from the Milk of Goats
by Tony Coppi
Amaire Moore had a good reason for making goat milk soap. One of her three children, Cami, had eczema, a skin disease that causes severe itching and bleeding when scratched. Her arms and legs would break out with red bumps and a rash. For some time prescription creams and a water-miscible ointment helped but did not clear up her skin problem. Steroids were suggested but Mrs. Moore felt there had to be another answer.
“I had always heard that milk was good for the skin. Milk had been used thousands of years ago for its moisturizing qualities. We had goats and lots of goat milk so I started researching different soap-making techniques using all natural ingredients. My first batch of soap contained goat milk, honey, lanolin, and aloe vera,” Mrs. Moore said. “My hope with the soap was to replace nutrients to my daughter’s skin while moisturizing it at the same time.”
After Cami used the newly made goat soap in her tub baths everyday for six days, her skin problem began to clear up. Her skin did not feel dry or itch. The symptoms of the skin disease disappeared.
That was the beginning of the Season Watch Soaps. Other people with the same problems asked for the soap. The kitchen of the Moore family became their “soap factory.”
In their first year of making the goat milk soap, up to 15 varieties of soap with different scents and purposes have been made. Now people with acne problems, diabetics, chemotherapy patients with dry skin, and allergy sufferers use the soap.
The Handyman Special is one of their popular soaps used by mechanics, gardeners, and people that work outdoors a lot. It contains no abrasives.
The cake soap is made by heating vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and extra light olive oil together in a large kettle. In the next step, store bought lye is combined with the goat milk in an ice water bath. Mrs. Moore uses rubber gloves and safety glasses while stirring the mixture since the lye is very volatile and hot. The ice water bath prevents the milk from curdling. The combination of the lye and goat milk is poured into the oil kettle. Borax, honey, and sugar are added. The ingredients are then blended with corn meal and essential oils. Finally, the complete mixture cures in a mold and is later cut into cakes and wrapped.
Besides the cake soaps, Mrs. Moore, after researching for some time, has developed a liquid soap that can be used as a shampoo. One veterinarian is using the product for skin problems on animals.
Amaire attended DePauw and Indiana Universities and earned administrative degrees in special education. She taught at Perry Township schools in Indianapolis, Bedford North Lawrence, and Brown County for a total of 15 years.
“One of my students once said we should have goats—‘they are so much fun’—so we bought one. Naturally, since it was a herd animal, it had to have a playmate—so we bought another one. That’s how it all got started,” Amaire recalled.
The Moore family has been raising goats on their Blind Turns Farm near Bean Blossom since 1993. They started out with two kids and now have a herd of 23 does and four bucks. The does will have 35 to 40 kids before the middle of April.
“Wahoo is one of our original, does. She is 10½ years old and our Matriarch. We are expecting triplets from her real soon,” Mrs. Moore said.
Another favorite is Valentino, a magnificent two-year-old animal, a so1id-black Nubian breed herd sire that was born on Valentine’s Day.
Mrs. Moore “doctors” the goat herd herself, giving shots (diphtheria, tetanus, etc.), worming, and administering the oral medication. The oral medicines are in a paste form similar to dental cream.
Before the soap making began, the goats were a hobby. The children engaged in 4-H activities, craft shows, and fairs, showing the animals throughout the state, winning many awards — countless numbers of blue ribbons and trophies.
Justin, 15, is in his sixth year in 4-H; Cami, 10, is in her second; and Win, 9, in his first year. They also ‘pitch-in’ on other tasks on the goat ranch. Justin hauls hay, cleans stalls, unloads feed, and is responsible for 200 chickens and the egg business.
Cami milks and feeds the goats, helps make the soap, does the pricing and wrapping, and labels the soap cakes. Win removes the soap from the molds and helps wrapping and labeling.
Amaire’s husband Ernie is the construction engineer, nicknamed “chore boy.” He builds the pens, hay boxes, ramps, and milk stands. He also sets up fences.
The Moores sell the soap from their home, at feed stores and country markets, and through the Internet at <www.seasongoat.com>. They can be reached at 812-988-1349.