Friday, May 20, 2011

Inspiration #93: Party on a Goat Farm

This post is a little overdue (by a month!). Ever since I saw this kids' unicorn birthday party on Birthday Girl blog, I wanted to have my own. Throwing my birthday at Harley Goat Farms (Pescadero, CA) was as close as I could get and I have to admit, after visiting this charming farm, I have no doubt that their goats are indeed magical (c'mon, how can you resist a cutie like the one below?). And I now fully appreciate why some couples would want to have a small destination wedding here!

Harley Goat Kid - Photo by Vera Devera (c) 2011
I decided to book a private tour of the farm rather than chancing it with a public tour; the minimum is $400 (or 20 people at $20 each). I purchased muslin bags on Etsy and prepared goat-themed favors: Happy Goat Tahitian Vanilla Bourbon Caramels from and handmade verbena scented goats' milk hand soaps. The biggest surprise was getting photo booth prop-designer, Maro Designs, to custom make unicorn horns (in pink and silver!) and a goatee. I have no shame.

Yes, that goat is rocking a mystical unicorn horn thanks to Maro Designs
On the day-of, my friends and I rolled up to Harley Goat Farm and were surprised to see how "small" it was. We were a little apprehensive that it could take two hours. But once we started, we realized we didn't want to leave!

Our tour guide was very informative and gave us enough time to take photos and pet the goats. She proudly shared  Harley's colorful history and sustainable farming practices.  Dee Harley's integrity for treating her goats very well, making cheese in small batches, and keeping the business local is both admirable and inspiring.

In the cheese-making room, I got a chance to decorate my own Monet cheese wheel and share it with my friends in the garden afterwards.The fun continued in the cozy cheese shop where the samples are abundant.

Our trusty tour guide also took us upstairs to check out the restored 1910 hayloft where Dee hosts private events, like dinner parties (5-courses, $150) and small wedding receptions. The chairs and table hand-carved by Three-Fingered Bill are quite whimsical and perfect for the setting.

Getting so up-close-and-personal with both the animals and people who produce such wonderful food was invigorating, not to mention the experience was intimate for me and my friends -- we had such a blast! I encourage you to seek out your local flavor makers, like Harley Goat Farms, and support them for your next special occasion.

P.S. In case you make it out to Harley Goat Farm, I recommend picnicking at nearby San Gregorio Beach off of Highway 1. Pick up some garlic-artichoke bread at Arcangeli Grocery Co in Pescadero (the bakery also provides the bread for the samples in Harley's cheese shop) and maybe an ollallaberry pie at Duarte's Tavern.
Monet Cheese Wheel hand decorated by me! Photo by Vera Devera (c) 2011

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