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Marfa Maid Dairy makes  artisan goat cheese. Our growing business urgently needs an industrial pasteurizer and milking machine.
Marfa Maid Dairy makes artisan goat cheese. Our growing business urgently needs an industrial pasteurizer and milking machine.
171 backers pledged $18,145 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$18,145

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Allan and I started the Marfa Maid Dairy with the goal to make the finest artisan goat cheese in West Texas.  To our great delight, that’s what we have done. We have been overwhelmed by the response to our cheese. Repeatedly we have been told “This is the best goat cheese I have ever tasted!”

Goats Milk Feta is the best!
Goats Milk Feta is the best!

Marfa, Texas is a unique place that draws visitors from all over the world to visit the great modern art  museum, the Chinati Foundation, art galleries and enjoy the magnificent landscape of the Big Bend Region.

In the last two years we designed and built beautiful dairy building and kitchen. It is ideal for our project and programs.  We knew that we would not be able to purchase all the equipment we needed  at first, but could start the business with what we have.  In our second year, with our product being quickly accepted, Marfa Maid Dairy desparately needs a large commercial pasteurizer  and a milking machine At this point we have done almost all the milking and cheese making manually.

Our dairy on the prairie
Our dairy on the prairie

This is very hard work and is hampering us from increasing our production and satisfying the increasing appetite for our cheese.  With your support we can move quickly to another level of production leaving us more time to do the community outreach. Our programs include cheese making classes, school tours, demonstrations for the 4-H kids .  Our most important program will be to develop an intern program to bring people from all over to live on our property, learn to work with the goats and help us make fine artisan cheese.

Making lots of cheese for a hungry audience.
Making lots of cheese for a hungry audience.

Risks and challenges

This is West Texas. It is an amazing environment with stunning natural beauty, a rich western history, cutting edge contemporary art /music and the nicest people in the world. Our greatest challenge will be to develop a larger work base for our dairy. Allan and I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience together to this project. We have art, food, organic gardening, teaching, social work, counseling, administration, marketing, fund raising and construction in our shared background. However, the two of us can’t do all this work. seven days a week by ourselves. The new equipment will go a long ways to help us make the cheese making process more efficient. We know that we need more people to help and we are planning to initiate an internship at our dairy starting in March of 2013. We are currently working on remodeling a small structure to make a sweet little cabin for our first interns. Additional funds from this project will help with this structure. The town of Marfa has become a magnet for independent, enthusiastic people of all ages. We feel confident it will help us lure interns to this area and our project. We will use additional funds for this purpose.

Our other most persistent challenge is supplying a good quality food source for our goats. In the last few years , the drought in the county has spiked feed prices to unimaginable highs. We plan to stockpile feed from this season to get us through the winter. Allan also has started growing small fields of oats to feed the goats. He will expand our fields with our grey water from the dairy to help supplement their feed. Any additional funds from this project will go to buying and growing feed.

Okay, we are not young. We know that but we have always burned with a vision (together and separately) to do something that is creative, exciting and inclusive. Of the organizations we have started, of the programs we have run, of all the students we have taught, of the works of art we have created, we feel this is the most exciting, rewarding and ultimately the best thing we have ever done.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Big thanks in our blog and facebook page. You will also receive an autographed postcard from one of our goats.

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    26 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    More big thanks in our blog and on facebook page,an autographed postcard from one of our goats and a bar of “Marfa Brand” cedarwood/sage soap made from our goats milk. Add $5 for shipping

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    29 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Bigger thanks on our blog and on facebook page, an autographed postcard from one of our goats, a bar of “Marfa Brand” cedarwood/sage soap made from our goats milk and a beautiful cast soap dish with a “Marfa Goat” theme. Add $10 for shipping.

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    16 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Seriously grateful thanks on our blog and on facebook page, an autographed postcard from one of our goats, an original print from the 5 print suite of the limited edition, hand carved linoleum block “Goats Story” Add $10 for shipping

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    6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Excepitonal thanks, an autographed postcard from one of our goats, a certifiicate for a one-day cheesemaking class in our dairy or a sampler of our goats cheese including two 8 ounce jars of flavored “pot au chevre”, two 8 ounce jars of marinated feta, one with Chipotle Chiles and one with Basil/Garlic. Add $20 for shipping

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    18 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Deeply grateful thanks on our blog and on facebook page. A choice of two of the 5 print suite of the limited edition, handcarved linoleum block “Goats Story”. Also, a bar of “Marfa Brand” cedarwood/sage soap made from our goats milk and a beautiful cast soap dish with a “Marfa Goat theme or our goat cheese of two 8 ounce jars of flavored “pot au chevre”, two 8 ounce jars of marinated feta one with chipotle chiles and one with Basil/Garlic. Also , a bar of “Marfa Brand” cedarwood/sage soap made from our goats milk and a beautiful cast soap dish with a “Marfa Goat” theme (Add $30 for shipping, 2-day air).

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    22 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Breathless thanks on our blog and facebook page. All of the images in the 5 print suite of the limited edition, handcarved linoleum block “Goats Story” and a bar of “Marfa Brand” cedarwood/sage soap made from our goats milk and a beautiful cast soap dish with a “Marfa Goat” theme (add $20 for shipping) or two gift packages that can be sent to friends for the holidays that will include two 4 ounce containers of flavored chevre spread, a jar of marinated feta with Chipotle Chiles and one with Basil/Garlic, a bar of “Marfa Brand” cedarwood/sage soap made from our goats milk and a beautiful cast soap dish with a “Marfa Goat” theme and a box of chocolate chevre truffles. (Add $30 shipping per box or if you choose to take all the items for yourself, add $40)

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    6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Fairly overwhelmed thanks on our blog and facebook page. Also you will receive the 5 print suite of the limited edition, handcarved linoleum block “Goats Story” or a unique clay sculpture of a goat (of your choice) or 4 gift boxes of cheese during a full year (spring, summer, fall,winter)
    Add $100 for shipping of cheese(4 separate shipments) $25 For shipping of the art

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    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Beyond overwhelmed thanks on our blog and facebook page (if desired). We will also name a goat after you and your goat namesake will join the other goats with your own plaque on the “Marfa Maid Walk of Fame”. Also you will receive an oil painting portrait of your goat or you may chose a one-day cheesemaking workshop for your friends (8) with a catered lunch or a monthly cheese sampler for a year. All shipping is free!

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Indebted for life thanks on our blog and facebook page (if desired). We will also name a goat after you and your goat namesake will join the other goats with your own plaque on the “Marfa Maid Walk of Fame”. Also you will receive an oil painting portrait of your goat or a ceramic sculpture of a goat and a two-day cheesemaking workshop for your friends (8) with a catered lunch (both days) or you may chose a catered “Dinner in the Dairy” for 10 by Marfa Table chef Bridget Weiss with full service.

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    0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Everything in the $5000 category plus a monthly cheese sampler for life. If desired, we will also build a shrine in our garden with a life-size statue of you. Seriously.

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Funding period

- (60 days)