Soledad Goats

When Americans think of farms, they don't necessarily think of goats. More likely cows come to mind, or perhaps pigs or chickens. We're probably thinking meat.

But some farms raise animals not for their meat, but for the milk they produce. Which is what Julian and Carol Pearce of Soledad Goats are doing up in Mojave: tending to a herd of happy, frolicking goats and making some of the tastiest cheese in the state.

The Pearces are such animal lovers that their farm has become a bit of a rescue operation as well. Dogs, horses, the occasional hog, a donkey -- it's a revolving-door menagerie up there.

But it's the goats the rule the roost (even when a foster rooster is on-site). They're ostensibly kept in pens, but the jumpers aren't forced to stay behind a gate if they don't want to. On our visit, we even saw a baby goat tap-dancing on the roof of a car.

The Pearces themselves run their stall at the Hollywood Farmers' Market, and they always bring one of their more social goats with them. Meet a goat, buy some cheese. It's hard to get more farm to table than that.