Hello everyone! If you live in or around San Francisco, you might have known that last Saturday, the annual Goat Festival took place at the Ferry Building farmers market. When I told my friend, portrait photographer Jennifer, about it, she suddenly grew very excited about getting close to some goat kids! When we thought of the hoards of people that usually visit the Ferry Building on Saturdays, though, we came up with a better plan—Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero, about an hour south of the city. There, we could get close to some goats without the crowds.
We couldn’t have chosen a more perfect day for an outing! The weather was warm, the sun alternated between hiding behind soft clouds and peeking out, and the coastal drive offered stunning ocean views.
There’s a lot to take in at Harley Farms, and if we had known, we would have signed up for a farm tour online ($20 per person) in advance. We could, however, see some three-day-old kids and older goats, visit the shop, and take a look at the farm’s exquisite upstairs dining room, with space for about 20 guests at its long, crooked table.
Harley Farms makes primarily chèvre (plain, infused with honey and lavender, adorned with flowers, herbs, fruit, and more), but also goat’s milk ricotta (a real rarity!), fromage blanc, and feta. The ricotta has fluffy, grainy texture, with a slightly sweet, lactic flavor, which is sometimes used to make ravioli on the premises. I can only imagine how wonderful that would taste tossed with some sautéed asparagus and Pecorino Romano, and drizzled with lemon, for instance!
We found plenty of delightful surprises all over the shop—farm fresh eggs, tasty olive oil and house spice blends, house habanero jelly (packing a lot of kick and a beautiful rosy orange color). Jennifer and treated me to a sweet bite, a habanero chèvre truffle, essentially a ball of habanero goat cheese coated in chocolate. The combination of milk, tang, spice, and chocolate was just right.
OK, I will admit, the whole farm, while utterly charming, does feel a little campy, and maybe it is. But if you need a goat and goat cheese fix and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, this is one farm you can count on to always be open!
Do you remember my first visit to Harley Farms? Have you ever visited? Leave a comment below!
Harley Farms Goat Dairy: 205 North St, Pescadero, CA 94060. 10am-5pm.