One of our favorite loves at the farm is our family of dairy goats. As babies, our goats are bottle fed so they are essentially pets! They love getting to be the star of the show when visitors come to our farm for a family outing, or when the elementary schools visit. They work hard every day, they never let us down, and they always provide the most delicious milk that we use to make our award-winning goat cheese.
Our goats and goat cheeses are one of the most valued divisions of our business and lucky for us, their presence on the farm (and occasionally at The Pantry) keeps you coming back for more!
We want to share some important facts about our goats so you will know just how fresh our products really are, and how much fun we have sharing the farm with our friends.
We milk our goats eight to nine months a year, giving them two to three months off to rest and enjoy the life of a goat! During this time we do not have access to milk, so we have to be extremely strategic to ensure all of our chefs will receive the cheese they need at their respective restaurants. This usually falls during the last three months of the year. We vacuum package the necessary amount of cheese in cryovac, to get us through the off-season. With this process the cheese has a three-month shelf life.
This year we expect a total of about three hundred babies by the end of February, with sixty already enjoying the farm life. A female goat is called a doe. Our 1500 does will give birth and as soon as the babies are fed, we use the rest for cheese. The good news is there is way more milk than the babies consume, so there is plenty to go around for them and for us!
Goat milk is loaded with nutrients for the babies and is great for us too. It is a blessing for those individuals battling lactose intolerance, as it is safe for their consumption. The taste of goat milk changes with the seasons, depending on what forage is in bloom. While it is delicious all year, we especially love the “first flow” of milk. It is so rich, has much more cream …or maybe it just makes us so happy to have the babies on the farm! Either way, we enjoy making a big celebration out of the babies coming and the fresh goats’ milk, back in production.
We have three breeds of goats: Nubians, Alpines, and Saanens. The Saanens give us volume, while the others provide a higher content of butter fat, all of which are important to cheese making.
To meet a few of our babies, come see us at The Pantry any Saturday between now and February 11, from 9 AM – 2 PM.
The Pantry, 17 Dexter Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama 35213
Monday - Friday 7 AM - 6 PM, Saturday 8 AM - 3 PM