Jollity Farm was our second stop along the California Cheese Trail (it still makes me so happy to know this is a real thing – cheese AND family farms? Yes please!). We made a family day out of it – stopping in Coloma for some California history and then heading over to this dairy goat farm in Garden Valley, CA.
Charley (the farmer running Jollity Farm) and I had been in touch via phone to set up a time to visit. Our family visited in December, which is a slow month on the farm since the goats are mostly dry (almost all of them were pregnant and kidding season was fast approaching). Charley was happy to set up a time that worked for us to visit, and he walked us around his farm answering all of our questions. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the goats be milked since Jollity Farm wasn’t in full production that month. It was still worth the visit though, and I imagine would be even better when you can see the whole process!
The goats are adorable! They have fun personalities, and you can tell Charley really cares about them and loves what he does. We got to feed the goats while learning about Charley’s operation – how Charley started, how the goats are milked, the process of making cheese, and other factoids. Toward the end of the tour, we went to see the kids (baby goats are called kids), and the farm donkey. Where I might be pressed to choose what I found most interesting, I can tell you with certainty what my sister and stepdad’s favorite part of the whole tour was: Gaia. I don’t know if you are a dog person, but I can almost guarantee that even if you hate dogs, you will fall in love with Gaia. The dogs we met at Long Dream Farm were also amazing, and it makes me wonder: Are all farm dogs this fantastic?!
Since December is the slow month, that also meant that Charley didn’t have cheese on hand for us to sample or purchase. However, he did have soaps and lotions made using goat milk. Mom and I each got a lotion (and we are both loving it!!), and our family looks forward to trying the cheese next time we are in the area or at a farmers market with Jollity Farm!