Our visit included hand feeding some young does alfalfa. They behave and actually look a bit like dogs, which helped the granddaughters as they love dogs. It turns our goats also like little girls dresses, but were gently discouraged to stick with the alfalfa.
Talk about a varied day! I went from million year old lava fields this morning to the Surfing Goat Dairy this afternoon. This dairy has about 141 goats including 2 bucks. The rest are does (pronounced with a long O rather than like duhz.)
We then toured the milking station where the process was explained in some detail. It was interesting how they rotate the breeding times to keep a certain number of does on a rotating schedule producing milk all year. Each does receives a two month vacation each year to relax and recharge her body.
On the way to the tasting gazebo our guide pointed out the pasteurization tanks where the milk is heated using the flash method to 165 degrees for fifteen minutes before cooling to below 50 deg. This kills the bad bacteria and keeps the harmless lactic acid bacteria viable. If the milk is not kept cool the lactic acid bacteria will multiply and sour the milk.
In the tasting gazebo our guide offered us several sample of goat cheese. Two of the methods that goat cheese is preserved are in olive oil or wax. We sampled cheese preserved in wax and it definitely had the usual goat cheese consistency and sharp/bitterness. The addition of a little olive oil smoothed the flavor. It was delicious. We also tried a number of other cheeses and cheese spreads which were almost like yogurt. Anyone who fancies goat cheese should visit this award winning dairy. Well worth the relatively short drive up the mountain.