"I want to make a new breed, between an Americana, that lays blue eggs, and a Barnevelder, a Dutch breed that lays brown eggs," Dawson says. "I want a Barnevelder that lays blue eggs, and that would be the Altadena chicken."
Farther from the mountains, Gloria Putnam is having great luck with goats. A search for a source of fresh cow's milk led to owning the Mariposa Dairy, a herd of nine milk goats. Putnam and her partner, Steve Rudicel, live in his family home, an 18,000-square-foot house once owned by Zane Grey.
"For the first year we were here, all we did with our time and income was fix the leaking roof," Putnam says. "When we finally looked outside, we saw we had all this land."
The couple put in raised vegetable beds, added chickens and bought two goats. Two goats became nine, and the friendly, funny, strong-willed animals soon became the focus of their homesteading enterprise. The couple milk the goats twice a day, and Putnam makes cheese. Last year, she entered the International Dairy Competition at the Los Angeles County Fair and won an award in the mold-ripened goat cheese category.