A fantastic family experience meeting the Goats at Ebuta Dairy
One Saturday morning in the school holidays we loaded up the car with 3 adults, 2 kids and a sense of adventure! We had booked ourselves a spot for the Ebuta Goat Dairy open day. Having seen this event pop up on Facebook, we were all a bit excited to go do something “different” to our normal school holiday activities. Being only about 25 mins past the turn off to the Flinders Highway it’s a nice and short trip!
We were met by the owners of this working Goat farm Brian and Jean. A very welcoming couple who have such a passion for their goats and our region. Brian got us started with a bit of a presentation about the goat farm and all its workings. It was at this point we lost both Master 6’s under the table to the dogs!
First stop of the tour was to watch the milking of the goats. After the milk left the goats we watched via a tv screen, the behind the scenes with the packaging and chilling of the this raw product. Did you know goats can produce over 2 litres of milk per day! The kids really enjoyed watching this process, they also enjoyed the big Billy Goat that was in the pen right nearby which is where their attention turned whilst us adults got to ask a few questions! Brian was a licenced builder and one day decided he didn’t feel like climbing up on roofs any more so with 50 acres of land a working goat farm was born!
Ebuta means “meeting place”. The name comes from Jean’s family farm back in South Africa and this goat farm really does live up to its name. After milking was finished we enjoyed our first goats milk delicacy of the day…. Gelato!! Tastings of salted caramel, chocolate, strawberry sorbet, vanilla bean and even a chocolate coffee was on offer. With everyone sitting around enjoying this cool treat, it was wonderful to watch the conversations flow and everyone enjoying looking out over the lawns and gardens.
Then we were off to hunt and gather food for the goats! Ebuta is working on becoming as self sufficient as possible. The trees that are planted around the property also serve as food for the goats. So off we went secateurs in hand looking for branches to chop. For our 2 6-year-old sons this was gold! Tools that we can actually chop stuff off trees with… COOL! Branches were chopped (and used as light sabers!) and we were off to feed the goats! This was super fun for the kids, human and goat variety! All the goats came running and eagerly gobbled up all the branches being held through the fence. It was surprising just how strong these animals are (goats not the kids!).
We also got a chance to feed the baby goats from a milk bottle, just too cute. As you can imagine this was very popular, some of us adults might have even pushed the kids out of the way for a bit so we could have a go! All the goats have names and the kids were just enthralled with how the goats fought to get to a milk bottle. There were some very full little goat tummies after we had finished.
We returned to the cool patio for some amazing goats milk treats. Jean presented us with beautiful platters of goat’s cheeses including haloumi, ricotta and fetta. Jean had infused the cheeses with different additions like herbs, sun dried tomatoes and even a sweet cheese with blueberries in it. We were loving the incredible taste!
Whilst the adults continued to indulge in cheese, fruit and conversations, the kids got out and enjoyed the space of the farm. Climbing a tree, playing with the dogs and feeding the baby goats some more. We chatted to Brian and Jean who are such an inspiring couple who are truly passionate about providing an authentic experience for visitors to the dairy. They were very family orientated and were wonderful with all the children on the day. A few other parents expressed the same happiness we had about our kids having a day to see where food can actually comes from and the work that goes into it. 5 hours went by in the blink of an eye and our experience was over. The kids didn’t want to leave!
If you get the chance make sure you head out to one of Ebuta’s open days, I personally can’t recommend it enough. We believe the price is fantastic value for the chance to experience a working dairy, it was the best money we spent those school holidays!
Keep your eye out for their gelato van also, it makes it’s way to a few events in town. The goats milk is available in a few places around Townsville Sprout, Family Life Organics and The Organic Pantry. Delivery is available.