Taking a Door County Creamery farm tour through the end of October allows guests to get to know the goats that create the delicious milk that becomes fresh chèvre, other cheeses and gelato.
“Visiting our goat farm is a full sensory experience,” said owner Rachael Johnson. “You get to see where the goats live, pet them, hear the funny sounds they make and smell all the smells – the good smells of food and the natural smells that are part of farm life! Best of all, you get to taste the delicious food we make with our goats’ milk.”
The tours begin in Sister Bay at the creamery, where guests hear the origin story of the farm, sample gelato and learn how the goat-milk gelato is made. Then the group heads out to meet the goats at the farm, which is just outside the village.
“We actually let guests go inside the pen with the babies,” Johnson said. “There’s a magical moment when the babies come running out of the barn to greet the guests, and they’re so excited. They act a lot like a dog greeting its long-lost owner would.”
While touring the farm, guests see the modern milking parlor, the pasture and the varieties of goats, and they get to taste the variety of cheeses their milk creates.
“Some of our goats look like mini Holsteins,” Johnson said, “while others remind us of deer. They also have really funny ears – from Shrek-like rolled tubes; to long, lamblike ears; to “airplane ears” that stick out like Pipi Longstocking’s braids.”
It’s a wonderful experience for kids – and kids at heart – and an excellent way to be immersed in the cheesemaking process.
“The goats eat hay that’s grown in the fields surrounding our farm, and the mamas give us the milk that’s used to make the gelato and cheese that [guests] taste on the tour,” Johnson said. “No matter the age of the child, there are lessons to be learned about where food comes from and our relationship to the Earth.”