By Sydney Williams
Time and time again, I am somehow fortunate enough to meet some of our local vendors and tour their land. This privilege has taken me all around the Pacific Northwest. This time Athol, Idaho was my destination. Just a mile off the main road is a beautiful 25-acre dairy farm called Red Roof Farmstead. If you haven’t tried Red Roof Goat Cheese or Kiefer… we need to chat. On this occasion, I brought my 3-year-old son with me because what kid doesn’t love goats? I pulled into Red Roof Farmstead, and was promptly greeted at the gate by two dogs, a few ducks, a cat, and a goose. “Where are all the goats?” I wondered. As we drove further down the long, gravel road, we saw them.
A picturesque pasture of goats, like something out of a children’s book. There, under multiple awnings, grazed dozens of the quirky yet peaceful animals, all different colors and sizes. Noble, the human matriarch of the goat family and founder of Red Roof Farmstead, welcomed us with a great big hug. She immediately thanked us for coming out to visit her Dairy Farm. We walked towards the goat pastures and my first thought was how amazing the structures looked. She told me that her husband and she had built the pens, and everything else the goats need, with their own hands. Can you believe that? This farm has an impressive amount of self-sufficiency on display. James and I even got to play with the goats! The younger goats, full of energy, had no problem knocking us over. One of them was chewing on my braid long enough to get my hair wet, before I even noticed the older goats were nearly 3x the size and loved James’ bright blond hair, munching on it every chance they could get. So now James wants a pet goat. Of course. 26 goats, and each of them needs to be tended to, every single day.
Noble spends 10-16 hours a day, seven days a week, working with the animals. She milks, feeds, heals, and births her goats, all by herself. “My goats are my babies. I never want to have so many where they’re just a number to me. I will always call each and every one by name.” Noble started Red Roof Farmstead because she wanted to do something that satisfied her soul. She’s a fourth-generation farmer and said the farm life was calling her name from birth. Plus, she has always loved goats. So really, it was the perfect fi t. In 2013, Noble started selling her goat products, and the rest is history.
Noble’s goats eat locally-sourced non-GMO second-cutting alfalfa and, as they’re being milked, she treats them to non-GMO grain mix just to keep them distracted. Noble’s favorite farm task is hand-milking the goats for a few weeks after they give birth in the spring. “There’s something romantic about it. When I milk the goats, I have my forehead resting on their side and it’s so peaceful. Like a dance. I get lost in the rhythm of milking. It’s only for a few weeks so I cherish it and use it as a time to bond and create a healthy relationship with each goat.” Thank you, Red Roof Farmstead, for opening your arms to Pilgrims Market! We love your products and all the health benefits that they bring!