California Notebook: Harley Farms


I have to get some goats someday.

By Tuesday I had mostly completed my Mom's website . She rewarded me with a drop dead gorgeous drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Pescadero. This is where, or how I would live. The beach is marvelous, but I would want a farm, or at least acreage. This was an agricultural town, with a tiny main street and a few charming little houses with nice gardens and fun architectural accents. We went to Harley Farms; a goat milk farm nestled into a green valley about 2-3 miles in from the coast. The skies at the beach were a heavy low white, but here they shared at least half of the sky with idyllic blue.

the view from the top of the barn
The youngest kids this late in the summer were in a smaller pen, and getting lots of attention
Beside the goat pen, a flower and herb garden to flavor and decorate the cheeses
The sign says it all
I was completely smitten with this little fellow
Every inch of this farm was meticulously maintained 
There was an awesome soundtrack for the farm coming from the barn: classic rock, heavy on CSNY
Farm-to-table dinners are held in the hayloft of the barn. 
Whatever the goats give,  the farm uses; a respectful, inspiring approach to animal husbandry
The goat shop had classic (and prize winning) cheeses; I bought the sun-dried tomato blend
Before leaving Pescadero, we had a snack at this gas station/taqueria
I had the carne asada; but the chile and cheese burrito was even better

The drive home was delightful, the spectacular coastal vistas and the farmland stretched out before us. I was greatly inspired by Harley Farms. We joked about how in the world could I add goats to my menagerie; I already haul 4 hens and two Rhodesian Ridgebacks back and forth in a car. One day, there won't be any "back and forth" and I can flesh out my little homestead with a few goats. I learned how to make goat cheese a few summers ago at the Sustainable Arts Society and enjoyed it thoroughly. I was shocked at how hard I had to tug on the teat and how forcefully the milk shot out. But even if they didn't give milk; I would love goats. They are beautiful creatures and loaded with personality; the crazy positions they would get themselves in cracked me up. I never got a photo I was truly satisfied with, because I couldnt get in the pen with them. As it was, if any other visitor came, I would leave for a little while and only return to the pen when I had it to myself. I wanted to be "alone" with the goats.

I cannot wait to get back to Chickory and see my own garden again. Im sure that all I have left growing are winter squashes and watermelons. Im guessing the tomatoes have burned up and that the summer squashes are exhausted. But I look forward to prepping the soil for fall crops and finally getting the long overdue garden shed built. One day, I hope a visit to Chickory delights guests with the sweetness and goodness of life that I felt at Harley Farms.


  1. this is why travel is good; it can inspire us with new ways of looking at things. Is this the longest you've been away from Chickory in recent years?

    I love goats and IF you got a goat..... weeeeee. Think of all the $$ you'd save with mowing and those weeds you hate? yah, they'd be gone too. Awesome cheese too.


  2. Goats are wonderful and I want some too. I don't think you'd have to haul goats back-and-forth from farm-to-ghetto. Unless you're worried about "nephew" eating them.

  3. I've always loved goats too, have often thought of letting a small herd tame the acreage here at terracotta gardens - your california trip sounds heavenly xo s + gang

  4. That first goat pix is wonderful!

    I'm all ready to attend a Solstice event on that farm!

  5. A beautiful shock! Its pretty easy to fall in love with the Ungulates, but you and he made a real connection. I think this story is only a beginning, there will be more to come. Once the connection has been established, it grows. Who knows what wonderful things lie ahead?

    Still got the fever I see.

  6. goats are easy to love. they are social and personable. great photos.
    i so want to go there now.

    and your mom's website is beautiful! i clicked on all the pages.
    should i ever plan on eloping (in another lifetime of course) i'll go to her.

  7. Love this post. Gorgeous scenery, adorable goats, and CHEESE! If I ever make it to that part of CA, I would love to check out this place. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Lovely photos and post dear chickory, I am so pleased that you are enjoying your time there with your Mom.
    The goats are gorgeous and they make wonderful pets.
    xoxoxo ♡

  9. Goat Girl....fits.

    Know J is thrilled wif' yore work.

    Happy youse home. Will be happier to know none of the demi luna weirdness hitched a ride .

  10. boxer: the goats would serve as studio handmaidens. I would have to get the african pygmies. No -Ive been from CHickory longer...but mostly during winter. Travel is god -and I was very inspired by several things I saw in California. Nina said I have "california fever" but I think my day up at the lake yesterday helped it burn off a bit. Boat rides are helpful.

    Troll: i might be worried about my goats. a violent crime took place not even one mile from CHickory last week. the entire town is freaked out - I will write about it later. Where would you have yours? are you still looking for extra property? a doomstead? grherhahaha

    susan: tame your place? why? its wonderful there. Thanks, it was a lovely trip.

    lx: are you able to drink virgins blood (an hold it down?)

    Nina: I do - a little bit. But i have written about this before, this land, and way of being in the south, is the only real inheritance i have. I feel so much better about my garden - in cali you guys just throw out seeds and wait. it rougher where there is mega heat a humidity. I think you are right on about me being at the beginning of my goat love.

    foamy: thank you for looking at the site! Its a great little business she has -and its fun. We will go back to harley farms you and me - well do a road trip, so we can take our new pet goats with us.

    eggy: really good cheese! and so pretty decorated with edible flowers.

    dianne: I am home now; can catch up on the blogs and work on my atl yard a little this week. V has a birthday this weekend and then I am leaving for Chickory and I cant wait. Ive been looking at it with my security camera. *sniff*

    aunty: i am so happy to be home. you know, theres no place like it! when i get the goats I will make you some cheese like those frenchies do. I know youd like that.

    dani: isnt it? so is your own farm.

  11. Ummmmm I think not all goats are dairy goats.
    I can't count the number of times my mother proclaimed she was getting herself a Nubian goat. She particularly wanted that species because of their ears. Also because she was told they bond best with humans and they sing! No doubt whatever sound they make is better than chihuahua yapping.(Sorry Boxer!)

    Is this the shed you were talking of making from reclaimed materials? Did you post pictures of a cool door and some windows a while back? Are they part of the studio? What's the plan. Nosy bloggers want to know all.

    Are your dogs speaking to you? Seems like you have mentioned before Trout gives you a cold shoulder when you are gone too long.

  12. I've loved goats ever since I was a little girl and used to go our neighbour's house to visit with their goat every day.

    My dream world involves living on a goat farm.

  13. Oh, and I love that first pic.

  14. Hi Chickory and thanks for the reminder last Monday! how cool was that?

    Just popped over to leave a gentle reminder link to my place for Haiku Monday!

    Love this post .... but then again I love all your posts, the Empress wants a goat,... Like MJ and many others... a childhood memory...

    Mine... Getting chased home from school by an old Billy!

    What an inspirational farm... Who knows what it might lead to?

  15. What an incredibly beautiful place. Looks so clean and welcoming. Would love to participate in one of those farm to table dinners.

    Your pictures of the little goat are outstanding. I see a whole graphic novel starring that little one. One thing to remember about goats, if they free range your vehicle will be just another toy to climb on top of. While it would add to the personality of your truck I'm thinking your other vehicles would not appreciate goat hoof detailing. Otherwise I can't wait to see a photo of your goat sitting in the easy chair in the house with Easter sitting on the back.

    Did you ever make a decision about the Truck?

  16. I think I just passed out a bit from absolute lust for that farm. The countryside. The goats. That beautiful table. Everything.

  17. I thought I was the only one who preferred to be alone with goats. Maybe that was the herb farm talking.

  18. fishy: singing long eared goats? I am so down with that. if i get goats though, i gotta have pygmies. but i think this years animal project is bees. The shed: well, there is an old barn in the county that the owner is giving the wood to whoever tears it down. I think a friend of mine might go in with me -hes the tear down part of the team. I have the roof, the windows and the door. I just need siding. of course the floor is plywood. really wish i could afford the vintage double loop fencing my grandmother had at her old house. i never forgot that awesome fence between the yard and alley/

    mj: tell you what. i know you are a millionaire. send the money, and I will build the goat farm and you can "sponsor" one of the goats. get a little write up and photo a few times a year? goat cheese for xmas/ whaddaya say?

    Mj" was hard to get a shot i liked.

    princess: Im in for Haiku Monday! congratulations again on your win. have you displayed your badge?

    shamy: a terrible situation with the truck. lets just keep this short and simple: a womens intuition about a certain engine on craigslist was ignored and a large and costly mistake has been made. Ive been vindicated; but i do not have a truck. thanks about the goat photos...and thrilled about your new dog.

    moi: it was great. look at that super black dirt!! you should go there next visit to the bay area.

    puerileuwaite" LOL!! best chuckle today. i sure do love you.


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