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'Tiny Goat, Big Cheese' Event at Inkberry


January 8, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Author Kate Johnson will discuss her journey into cheesemaking at Inkberry Books in Niwot on Jan. 11.

When Kate Johnson, author of "Tiny Goat, Big Cheese," started learning about goats and cheesemaking, she didn't realize she was ahead of the curve of a new hip trend sweeping the nation.

When Gene Hayworth, owner of Niwot's Inkberry Books, started his own small-town bookstore and printing press, it was a big risk. "But if you don't try it, you'll never know what could happen," he said.

Both Left Hand Valley locals are simply following their passions, and their work will be on display at an upcoming author event at Inkberry this weekend.

Johnson said, "When we first got goats, people thought we were a little bit nuts. But over the past five or six years, both home cheesemaking and goats themselves have been having their 'moment.'"

"Tiny Goat, Big Cheese" tells Kate's story from being a kid "crazy about animals" to the creation of The Art of Cheese, "one of the busiest cheesemaking schools in the country," near Longmont.

Hayworth, who will celebrate the second anniversary of Inkberry Books in February, said, "We have a lovely time" at events at the store, many of which feature local authors.

The author event on Saturday will start with an extended reading by Johnson from "Tiny Goat, Big Cheese." Johnson will then demonstrate how easy it is to make chevre, with samples immediately available for tasting. The last part of the evening will become more of a social event with refreshments and a reception.

"One of the reasons that I chose Niwot [for opening Inkberry Books] is because there are so many great writers here," according to Hayworth. As an author himself, Hayworth has found that "it can be very difficult to find a community to give you support, not only in promoting your work but talking about the process of writing." The author events at Inkberry are one of several efforts Hayworth is undertaking. "Really, the idea is of building community. A community of writers but also people that like to come in and meet writers and learn about their work."

The cover of the book features a truly tiny goat, Galaxy, a Mini Nubian dairy goat who is the granddaughter of Johnson's first doe, Skittles. Galaxy, "a triplet and the runt of a miniature breed," was only two pounds when she was born. Galaxy's mother, Milky Way, produced up to a gallon of milk a day.

Their breed, which is a cross between Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf goats, produces one of the "sweetest and higher butterfat milks of all the dairy goat breeds, making it particularly wonderful for cheesemaking," Johnson said.

Johnson formerly wrote the book "Live Your Life with Passion & Purpose" and seems to have inspired herself to do just that. When asked what led her to create a successful cheesemaking school and goat dairy farm, and then write a book about it, Johnson simply replied, "I just kept following my passions and the energy and my own coaching advice, and here I am today."

According to Johnson, "The title of the book is as much about that tiny goat and all the cheese I've been making as it is about starting with a tiny dream and then taking it big time!"

Hayworth agreed and said, "I think that everybody has a creative nature or a passion for something, and to find somebody who has pursued that path, it's very inspirational."

"Tiny Goat, Big Cheese," which is part memoir, part recipe-book, and part inspirational guidebook, will be available for purchase and signing by Johnson at the event at Inkberry at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.


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