You know those things in your life that you can’t live without, but didn’t know it? That one day you thought, “How did I get this far in life without _________?” Well for me that’s goats.
I think my parents and family still laugh about it. I’ve heard my mother say more than once, “I never thought when I dropped you off at college that you would one day be milking goats.” Me either, Mom.
And I know it all sounds a bit like a strange love story, but when I’m with goats I feel I have found my purpose. Spending time here in Oregon and learning the ins and outs of a dairy has only furthered that conviction.
When I planned this trip we knew goats would be involved in Forager Farm in some way, shape or form, but exactly how we were unsure. As I milk 40 goats or muck out the kidding pen or do the endless cheesemaking dishes (cheesemaking is 90% dishes and 10% cheese), I’m wondering…how does this all fit?
There are many factors to consider, but as with any new business or product you have to look at where the demand is. At most grocery stores in ND you can find goat cheese. Not the greatest, small batch, local goat cheese, but goat cheese nonetheless. What you can’t find (with the exception of maybe one brand) is goat’s milk. Ever since any word got out that we owned milk goats, the inquiries on how they can buy goat’s milk haven’t stopped. It’s in high demand.
And so far, my favorite days are not spent in the cheese room, but rather in the barn or milking parlor with those sweet, sweet goats. I have however found a new, expanded love for chèvre and could definitely see that as a product of Gypsy Goat & Forager. Yogurt and ice cream also pique my interest, but at this point it’s only dreaming and dreaming never hurt anyone. Jonathon did mention he could be the cheesemaker and I the goat handler…I think I should get that in writing.
So what does Forager Farm want to be when it’s all grown up? Diversified. A whole diet CSA of sorts. Vegetables + eggs + sourdough bread + dairy + honey + pork, to name a few.