In this episode of Yu-kon Grow It, Sandi Coleman interviews Brian Lendrum and Susan Ross, who have been goat farming outside of Whitehorse for decades and producing delicious goat cheese.
Pioneers in the dairy business around Whitehorse, Lendrum and his wife found that their area around Lake Laberge had perfect conditions for raising goats, with rolling hills and lots of different vegetation for the goats to enjoy. On a regular basis, they would produce about 30 litres of milk a day, which translates to around 3 to 4 kg of cheese. Every week, they would take around 10 kg of their freshly made goat cheese to the local market, and sometimes sell out within the hour. They also experimented with goat milk yoghurt and sold bottled goat milk.
Accomplishing what he set out to accomplish, Lendrum has decided to close shop after years of successful goat farming. However, the knowledge he has accumulated in all these years is still as valuable.
“We were lucky to be just at a time when all across North America and Europe people were becoming aware that locally grown food is good for your health, for your local economy and for your connections with your community. And people have realized how far we had drifted away from that”
Brian says that the goats will “bow out gracefully” and live out the rest of their days with them, but they will not keep the dairy operation going, although they will continue to sell their homegrown vegetables.
His advice for anyone considering getting into the dairy business: “it is a big commitment, hard work and there are no days off. But it is very satisfying and exciting.”