For the past 18 years, Harley Farms has truly been a growing successful business since Dee first purchased her six American Alpine goats and rose at 6 AM to hand milk them. Dee still stays very close with the flow and rhythm of the farm and always reminds herself , “The goats come first.” Her business has grown organically: when the farm grew so did the business. And now, Harley Farms is one of the leading farm destinations for foodies and families along highway 1 in San Mateo county.
In those early years, Dee recognized that the eating local and organic movement was truly building momentum. She believed that tours of her farmstead dairy would interest food-loving visitors. So she introduced farm tours.
The tours are two hours long and provide a “hands-on” experience. In the spring, visitors go to the nursery to see the newest arrivals to the farm: the baby goats. The full grown milking goats are in the adjacent field. Visitors have the opportunity to hold the baby goats. Visitors then go to the milking stalls where the goats are milked and watch as the milk travels from goat to dairy. The tour then proceeds to the cheese making room where the pasteurization of the milk occurs and milk curd is made into cheese. The tour concludes in the barn’s hayloft where the group samples Harley Farms’ beautiful fresh cheeses: chevre’, fromage blanc, ricotta, and feta.
Scheduled tours are available Thursdays through Sundays at 11 AM through 1 PM. Please visit the website to schedule a tour. Visitors may also drop in at the farm without a scheduled tour. Drop in visitors may view the goats and visit the cheese and farm shops. The farm is open to drop in visitors on Thursdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
In the barn above the cheese shop there is a hayloft, which Harley Farms has transformed into a beautiful rustic dining room for their farm dinners. Dee’s friend Three Fingered Bil has carved a beautiful fir dining table and ladder-back chairs that sit 22 guests for dinner. Harley Farms’ cook, Joe Harrington, prepares farm fresh five course dinners for private parties and farm dinners from the farm’s on site kitchen just a few short steps through the flower garden to the hayloft. Dinner guests begin their evening in the flower garden for beverages and appetizers, where they may meander the garden and gaze out over the goats in the green pastures. When dinner is ready, guests are called to the loft by a dinner bell where they will enjoy a delicious five-course meal prepared by Joe and his staff from the farm’s own cheese and vegetables as well as ingredients sourced from other local farms.
The hayloft is such a charming space. Dee and her staff prepare the dining room before each dinner event by setting the table with their beautiful hand wrought wine goblets, pewter dinnerware, and colorful linens. The garden’s flowers are picked and arranged in large milk urns, watering cans, and small table vases to bring the outside farm into the hayloft. The mood is further set with numerous candles on the dining table and throughout the hayloft. Dinner is served buffet style in fabulous wooden and ceramic farm bowls, platters, and serving pieces. All of which truly set a beautiful environment for a fun and relaxing evening shared with family and friends surrounded by delicious farm food.
Joe is preparing a Harley Farms signature dish which is Ravioli with Sage and Brown Butter Drizzle. These raviolis are one of the menu items that can be enjoyed at their farm dinners. Joe has so graciously provided the recipe for us which you can find at the end of this article. Harley Farms sells the ricotta cheese raviolis and the garlic herb fromage blanc at the cheese shop for this recipe. This dish is simple yet eloquently features their delicious goat cheese, fresh herbs, and lemon.
Joe loves to cook and he really enjoys sharing his passion with others. Joe is now sharing his talents with the students at the local high school by bringing the students to the farm and teaching them how to cook and assist him with the farm dinners. The students enjoy the hands-on training and have grown to be an integral part of the farm through new jobs as farm tour guides and cheese shop workers.
In 2012, Harley Farms acquired the next door land parcel, which includes a field for the goats to graze and a beautiful barn. Dee has transformed this old barn into her Farm Shop where she is selling her Farm Paint, luxurious goat milk body products line, and a variety of other local handmade artisan wares. The Farm Paint is all-natural and non-toxic. It can be used on a number of surfaces such as wood, textured walls, concrete, plaster, metal, clay, ceramics, and canvas. The paint base is made from goats’ milk and the Farm’s all natural goat milk soap. It has no added chemicals and the colors are created from natural pigments. It comes in nine beautiful saturated colors. The paint is a great alternative for painting childrens’ rooms with no caustic fumes.
Harley Farms has also developed a body product line too, which includes goat milk face cleanser, eye cream, and face cream, body moisturizers, scented soap, hand salves, and lip balms.
To say the least, Dee and her crew at Harley Farms have been busy!
I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this story because I had an awesome time working with Dee, the goats, and all the other members of the Harley Farms team. They truly made me feel welcome. And I really enjoyed exploring the farm, tasting their cheese, and photographing all the beautiful aspects of this American success story. And isn’t it just that?! A young woman comes to America from a far off country with hope and an open mind, and ultimately creates the American Dream. She has proven that with a lot of hard work and a determined heart that anything is possible in this amazing country We call America. Congratulations Dee!
HARLEY FARMS RAVIOLI WITH SAGE AND BROWN BUTTER DRIZZLE
1 package Harley Farms Ricotta cheese Ravioli,
(2 doz frozen)
1 5.5 ounce container of Harley Farms
Garlic Herb Fromage Blanc
1 pound unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large bunch sage, leaves separated
4 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish
1 lemon, zested reserve zest for garnish
Ravioli cook best when taken straight from the freezer.
In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over low heat. Once small bubbles appear, add the sage leaves. Cook gently for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sage leaves crisp and the butter turns a nutty brown, remove the leaves with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the butter drizzle through a fine sieve and keep warm.
Bring a 10-quart pasta pot of unsalted water to a fast boil. Add the ravioli, cook for two to three minutes until the pasta floats, and drain.
Divide the fromage blanc between four warmed plates, and top with the ravioli. Pour drizzle over ravioli and finish with crumbled sage leaves, thyme sprigs, and sprinkle ravioli with the lemon zest.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
205 North Street
Pescadero, California 94060
Cheese Shop and Farm Shop are open Thursdays through Sundays 10 AM to 5 PM
Tours on Thursdays through Sundays 11 AM to 2 PM – tour reservations on website
Order Harley Farms product on their website
GOOD EGGS Online Farmers’ Market