More About the Farm
The farm is located on 23 acres at the base of Elk Mountain in Jackson County, Oregon, about 10 miles outside of the town of Rogue River. The farm is part of 220 acres that Gianaclis grew up on. (For more on the old place, Fire-ViewWoodheaters and Springbrook Farm After Vern retired from the Marine Corps, the Caldwells moved back home and began construction of their off-grid (by choice) dairy and home.
Power is supplied by a 10KW solar photovoltaic system and a permit has been issued by the state for a small micro-hydro turbine to be powered by the seasonal creek. A back up generator runs on bio-diesel. Hot water and radiant flooring heat is provided by a high efficiency/ low emissions indoor wood boiler.
The does are browsed daily, weather allowing, on the 23 acres. Locally grown hay is fed and the milkers also receive a limited amount of organic grain, black oil sunflower seeds, kelp meal, and supplements. Some special crops and herbs are grown organically for extra treats and therapy.
Herd health is approached in the most holistic and natural way possible along with treating the animals with respect and love. Retired does remain as guests or go to loving pet homes in the Pholia adopt-a-doe program. All buck kids not kept intact for breeding are placed in pet homes through our great friend at HighPoint Ranch in Applegate, Oregon. http://karinsgoats.tripod.com/
The farm is visited regularly by a large herd of elk, flocks of wild turkeys, foxes, at least one good sized black bear, along with the usual skunks, deer, and cougar or two. The herd is successfully guarded by two wonderful livestock guardian dogs that live with the goats.
The cheeses are named after local landmarks and are each distinctive in their processing, shape, and flavor. Since Nigerians are not seasonal breeders, as most goats are, half of the herd is freshened in the fall and half in the spring. This allows for a consistent supply of sweet, creamy milk and year round cheesemaking. The herd is small and the goats, being miniatures, are not large producers, but the milk is so unique in its components, that is makes for incredible cheese. Production is under 100 pounds of cheese per month and will always remain low. Our motto since 2005 is: “If we can’t remember the doe’s name, we have too many goats.”
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