picture from hereOur first stop was at Harley Farms Goat Dairy, a restored 1910 dairy farm with 200 alpine goats on nine acres of pasture who produce the milk for award-winning chevre, fromage blanc, ricotta and feta cheese. I wish I could say we saw some of the 96 baby goats born so far in 2011 romping happily in the green pastures at the farm. However, the goats were too smart to stay outdoors in the rain. They were all lounging in the barn, which was off-limits to visitors unless you were signed up for one of their tours, which were all booked up yesterday.
(Photos above from their website)So we had to imagine them just as you are. Their gift shop, however, was open, and we did spend some time sampling their yummy goat cheeses and perusing their goat related bath and body products. We also wandered upstairs to the restored Victorian hay loft where they host Farm Dinners at a long wooden table on select dates throughout the year.
picture from here.As a bonus, we also got to meet two of the resident cats, who were snoozing on the pillowed benches around the room - a tabby named Carmel (emphasis on the "el") and a black one named Oscar. They were both very friendly and seemed to enjoy a pet and chin scratch. After the farm we headed into Pescadero, stopping first at Arcangeli Grocery for a loaf of their regionally renowned artichoke bread, and then wandering up the street visiting gift shops along the way to Duarte's Tavern, which is regionally renowned for its artichoke soup. I am sensing a yummy theme going here, aren't you? I don't believe I've ever had a vacation where I have eaten so well. But let me backtrack just a moment. One of the gift shops we visited, Luna Sea, which carries an eclectic mix of art and gift novelties, also has a bonus feature - a mellow and utterly adorable Goldendoodle named Pebbles. Lowell and Pebbles are new best friends. I really do wish I had a pic of her, all golden locks and softness. She looked a lot like this cutie.
picture from hereThere is a growing chance there may be one of these dogs in my future. At Duarte's Tavern, we sat at the bar and were entertained by Larry as he told us the tavern's history and served us samples of Cream of Artichoke and Cream of Green Chile soups, accompanied by fresh hot crusty sourdough bread. We took his recommendation and each had a bowl of mixed artichoke/chile soup. Yum-mer. We passed, however, on the fried smelt, or as Larry called them, "fries with eyes." We did, however, sample the olallieberry pie, ala mode. In case you are not familiar with olallieberry (as I was not) its pedigree includes loganberry, youngberry, blackberry, raspberry and yummyberry.
photo from hereYum yum yummer. As I said, I've been eating very well on this trip. Too well probably. I began to regret my full belly however on the return trip home, which followed Hwy 94, a winding bugger of a highway that cut through the Santa Cruz Mountains. If I had not been riding in the front seat of his truck, Lowell may have rediscovered my creamed artichoke/chile soup. As it was, I just got to admire Lowell's driving (a clutch no less) and the Redwood trees as we careened down the east side of the mountain. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and digesting, topped off later by more of Frank's good cooking, crab salad on fresh artichoke bread. I wonder if my plane ticket dates can be changed... I just may never leave. Cheers -