TEMPLE, Texas — Not too far outside of town, on a small stretch of roadway a stones throw from the Highway 36 in Temple, you'll find a small herd of the friendliest goats you've ever met that are hungry for their favorite snack this time of year, Christmas trees.
"They are just the sweetest little things except they don't bark and they don't bite. We get to enjoy them as pets and then we also get to reap the rewards of their milk," said June Small, who owns and operates The Small Farm in Temple.
These goats have paved the way forward for the last 10 years when the Small family decided they had had enough of big city life and came back to Texas to, essentially, start all over.
Small told 6 News they wanted a simpler way of life for their two younger children and to teach them how to live for themselves, how to live off the land and maybe, too, a form of discipline their grandparents lived with some years ago.
"A lot of it is for the kids and that's how we got started," Small said. "We just thought we would like to have them raised the way our grandparents lived and that is being more self-sufficient, raising your own food, just being self-reliant."
Small said they had some help along the way and learned from some of the best people about dairy goats and just how they can be a life-changing investment for a fruitful future.
Just this past year, in the midst of a pandemic, they also opened a 300 square foot famers market on their property. Powered by goats milk, Small started making goat milk soaps, lotions and other products to sell to those who might be interested.
The love and labor that went into that connected them to other small business owners throughout Central Texas and beyond, and now, she said, they are helping them by selling their products in their small market store, as well.
"The community this is building is really exciting, we've got a small business doing dog treats in Cove, we've got artists out of Temple and the Grove," Small said, pointing at the walls and tables that fill the hand-crafted market store.
The Small Market is just another way of life and hope for not only them but others who sell there and visit them. It all started, Small admitted, with a small herd of goats and a desire to do things differently but to do them with fervor, determination and out of love.
"I mean, we're just two people that came from corporate jobs in the suburbs and we just learned as we went and it's been extremely rewarding," Small said when asked if their family is living proof the American Dream exists. "We love it and we'd love for people to come out and see it and maybe be inspired."
The Small Farm and Market are open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 5242 Cedar Ridge Park in Temple.