A Family Gift

Dove Song Dairy farmer Lena Schaeffer says she encountered some resistance to being in charge of the farm, but that’s changed: “Now no one thinks twice about talking to the boss, which is me.” | Photos by Daryl Peveto

At Dove Song Dairy, raising goats is a multi-generational calling

When Lena Schaeffer turned 15 years old, her father asked her what she wanted for her birthday. Her answer: “A goat.” Her birthday wish was granted, and decades later, goats still hold a special place in her heart.

Schaeffer, now a grandmother, keeps 200 goats on her farm, Dove Song Dairy: “They have awesome personalities. You can pick them up on your lap and hold them when they’re babies.”

Adorable though they may be, goats have become a serious business for Schaeffer and her family. The Schaeffers have been milking commercially since 1996 on their 47-acre farm in Bernville, Bucks County. In addition to their raw goat milk, the farm offers a variety of products, including yogurt, cheese and soap made from goat  milk; pastured eggs and meats. They also raise chickens, pigs, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas geese and guinea fowl.

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Kids These Days: New local goat cheeses are springing up all over

story and photos byTenaya Darlington. A wedge of Gotogetagoat from Valley Creamery in Long Valley, NJ.While an east coast winter can put any local foods operation into hibernation, the region’s goat-cheese makers have been quite busy. Valley Shepherd Creamery opened a cheesemaking operation and grilled sandwich stand in Reading Terminal Market, and Cranberry Creek hired Paul Lawler (formerly of Fair Food Farmstand) as their full-time cheesemaker to develop a new line of goat cheeses at their state-of-the-art facility in the Poconos. Add to that the recent World Jersey Cheese Awards for nearby artisan dairies Keswick Creamery and Hidden Hills, and it seems that eastern Pennsylvania is starting to get its dairy due.
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Local Business: Soap Dish

Spotted Hill Farm proves that size doesn’t matter 

Donna Bowman’s farm isn’t very big, but neither are its primary inhabitants: a herd of miniature Nubian goats.

They’re inquisitive, friendly little creatures, with long, floppy ears and prominent noses. Bowman breeds them, and uses their milk for the homemade soaps and lotions she sells through the farm’s website and at local farmers’ markets.

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