“Goat Cheese Lady” – but it wasn’t always so
Lindsey Aparacio and her family started learning about farming based on yearning for self-reliance

       When Herberth and Lindsey Aparacio decided to add two goats (now four) to their lives last summer, they knew they were in for some work. But for the Westside couple with two young boys, it was part of a continuing mission - getting deeper into the basics of their own lives.

ABOVE: En route to making cheese in her kitchen, Lindsey Aparacio stirs a pot of heated goats milk. ABOVE, RIGHT: She pours another batch she's been heating into cheesecloth for straining.
Westside Pioneer photos

       At one level, it just had to do with the simple act of obtaining milk. “We'd like to do it ourselves if we can,” Lindsey said. As she put it, “the straw that broke the camel's back” was going to a local grocery and picking up a gallon and noticing that it was from Ohio. “That's too far for my milk to travel,” she said. “Three days later it rotted.”
       Thus began the goat saga. At first, the family barely knew how to milk their new additions, let alone how to house them or graze them on the 1 ˝-acre house/farm they've owned since spring 2009. The only family member with any background was Herberth, whose younger-days life in El Salvador had included goats.
       On the day that the Aparacios brought those two goats home, one was scared into near-injury by the family dog; and it took the parents, their boys and Herberth's mother 45 minutes and several messes to milk just one of them.
       However, after experience and research, the Aparacio world has evolved to where milking is not only neatly handled, Lindsey now offers classes once or twice a week on the science of making goat cheese. Attendees from around the region can get fully immersed by milking the goats first, or (less messy) just going to the Aparacio kitchen and making cheese from goat's milk that Lindsey had set out from the day before.
       Recent additions to Lindsey's classes are ones on goat soaps and lotions.
       When people make such stuff with their own hands, “it's so cool,” Lindsey said. “That's when they get real excited.”
       She may have earned the persona now of the “goat cheese lady” (Lindsey's nickname for herself on her website/blog), but she is quick to credit the rest of her family for making it possible. Her young boys, Diego and Andre, “love the animals and help me milk,” she said. “And my husband Herberth does all the leg work, including cleaning the stalls. I do the easy work.”
       The couple are not new at being business partners. As real-estate investors, they have been operating Aparacio Home Invest-ments (through which they help property owners and Realtors with hard-to-sell homes), on the Westside since 2004.

Canela, one of the family's four goats, meets Lindsey and a goat-cheese student at the door to the milking room.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Continuing their goal of getting closer to their own reality, the Aparcios recently took their boys to a local slaughterhouse to see where meat actually comes from. “Our boys watched in awe,” Lindsey writes in her blog. “They were more glued to it than a kid watching a TV show. They weren't damaged for life. They won't require psychological intervention. They have shown no signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. And they know a lot more than their friends, our friends and the majority of society about how, in this case, our meat gets to our plate.”
       Although she describes herself as a “city girl” in her upbringing, Lindsey said she has been interested in the farm life since reading the “Little House on the Prairie” books as a child. But she's hardly going to compare herself with Laura Ingalls (the “Little House” author). “I always wanted to be Laura, but a real farm is a lot of hard work,” Lindsey said. “Then we found this happy medium [their current property], which is really wonderful.”

Westside Pioneer article