As we settle into the holiday season, gathering with family and friends, we are so grateful for the community that supports us. We couldn't do any of this without you, so Thank You.
As we continue to plan for the 2014 season, we anticipate much of our vegetable farming to stay largely the same. The joy of this is that we get to become even better at what we do, continue to build our soil vitality, increase our beneficial insect populations, continue to learn how to grow our crops even better, and bring good food to tables on the Palouse. We are adding one aspect to our farm that will come with a huge learning curve... dairy goats.
Meet Fergus, our registered purebred Nigerian Dwarf Buck. His Dam (mother) came from Pholia Farm in Rouge River, OR. If you've heard of the books 'American Farmstead Cheese' or 'Farmstead Creamery Advisor' you know this well regarded ND (Nigerian Dwarf) dairy. They produce some of the finest goat cheese on a small scale.
Fergus comes with a working harness, so we anticipate he will help haul straw & hay, compost and feed in a garden cart with some modifications for his size and harness. We are also planning to have some custom field implements made so he can help harrow soil, turn in cover crop seed and replace the rototiller in some light duty applications. You must earn your keep on this farm!
Our plan is to apply to the Idaho State Dept. of Ag for a small herd exemption to produce raw milk and cheeses from our farm. This first year we plan to offer milk and cheese as a CSA share or add-on for our veg shares. We will not be bringing milk or cheese to the farmers market. Our reason for this is scale. While only milking two does, bottle feeding their kids and providing enough milk for us, there simply won't be enough milk to sell or make cheese on a scale that makes sense to haul to market, bring coolers, and receive permits for.
Like I said, there's a huge learning curve and we need a year to figure it out with our first love and income generating vegetable production. Our goal is to increase our dairy herd over the next few years and begin producing milk & cheese on a manageable scale for market sales. So if you are interested in buying raw milk or cheese, please contact us for availability. I will be writing more posts in the coming weeks and introducing you to the rest of our herd.