Swede Farm is owned & operated by Tim & LeAnne Carlson, & their twelve sweet children, out in Waller, Tx.
Where did they get the name ‘Swede’ you may ask?
In his family’s own words:
In 2003 we lost someone very special to us. Arvid Carlson epitomized the principles of doing the right thing and rising above individual desires. Drafted in February 1943 he served his country honorably for many years. As a Naval Seaman he saw some of the bloodiest battles of WWII in the south Pacific. He returned home to a thankful family and set about rebuilding his life only to be sent overseas again during the Korean War. When he was able to return to civilian life he found the doors open to him previously, now closed. Instead of allowing this to make him bitter, he simply rolled up his sleeves and went to work as a tool and die maker. This is a pattern that continued his entire life. Although this life of principled service would never attract the attention of the world, seeming mundane and unremarkable, those who know and loved “Swede” as he was called, knew him to be a man of deep worth and hidden talents. His love for photography chronicles a life that is both singular and representative. In Swede’s life and photographs we read the story of a generation of self-sacrificing men of integrity who did the right thing even when it hurt, even when it was to their own personal loss. It was through Swede’s hard work and diligence that we were able to follow our dream and purchase our farm. Our lives were better for having loved him in life and forever changed by the provision he made for his family at his death. Arvid graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in economics. He served as a torpedo man in the Navy. In WWII he served on the HL Edwards during the Saipan-Tinian operatons, Palau, Surigao Straight, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the Korean War he served on the USS Dixie. Later in his life he volunteered many hours at the Houston VA hospital. He is buried in the Houston National Cemetery
What an amazing man to serve his country & to provide for his family the way he did.
Are you ready to hear about my trip?
This sweet baby decided we are friends for life & was at my side my whole visit. 😉
^ best goat name ever. Because seriously, he does look like the old wizard right?
Their roosters were so silly because they were showing off without any hens present. 😛
I had a soft spot for this baby. She’s an old lady like my Sugar Bear, same demeanor, same lovable personality. 🙂
In my attempt to take a video of this little piggy exploring the premises, I instead videoed my thumb. Because I’m silly. 😛
But I did get a picture to share.
After I visited with the goats currently producing milk, & with the pet pigs, livestock guardians, & ruling roosters, I got to take a trip into where the milk is pasteurized & where the cheese is made.
Pictured above is the pasteurizer – specially made for the Carlson’s. It can hold 25 gallons of milk.
They produce & package everything they sell. 🙂
Here are just a few of the many varieties of chevre made on their farm with their own goat’s dairy, pasteurized in the machine pictured above, & made by hand by one of the Carlson’s grown children.
I got side tracked listening to Christin talking about the milking process so I didn’t get a picture of the milk room for you guys. So sorry but it was so interesting!
But they do it all as a group, by hand.
I didn’t know, & you probably don’t know either, that you can catch illness in goats early on when milking by hand because the first signs of illness present themselves in the teats.
Learn something new every day right?
They tried milking machines before but it was stressful for the goats. Which makes sense. I would be stressed to if some machine was trying to get milk out of me!
I am ordering kefir, milk, feta, & chocolate truffles soon, but for now this chevre – well I hope it lasts longer than a week LOL! 😀
(recipes using their cheese coming soon!)
Shortly after I got to see the milking room (which really does smell like milk) & the pasteurization room, Christin brought me back to see the pregnant does, the fertile does, the fertile bucks, & this sweet little retired old man goat.
This beautiful girl had floppy ears like a donkey, but was camera shy – turning her head every time I pointed the camera at her haha. 🙂
Then another goat stole the show when she decided the cooler was gonna be her bed. haha. 😀
& I inadvertently saw the circle of life by accidentally intruding on some goats making babies, then by being brought what I thought was a toy by a retriever mix livestock guardian.
& yes it was a bone. What we think was a coyote skull to be more specific.
But hey, I’ve worked in fine dining where they give you the whole animal & tell you to deal with the parts you don’t want.
I’ve had to skin some fresh meat & mop up the lifeblood.
So it didn’t bother me at all. I threw it for her a few times. 😉
I think the dog is working some serious livestock guardian psychology stuff, by finding & chewing up coyote skulls so they don’t come back.
At least, if I was a coyote & saw some chewed up skulls I wouldn’t come back.
Then I got to see where the goats cool off in the August Texas heat.
Have you ever seen a miniature goat? No?
That is a pigmy goat. Which means it stays small it’s whole life, basically.
They had another one that was a bit older, but was more camera shy. 😦
They even had puppies! 🙂
Not just any puppies.
Not just any fluffy puppies either.
Fluffy, livestock guardian puppies.
Oh, & they had an old man horse – who hasn’t a worry in the world. 🙂
This is Margaret – she likes to give kisses & play with trash bags because they make noise. 😉
I left the farm with a happy heart, knowing that they are good people taking care of sweet friendly animals, making good fresh food, & I drove home with a hungry belly ready to try the cheese & knowing I made new human & animal friends.
I will absolutely be back to visit & get more of their dairy products, & probably just to visit too if they’ll have me! 🙂
Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for recipes using Swede Farm’s fresh chevre. 🙂
I already have quite a few ideas.
*not a sponsored post. Just good food & good people that I wanted to give a special shout out to. 🙂