By Bobbi Prentice
In 2007 the Cassie and Asaf Dayan’s bought five acres in Kuna so they could make goat cheese. Cassie grew up in Kuna and after returning from Israel with her husband, Asaf, and starting a family, she brought with her the idea of Goshen Farms. They now operate 15 acres, grow their own alfalfa hay, raise free range chickens, high-percent east Fresian dairy sheep and American Oberhasli dairy goats. Recently they received an Idaho certification to sell goat’s milk for human consumption.
A woman of small stature, Cassie talked as she fed goats, bottle fed the kids, and cleaned out pens all while toting her child around on her back. The farm isn’t her only job. She holds degrees in Microbiology and Health Sciences and works part-time at the hospital. Cassie says they hope one day the farm will make enough to pay for itself, but for now the farm is a nice place to raise a family.
Asaf is the cheese maker of the farm and the reason they chose goats. He makes both cheddar and mozzarella goat cheese. The reason for the popularity of goat’s milk or cheese is because goat’s milk protein is smaller than cow milk protein and therefore easier to digest. This is important for anyone who is lactose intolerant. Oftentimes someone who is lactose intolerant and cannot consume cow’s milk may find they are able to tolerate goat’s milk. Their milking room is a converted shed they have lined with white tile. They are able to milk two goats at once, and because of the small milking area, Cassie can give both goats individual attention. Their farm is a happy place and it is evident in the mannerisms of the animals and the care with which Cassie goes about the daily chores.
Currently they have four Oberhasli does (female goats) for milking but hope to extend that to six by spring of 2014. The state of Idaho allows you to milk up to seven goats at a time for consumer use and performs regular testing on all farms that become state certified. Goshen Farms has delivery available in the Kuna, Boise and Meridian areas and also sells eggs, chickens, sheep and, in the spring, baby goats.
For more information or to place an order you may visit their website at goshenfarm.weebly.com.