1235 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL •  850.942.2557

Local Spotlight: Smith Family Dairy Farm

Share

Natural Times, January/February/March 2014

By Bridget GuruBeant Welch

The Smith Family Dairy Farm in Norman Park, Georgia, makes artisan cheeses fresh to order for New Leaf Market from the milk of their small herd of goats. Their raw milk is also available at our co-op. The farm is owned and run by Barry and Nancy Smith, fifth-generation owners of the farm. Their grown son Jacob is coming on board in the family business in January, making it a six-generation family farm. Nancy’s maternal grandparents owned the 80-plus-acre farm when she was growing up. Her kin, the Weeks family, were some of the original inhabitants of Colquitt County, Georgia, since 1827. The Smith’s farm (originally the Weeks’ farm) started out as a traditional family farm, growing crops like peanuts, cotton and tobacco. They also had a little bit of livestock like cows, goats and pigs, to eat and sometimes sell.

When she was a girl, Nancy’s parents lived within a mile of the farm. During her childhood she spent every weekend there, and, starting at age six she “had to put both feet on the clutch to stop a tractor.” She helped with chores, planted and picked crops, and learned how to can vegetables. When her grandfather died, Nancy’s parents tended the farm to help her grandmother meet the bills.

Years later, Nancy married Barry Smith who didn’t grow up on a farm, but did grow up helping his uncles on their farms. Eventually they moved to Nancy’s family farm and acquired ten of the original acres, where they brought up their children. For years they raised goats for meat, a good source of extra income for a small acreage farm. They also raised the goats for the children to show in fairs while they were still school-aged.

The children graduated and moved on, and in 2010 Nancy decided she wanted to try keeping dairy goats. As she expected, she really enjoyed having dairy goats. She started making soft and semi-soft cheeses, which were quite delicious. She shared them with family and friends, with whom they were a hit, and soon realized she could sell the cheeses. When she has free time, Nancy also makes several batches of goat’s milk soap, which she sells at craft fairs. She loves the goat’s milk soaps and says she hasn’t bought soap from a store in years.

New Leaf Market Co-op carries several of Smith Family Dairy Farm’s soft or semi-soft, mild goat cheeses. The various flavors include: Feta, Tomato Basil Feta, Chevre Cream Cheese, French Onion Cream Cheese, Pineapple Pecan Cream Cheese, Ranch Cream Cheese, Tomato Basil Cream Cheese, and Mozzarella. When I asked Nancy which is her favorite, she said she really likes them all. Tomato basil is a favorite flavor that she recommends and says enhances many recipes.

In addition to selling their cheeses at New Leaf, the Smith Family Dairy Farm also sells cheese at the Tallahassee Downtown Market (returning the first weekend in March); Packer Produce in Moultrie, GA; and Wiregrass Market and Agrirama, both in Tifton, GA.

 

Our store accepts the following credit cardsCredit Cards