If you are considering adding to your dairy goat herd or like me, beginning your goat herd, make your way to Sherman Creek Farm. "Vashon Island?!" you say. To that I would answer "definitely."
We purchased two doelings from Karie in August of 2012 with the plan to breed and begin milking. Our first meeting with Karie was a fact gathering mission. We took the ferry to Vashon to see her operation, ask lots of neophyte questions and of course meet the babies.
Sherman Creek Farm is a dream. Like the the pictures you see on Pinterest, except real rather than imagined and stylized. Yes, the setting is beautiful and the chickens clucking around very peaceful and amusing, but the thing that sets Sherman Creek apart is the excellent care the animals are provided.
During our visit we strolled to the upper paddocks to meet the goats and saw manure-free, well fenced spaces and very friendly goats. Karie hand raises the French Alpine kids and what a difference that makes. The hand-raised doelings were curious and stayed close. The adults does she had from before she started breeding stayed farther away from us, aloof and wary. When we got our two doelings it was wonderful to have them socialized to humans and interact with them in a way that would not have been possible had they not been hand raised. They were (and still are) a lot of fun and enjoy having "recess" out of their paddock at home.
Karie's milking operation is pristine and the milk barn is clean and efficient. The care she takes to assure sterility and food safety before, during and after milking is impressive. I can attest to the amazing quality, having tasted it after being filtered, still warm from the doe. There were no reservations on our parts to sip the still warm milk or taste the freshly made feta cheese we were offered!
While I have yet to begin milking our does, I have been practicing cheese making and think of Sherman Creek often. If you find yourself wondering about Sherman Creek Farm but you haven't made the trek because it involves a ferry ride - go.
Wicked Chicken Ranch