Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Fat Toad Farm

Fat Toad Farm is a small, family owned and operated goat dairy run by husband and wife Judith Irving and Steve Reid and their daughters Calley Hastings and Hannah Reid in Brookfield, Vermont.

This is a committed, loving family farm. They raise the majority of the food they eat themselves – everything from dried corn for cornmeal to raspberries for jam. They also barter milk, pork, eggs and cheese for products they produce like syrup or honey.

Right now the focus is on the goats, who Judith describes as “wonderful friendly animals, very smart, very inquisitive…and full of mischief.” There are about 4 dozen goat does very busy making milk.

Judith’s the ‘caramel master.’ The process takes about 4 or 5 hours – the fresh goat milk is poured into pots to simmer for about 3 or 4 hours, then strained, poured into jars, and labeled – all by hand.

This is a family who loves Vermont (who doesn’t) and is committed to conserving resources. They recycle, reuse, and are currently working on developing a system to capture the heat produced in making caramel. 

So what’s Fat Toad? The family noticed a significant population of well-fed toads hanging out in the gardens, barns and orchard. Toads are very sensitive to their environment – they are known as an indicator species and would be the first to flee unhealthy soil or water. This seemed like a good omen – hence, Fat Toad.