In May 2017 we got our very first goats
In about April 2018 I started learning to milk & a few months later I made my first batch of cheese.
By 2019 I had my COC in hand & was establishing my market in the Robertson area as well as selling on our community Valley Market.
The December 2019 period was a winner & I made the commitment to building the infrastructure to grow my dairy business full-time.
Our goats all have names. Gilly is the first adult who arrived. She is about 13 years old. She taught the youngsters how to behave as a herd. She is still with us. She looks after the wethered (neutered) males while they are growing up – ready for pet homes.
Didi, Lulu & Agnes were next. A Toggenberg, Deutsebont & Saanen. Then came Fawn, a Nigerian Dwarf Goat. I got an NDG male & all offspring are now x-breeds. We have added British Alpines. The NDGs have VERY creamy milk – but not very much of it – hence the X-breeding to raise the fat content of the milk, while getting reasonable quantities. You will taste this creaminess in the cheese, without any of the “wild goaty” flavour, which normally typifies goats’ cheese.
The babies stay with their mothers’ full-time for the first month, then they are separated overnight so that I can milk in the morning. They are in camps alongside each other & are eating & drinking water by then so it is very UN-stressful for all of them. In fact, I think the moms are kind of relieved to have a break!
During the day, they are all let out to roam the farm together. They have nearly 200 hectares of scrub & wetlands. It is interesting how the thickness of the yoghurt changes as they eat different plants in different seasons.
They are all closed in at night to keep them safe from predators. The moms aren’t milked in the evenings. Better for the babies to have that milk.
The milking girls all have snacks on the milking stand to keep them interested! Carrots, cabbage, butternut, apples, bananas, whatever I can get. But no grain at all. This makes them GMO free!! They do get Lucerne pellets free from “animal protein”, molasses meal (molasses is high in all the B vitamins) & sunflower seeds – very high in selenium.
The herd is anti-biotic free, hormone free etc. They eat as much Port Jackson as they want during the day. (We are over-run by it!) but the good news is that it is high in tannins which are a natural de-wormer. This helps keep their pest-load low.
The cheese has no artificial anything. Pick Himalayan salt acts as a natural preservative, giving us all the benefits of its minerals. Fresh garlic, dried herbs & cranberries & locally sourced honey all add their own goodness.
There are no staff on the farm. The goats are all looked after by myself & my husband, Alan. They live a life filled with freedom & love.
If you come to visit – be sure to bring carrots!
Enjoy your cheese, from our much-loved herd.