Grit Blogs > Ag and Culture

The View From a Northern California Goat Dairy

Callie HeadshotToday marks one week since I started work at Toluma Farms, a small goat dairy in Marin County (a mere 5 minutes from the Pacific Ocean).  Marin County is an hour northwest of San Francisco and fast becoming a "foodie" haven, where folks attracted to locally sourced food can find it in variety and abundance. The region has a long history of dairying due to it's mild weather and abundant pastures; it is host to many small scale farms which are still making livings in cow/goat/sheep dairying and cheese-making businesses today.  

Toluma Farms is currently selling bulk milk to other producers but plans are in motion to start making and selling artisan cheese in 2012. Here is a quick tour around the farm. 

 

Coastal morning fog

 

 

Home uh, sweet, home

 

 

The milking parlor and grain tank

 

 

The soon to be converted creamery

 

 

The goat barn

 

 

The kids - replacement does

 

 

The morning commute - up the hill for fresh air after milking

 

 

The sheep love to tag along

 

 

Kids solving their arguments

 

In coming weeks I'll detail tasks and chores that go into operating a goat dairy. It has been a whirlwind change from working full time in an office, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you!

 
callie murphy
11/17/2011 11:30:34 PM

Hi Dave, today we milked 93 goats...they will start kidding in January and we will probably be milking around 130 at our peak next year. I would say you gotta try some goat and sheep milk cheese, just to say you've tried it, you might even like it!


nebraska dave
11/15/2011 8:17:56 PM

Callie, thanks for allowing us to tag along with your experiences at the goat dairy farm. I'll be looking forward to your updates on the goat farm. How many goats do they milk at the Toluma farm? I can't say that I've experienced the tasting of goat cheese or sheep cheese. Have a great goat/sheep day.