Farm & Garden

Goats galore: Meet and milk dairy goats, taste cheeses and go on a tour of Round Mountain Creamery on Dairy Goat Day this Sunday, June 30. Photo courtesy of Piedmont Dairy Goat Association.

Playing the goat

Behold, the mighty dairy goat. This productive, charming animal provides the essentials for a wide variety of cheeses and milk and is known for its hilarious antics in the barnyard.

Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain puts its more than 200 Alpine, LaMancha and Nubian dairy goats to good use, producing 12 different cheeses and whole goat milk.

The farm bills itself as North Carolina's only Grade-A creamery and uses organic fertilizer and feed that is free of animal by-products to keep its goats healthy and productive. The goats are "gently pampered" and enjoy air conditioning while they are milked and fed.

The Piedmont Dairy Goat Association wants you to come out to Round Mountain Creamery and learn more about goats up close. On Sunday, June 30, from 1-6 p.m., the creamery will open its gates for an afternoon designed to get your goat (in the best possible way).

Meet the goats, try your hand at milking and taste everything from provincial olives to campfire jalapeño cheeses. Get a tour of the farm, located at 2203 Old Fort Road, Black Mountain, and learn about goats first hand for $5. Info:, or 713-4887.

Wasabi: Not just in Japan

Wasabi may seem like an exotic plant best suited for foreign countries, but it has found a home here in Western North Carolina. Joe Hollis of Mountain Gardens in Celo has been growing it for 25 years and calls it a "happy plant" that has "taken off" in his botanical garden.

Mountain Gardens is on the edge of Pisgah National Forest and unlike most of the United States, it is an ideal environment for wasabi. The plants need a constant source of water and shady woodlands to thrive, and Hollis has found ways to provide both.

In addition to several acres of Chinese herbs and medicinal plants, Hollis has created a wasabi garden out of wading pools filled with rocks and soil. A stream of water trickles through holes on either side of the pool, keeping the plants moist while preventing soggy roots.

These patches of wasabi provide seeds and leaves that can be used for an array of commercial purposes, including high-end cuisine. The leaves can be used in everything from sauces to salad dressings to sushi wraps — anything a "clever chef" can cook up, Hollis says. In fact, Mountain Gardens sells its wasabi leaves to the famed Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill.

With the right growing conditions, a patch of wasabi can be a successful plant for both home and commercial gardens. Hollis will offer a wasabi workshop on Saturday, June 29, from 1:30- 5 p.m. at Mountain Gardens near Burnsville. The class will cover the basics of site selection and preparation, with seeds and seedlings for sale. $50. Info and directions:


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.