Once upon a time there was a dream. After attending a thanksgiving dinner where homemade goat milk cheese was served, a little fire began to burn. The idea that one could raise their own goats and make cheese from their milk seemed like an idyllic fantasy. Was it really possible? We were just city folks in Santa Cruz, California with no land to speak of, yet the dream persisted. After our twins were born in the midst of the economic crisis of 2008, it was time to take the leap and trade in commuting for cultivating. In 2012 we found the perfect piece of property in the beautiful Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon and got to work.
The property included twin granddaddy pear trees, and with a wink and nod towards are own twin kids, we dubbed our homestead Twin Pear Farm. The first few years were focused on making our rustic 1930s home inhabitable and giving TLC to very overgrown gardens and trees. While we worked on improvements, Westi dabbled in the kitchen perfecting food preservation and canning the variety of abundant fruit on the property. Soon we built our first chicken coop, started a flock, and quickly our Roadside Farmstand was born to share the (literal) fruits of our labor.
Finally, in 2016, the long awaited goats finally arrived! We started with 4 high quality, purebred Nigerian Dwarf goats–their milk is ideal for cheesemaking–and quickly realized breeding would be an important and necessary part of our operation to keep the milk flowing. Well, it stands to reason that if you’re going to breed a quality doe, they should be bred to an equally nice or nicer buck. Our second year into breeding, we were asked to help fill out the Nigerian Dwarf numbers at a local show and our homebred doe, Twin Pears LBB Stormy Weather, took first place junior doe. The seed was now firmly planted in quality breedings and the aim to produce correct animals. Today we house about 25 goats, if we keep our numbers in check, and have some of the finest and highest milk producing genetics in the country. Our goats are usually at the head of the line in the show ring and achieve strong Linear Appraisal scores.
Once the goats officially stole the show at our farm, our products shifted from chicken eggs and jam to premium farm-to-bath goat milk skin care. This is an amazing way to use our abundance of luscious goat milk! We were so unprepared for our success that we sold out of our entire stock of goat milk soaps at our first holiday market. The amazing feedback from our customers is what keeps us going!
And yes, we still enjoy making chevre, ricotta and goat milk yogurt for our family.