The Haute Goat farm stay was our introduction to a 9-day whirlwind tour of Ontario and Quebec, Canada. A goat farm? Yes–and it made for a memorable first stop! One of our goals for this trip was to experience a wide variety of activities as a couple…and try a bunch of things we’d never done before. Thus, a goat farm!
With a late flight, and an hour drive from the Toronto airport, we arrived at the Haute Goat farm in the evening, after dark. Shain and his dog, Jack, greeted us as we pulled in and parked next to their farmhouse. They welcomed us into their home, which is historic, but beautifully updated. A large entryway lined with boots reminded us that this is a working farm!
Here’s the room we stayed in with ensuite bath. It was very comfortable, quiet, and the perfect place to get a good night’s sleep!
I didn’t hear any roosters come dawn, but I definitely awoke with the sun. And I’m so glad I did. The balcony at the end of our hallway blessed us with these incredible views:
A Farm Breakfast
At the same time as we were oohing and aahing over the views, Shain was downstairs preparing a hearty farm breakfast for us. When an unexpected incident pulled him away, Debbie adeptly stepped in to finish up and we were presented with our first home-cooked meal after a long day of international flights and layovers. The eggs were freshly gathered, and the honey was made from bees on the farm as well!
What Happens on the Haute Goat farm?
While we ate, I asked Debbie a lot of questions about the farm. She was kind enough to answer them for me, so here’s what I learned… Haute Goat farm is 200 acres, has 29 goats, seven alpacas, several chickens, a few horses, and honeybees. The farmhouse and the barn were built in 1908. Shain and Debbie have been at this farm for about two years.
The daily routine includes feeding grain and hay to the goats and also milking some of them, collecting eggs, and caring for the alpacas and horses. The farm also hosts special events, various workshops (food preservation and goat yoga, for example), and a weekly “schmurgle“, which is an opportunity for you to get close and personal with the goats.
Shain and Debbie have welcomed the help of Wwoof-ers to help with all the farm tasks, and we met Alexi from southern France while we were there. He explained that by using the “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” program, he was receiving knowledge and training he couldn’t otherwise receive. He helps with chores and receives first-hand experiences that will help him start his own farm someday.
The goat milk that Debbie collects is used for soap and skin care products — including lip balm, cleanser, shampoo, and lotions. Of course, goat milk also makes amazing cheese, but Haute Goat Farm isn’t licensed as a dairy farm. They do, however, sell goat cheeses made in Ontario.
Debbie obliged the curiosity in me and let me tag along with her as she started her morning chores. First we “dipped” our shoes in an antiseptic solution so we wouldn’t bring any unwanted germs into the barn. Then we got a brief tour.
First the little ladies — the laying hens. Then we met our first goat suitor – Romeo! (Isn’t he cute!?)
He sure seemed excited to see us. But maybe that was because he knew he’d be getting fed. Haute Goat farm has only two male goats. Next we met all the female goats — all 27 of them!
Debbie got my attention and gave me a heads up that as soon as she opened the doors into the yard, the goats were going to run! And run, they did — right to their feeding troughs!
After they’d eaten, the goats didn’t mind interacting with my husband and I. Pearl, a 9-year goat veteran, showed particular interest in me and followed me around the yard. I suppose she wanted some more head-scratching.
Debbie continued to milk a few goats. Since most of the spring-born goats are weaned by this time of the year (September), most of the goats’ milk had dried up.They all would be soon. By the way, most of the goats are Nigerian Dwarf goats; their milk has the highest butterfat content of all goat species (6%).
We were invited to walk around the farm, stroll the paths, and explore…
What else can you see at the Farm?
Well, there’s the alpacas, who are just as inquisitive as you are…
And some Icelandic horses…
You can also enjoy some walking paths and gorgeous landscapes at the farm.
And if you like shopping, you can visit the Haute Goat “shoppe”. There you can purchase the skin care products made with goat milk, or dryer balls or socks made with alpaca hair…or goat cheeses from Ontario…or even goat butter fudge, goat milk caramel corn, or buckwheat honey. It’s a smorgasboard of fun products to choose from. I couldn’t resist buying several bars of the incredibly-scented goat milk soaps for friends back home!
You can take silly photos with an alpaca cut-out, enjoy a picnic, or pet Jack, too. The morning light was so beautiful, I really enjoyed walking around the farm. Eventually, it was time for us to pack up our things and move on. You don’t have to be staying at the Haute Goat B & B to enjoy all that the farm has to offer. In fact, lots of people stop by on a regular basis from the town of Port Hope and even as far away as Toronto, to enjoy the store, go on self-guided tours, and attend special events like their upcoming Halloween activity.
If you would like to enjoy a farm stay at Haute Goat Farm, you can find their listing at Airbnb. I highly recommend it because it is so grounding. It was very nice to spend some time outdoors connecting with nature and enjoying the goats and other animals. And getting to know Debbie and Shain a little better, too!
I’d like to thank Debbie for hosting my husband and I at the Haute Goat farm and welcoming us in such a warm way! I hope you’ll make your way to Haute Goat farm some day too!
Please repin & share this post…you’re not going to want to forget about Haute Goat farm!