Getting your goat: Karluk Acres farm finds niche

Posted July 17, 2017 07:20 pm – Updated July 17, 2017 10:15 pm

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Peninsula Clarion

The goats at Karluk Acres are starting to wean and will be heading to destinations across Alaska starting this week.

The farm, which has been producing livestock for eight years, is run on 4.8 acres of land off Kalifornsky Beach Road where Julie Wendt and Paul Vass of Karluk Acres have created a permaculture farm system centered on their livestock and poultry business of selling goats, chickens and eggs.

Fertilizer taken from the livestock raised on their property helps grow the produce in their greenhouse to fuel their bodies to work the farm. Each aspect of the farm fills a specific niche, allowing the farm to be self-sustaining.

Karluk Acres is home to a wide variety of livestock and poultry, including chickens, a pig and ducks, but a pasture of goats is the main attraction. The pair raise different breeds of goats including Nubians, Saanen and Nigerian dwarf goats that are bred and raised on the property before being sold for milking, meat or companionship.

“Everyone wants babies ready to go in the spring,” Wendt said. “So you have to have them in the cold, so one of our biggest challenges is trying to get the animals to have babies when it’s 20 below.”

Throughout the colder months, the goats and other livestock are housed indoors and kept warm throughout breeding and in their early days.

“We try to keep them warm with plenty of bedding or heat lamps,” Wendt said. “But you can’t really use heat lamps with goats because they try to knock them down constantly.”

Once the cold weather breaks, the goats are brought outside to one of the three pastures on Karluk Acres property.

“We rotate pastures during the summer time,” Wendt said. “We let them graze one pasture down and then move on to the next one.”

The goats, paired with the ducks waddling around Karluk Acres, keep…

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