By Jessie Flo McDonald, EFA Special Events Coordinator
Jessie Flo here again! On April 18th your friendly EcoFarm production team visited Harley Farms Goat Dairy in enchanting Pescadero, California to see their water recycling and rain catchment system first hand.
Pescadero is a beautiful slice of countryside close to Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. The town does not have a traffic light but it does have a pleasant village-like feel and enough delightful farm-to-fork establishments to put it on any foodie’s adventure map. Harley Farms is located just about a mile from the main drag of town where it raises goats, makes 4 varieties of farmstead cheeses and hosts wonderful Farm-To-Fork dinners and events.
We caught up with Dee Harley, the owner and founder of Harley Farms to hear all about the Rain Catchment and Water Recycling systems on her farm. Through the help of an EQUIP grant from the NRCS, three years ago Harley Farms was able to install a simple rainwater catchment system that collects rainwater from the roof of their goat dairy and stores it in two 5000 gallon tanks about 50 yards away. The 40,000 gallons of water that they save annually are transported from roof to tank through PVC pipes that connect to the roof gutter and run under ground.
Before the catchment system was put into place, the 200 head goatherd was drinking off of the well, but the farm did not have enough water for a garden. The extra 40,000 gallons per year that they catch has allowed Harley to keep a garden, which has in turn created a new, and valuable revenue source. Harley Farms uses their garden veggies in gourmet meals served at their chic Farm Dinners. These dinners combined with the location and feeling of this farmstead goat dairy is turning Harley Goat Farms into a fantastic Agri-tourism destination. Other benefits of the rain catchment system are the disappearing of standing water and the security that a back up reservoir of water brings to a farm.
Visit Harleyfarms.com on the web to plan your trip/dinner or just shoot up to the farm in Pescadores to see the goats and grab any of their wonderful goat milk and cheese products at their shop!