When the first issue of this magazine came out in 2010, the Caldwells of Pholia Farm were our cover family. They were today’s new pioneers: self-reliant people choosing to follow their dreams by going back to the land and creating a sustainable livelihood. They were raising goats, Gianaclis was making and selling farmstead goat cheese that had a superb local reputation, Vern had designed and installed a solar system to power the dairy barn and creamery, and the log home they built themselves was almost finished. They were the perfect role models. And they still are.

Their cheese now has a worldwide reputation and is featured on the menus of several high-end restaurants. Blue ribbons for their Nigerian Dwarf goats decorate the walls in the shop adjacent to the dairy where they sell their cheese; Gianaclis travels the world giving lectures and seminars on cheesemaking (cow, goat and sheep’s milk), designing facilities and goat herd management. She’s the author of four books, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, The Small Scale Cheese Business, The Small Scale Dairy and  Mastering Basic Cheesemaking. She is working on a fifth about goat herd management. At the farm, she teaches a variety of cheesemaking classes. To learn more, visit

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Fall 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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