First thing’s first: who doesn’t love a baby goat? I mean, unless you’re allergic or your heart has turned to ice, I can’t imagine a person who wouldn’t want to pick up a newborn baby goat and snuggle it for a minute or two (or twenty.) Point is, this blog is about Harley Farms, where you can meet all manner of goats and eat cheese besides, and if that isn’t your ideal way to spend a Sunday, well, we just can’t be friends.
Right-o. Harley Farms in Pescadero. I heard about this place from a coworker almost a year ago, when she mentioned visiting at the peak of baby goat season. I’ve been wanting to go ever since and it’s taken me this long to visit because by the time I was told, it was a little late in the season and all the tours were booked. So that’s the first thing. If you want to do the goat tour, book now. Do not delay. Tours really do fill fast. And they are. worth. it. Very comprehensive – you start off with a short lecture of the back story of the farm and then you’re off to the pasture where the momma goats live. They just release you and let you go nuts – you get to wander around and say hello to all the goats plus a handful of llamas. And the goats are super friendly. They come right up to you, nuzzle you, nibble on your zippers and whatnot (But don’t worry, they’re not aggressive. No butting occurred on our trip.) You can tell they’re very happy creatures.
Next up: the babies. We made our way into the barn where five one-week-old goats were waiting for us. And after a quick little speech about how to hold them correctly, you get to do just that. And I mean really… there are just no words here. I’m mostly a city girl and don’t get to interact with a whole lot of livestock, but after cuddling up to the sweetest little kid, I was ready to walk out with one. Nothing says springtime like baby farm animals, am I right?
And then you pass through the milking stations, the creamery kitchen, and end up in the dining room where they host farm dinners (which I would bet are amazing. I’d go back to try one.) There, you end the tour with a cheese tasting. We got the herbed chevre (with flowers from the Harley gardens), a chive log, and a cranberry walnut cheese. Even if you’re not a goat cheese lover, these are worth a try. All very mild, not too goat-y, and totally delicious. You taste the cheese and are reminded that yeah, this came from happy goats. Of course, I am a goat cheese lover, so I walked out with a cranberry walnut wheel and a half a pound of ricotta.
In short… as far as springtime activities go, how can you beat this one? Friendly goats, blue skies, delicious cheese. Just remember to wear shoes you don’t really care about, and book a tour in advance if you want to go that route. (There were people there just exploring the farm without the tour, but I think the tour is absolutely worth it.) This place is a gem, and I could easily see the visit to the goats becoming a Spring Kickoff tradition.