What do you think of when you think of Monument, CO? Gleneagle and its miles of suburban neighborhoods? Quaint Downtown Monument, with its restaurants & shops (like Wisdom Tea House)?
Head towards the mountains from I-25 and Monument becomes a pretty, rural town of dirt roads and farmhouses. Our Place on the Mesa, home to many small goats, sits up there.
Denise Engstrom and her husband Paul didn’t start out as farmers up there on the Palmer Divide. They grew up on farms, but weren’t farmers themselves until recently.
Denise explained that each new farming adventure started with the treasure trove of farm information on the Internet. That’s the promise of modern communication, isn’t it? They would research the animal they wanted to raise, the structure they wanted to build or the plant they wanted to grow. In the process, they made friends with farmers around the country!
These days, Denise raises goats, sheep, chickens and rabbits. She does this while working on her Ph.D and taking care of her elderly father-in-law. Luckily, in a farming tradition worth emulating, her neighbors help out! Her charming and neighborly friend Janine, seen in the first picture with the chickens, spends a lot of time milking those tiny goats and helping with other chores around the farm.
Janine takes some of the milk. “It was hard to get my husband to try it,” she said, “but when he finally did he said it tasted like vanilla ice cream!”
I got to try some yogurt made from the frozen milk Denise has on hand and, sure enough, it is creamy and smooth. I can only imagine how delicious it would be once made into real ice cream!
If you live up north and want fresh, creamy milk from the farm, contact Denise about their milk share program. The program comes with the extra perk of visiting the farm each week to pick up your milk, a lovely and peaceful interlude in any workday. Denise also has eggs and meat rabbits for sale.
Monument residents are lucky to have such bucolic beauty and so many goats close by! I only wish goats lived so close to me! … well, maybe not the buck.
© 2013 Hungry Chicken Homestead
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