Now that we actually have a farm, we can get a bit more serious about researching where we’ll obtain our animals. We plan to raise dairy goats and laying hens, with the intention of producing enough milk, cheese and eggs to supply our own kitchen as well as our cooking school. Because healthy animals produce healthy food, it’s essential that we know exactly where our animals come from.
We still have a lot of work to do on both our chicken house and our goat barn to get them ready for animals, and we don’t plan to purchase any until next spring. We want to make our reservations now, however, so that when we’re ready we’ve got animals waiting for us. Small dairies especially need to know in advance how many animals they can sell during a given season so they can plan their breeding program.
We’ve obviously talked a lot about goats here at Finding Quiet Farm; we think they’re fascinating (and sometimes infuriating) creatures and they’ll be a perfect fit for our small farm. A recent study even indicated that goats like happy people more than frowny people! We’ve read lots of books and visited lots of farms and researched potential breeds, and we’d like to buy as locally as possible. Our visit to Western Culture Farmstead ticked all the boxes for us.
A sparkling clean milking facility is imperative for any dairy, large or small.
Western Culture Farmstead is owned and operated by David and Suanne Miller, Front Range escapees like ourselves. They’ve worked with some of the same goat farms we have, and we know from visiting with them and seeing their microdairy that this is the type of place we’d like to get our animals from. Their goats are lively, curious and friendly, their milking facility is immaculate and their cheese (especially the manchego style) is delicious.
Western Culture raises Saanen and Nubian goats, and they produce meat, cheese, yogurt and flavored milk (like chocolate!), for sale through their farm shop and at local markets and festivals. Saanens (the upright ears) are a popular breed because of their high milk production, and Nubians (the long, floppy ears) are loved for their milk’s high butterfat content. Together, these two breeds are ideal for a microdairy like Western Culture, and ideal for Quiet Farm, too.
The goats are raised on organic pastures without hormones or antibiotics. David and Suanne believe that “a healthy herd gives more than a great product; it gives us a connection to our past and insight into how to be a good human.” We agree wholeheartedly, and very much hope to buy our dairy goats from Western Culture Farmstead.
Hopefully we’re doing a great job of showcasing Delta County’s vibrant farming community – we’re so proud to be part of this place! Want to read more about our visits to local farms? Go here, here or here.
Thanks to David and Suanne for hosting our visit to Western Culture Farmstead. If you’re in the Paonia area, please contact them to schedule a tour and tasting!