Briar Gate Farm
Kate Johnson and her family moved from a tightly packed suburban neighborhood to this 5 acre “farmette” in 2005 to begin a new chapter in their lives. Her daughters were 6 and 9 years old at the time and Kate and her husband, Brian, yearned to have them grow up close to nature and animals in a space that would allow them to spend time outdoors in unstructured, unsupervised wonderment. They started the farm with an old horse and a young companion pony, and eventually added chickens, barn cats, more horses, turkeys, and then… dairy goats!
Once the goats had babies and started producing milk, Kate found that she had too much milk on her hands to drink it all, so she started dabbling in home cheesemaking. That was a game changer, and pretty soon the goats started to outnumber all the other animals on the farm. Eventually they inspired the creation of The Art of Cheese in 2014.
Briar Gate Farm is now home to a friendly and productive milk-producing herd of registered Nubian dairy goats. Much of that milk is used in classes at The Art of Cheese – once the babies have had their fill and are weaned at around 3 months. When there is extra milk available, Kate runs a small Raw Milk CSA with milk shares only made available to her active cheesemaking students. For more info about the Raw Milk CSA, contact email@example.com.
Over the years, Kate has become very involved as a volunteer for the Boulder County 4-H program as well as the Boulder County Fair. She also shows her goats with the Colorado Dairy Goat Association and offers buck service for local goat owners. The herd is CAE-free and are vaccinated and disbudded.
The herd at Briar Gate Farm has an impressive show record but more importantly to Kate, they are great milkers. She actually selects for what she calls “milkability” which to her is a combination of temperament and physical attributes that make her goats easy to handle and to milk quickly by hand – her preferred method of milking.
Each year, Briar Gate Farm breeds 4-8 does with the kids being born between March and June. Many of the kids are sold to local 4-H members and cheesemaking students. If you’d like to reserve a kid, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm tours are available by appointment and on a very limited basis given how busy Kate and her family are running the farm and the cheesemaking school. Farm tours last 60 minutes and are available for $75 for a group of up to 8 people. The cost is $10 per person for each person over 8, with 20 as the maximum group size. If you’d like to schedule a tour, contact email@example.com. (NOTE: Due to the pandemic we are currently closed the public. Please check back with us next spring when things will hopefully look a little better!)