Swede Farm Dairy
Swede Farm Dairy focuses on fresh and flavorful goat milk products
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Oct. 5, 2012
Swede Farm DairyDowntown, Sunset Valley, and Triangle SFC Farmers Markets
Central Texas goat cheeses have taken the nation by storm, and Austin chefs have come to rely on them – so much so that the demand has become greater than the supply. Swede Farm Dairy, thankfully, has come onto the scene to help close that gap.
Swede Farm, located in Waller, Texas, is the livelihood of the Carlson family. Like many others, the Carlsons began as hobby farmers; with a brood of 12 children, it just made economic sense for them to move into the country from their Houston subdivision, grow some of their own food, and get a personal dairy going. "We really had a difficult time trying to decide whether to get a cow or some goats," says LeeAnne Carlson. "We finally decided on goats because, when a goat steps on your foot while you are milking, you don't have to go to the emergency room!"
The Carlsons switched over to full-time goat ranching in 2008, after seeing the immediate health benefits their family experienced from the fresh goat milk and cheeses. "We are all about providing as many families with goat milk that need it," says Timothy Carlson. "We make the cheeses mainly to stay in business, and to cope with summer surpluses. But our first priority is always going to be helping families with food allergies, and providing goat milk for children who fail to thrive on cow's milk."
Swede Farm's goat herd is composed of Alpine, Nubian, and LaMancha goats, and the blending of the different breeds' milk creates a delicious, mild-flavored product. Plain goat milk is $10 a half-gallon and $6 a quart. The Carlsons also make a divine chocolate goat milk made with an entire pound of Guittard chocolate per gallon; it sells for $5 a pint, and it is just incredible. "Good chocolate is good for you!" says LeeAnne. "We sell the same chocolate milk that our kids drink, not chocolate-flavored milk, but real chocolate, with all the antioxidants." Plain chévre is the biggest-selling cheese at $10 for a half-pound (an absolute steal) and the rotating flavored chévres include garlic and chive, lemon-blueberry, and smoky chévre. Swede Farm also makes feta, which is $10 for 6 ounces, and rich yogurt and kefir, which both sell for $5 a pint.