New kids on the block Crescent Dairy Co balance family and farming, nurturing a herd of gorgeous goats and producing fresh wholesome goats milk and yoghurt, as well as plenty of personal rewards!
Set in the prettiest of pastures in Waimauku, north-west Auckland, Crescent Dairy Co is home to Emily and Gavin Ward, their two young children Carter and Pania, and a family of the happiest goats and kids you’ve ever encountered.
Keeping up with New Zealand’s growing appetite for A2 goats milk, this idyllic venture is based on sustainable, chemical-free farming and became Emily and Gavin’s pride and joy when they bought a herd of goats from Emily’s parents two and a half years ago.
“Inspired by my own childhood memories of goat farming, we lived close by to my parents for seven years helping out with the goats and farm when needed while working and raising our children. When the opportunity to purchase the herd came up, we jumped at it, and haven’t looked back since. But we decided to go in a different direction and focus on fresh goats milk and yoghurt rather than cheesemaking,” says Emily.
The picture-perfect herd of Nubian and Saanen goats spend their days playing in the fields, their nights in a shed when it is cold, and under the stars in the summertime. “Our top priority is the care of the goats. We make sure they get a new paddock to graze in every day, wait until they are at least two years old before breeding them, and give them a few months off milking each year too,” says Emily.
Having backgrounds in sales and marketing, Emily and Gavin have brought a sharp, retail focus to the farm, creating a happy balance between the business side of the dairy along with the day-to-day work with the goats.
With the milk and yoghurt presented in 100% recyclable bottles that are made in New Zealand, the Wards are making every effort to minimise their environmental hoof-print.
“We milk the goats first thing in the morning, then the milk is pasteurised and bottled right here at Crescent Dairy Co. Having a farm on the outskirts of Auckland means I can deliver the milk to store myself twice a week – sometimes it’s possible to have milk on the shelf the same day it was milked!” says Emily.
By keeping the herd to a manageable number – currently around 35 does, 2-3 bucks and at this time of year a whole bunch of endearing kids – Emily and Gavin are able to run the farm by themselves.
“It can be full-on trying to get all the work done, especially with bottle-feeding the kids three or four times a day at the moment. But despite all the hard work, we still get a real kick out of spending time with the goats and then seeing the product on the shelves!”