Seaman Makes Goat Milk Soap in South Dakota
Ours may not meet the standards for a typical hobby farm, but because we’re paying for it on a 30-year loan, it does not yet sustain our living. My husband is a trucker to help pay for our passion of ranching. I am a ranch wife and proud of it.
We own 400 acres in far western South Dakota; 100 acres of irrigated grassland and a small alfalfa field for winter and spring hay. On our small ranch, by area standards, we have about 300 head of ewes with a potential yearly lamb crop of 300 to 450 head. We also have Nubian dairy goats that I started out using for milk for my bum (orphan) lambs.
Our property is managed as naturally as possible with only minimal herbicides and no pesticides. Parasite control for the sheep and goats is diatomaceous earth, and garlic with biomoss to enhance digestion. These are added to the mineral year round.
I have been intrigued with the idea of making goat milk soap since third grade history class when I learned that the pioneers made their own soap. Until then I thought soap came from the store shelf, as many children today think their food does. Having too much milk and needing the goats to be more cost effective, I asked a neighbor lady to partner with me in a goat milk soap making business. Sometime after losing their barn and sheep to a fire, she agreed to this business venture. I needed the financial and business knowledge that she is graciously providing.
We call our venture Harmony Cream Soaps and Lotions. Our products are made from scratch with all natural, whole ingredients. I formulated our recipes for unique and exclusive quality soaps and lotions. No fragrance oils, fillers, synthetic preservatives or artificial colors are used, and no sodium lauryl sulfate. I want nothing to do with this dangerous ingredient found in commercial soaps, detergents, toothpastes and many other products. Our oils are not hydrogenised or homogenized, and the goat milk is also whole and fresh, not pasteurized or homogenized, so it retains it wholesomeness. Our goats are fed whole hay and grains.
Having started our Harmony Cream Soaps business (www.harmonycreamsoaps.com) in April 2010, we are doing quite well. All products are made in our home kitchens. Bar soaps are pured into six pound molds to set for 24 hours. Then these logs are cut into bars and cured for three weeks or longer, depending on humidity. Cured soap bars are wrapped by hand. Liquid soap remains in a jell state, so it is cured in a plastic container for two weeks, then diluted to a liquid state, put in bottles and weighed by hand. Lotions are the easy part; mixed, poured into jars and weighed. Laundry soap cures for three weeks then is ground, put in jars or bags, and weighed. All labeling is also done by hand.
We attend some local craft fairs and give educational talks to women’s and children’s groups about our soap, and distribute products to a number of stores.
Our product line includes five bar soaps (Shea Supreme, Real Castile, Old Time, Cactus and Old Time & Oatmeal), one liquid soap (Shea Supreme Moisturizing Body Wash), three lotions (Aloe, Sweet Almond & Vitamin E, and Panacea), all made with goat milk. These Products are all for use on your entire body. Also included in our product line is Granny’s Laundry Soap that does not contain goat milk, but is a true soap, not a detergent.
Our products are available in 14 stores in seven South Dakota cities, one store in Alabama, and one in Texas. Products have also been shipped to individuals in 10 other states and taken overseas as gifts. We invite everyone to visit our website (harmonycreamsoaps.com) for educational information and to place orders. Orders are welcomed for individual use or wholesale by calling 605-456-2712.