everyone? Your guests will choose a cup, cone, or mini cone of one of our rich signature flavors, or even enjoy a refreshing root beer float. You may even want to provide your guests with a table of toppings for some added fun.

There’s no doubt, summer weddings in California can get hot. You and your guests alike will have a blast cooling off with our ice cream.

Not so sure about ditching the cake for ice cream? Serve both! Honestly, is there any better combination? A big scoop of Mayor Freddie’s Vanilla Bean is guaranteed to significantly increase the yum factor of any cake.

Why choose Harmony Valley? When you book our Scoop Truck, you are supporting local ice cream and local dairy farming. It’s a choice that isn’t just good for your wedding – it’s good for the community.

For more information, please visit our website and fill out our contact form. We can discuss your wedding and come up with the perfect package to fit your needs for the special day. Haven’t tried our craft ice cream yet? Click here for a list of shops to pick up a pint, or follow us on Twitter to see where our Scoop Truck is scheduled to be next. And don’t forget… ice cream makes everything better!

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Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day!

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Breakfast

Pana Choca – Buttermilk Pancakes with Chocolate Ice Cream

Are you ready for the upcoming holiday? No, not the Super Bowl or the one celebrating love and romance, the one celebrating good tastes.

The first Saturday every February is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. It’s an important holiday, and it’s been around longer than you might think.

History

It was started in the 60’s by a mother trying to entertain bored children who were snowed in. They, naturally, grabbed on to the idea of having ice cream for breakfast, and passed it on to their friends and carried it on with their own children. The family traveled widely, spreading Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast wherever they went, and now it is celebrated all over the world.

You definitely want to jump on this bandwagon.

Benefits?

Yes, ice cream for breakfast might even be good for you. A widely reported 2016 study by Yoshihiko Koga suggested that people who ate ice cream for breakfast performed better at tests of mental agility by having faster reaction times and better information-processing results. It’s been criticised – ice cream vs. fasting leaves the question of whether other foods would have the same results – but is still widely talked about. (We all want good reasons to do something fun!)

Additionally, ice cream (and food formulas similar to ice cream) has been demonstrated in a much less controversial study to cause happiness, as in, a single spoonful of ice cream activates the same pleasure centers in the brain as winning money or hearing your favorite song.

A jolt of happiness is not a bad way to begin a day. And this Saturday is the day to try it out for yourself.

Celebrate!

Take a moment to imagine the ways to celebrate this holiday. A bowl of your favorite ice cream to start out the day. You have an excellent excuse for the indulgence – it’s how you celebrate the holiday!

Celebrate by yourself – ice cream is good alone. Make yourself a large, elaborate sundae, with all the toppings and flavors you want. It’s a holiday – go all out!

Celebrate with your family. Holidays are great family events. And think about the looks on your kids’ faces when you tell them that, because of the holiday, breakfast is ice cream today. (You might want to plan an after-breakfast trip to a park, a zoo, or some other place they can run off the sugar rush.)

Make your significant other ice cream in bed for breakfast. Dishes optional.

Celebrate with a group of friends – a build-your-own-sundae party is always fun. Everyone bring a favorite flavor and topping to brunch, and see what you end up with.

Go ahead, pick up some udderly awesome ice cream, and get ready to add Ice Cream for Breakfast Day to your holiday traditions. We bet that it will rapidly become a favorite!

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It’s National Strawberry Ice Cream Day!

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National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Here in Harmony, when there’s a holiday that fits us as perfectly as National Strawberry Ice Cream Day, you know we have to shout it from the rooftops!

HAPPY NATIONAL STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM DAY!

January 15th is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day, and while it may seem like an odd day to celebrate an ice cream- with it being in the chill of winter for much of the rest of the country- it’s actually kind of perfect, because Presidents’ Day follows right after in February, and did you know that strawberry ice cream was served at James Madison’s second inauguration in 1813?

Strawberry ice cream has a rich history, and it also has roots right here in California, because the Golden State produces 80% of the country’s fresh strawberries, according to the University of California Cooperative Extension. Approximately 22,000-25,000 acres of our state are dedicated to growing strawberries each year- four times any other state- producing an average of 1.5 billion pounds- that’s a LOT of strawberry ice cream!

But never mind the numbers- if you’re as excited as we are about celebrating this “berry” sweet holiday, visit your local grocery store and pick up some Harmony Valley Creamery School’s Out Strawberry Ice Cream and celebrate National Strawberry Ice Cream Day with us! Our creamy berry blend has just the right amount of tart and sweet- thanks to those authentic California strawberries- to tickle your tastebuds and make you feel like school’s just let out for the summer.

If you want to really celebrate in style, try our School’s Out Strawberry Ice Cream as the filling for this Strawberry Ice Cream Pie, or as the star ingredient in this Yummy Strawberry Shake.

Check out our Where to Buy page to find the Harmony Valley Creamery supplier closest to you.  If you local market doesn’t carry our Udderly Awesome craft ice cream, be sure to ask them to.

Oh, and in case we forgot to say it, HAPPY NATIONAL STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM DAY!!

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What’s new in Harmony? Wedding bells, ice cream and more

HVCreameryNews

Town of Harmony, CA

The Harmony Valley Creamery building serves as the centerpiece of the small town’s central strip. Kathe Tanner ktanner@thetribunenews.com Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/community/cambrian/article191899889.html#storylink=cpy

The Cambrian

By Kathe Tanner

Imagine getting married in the tiny town of Harmony or spending a weekend there in a cozy vacation-rental cottage.  Read more here… 

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