The Farm-to-table trend is no longer just a single trend that focuses on bringing local food to restaurants but driving consumer brands to be more transparent and provide products that are hand-crafted and sustainable. Maren Stratte took the time to chat with us about the history of Surfing Goat Dairy and the products that they produce on the farm and sell throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the continental US. The farm, located in Kula, a small agricultural town in the upcountry of Maui, has been producing award-winning Maui artisan goat cheeses for over fifteen years.
Thomas and Eva Kafsack are German expatriates that moved to Maui when they retired. Their neighbor in Germany had goats, and Eva thought it would make for an excellent hobby once retired. She began taking courses on raising goats, making goat cheese, and quickly built up a successful working farm.
Surfing Goat Farm is the only Certified Humane Goat Dairy Farm in Hawaii and one of four in the entire US. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been certifying farms since 1866 so that consumers can confidently purchase animal products that are produced using humane and transparent farming practices. Surfing Goat Farm sits on 42 acres, with almost two-thirds dedicated as pasture for the goats to live as closely to their natural behaviors.
The farm has three varieties of goats, French Alpine, Swiss Sonin and Sativa goats. The three varieties provide for the different natural flavors in the milk and the characteristics of the cheese. They currently have 68 milking goats that are milked twice each day, producing about 200 pounds of cheese per day on average.
Surfing Goat produces 17 Chevres, 4 Quarks, and 8 Aged gourmet kinds of cheese. Their cream cheeses run the gamut of flavors from Udderly Delicious (plain) to exotic varieties like Mandalay (apple bananas and curry) or Pirate’s Desire (anchovies and capers). Their soft cheeses are ripened either under wax, in olive oil with garlic and spices, or coated with mesquite ash. Their top five flavors are Udderly Delicious, Rolling Green, Ole, Men’s Challenge and their brine-ripened feta cheese which inspired the company’s motto, Da’ Feta Mo’ Betta.
Surfing Goat products can be found on menus in restaurants and hotels across the US and currently sold at Whole Foods, Mana Foods, and Fairway Markets.
Writers Credit: Nicole Hall