Living in the Northeast with harsh winters and humid summers has made my skin dry and very sensitive. I think the environmental factors also contribute to the sensitivity. I have always used organic soaps with essential oils but they weren’t enough. I heard that people who prefer goat milk soap claim that it is far less drying and harsh than ordinary soap and for those who have sensitive skin or eczema, goat milk soap is a godsend. So I tried goat milk soap from a shop called “Happy Goat Soap” from Etsy. (How could I resist soap from a happy goat named Pricilla?) Well, I couldn’t believe the difference. But, of course, a scientist in me wanted to find out why goat milk is so good for the skin. So, I did some research on goat milk soap and this is what I found.
Goat Milk is easily absorbed by the skin, bringing with it moisture, restorative proteins and minerals. Goat Milk also contains Caprylic Acid, another name for Octanoic acid, an essential fatty acid found in human breast milk. It is similar to Omega 3 and 6 oils and when taken internally, it helps with brain functions like, memory, concentration and physical condition. It also has antibacterial and fungicidal abilities as well as anti-candida properties. It is helpful in fighting bacteria like, E Coli, Salmonella, including certain Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus Aureus. It has naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acids, proteins, minerals and high levels of Vitamin A and E. Goat Milk is also said to be naturally anti-inflammatory – an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin and with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Well, I was sold. So now, goat milk soaps with essential oils are the only choice of soaps for my family.
So without further ado, here is “Happy Goat Soap”.
1. What is your name and your company’s name?
My name is Patty and the company is Happy Goat Soap
2. How long have you had this company?
Well, we have had happy goats since the Spring of ’07 but I didn’t start making soap until the Fall of ’08.
3. Tell me a little about your company.
I have eight funny, exasperating goats;
Pricilla, of course
Abby (Pricilla’s daughter)
Jillian and Mallory (my rescue goats – they are Toggenburg not Nigerian Dwarf)
Kevin (Pricilla’s kid)
Harry (Abby’s Kid)
Michael (Pricilla’s kid)
Luke (import from Spokane, Wa. He’s papered and doesn’t let the lessor goats forget it!)
Right now, I am milking Pricilla and Abigail- both Nigerian Dwarves. With the extra milk I have been experimenting with cheese and now soap. Goat’s milk soap is just wonderful! I am planning to expand the line into lotions but I am taking baby steps.
I make my soap in small batches using rich ingredients including shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado butter and apricot kernel oil. I do not add any dyes to my soaps; any color variations are due to chemical reactions with the fragrance oils or essential oils. Vanillas are especially prone to darkening the soaps.
4. Have you had other companies?
I also make artisan gemstone jewelry – without the assistance of the goats! – and I sell that at www.brokenteepeedesigns.com. The jewelry shop came first, then the soap making next. I guess I keep busy…with what little spare time I have.
5. What does your day look like?
Well, it depends. I have a lot of health problems so I have good days and bad days. A bad day looks like ‘me in bed.’ A good day starts with me taking care of the goats. Then I do things around the house, make jewelry or deal with something from the garden (in the summer). I also make cheese with the goat’s milk, not for sale but for our own personal use. And my day ends with taking care of the goats. I am milking two of them twice a day now but will be milking three come September.
6. When you are not on the farm, taking care of your animals, what do you do keep yourself happy?
When am I not on the Farm? heh heh…. I do volunteer at our local food bank every Friday. This is very important time to me and I really look forward to it. Our community is suffering in this economy and the food bank has been especially busy.
7. What’s your secret for balancing work and personal life, if there is such a thing?
I haven’t worked outside the home since I got sick, so my “work” is just taking care of the goats, which I fortunately can do on my time. If I don’t feel well, my husband can do my chores.
8. What did you say when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” at age five?
I had always wanted to be a teacher but was discouraged by a guidance counselor in school. When I graduated there was a teacher glut.
9. Since ecokaren is all about the environment and our health, what do you do at home and in your office (if outside the home) that’s healthy for the environment as well as your own health?
We are building a new house right now and building it as eco-friendly as possible. All the appliances and light fixtures are energy star. The paint I picked out is low VOC. My flooring is bamboo and Marmoleum. The windows are low-E. I dry my clothes on the line as often as I can. We grow a huge garden every year so I don’t have to buy vegetables that are trucked in from who knows where.
Goats are beneficial at least in Montana in that they eat lots and lots and lots of noxious weeds. We have a huge problem with invasive weeds here, especially knapweed and it is choking the life out of our native plants. The goats love it. In fact we got the goats as weed control and it just grew from there. We are trying to live a more sustainable life.
We have a rather large garden (80 x 100ft) and it provides all of our vegetables. The only thing I have bought all year was a couple of onions (and we have since planted them) and celery to make stock. We tried planting celery but it failed this year. We are going to try again. I also have to buy garlic ’cause the gophers eat it when we over-winter it. The goats provide the fertilizer for the garden. We use nothing else and we use no pesticides.
We have added chickens to the mix this year, Rhode Island Reds. We will keep a flock of about 12 layers and three roosters over winter. Then we will hopefully be able to have a couple of hens go broody next spring.
(I just love hearing about her farm stories, since, as some of you might remember from reading my past article, I would love to live off the land, like Patty, some day.)
Now something for fun…,
10. Cats or dogs? What, no goats?
We have three cats in addition to the 8 goats
11. Favorite color?
12. Beach or the woods?
Woods. I HATE sand.
13. City or the country?
Weeeellll, I am a city girl at heart and I love it in small doses. But I wouldn’t give up my Farm for anything.
14. Favorite Movie?
Yankee Doodle Dandy – *sigh* I am showing my age
15. Dress or Jeans?
16. Favorite Book?
The Count of Monte Cristo
17. Where can we find you, other than on your farm?
Note: Starting today, August 10th until August 31st, Happy Goat Soap is having a SALE – read about it in Priscilla’s blog
Thanks you Patty for including your soap in the Eco Spa Package Giveaway. The deadline for the giveaway is this Saturday. Read this post and find out how to enter.