they are nothing new, but food intolerances have certainly garnered more and more attention in recent years. in fact, the national institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases estimate that 30-50 million americans (reference: fda), and approximately 10% of australians (reference: nestle) are lactose intolerant; with dairy intolerance being in the top 5 for all food-allergic reactions (reference: the whole journey). not only do food allergies present significant medical risks to sufferers, but they also offer huge opportunity to those businesses who are able to provide alternatives to sufferers and even to those who want to preemptively avoid potential allergies, as an increasing number of people put an emphasis on clean eating and healthy lifestyles.
and an intolerance to cow’s milk is exactly what began dustin noble’s love affair with goat farming when, as a child, his parents began milking goats as a substitute. enter dustin’s lovely wife justyne a few years later (with her similar qualifications and passion for agriculture and goats), add in a beautiful piece of farmland just 6 miles from downtown franklin in 2009… and noble spring dairy, the only food-grade goat farm in tennessee, was born!
(video by: greg @theperfectlittlelife)
the land itself has supported family farming for over two centuries, and is protected by a conservation easement as well as including several valleys and natural springs. simply put, it is a gorgeous part of the world!
the grade a goat dairy and artisanal goat cheese making operation, with just under 200 free-range goats on the property, holds farm tours april through november. as well as meeting some of the new babies on the farm you will learn about the various farm animals, see the cheese making facility, and learn about the milk and cheese-making processes.
health-wise, goat’s milk has significant benefits and not only for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. amongst other perks, goat’s milk has been found to be:
- more nutritious due to its high amounts of calcium, riboflavin, phosphorous, vitamin b12, protein and potassium
- an anti-inflammatory particularly for bloating and bowel inflammation
- less toxic as it is not pumped full of unnatural bovine growth hormones or bovine somatotrophin
- better for your immune system as it contains the trace mineral, selenium
- higher in fatty acids, making it easier to digest
- more environmentally friendly and sustainable on the land (reference: global healing center)
apart from that… it’s quite simple really… it tastes pretty awesome too!
noble springs dairy make their very own varieties of low temperature pasteurized and non-homoginized milk as well as yoghurts, soaps; and a beautiful range of cheeses that would go perfectly with your next dinner party or picnic!
we sampled the following cheeses during our tour:
- chevre – a fresh soft goat cheese with a very mild flavor. available in two forms – a softer spreadable version and a firmer log versions; and in a variety of flavours: plain, cherry berry, cranberry honey, chocolate truffle, herbs de provence, garlic herb, garlic dill, pimento, peppercorn, and spicy santa fe. a signature nashville hot flavor is about to hit the shelves, and this is my current addiction!
- feta – aged in a brine before being packaged, with a tangy and salty flavor and is a firm cheese that is great for crumbling. available in: plain or tomato and basil.
- harpeth fleur – a soft ripened goat cheese which is wonderfully rich and delicate.
i love supporting local business and artisan producers, which is part of the reason why i was so honoured to have a private tour of the farm last week, along with nashville blogger abbey from the perfect little life. the other reason is pretty simple… i’m a sucker for baby animals! and with 29 females currently pregnant on the farm, a visit in april pretty much guarantees cuddles with some new born kids. and we were not disappointed – with these gorgeous two-day old baby girl twins just born that week.
you can purchase noble springs products online and also from selected retail locations and restaurants in the greater nashville area, including turnip truck (which is where i first met dustin and justyne on my walk eat nashville food tour). they are also frequently at the franklin and nashville farmers market. keep an eye on their instagram (@noblespringsdairy) or visit the website for dates and timing, and to book your very own farm tour!
and just because everyone loves photos of baby animals… here are some more of our day on the farm: