Saturday, July 31, 2010

A farm education in Oregon

My husband I recently spent some time exploring Southern Oregon while staying with the owners of the Applegate Valley Artisan Breads who are the parents of a college friend of ours.  On the drive north I was reading the Dairy Goat Journal and flipped to an article on start-up costs for dairy businesses. The author also wrote a lengthy book on the same subject and lives in Rogue River, Oregon. I asked our hosts if they knew her and they said that they knew of her and would inquire about the farm when they delivered breads to a creamery that a carries her cheeses. As luck would have it, the owners of the farm agreed to give me a "quick and dirty" farm tour. Excitement underestimates my feelings as we drove up to the farm.

The owners of Pholia Farm, were gracious and open. Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of The Farmstead Creamery Advisor which is a delightful, if painfully honest, account of small scale creameries. She showed me the barn, milking parlor, milkhouse and make room. She also invited me to join her on the "goat run" (a 3/4 mile walk through the forest with her 38 Nigerian dwarf goats). I ended my visit at the farm by buying a signed copy of the book and berating her with tons of questions which she graciously and patiently answered.

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