Honey Doe Farm RicottaHoney Doe Farm
Honey Doe Farm is a unique single-family operation. Lance Hays, who is Deaf and communicates using American Sign Language, is the primary farmer working full-time for the care and maintenance of the goats, the farm. He makes outstanding cheese too. Francine Hays works part-time on the farm as well as off the farm as American Sign Language Interpreter.
Honey Doe Farm grew out of a family need. Our daughter, Amanda, was diagnosed as lactose intolerant about the age of five. We started her on soy milk as an alternative to cow's milk. We later learned about the wonders of goat's milk and its being more easily digestible for humans. The problem was the taste of goat milk sold in stores. It had a powerful off-flavor. It was awful. Then we met a family who had milk goats. Fresh goats milk was incredible tasting; creamy and sweet. We became intrigued by the idea of having our own source of goat milk. Then Francine took one cheese making class from Gianaclis Caldwell, author of "The Farmstead Creamery Adviser", when we both lived in San Diego County, California. The dream of having our own fresh milk and our own homemade cheese was irresistible. We started learning about goats. We bought our first goats after our move to Idaho in January 2005. We finally started milking our own goats!
From our first purchase of 8 goats, 4 Nigerian Dwarfs & 4 LaManchas, our herd has grown to almost 100 goats. We have had the guidance of wonderful goat people like Jodi Groneman of God's Grace Dairy in Blackfoot, Idaho, who was our 4-H teacher and a dear friend. Our husbandry knowledge of goat care and nutrition has grown, our milking & dairy knowledge and our learning the exciting adventure of making a variety of cheeses has also grown. We love drinking our fresh raw milk and making a variety of cheeses for personal use.
Honey Doe Farm raises two dairy breeds, LaMancha & Nigerian Dwarf goats. We also raise a market goat breed, Boer. Here at Honey Doe Farm we strive to treat our goats with exceptional care. We disbud, vaccinate, and do everything in our power to ensure our goats go on to lead long, healthy, productive lives. We maintain as natural an environment as possible providing limited grain and alfalfa for our does in milk; but our primary focus is on nutritious hay, minerals, and additional supplements such as dolomite, yeast, kelp, and bran. Unlimited access to our clean well-water is essential for milk production and vital for coping with hot days here in Texas. Please visit the "Goat" tab above to learn more!
We live today in a world where choices about our foods are becoming more and more important. There is a growing movement for access to less processed more natural foods and food sources. Farmer's markets, small-scale farms and artisan cheese makers are thriving in America. Many people, like us, believe that knowing more about your food source gives you greater control over your health.