May 20, 2016

Photo Essay: Making Soaps with Goats

I'd just gone hiking with baby goats, so maybe I needed a fix.

But for whatever reason, I felt like I just had to go to the open house of the goat farm where Chivas Skin Care is based—despite the 90-minute drive (each way) and the slight overlap of having somewhat double-booked myself on a Saturday afternoon.

And regardless of whatever brought me back to Fillmore, I discovered that this place, too, had a connection to the St. Francis Dam Disaster. In fact, the epic flood picked up the ranch house and carried it away like something out of The Wizard of Oz. And when the waters dropped it down, it landed here.

Donna, the creator of the Chivas product line, says that she didn't initially intend on a commercial goat's milk operation. She'd gotten a goat so she could drink its raw milk, known for its health benefits—but since you can't really just have one goat, she got another, and another....

And now, she's got her own small manufacturing operation...

...creating custom scents (from pure plant extracts)...

...and colors (using botanicals like herbs and spices, or clay)...

...and even cutting the soaps by hand (with the help of some guitar strings in a somewhat customized contraption).

The premium soaps are beveled in a special shape.

Apparently, goat's milk is not only healthy when you drink it, but it's also good for your skin, as a natural exfoliant and a moisturizer (thanks to the natural fat content).

The pH of goat's milk is also close to that of human skin, so it's gentle (especially since the soaps aren't made with chemical irritants).

But let's be honest: As much as I like seeing how things work and how stuff is made, I was here for one thing.

Baby goats!

Itty bitty fluffballs on wobbly little legs!

Precious little sweet peas wrapped in towels to hold in my arms!

Curious faces and perked-up ears and high-pitched little bleats of joy and confusion!

I know I say this about a lot of animals (including birds), but I freaking love goats.

They're the kind of animal that seems like they could really love me back.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Hiking with Baby Goats
Photo Essay: The Path of Destruction of the St. Francis Dam Flood, 86 Years Later
Photo Essay: Chasing Down Some Flightless Feathered Friends

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