|We are a Vermont dairy where we raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats for conformation and with a particular emphasis on DAIRY. We use their fabulous milk to produce delicious, award winning farmstead cheese.
FIRST KIDS HAVE ARRIVED!!
We will be offering two farm internships for 2012…click here for more information.
Application deadline extended to February 28th.
We’re proud to be among the 2011 ADGA Cheese Competition Winners
2nd Place for our Winooski Tomme
My love of the Nigerian Dwarf began with a dream of one day having my own herd of goats. I’ve lived and worked around the world and everywhere I went I saw goats……all colors, shapes and breeds…. producing wonderful milk for their families. I knew that one day I too would have a few goats at home. That became “quite a few” as I discovered the joy of owning, or rather being owned by, Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.
I was fortunate enough to find a beautiful farmstead in Vermont, one of the most beautiful spots in New England. And we now have a small farm where we raise these beautiful goats, sell milk, cheese, fresh eggs, honey and more.
Please take a moment to view our farm and our beautiful Nigerians….you’re sure to fall in love just as I have.
We hope you enjoy your visit and come back often to see what’s going on “down on the farm”!
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT WILLOW MOON FARM?? Our “blog”
What a strange winter! While we’ve had some snow, it’s been a total of around 20 inches total since October…and strangely warm with only a few days below zero. Usually we’ve had at least one -20 degree night by now…not sure we have had one this year.
Now the beginning of February…just another 16 days or so before our first kids arrive. We’re setting up kidding pens, checking our kidding supplies, checking on the does every morning to make sure everyone is doing ok. While it might seem as if we should be so accustomed to lots of kids and, perhaps a bit ho hum with it all…we get nearly as excited about the kids arriving as ever. Maybe we’re just crazy..and some would say we are for sure..but this is the time we get to see the results of our breeding decisions…not just in the new kids, but especially in the first fresheners. Now, we get to see what their udders and production will look like. Doesn’t get much more exciting than that!
If you’ve got pregnant does in the barn, make sure you’ve calculated their due dates and their vacination dates. It is important that the pregnant does get their BOSE (at least here in the North East), their CDT and are wormed before they kid. The BOSE and CDT should be given 4-6 weeks prior to their due date. This gives some protection to the new kids during their first few weeks, prior to receiving their own vacinations. Worming is helpful as the process of kidding is quite stresssful and creates a welcoming environment for internal parasites. We worm about 2 weeks prior to and then again immediately after kidding.
During the past season, we were able to freeze some chevre and are happy to have it now. It really does do well and allows us to enjoy the fruits of the summer once again. We are still milking a few does through. Really our first year at really following through with this as we’ve always been reluctant to pass up a chance to get doe kids from some of our better milkers. We’ll be interested to see how this works for us and our dairy business. So far so good…we’ve been able to continue providing milk to a few of our long time customers and make some additional cheese to sell at the indoor winter markets.
We’re very excited about a new partnership we’re forming with Hollister Hill Farm. Lee and Bob approached us a few months ago to see if we would be interested in making some cow milk cheese with some of their wonderful Jersey milk. Kim was very excited about the prospect and we’ve been working out the details over the last few month. We’re happy to report that Bob and Lee have gotten their license and we’re ready to move ahead. Kim has been making some “test” cheeses to help us decide what kinds of cheese we might make, but we know theres a goat/cow milk combo on the horizon and we will be making some wonderful Jersy milk cream cheese as well. The cream cheese will be available at the Hollister Hill Farm Store in Plainfield as well in our farm store and at our booth at the farmers markets. The test batches of cream cheese were absolutely wonderful so we’re excited to see what our buyers think of it. Hollister Hill Farm specializes in pork, beefalo and milk fed free range chickens and turkeys as well as vegetables, fresh eggs and raw cow milk. They also run a bed and breakfast so if you’re planning a trip up this way be sure and check them out. Bob and Lee are very gracious hosts and it is a beautiful farm!
So…that’s about it for now….I’m getting in that last little bit of down time while I can..it’s about to end for the year. Stay tuned!!