Girls Who Stare at Goats: River’s Edge Goat Dairy

Welcome to River's Edge

Welcome to River's Edge!

You might think that just because I come here and talk about books, all I do is sit at home and read.   K, that is mostly what I do, but sometimes I do other stuff like go to see terrible bands or look around for ways to visit goats.  So, one day when I was doing the latter, I stumbled onto something called the Butter Tart Trail.  The Butter Tart Trail is an entirely made up “trail” by, presumably, the Butter Tart Marketing Board.  It’s actually a very pretty drive in the township of Wellington North, which is the north part of Wellington County.  You drive through green rolling hills alternating with canola fields the colour of yellow highlighters, and get to say things like “West Garafraxa”, which otherwise hardly ever comes up in conversation, and only CBC weather announcers get to say it, lucky people.

My powers of persuasion being what they are, I was actually able to sell R&S on the idea of  the Butter Tart Trail, and they agreed to drive us in their new car.  We started our tour in Arthur, which A described as, “The Biggest Town West of Orangeville”.  I proposed this as the town motto, but they already have one, which is “Canada’s Most Patriotic Village”.  I had no idea what this meant until I looked it up on the Township of North Wellington website.  This motto is not quite as good as the town motto for Mount Forest, which is “High, Healthy and Happy”, which makes me think Mount Forest would be a great place to live for sure, and probably way more laid back than Arthur.

The trail also includes the villages of Kenilworth and Damascus, providing you with another opportunity to say things out loud you don’t normally say like, “Are we on the road to Damascus?”.   Just in case you don’t believe me, here is a picture of the road.

The Road to Damascus

The Road to Damascus

You’ll just have to take my word for it.

We had a lot of fun, and took out time finding geocaches, eating butter tarts, watching Mennonites and looking at antiques and such, including this really cool platter which I bought which is a Kathie Winkle design.

Kathie Winkle platter

I had never heard of her either.   I liked it’s retro vibe, and have since discovered all kinds of obsessed people on the internet who collect her stuff, which made me feel better about spending the six dollars.

But the highlight of the Butter Tart Trail was the River’s Edge Goat Dairy.  The river is the Conestoga, which, yes, runs along the edge of the farm, and you can see some of the controversial wind turbines to the north.  We were greeted by Will, who runs the dairy with Kate, and Pippa (pictured at the top of the page).  I know, right?

Will and Kate raise goats and make artisanal goat cheese, milk and other products such as goat milk soaps.  You can visit their website and order their products, or buy them at the farm.   They also sell them at the Guelph Farmer’s Market and to some local restaurants.

They were super friendly, answered questions about their farming and manufacturing methods, (they do everything there, so you know exactly what you’re eating) and introduced us to the goats. Ah, goats.  So curious, walking right up to you with those crazy eyes and nibbling your dress, jewelry, purse or what have  you.  What’s not to love?  (Well, with goats anyway.  If some random guy tried it I would be kinda creeped out.)

Then we got to try some  award- winning  cheese.  Yum.  We tasted the chevre, feta, and a special cheese named for Pippa which had a tangy rind, giving it a subtle blue cheese flavour.   They also sell a chevre with dill, which was delicious, but since I have dill all over the place in my garden, I decided to make my own.  We bought some of the plain chevre and the “Pippa”.  Will told us that the cheese would last in the fridge for 5-6  weeks, but there’s not much chance of that happening in my house.

All in all, it was a great day of not reading.  And if you would like to look at some pictures of goats until I post something about books again, you can check out my River’s Edge Goats page here.