Harley Farms in Pescadero started 16 years ago with six goats and has since grown into a 200-goat operation as the only dairy farm in San Mateo County. The nine-acre farm is a “farmstead dairy,” meaning the cheese produced comes directly from the farm’s animals. It has received six national cheese awards and was the recipient of this past year’s San Mateo County Farmer of the Year award. It also was featured in a February 2007 New York Times article about “agri-tourism,” a concept in which small farms open up to curious visiting urbanites.
The farm follows several environmentally-friendly practices by providing goats to the “Rent A Goat” program, where goats clear brush and grass. The farm won a four-year grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for creek bank restoration and water conservation. The farm utilizes recycled water to cool the milk and offers free manure to its neighbors.