Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit to Split Creek Goat Dairy Farm in Anderson, South Carolina

janie with goats 2Next time you visit Upstate South Carolina save time to visit Anderson’s celebrated Split Creek Farm.

Split Creek is a Grade A Goat Dairy owned and operated since the 1980s by Evin Evans and Patricia Bell. Visit their website by clicking here. There you’ll find a description of the farm, and links to all sorts of information about dairy goats.

farm viewNow, don’t be misled by the fancy website and sophisticated advertising. This is a real working farm. D’GenuWine, as we used to say OverHome! Here, the lucky visitor will see what’s actually involved in the production of milk and other dairy products. A rare opportunity these days. 

work areaVisitors are welcomed at Split Creek from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Saturday, and from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sundays. I mention this because it helps to make the point that farm life is pretty much a 24/7 responsibility. Animals don’t take weekends off, or go on vacation. And they expect their owners to provide feed, water, and care on their schedule.

Patricia Bell LecturingSpeaking of visitation, I urge you to call ahead to arrange a lecture and tour. During my first visit, I was able to join a tour led by co-owner Patricia Bell. She’s forgotten more about goats than I’ll ever be able to learn. And, she has the enviable skill of presenting her knowledge so that folks like me can understand. A lecture and tour will help you make sense of what you’ll see here at Split Creek Farm. 

the hen housePat Bell, by the way, also is Folk Artist in Residence. See her work with a click here. Be sure to visit “The Hen House,” pictured above, to see examples of her intriguing pieces first-hand.

A visit to Split Creek Farm really begins as soon as you make the turn and pass through the gate. Drive slowly, now. All sorts of domesticated, wild, and semi-wild animals call this magical 40-acre plot of land home. And not all of them accept the primacy of automobiles on their property. Even on the roads. So be on the look-out.

janie and dogLook to the right to see the milking herd and their Great Pyrenees canine guardians in the pasture. Preparing for their next milking. It’s a calming sight, somehow. Helps to put the cares of daily life into perspective. At least for me. Then on down the narrow lane to the parking area. It’s that grassy area on the left, I guess.

ribbonsThere you’ll begin your walk about the farm. You’re free to wander around as you wish. Just don’t open any gates. Be sure to visit the barn and store. I never knew goat cheese and fudge was so good. As you see above, Split Creek regularly wins national-level awards for the products from their dairy.

GulliverIf you’re lucky you may meet Gulliver, a four-year-old pet buck, or more properly, wether, who seems to have free run of the farm. Gulliver is very friendly and considerate of visitors. He seems to love the attention.

goat 1And be sure during your visit to take note all of the different kinds of goats at Split Creek Farm. The milking herd is mostly Nubian, if memory serves.

goat 2But every imaginable breed seems to be represented.

goat 3goat 4Here are a few examples. All adult does, or “nannies,” as most of us would call them.

goat kid 5If you visit during the right time of year you also may get to see kids. This one Pat’s holding above was only a few days old at the time of my first visit. Oh my.

signSo, there’s something for everyone at Split Creek Dairy Goat Farm in Anderson, South Carolina. I’ve been twice, the second time, as you see above, with granddaughter Janie. And I hope to make several more return visits. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Took our grandchildren on the tour....almost
    never persuaded them to leave!
    Wonderful place with wonderful personnel.

    Birmingham, AL