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Check out this recent podcast interview with the owner, Julie David
I get asked a lot, WHY did I get into goats. I was never allowed to have any animals growing up, not a puppy, kitten nothing. I married my high school sweetheart at a young age and had 2 beautiful children, a girl first and then a boy, all I wanted was to be a MOM. We have been in the concrete construction business for 40 years and that is all I’ve known, I still do the books for the concrete business to this day. I wanted to go back to school when we had our Commercial business in Florida, a Labor and Delivery room nurse would have been my first choice for a profession. I love the concrete business and it has put both our kids through private school, but at the end of the day you can only get so excited about concrete (not unless he is pouring it at the farm for me, hence all the concrete we have at the farm) the concrete business was doing too well for me to leave, so I continued.
Fast forward some years, we purchased a piece of property on Center Hill Lake and built a log cabin. We fell in love with the small-town feel of Smithville and decided to make the move more permanent. I came down with a condition called Gastroparesis which made me deathly sick, I loved eating raw kale and the more I ate the sicker I got. I hated being on so many medicines so I researched a more natural remedy, “Raw Goats Milk''. Well, I have always loved goats, why not get a few and have my own fresh milk? I asked myself. Of course, I researched, researched, and researched some more, went to goat shows, bought books, and found myself a goat mentor. You don’t have to be raised with livestock and attend 4 H as a kid to start a venture into the Dairy World, that’s true for anything, if you want something bad enough and you have God on your side, you will make it, so just push aside the doubts and try.
But back to the story, I had never really done anything “for me” besides raising my children, like I said earlier the concrete construction business was not “my baby” but my husband's, so to venture off into this uncharted territory and try and make something of it was quite exciting. The first 4 original goats I purchased quickly turned into 16 and I had more milk than I knew what to do with. See, God granted me my wish of being a labor and delivery room nurse, but just in the goat world instead of the human world, I deliver at least 160 goats or more every year.
My condition cleared up by drinking goat milk daily and I got off all my medications. I started making soap first, I purchased 50 bars of soap from various online companies to start my research on making the best goat milk soap around. Then cheese, my husband would come home from work with bags of cheese curds hanging from all of our kitchen cabinets, whey dripping into a bowl. Everyone would comment on how delicious my Chevre (French for goat cheese) was so I called my local farmers market to see about setting up shop and selling. Well, that was a big NO, you have to be licensed, have GL insurance, and a host of other things. I called TDA and they sent me out a rather large package of “what to do”. It took a whole year and a half to build the Dairy/Parlor/Cheese room according to the specs and get our license. Through the years our popularity has grown leaps and bounds because our cheese does not taste pungent, or like my husband likes to say, it does not taste like “ the back end of a goat”. We feed a Verified NON-GMO grain and coupled with our processes our goat cheese is smooth, creamy and delicious, not ALL goat cheese is created equally.
The baby goat nursery has grown in popularity as well, so we structured it to where you can make a reservation to come out and cuddle with baby goats, but along with the baby goats (kids is the proper term) we have 2 Emus, a miniature donkey, standard size donkey, 2 llamas, 2 exotic birds who love to sit on your arm for a picture, and a Nigerian dwarf habitat you can go into and walk around with the dwarfs and love on them. Along with our 8 varieties of Chevre, we are now making, a marinated feta, fudge, ice cream, goat milk caramels, farm-fresh meats both ground beef and whole pork sausage, farm fresh eggs, our famous goat milk soap and lotion, 3 different sizes of crocheted goats, extra soft and comfy T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, schedule your visit today and come out and see us, lots of memories are being made at Harmony Lane Farm and Creamery!!
Julie ~ Chief Goat Girl
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