The Mountain Goat Lodge sits on 20 acres of high-mountain desert between the historic towns Poncha Springs and Salida, Colo., with unobstructed mountain views from all windows. The lodge was built in 2003 as a bed-and-breakfast and still today is operated as a retreat space, but the Marcell family, who purchased the property in 2015, changing the name and business focus to revolve around goats. They added a barn, chicken coop, trailer and campfire area, geodesic dome greenhouse, an off-leash dog run and kennel and a commercial hot tub area, and re-fenced the property to accommodate their mischievous goats.
A learner’s paradise, the farm’s ongoing classes include goat and chicken husbandry, cheesemaking and the new three-day yoga workshops.
“We hope to add additional classes in other homesteading topics, such as soap and lotion making, gardening, and canning,” says owner Gina Marcell.
In between session, you take advantage of the walking trail that snakes through the farm, crossing footbridges and amazing viewpoints. The farm also offers a venue space for rustic farm weddings, where guests enjoy communing with the animals during a country wedding and reception in its pastures.
Recently the farm applied to become a goat-share farm, meaning that this spring, they’ll be able to legally share their milk and dairy products with their goat-share membership.
Food is a major part of life at Mountain Goat Lodge. Proud tail-to-snout consumers, the Marcell family let’s no part of their food go to waste. Bacon fat is recycled into goat milk soap, coffee grounds and eggshells go into the worm bin and compost, and leftover food and spent greenhouse plants are fed to the farm’s chickens and goats. Every morning the family starts their breakfast with this popular recipe:
Recipe: Homemade Greek Goat Yogurt Parfaits
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1/3 cup chia seeds, plus extra for garnish
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 2-3 T. water
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 cup Greek-style goat yogurt
- 1-2 T. honey (optional)
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine blueberries, chia seeds, lemon juice, water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the chia seeds have thickened the fruit nicely. Set aside to cool.
Mix goat yogurt with honey, if using. Place equal amounts of blueberry jam mixture into four dessert bowls, top each with 1/4 cup of yogurt, and sprinkle some chia seeds over the top. Serve immediately.