Rich goat milk graces every bar of soap we create at Pure Goat Soapworks. Today I want to give you a glimpse of the beautiful farm our milk comes from, and show you the milking process.
Terre Verde Farm is owned by our friend Tammy March-Vispi in Allegan, MI. We began our journey into soapmaking in 2012 when Kevin brought home 3 goats from Tammy. I fell in love with making and using goat milk soap, but along the way we discovered that we weren’t cut out to be dairy goat farmers. After a goat kidding (birthing) tragedy in 2015, we gave our herd of 8 goats to Tammy, and now get our milk from our former goats.
Seven-year-old Dominic was thrilled to come with me on our visit and get to see and play with the goat kids.
The first job was a fun one – feeding the kids! At the moment, five kids are being bottle fed. There was warm milk in bottles inside the bucket, and one of the kids was eager to help herself! The goats had been grazing in the large pasture, but needed to be put inside the pen to drink their milk. Once the kids were in the pen, it was time for everyone to eat.
Next, we headed inside the barn to milk Ceecee. She has been with Tammy for many years, and is one of her favorites. Tammy cleaned the goat’s underside, and then milked by hand into a stainless steel canister. Ceecee enjoyed some grain and vitamins while Tammy milked, and she was a pretty patient goat.
The rest of the does wait for their turn on the milking stand, and when they are finished, Tammy brings the milk inside to be filtered through a milk strainer to remove any dust or impurities. She then refrigerates the milk for her goat-share customers or freezes it.
I brought home eight frozen gallons to use in upcoming batches of soap. I’m thrilled to be able to get our milk from Tammy. She adores her animals and takes wonderful care of them.
Terre Verde also offers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm shares. Contact her through the Terre Verde Facebook page (link at top) for more information.