So how did our family get started? Once upon a time I was a city girl who thought she was so cool doing all the city stuff. Then I got married, had kids, owned a tiny house in a city neighborhood, and slowly watched my kids outgrow their postage stamp sized back yard while all along my latent inner country girl inside me grew and grew. Since my husband’s job was already half an hour north of town we decided to look for a place an hour north of town in the scenic Skagit Valley renowned for its beautiful farm land and tulip fields. The moment I set eyes on the Victorian style house on 2 acres I knew this would be our forever home. We bought it without looking at another single house in the area.
A neighbor was selling her 3 goats and I thought that might be a good thing to get into as I wanted to grow much of our own food. She gave us a sample of the goat milk and I was sold. Within a few years we took the plunge and became a certified Grade A raw goat milk dairy selling the fluid milk. That was a fun and exciting time but after a couple of years it became obvious we had put the cart before the horse. I was homeschooling my three kids plus driving them to swim practice each afternoon in another town which caused me to be gone from home four hours a day. On top of making deliveries, and promoting our milk, I realized that everything in our life was getting compromised and so we gave up the license and we just milked the goats for house milk and simple chèvre. My kids became heavily involved in showing goats in 4-H and we soon added Highland beef cows to our farm, leasing the 15 acres adjacent to our property.
We focused on improving our herd of Saanen and Oberhasli goats through breeding, and with the whole family involved, moved into the show world. Our Highlands did well in the show ring but we soon realized we would rather just focus on showing one species, so we concentrated on showing goats and just selling the world’s best beef with our Highlanders.
As the kids grew and went off to college, I was able to hang up my homeschool teacher hat and have started experimenting more with cheese making. I hope to get my facility back to grade A standard once again. Raising my kids on homegrown food and homemade cheese has made them all appreciate quality food and cheese. My youngest son is in his junior year at the University of Idaho as an agricultural economics major. He has caught the cheese bug and dreams of opening a chain of cheese stores. I wish him the best of luck and hope that perhaps some day my homemade cheese may be featured in his shops.