Fraga

Farmstead Creamery

Fraga Farm is an Organic farmstead goat dairy in northern Oregon, outside Portland. We produce a full range of certified Organic goat cheese- from fresh milk chèvre to hard aged raw milk cheeses. Our goat herd enjoys all the leaves and brambles that the Oregon countryside has to offer. The rich milk that our goats provide is processed on site in our licensed Grade A Dairy. We strive to produce the best product  while adhering to our sustainable values. Our family farm invites you to taste the difference that happy goats on good pasture can make. 

Autumn Open Farm Fun!

On Sunday, we celebrated autumn with an Open Farm at the farmstead. Guests were taken on a walking tour of the property, checked out the cheese-making room, the milking parlor, and were accompanied by the goat herd on a walk to the pond. The WWOOFers (volunteer workers living on the farm) made tasty treats for our guests, including our famous POPOVERS served with chevre. 

This was a first time visit for many of our guests, and most were amazed to find out the farm is located on an old Christmas tree farm. It's true! The goats roam pastures filled with overgrown Douglas Firs, climbing into the branches to eat tasty pine needles & strip bark from the bottom of the tree. This technique is called "girdling," and yes, it does eventually kill the tree. However, since Christamas trees are planted extremely close to each other with the intent of harvesting before they are too large, our forest of Douglas Firs is too dense to be healthy and we need the goats to do some thinning. Did you know that goats are often used for noxious weed control? In fact, they LOVE blackberries (despite the thorns) and will also keep poison oak at bay!  We noticed lots of our guests were interested in the diet of our goats so we thought it would be interesting to look at how similar & different they are to their hoofed relatives. Unlike cows and sheep, goats are capricious eaters (they are Capricorns after all) and will sample most things, realize they don’t like it, and move on. They do not graze, like cows, sheep, & horses-- they are browsers and prefer eating woody shrubs, vines, and even plants that are toxic to others. During milking, we feed our milking ladies grain while they are in the stanchions, all organic of course. They also get an alfalfa hay mix to supplement their foraging.  In the near future, we will be installing more fencing to start high-intensity rotational grazing to better mimic natural occurring processes found in the wild.

We have these open farm events every few months and plan on having another soon! Please come by and meet the goats that help create our beautiful cheese! Until then, enjoy some photos from the event! 

Snow-Snow-Snow

This is getting to be a rough winter- in early December we had the arctic blast that burst pipes left and right. Now we are experiencing more snow than we have had in years. So far the goats are just a bit annoyed. We did go out and got some snow play in. Julie our WWOOFer is taking lots of lovely pictures and is helping me out with all sorts of computer issues. The goats like her too!

 

Organic Pest Control

My grandmother told me that barn swallows are a sign of good fortune for a farm. It is not hard to understand the origins of that "farmer wisdom". After all, lots of barn yard animal creates lots of manure, which in turn attracts flies, which makes good hunting grounds for swallows. We have 17  swallows nests in the barn and under the eaves of the house. Come spring the barn will be afluttering and atwittering. We are quite grateful to them. They eat their own weight in insects each day. At about 10 grams each  that makes hundreds of insect a day. They are big eaters to sustain their energy expenditures. While flittering about  they can fly hundreds of miles a day dashing back and forth in and out of the barn. I love listening to their "zwitschern" - a german, very onomatopoeic term for their song.

                    While they seem mostly very, very busy they do take time out to perch on the telephone wires. In May and June there might be one or two sitting on the wire with wide gaps between. I like to think of it as the story of  summer- by the time all the gaps between them are filled in and they sit in solid lines of hundreds,  summer is ending and overnight they are gone.  We took this picture of the last two little ones late in the summer - by the next morning they had flown away. I hope they made it to Baja or such. We will welcome them back in March!

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Thank You Very Much!

Over the last few months our learning curve has been very steep. Looking down makes me almost dizzy. It's good to know that we have had good guides along on this climb. Jan and Larry have been there every step of the way, helping us in many, many ways.  With everything going on, we somehow managed to update the Fraga Web presence. We owe this particular bit of progress to two people: 

Kelly Pennington is the photographer that can make a field of clover look like Eden. There are many more gorgeous cheese shots that we are adding later. We're checking with the legal department as there may have to be a disclaimer "Viewing of these images in a hungry state may cause uncontrollable cravings for cheese". Thank you Kelly!   http://www.kellipennington.com

Andy Lunday has been a tireless and cheerful adviser to the Squarespace process. He makes it look so easy and keeps on it even when all I can hear around me is the sound of balls dropping. Thank you Andy! http://www.andylunday.com/index.html

 

Fraga Farmstead Creamery