Pholia Farm, located just miles outside the town of Rogue River, Oregon is a beautiful farm home to goats, chickens, llamas, dogs, and even people too! Pholia Farm is unique, in that it is completely off the grid and creates its own energy through solar panels. One of the owners, Gianaclis Caldwell, grew up on the property she still calls home, a place that has been in her family for nearly 80 years! She has a herd averaging 25 goats, numbers are always fluctuating with kidding season and sales of kids. All goats, with the exception of one Lamancha, are Nigerian Dwarf. Nigerian Dwarfs produce milk high in butterfat and protein, making great cheese. All does, the female goats, are registered and from exceptional breeding stock. The goats are fed alfalfa, grass hay, and when in milk they receive rolled barley. On days that are rainy, cold, or dreary the goats are kept in the barn and paddock that has great jumping and climbing spots, scratching posts, and plenty of room to run. In the warmer months, everyone is let out to roam their pastures and Gianaclis takes them for hikes up the hillside. The herd is protected by 3 livestock guardian dogs and 3 llamas, all of which are great guardians.
Growing up, Gianaclis raised dairy cattle for 4-H. When her daughter was 7, she decided she wanted to follow in her mom’s footsteps and begin showing livestock herself. Gianaclis and her husband, Vern, compromised by allowing their daughter to raise dairy goats, as they were a lot easier to handle, have a generally docile temperament and are substantially smaller. Initially, they tried limiting themselves to six goats with the hope of incorporating dairy cattle in the future. Little did they know their farm would take off, one season they had 124 kids total at once! Their goal was to have just enough milk for their family, never expecting to need a creamery and full milking parlor. Frequently, they are challenged with power uncertainties, predator control, and forest fires.
Pholia Farm isn’t just a farm, but a commonly sought-after Air B&B spot too. During their stay, guests are provided with a schedule showing when the goats are fed, cleaned, milked, and are given the opportunity to assist in their daily care. Also offered a few times during the year is Goat Academy. Those enrolled receive hands-on experience in goat midwifery, natural nutrition and health care, disbudding, hide tanning, butchery, cheese making, milking and dairy sanitation, housing, and much more. The academy is 3-4 days of hard work and learning.
Pholia Farm is not open to the public at this time, but they invite you to book a stay at their Air BnB or check out ways you can visit. To learn more about Pholia Farm, visit https://pholiafarm.com/ . You can read more about local farms in our series, The Local Social, available online now.