Back in the early 1970’s when Tony and Fran first had the farm, friends of theirs bought a farmstead from Ingrid Buchinger, widower of an Earlham classics professor. Fran would go out to the farmstead to help groom and ride a horse and also helped Ingrid with her chores, becoming fascinated with the goats. When Ingrid moved back to Germany, she gave Fran an old Tannenberg doe and a couple saanen kids- Rosanna and Rolf. Fran imported them to Canada and then 3 months after they were here, the old doe died which meant they got to go through all the federal vet stuff in case she was diseased. Turned out she didn’t have anything wrong with her, and that she’d died of old age.
For a while, Fran and Tony had quite the goat dairy, maxing out at around 35 goats. They were milking by hand and shipping cream.
Growing up I remember always having the saanen goats around. We helped with milking them, showed them at the local fall fair and got to enjoy their antics. In the late 1990’s, we sold off the last of our goats as Rachel and I were heading off for school and having dairy goats requires being home twice a day to milk – which is a lot to ask of someone.
However, Returning to the farm in 2009 and 2010, I asked if we could get goats again! Tony and Fran suggested that I wait until I took over the farm, so… in 2016 we got 2 French Alpine goats from friends and have been milking Lydia for home use this year. In order to keep goats producing milk – you need to breed them, the side result being that you end up with the cute (and tasty) goat kids. We’re excited to have our first kids here on the farm this May and will share their adorable antics with you – but also wanted to invite you to try ordering goat meat.
Learn a bit more about goat meat on wikipedia.