Report for FW03-016
El Ranch del Cielo, a dryland goat farm in southwestern Colorado, is establishing a goat dairy for the production of farmstead cheeses. But the five-year drought and recent wildfires have suppressed production. Long periods of unseasonable heat, smoke and dust in the air and evacuation of the animals have compromised the goats’ immune systems, retarded kid growth and decreased the does’ milk production. Ranch owner Denise Bohemier will use her SARE grant to build a greenhouse to produce herbs that have medicinal and nutritive value for her goats. The greenhouse will be built from unconventional materials like straw bales. Herbs will be produced on garden beds and in the greenhouse using waste streams from the goat dairy, including manure, gray water and whey.