Jason Drew and Fern More live on a six-acre plot outside of Olympia overlooking Totten Inlet. There, along with 9 mo. old Jaela, they’re developing a farm around an orchard, chickens and farmstead raw milk cheeses made from the milk of their herd of 18 or so goats. Jason knows the area well, having spent many hours as a kid visiting his grandparents’ beach house in the Steamboat Island area, a gorgeous peninsula in South Puget Sound (a bridge at the end leads to the namesake island). After getting his Master’s in Public Administration at the UW, he spent time in India at a Slow Food conference hosted by Navdanya, an NGO founded by Vandana Shiva held at the organic farm Bija Vidyapith. He continued to travel in India before returning to Washington to start the farm. He met Fern while volunteering at the Olympia Food Co-op, where she works, and today they’re building a family as well as a farm.
After starting up, Jason spent about a year keeping goats, running the farm and experimenting with the finer points of making cheese. By April of 2006, he was officially licensed to sell cheese commercially. While he initially sold a fair amount of raw goat’s milk (legal in both Washington and Oregon if sold by licensed facilities) this year he’s concentrating almost exclusively on using all of his milk to make cheese. Along with help from volunteer cheesemaker Cathy Harding, he’s now focused on establishing a range of cheeses that work with his milk and express the terroir of the area.
Steamboat Island Goat Farm currently produces Feta, Cheddar and Jack cheeses, all of which are available at the Olympia Co-op.
Read an article about Steamboat Island Goat Farm in a recent edition of The Olympian newspaper here.
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Steamboat Island Goat Farm (360)866-8568