Ugly Goat Milk Company farm tour: healthy boobies, raw milk and plenty of cavorting
There's a whole lot of spring "cavorting" going on at Ugly Goat Milk Company's farm. And that means plenty of milk, butter, cheese and good times for both the animals and humans.
J. Wohletz One of the many cavorting goats at Ugly Goat Milk Company's farm.
Karin and Rob Lawler, owners of The Truffle, arranged a Memorial Day weekend "Get-a-Whey" trip from the cheese shop in Denver to the Ugly Goat Milk Company's farm in Parker via posh tour bus, and fifty guests were treated to a meet-and-greet with farm owner Mike Amen, his ranch foreman -- and "sanity manager" -- Frank Ugolini, and all the cows, goats, sheep, geese, ducks and chickens living on the forty-acre dairy farm.
J. Wohletz The hills are alive with the sounds of cavorting.
And, of course, there were samples of fresh goat and cow's milk, fresh butter and cheese, and a gourmet lunch perfect for a day out in the country.
I crawled my reluctant ass out of bed at 7:30 a.m. in order to make the bus pickup at the cheese shop at 8:45 a.m. I was thinking that in farm time, this was probably about midday.
The Lawlers know how to tour in style: The bus was posh with huge, comfy seats, very effective air conditioning, a bathroom and drop-down screens that played The Cheese Nun , a fairly new documentary about a Benedictine nun learning to make artisan cheese by hand, and the hour trip out to Parker seemed much shorter with that (I now understand why parents love SUVs with DVD players in them).
The Ugly Goat Milk Company farm is at 1701 Hidden Acres Place in Parker, and it has a shareholder arrangement by which a $40 buy-in gets you access to raw goat and cow's milk, butter and cheeses like chevre, feta, ricottas, mozzarella and -- in the future -- cheddar. The farm also produces fresh eggs, which we urbanite foodies value somewhere between gold and platinum.
J. Wohletz (L to R) Frank Ugolini, Mike Amen and Karin Lawler.
The farm is gorgeous -- rolling hills, green grass, friendly, fluffy animals, and a barn so clean I searched all day for barn-elves. Mike talked for a bit about how he got started in the dairy-farming business -- apparently he found two goats on Craigslist, then a cow named "Truffle" who needed a good home, and started his farm on a five-acre plot in Elizabeth, before relocating four months ago to the more spacious farm in Parker.
Since then he's either acquired or facilitated the birthing of a modest Noah's Ark of plump, happy critters, including a couple of sweet, placid Jersey milk cows named Violette and Honey; a handful of newly shorn rescue sheep that eat animal crackers; Nubian, Alpine, Sable and Saanen goats; a few misanthropic geese and laid-back ducks, chickens, complete with baby chicks for everyone to fawn over; and a female barn cat named Roxy with advanced people skills.