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Cambera Farm

Cori's known as a baker to many, but her real love and passion? Raising goats on her little farm in Columbia.



Goats are goofy.  They often find ways to escape where they’re put, they find the exact things you don’t want them to find, and if they have an attitude- they’ll let you know.  All these reasons, and more, are exactly why Cori at Cambera Farm in Columbia loves her goats however.  If nothing else, they are a source of constant entertainment.

 

Photo of soaps by Cambera Farm

You may have heard of Cori already because you have seen her soap, bread and baked goods at farmers markets, farmstands, or even some local stores. And her sourdough donuts?  Something we dream about. What you might not know about Cori is that baking is something that she likes, but it is not her passion.  Like many farmers, this is the “side hustle” she works so hard at to support her “farm habit.”  The real love and passion that Cori is pursuing is raising her goats and rabbits that provide milk, meat, and fur for her local community. 

 

Lots of our farms have goats, but very few are focusing in on their specific meat and dairy products. When Cori was a kid, her folks would take her up to visit a family dairy farm in Vermont in the summers.  She fell in love with those big gentle cows and dreamed about having a dairy of her own. As she got older, and learned more about her food, the land, and agriculture in general, she started to think about farming, not just from the perspective of a kid who played among the dairy cows.  She started thinking about where her food was coming from, how it was raised, what role small farms had in caring for land.  She wanted to be able to feed herself.


Grilled goat meat- photo by Cambera Farm

And goats fit right in to this equation.  She didn’t need too much land to raise them. They would reliably provide her with milk, with which she could make cheese for herself. And then these free ranging goats, that eat a large variety of plant species, would happily forage for a lot of their food on a small space and create some great quality meat that didn’t depend too much on outside sources of feed.  Goats were the solution.  If needed, she could even move them around her in SUV!

 

They are more than that to Cori though.  These playful rascals can be trouble, but also can be so friendly.  There are cold rainy winter mornings where she is not excited about getting outside to milk the ladies, but as she sits with them in the quiet of the barn, leaning on their flanks, milking each goat by hand, a warm gentleness bonds her to them as they nibble on some grain.  The steady stream being released, and relieving the goats of their load makes it's own kind of music as it jets into the frothy bucket.

 

Goats heading to the barn

There are days full of baking when she’s tired from staying up late waiting for the dough to rise, but when she goes out to the field and the goats clammer to come and greet her with cheerful bleats, she feels lifted and chuckles at Britney, Saltana, Burger, Moo and the others.  They know her, trust her, and gladly prance after her as she leads them from the open field to the barn each evening.

 

Slowly, Cori has been building up her little herd.  Every year there are new kids being born, and each year she thinks about adding on to the dairy herd.  The milk she gathers by hand every day she has enough of to share through “herd shares” to community members who are looking for a lactose free milk for their family (or who just love the flavor!) The meat from the plentiful offspring her goats (and rabbits)

Fresh goat milk- Photo by Cambera Farm

provide is finding it’s way into homes of folks looking for a leaner red meat that is nutrient dense and raised on pasture.

 

So even though we’ll definitely wait in line for her boston crème sourdough donuts, what we love the most is seeing Cori in the field with her goats.  Her laughter is ready, her smile is wide, and you can see this is exactly where she is supposed to be- talking to these playful friends that provides as much for her as she provides for them. With their partnership she sees others getting little ripples of her joy as she shares all her goats provide for her.

 

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