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The Goats of Ruggles Hill Creamery


I recently visited Tricia Smith and Michael Holland at their historic farmstead in Hardwich, Mass.—home to the New England cheese favorite Ruggles Hill Creamery. Before I interviewed Smith for an upcoming series on design and innovation in cheese, she gave me a tour of the pastoral paradise that is both her workplace and home. On this tour, I was introduced to the goat gals (does) who produce the milk for Ruggles Hill cheese, as well as their dashing bucks. Our true “tour guide” Rose, a statuesque Saanen, showed our little group around the main barn and then lead us out to the doe pasture. A diligent guide, she made sure we hit all of the hot spots and was quite content to be tipped in head scratches. Our last stop before the creamery was the buck barn—fit for the most sophisticated of gentlemen with classical music playing throughout the day. Below are a few photos of the goats of Ruggles Hill as we explored their home. Stay tuned for our interview with Smith which will feature a peek inside her creamery and cheese caves!

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Rose taking a snack break before acting as our “tour guide” for the day, tagging along everywhere we went.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Una, Iris (white Saanen), Julia, and Dana (left to right) pause to see if we’re set to follow the herd out to pasture.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Remy brings up the end of the pack.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Una, Kate, Kate’s daugher Claire, Molly, Julia, and Iris (counterclockwise from back left) enjoy an early autumn graze.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Astrid curiously looks at the camera.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Estelle wasn’t camera shy at all!

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Estelle makes sure we get her good side.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Adair giving us a warm welcome as we enter the buck barn.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Smith greets Adair, the oldest buck on the farm.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Prescott is a buckling born just this past March.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany http://ryankilliany.com/

Adair bids us adieu as we leave his home to visit the creamery.

Photo Credit: Ryan Kaminski-Killiany

Kara Kaminski-Killiany

​Kara is a Michigan cheesemaker, writer, and freelance behavioral economist who can’t get enough bloomy rind cheeses that perfectly melt just below the rind. She is happiest when tending goats, discovering unique cheese flavors from new sources, and decoding the puzzles of human behavior.​