The Dream Team
About Evan (12/21/2013)
I spent my childhood summers split between swim team practice and visiting my family’s dairy farm in Maine. As every adolescent would, I hated being pulled away from summers with friends, but secretly loved the quiet serenity of my family’s rural farm. It wasn’t until I was an adult, that I truly appreciated and longed for those slow days, full of work, but also being connected to the animals and land.
When Kristy and I started Rêves de Moutons, there was a slight hesitancy in my mind; a concern that the satisfying life I imagined was that of an adolescent’s memory, not fully understanding the daily chores and the hard work required. I can safely say that I have never felt so fulfilled as I do after feeding and milking the sheep and goats, helping or just observing a birth, awaking to sheep in the field as the sun rises, and watching the light fade on another day on the farm.
While you are here, I will be out tending to the animals. I probably also made the bread in your breakfast basket and I’m the cheesemaker too. You are welcome to join me in anything I do, or you can simply relax and enjoy the surroundings. I love to cook, I love to create, I love champagne, although, admittedly not as much as Kristy.
About Kristy (12/21/2013)
Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, just a stone’s throw away from the city, I didn’t get a whole lot of farm experience. Unlike Evan I didn’t have pastural summer vacations; rather my summers were spent ‘down the ocean’, crabbing, fishing off our peir and swimming all the long summer days away (or should I say soaking up the sun on a pool raft).
I’ve always worked in a profession where I’ve taken care of people, whether as a waitress or bartender, or my later career of caring for cancer patients. I love making people comfortable and I love caring for people. When Evan and I started developing this dream into a plan, we decided to draw on our strengths and somehow came up with something that fulfills us both.
So what you need to know about me: I love champagne! If you visit the farm journal you will see champagne has a featured role in most of my days. I love all things sparkly, which is probably why I love champagne so much. In fact you can now find me equally as comfortable carrying a lamb in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other while the lamb’s mother plaintively follows me.
Violet: Nubian Dairy Doe (12/26/2013)
Violet was our first goat we brought back to Rêves de Moutons just five short days after moving in, and in fact, before we even had furniture in the house! We chose to name all of our dairy herd after characters from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ so it seemed appropriate that our first two milk goats should be named after the two female characters vying for George’s attention.
True to her namesake, Violet is our prissy princess on the farm. She prefers to eat by herself rather than share with the others, she flirts with all newcomers, sheep, goats, and people alike and she is always begging for attention the moment you walk outside.
Violet is a purebred Nubian doe from Wooden Bridge Farm lines and has given us lovely babies so far. Her latest baby 'Dolce' is a beautiful girl and you can see her here at the farm now. Dolce will be ready to breed and join the milking flock in 2019.
We love the Nubian breed for their calm, but fun personalities and of course their rich fatty milk for our cheeses! Want to know more about Nubian Goats? Wiki is always a great source for information as is the American Dairy Goat Association.
Bleu | Nubian/Boer Cross Buck (3/27/2014)
Bleu is our very first bottle baby born in 2014. He’s a beautiful painted black Nubian-Boer cross. His mother was most likely a Nubian cross doe bred with a beautiful big black purebred boer buck. He was a wonderful sire on our farm, and many of the young does are his daughters. The challenge on a small farm is keeping genetic diversity, so while he was producing beautiful babies, we had to find another farm that needed him so we could bring in a
new sire. Although Bleu is no longer on the Rêves his genetics continue with Dolce and D'Or.
While bottle feeding him Bleu was our official farm greeter and took his job very seriously, breaking out of whatever enclosure he was in whenever someone new arrived. He continued that habit even after growing to over 200 lbs.
Jack aka Jacq | East Friesian Ewe
Jack is one of six East Friesian ewes we brought to the Rêves from Monkeyflower Ranch in Monterey to be the foundation for our sheep milking flock. When we purchased the ewes, we began an Adopt a Ewe program with naming rights to the new Ewes. We didn't make any rules to the names, so ended up with both Jack and Elvis as two of the 'non-traditional' female names to our flock!
2018 marks her second year lambing and she gave us two beautiful girls. While she's not the most productive ewe in our flock in terms of milk, she is a sweet girl and we're excited to see how her babies turn out in terms of their milk production. Unlike Nubians which are bred to very strict breed standards and lineage, East Friesians are more often crossed with other breeds of sheep to improve their hardiness and milk production. Ours are crosses between East Friesian, Lacaune and Kathaden
Clarence Peterson | Alpaca (8/20/2015)
In the summer of 2015, we decided it was time to get our livestock guardian animal. Since our original flock was named after characters from "It's a Wonderful Life" we (sort of) named him after George's guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody.
We had been debating about getting a guardian animal, and were thinking Alpaca, or Donkey or Llama, but Clarence kind of fell into our laps as happens once you start making connections with other ranchers and we couldn't say no.
Clarence is ever alert to danger and anything new on the farm, you'll often hear him moaning if his flock wanders out of sight or just simply too far away for comfort.