Fern is one of our foundation La Mancha does. She came from Gothberg Farms (Bow, Washington) at a month old in spring 2010. She was brought here with Reba, another La Mancha doe from Gothberg. Reba was about 14 months old and wondering why she came to a farm with such small goats (the rest were Nigerian dwarf). Reba may be tough, but her sweet side became apparent when she decided that Fern was good enough to nurse off her and so Reba and Fern bonded as adoptive mother and daughter. (Reba had kidded a few months earlier and her kids were still at Gothberg Farms). Fern grew quickly off Reba’s milk and by summer of 2010 we noticed a precocious udder forming…unusual, but happens. Fern is sweet, mellow, smart and a good worker. In spring 2011 she kidded with 2 beautiful does and a lovely buckling. Since they were born the week of the royal wedding we named the does: Duchess and Pippa and their brother was named Flint. All three are on our farm and have wonderful personalities…definitely people-friendly and happy tail wagging goats. Fern may not have the prettiest udder, but boy she produces milk! We look forward to seeing what her production is like this year after she kids in early April.
Lola came to us in summer of 2010 from Pholia Farm (Rogue River, Oregon). We have decided her name is appropriate because she thinks she is a show goat. It probably didn’t help that she became the model for our bronze goat statue developed by Washington artist, Jeff Oens. Lola will not kid until May this year. We are hoping to get at least one doe out of her. Her mother, Hera, has good production and has done quite well in shows. How do we know she has sweet milk? We sample and taste the milk from our does to make sure it is “good enough” to go in our cheese. Last year these samplings happened around the dining room table during farm meeting time…never know when your skills as a wine taster might come in handy…amazing how the milk flavor can vary with the lactation cycle, browse and many other unknown variables. All part of the crazy things we do on our farm to make the best possible cheese.