Producer Spotlight: Byler Goat Dairy
Every Friday at Harrison's, just around the beginning of lunchtime, a tall, unassuming man carrying a grocery bag full of mysterious goods patiently waits just outside the entrance to Harrison's while guests are shown to tables. Unless you've spotted him at the local farmer markets, you may not know who he is or what he carries. May we introduce you to James Byler of Byler Goat Dairy, a micro-dairy located on their 96-acre Sequoia Farm in Belleville, PA, where he and his wife make -- among other things -- farm-fresh goat cheese.
The Bylers have been getting some well-deserved attention lately, including a recent article in the Centre Daily Times by Anne Quinn Corr. You can read the full article here, or here's an excerpt on how the current Byler Dairy got started:
"Sequoia Farm formerly was a dairy operation, but the Bylers sold off the herd in the mid-1980s, when the family's interest in dairy farming waned. At the time, James was working as a truck driver, a job that provided more income. But his first love, after Darla, was the farm, so he found a way to revive it.
In March 2009, at the age of 52, James decided he needed to make the farm self-supporting and create a new industry. He had goats when he was a child and always wanted to be a goat farmer, so he acquired a herd and commenced.
The Internet taught Darla about cheesemaking, and James started to market his products at the Boalsburg farmers market. These days, he is a vendor at Boalsburg on Tuesdays and at the North Atherton Street farmers markets on Saturdays, and he also sells his products at the Weis markets on Rolling Ridge Drive and in Bellefonte, at Wegmans and at Nature's Pantry."
We are happy to be a consistent farm-to-table purchaser of the Bylers' fresh product offering it every day on our lunch and dinner menus in these customer favorites: Goat Cheese Fritters, Artichoke & Goat Cheese Bruschetta and Wild Mushroom & Chevre Pappardelle.