I got to go hang out with Caroline (The Goat cheese lady, or the popsicle lady depending on who your talking to) and Josh from De La Luna Farms and it was great to see their place and meet her animals.
Her farm is just outside of downtown Corydon and has the cutest little milk-house I just love it! Caroline met Austin and I at the car when we pulled up while Josh was busy on the mower, but he came and said hello!
Caroline took me out back to see her Goat pasture and her 3 beautiful dogs, and of course the chickens roaming around. We then sat down on the back patio, I turned on the recorder and we just sat and talked in the cool breeze with the rooster crowing in the back ground! It really was a gorgeous day!
I asked Caroline to tell me a little about herself and if she grew up here in Indiana? Her mom met her Dad when he was stationed in Germany. He was a military guy and they stayed primarily in Europe when she was growing up. Beside vacations the first long period of time they where here in the US was in Texas. Germany to Texas was a real culture shock for them! Her Mom hated it, she was just miserable she was not used to the humidity. Caroline however loved it, she was a pre-teen when they moved, she loved Texas! She loved everything about it, her mom would ask her why she was bugging the neighbors! She loved Teresa the neighbor and the yummy Mexican food she would make, and her mom couldn’t understand how she could eat that spicy food. Her Dad was originally from Kentucky and retired from Fort Knox.
Growing up she found herself befriending and gravitating towards farmers. She’s surprised she didn’t scare her mom to death, she would disappear in the morning and hang out in hay wagons and come home dirty. Most of her friends in Texas had cattle and horse farms. Her best friend to this day has a big farm in Mount Washington. Caroline always wanted to be a farmer!
Caroline graduated from U of L focusing on civil engineering. She said looking back it didn’t fit her. She was good in math and had good scores but once she started working in the field she realized it wasn’t for her. When she got laid off she took the chance and decided it was her opportunity to do something that she really wanted to do!
So that’s what she did! She slowly befriended people that did the things she wanted to do, read and researched taking all the info she could to get to her dream of being a Farmer! She bought goats, then she bought more goats, then her goats had more goats.
She was telling me all about her plans to build a new building where she plans to turn it into a full Goat Cheese Facility. Her plan is to do it one part at a time. She says whatever she has to make and sell to get to her dream of her Creamery, she will do it. Popsicles, tomatoes whatever it takes! She recently transitioned and left her full time job and is now farming full time. Her hope is to turn it into a full Creamery!
Caroline is at 3 Farmers Markets 4 times a week Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. She is hoping to soon have her products in local stores too. She is using a commercial kitchen now and is hoping to help Corydon set-up a co-op kitchen for others in the area to use and sell products! She sell’s her goat cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt, flowers, herbs, some veggies, popsicles, and more. She carries a feed license to sell her products as pet grade too.
Her goats are mainly grass fed. She supplements her goats that are in milk with grain, nuts and fresh produce, whatever is in season that wont offset the flavor. She was telling me how we, here in America, want our items to taste the same every time we have it but with change in diet you get a different flavor. Spring milk will often taste different from Fall milk as they are eating different things. The same thing happens with bees, the taste will change with what they are eating. She likes to give her goats nuts and seeds, it gives the milk a nice butter fat.
Caroline’s goats are 90% Lamancha goats, a lot of people tell her they’re funny looking but she loves that about them! There a hardy breed and they’re good moms. She also has Nigerian goats and she actually breeds them hoping to turn a longer milking time with higher butter fat then the Lamancha’s but longer milking time then the Nigerian. Nigerian goats are a dual purpose goat, they are milk and meat goats.
Caroline has now had goats for 8 years. The first couple of years was learning experience and she didn’t even milk them. She started with a Nigerian set, a mom and two babes and still has the mom and one of the two babies today.
She also has chickens and the eggs help pay for the feed. She has 13 acres of land and has her goat pen set in a U shape around the house. She has a cute little rescue horse too. Isn’t this Rooster just gorgeous?!
I asked her what advice she has for people wanting to start themselves. Her advice is start slow! Don’t get in over your head. Read everything you can, get good advice but take it with a grain of salt. There is tons of info on caring for cows and horses but there is not as much out there about goats. Talk to people, most are generous about sharing information with others. She says the odds are kind of stacked against you but its not impossible. Find a parcel if you can or lease some land! She started with some land leased from a local farmer here in Harrison county. If you want to raise your kids in the farm setting go for it! If you want to do it, it wont be easy but it will be worth it.
Her building is the next thing on her list to get done! Having her creamery is her main goal, at least for now she has promised Josh that she will be happy with it and just live the Creamery dream, at least for a little while.
After we finished our visit she went to the goat pen so I could check out some of her goats and take some pictures! Josh walked over and tried to talk to Austin but he is pretty shy. He did, however, take one of Caroline’s yummy popsicles and loved it, as was evident by the sticky purple mess he was when I got him home.
If you would like to try some of Caroline’s yummy products you can find her at The Elizabeth market on Tuesday’s, New Albany on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, and Corydon on Friday’s. Contact Caroline on Facebook to follow her story!
I want to thank Caroline and Josh for letting us come hang out and check out their beautiful farm!