Goat-farm hobby becomes thriving business

Photo by Mary Lee KhouriGoats at farm south of Miami

A South Florida farmer has turned his hobby of raising goats into a successful organic food business.
Born and raised in Lebanaon, Hani Khouri, 61, runs Hani’s Mediterranean Organics, selling goat milk, cheese and ice cream, along with other Mediterranean staples such as hummus, baba ghanouj and kibbeh.
He moved to the Redland area of Southwest Miami-Dade County in 2005 with his wife, Mary Lee, and four children to retire after years of traveling the world, starting up businesses. Three years later, he bought some goats as pets. Now, on his one-acre spread, he has more than 15 goats to care for, milk and feed.
“It’s challenging, but at the same time rewarding both financially and emotionally,” Khouri said.
He takes pride in being a local producer of organic products, which is important to him.Receiving fresh goat milk and cheese was a common practice in his hometown in Lebanaon, so for Hani, goat herding was a way to connect to his roots and bring a little taste of Lebanon to Miami. He made his first cheese 40 years ago. “I remember getting the recipe from my mother,” he says.
All of his products are made daily in Miami and sold here and across the country. He sells cheese at local farmers markets and to top chefs and restaurants in Miami such as Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink and Escopazzo, an organic Italian restaurant in South Beach.
Goat farming is a growing industry in the United States because of the increasing popularity of goat milk, cheese and meat among health-conscious consumers. It is especially popular in Miami because of the diverse communities that live here.
Goat farming is cost-efficient, since the goats are easy to care for and feed. They are also generally healthy, and each goat produces about two gallons of milk daily. Goats are also easier and cheaper to manage than cattle.In the United States, goat farming has expanded to raising goats to be sold as pets.“You have a responsibility to another living creature,” Khouri said. “They are relying on you to feed them. In the wild, they look out for each other. I look after them here. I’m the goat herder.”

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One response to “Goat-farm hobby becomes thriving business”

  1. Poop says:

    THIS IS AWESOME!

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