Lomah Acres: an interview & tour with the goat milk soap lady, & a giveaway!
Several years ago, when we started doing farmer’s market again, we had the best-smelling spot on the whole block of vendors: downwind from the goat milk soap folks. Not only were they likable, friendly and sweet people, their soap smelled so good and that’s what we smelled during market. I was delighted, later, to find that they were neighbors of ours and that the goats that we passed every time we went to town for groceries were theirs. Pretty, pretty goats.
I told my kiddos over and over: I’d love to go take pictures of those goats! They are so photogenic!
I finally had my opportunity to photograph the beautiful goats of Lomah Acres this week, and to visit a bit with Kathy, who with her family of ten children and good husband Jim, has built a successful business making and selling goat milk soap. Here’s my interview with Kathy, and lots of shots of (you guessed it) the pretty goats.
Oh! But that’s not all: Kathy was good enough to agree to do a giveaway of several bars of her lovely soaps, too. I promise you: you’re going to want to enter this giveaway, because this is the best soap! It’s creamy and beautiful and smells wonderful. (But read the interview, first.)
me: “Lomah Acres?” What’s the story behind the name of your farm?
Kathy: We chose “Lomah Acres” because we wanted to raise dairy goats and honey bees: you know, Land Of Milk And Honey. The bees have yet to work out though! Two failed attempts (one time they didn’t make it through winter and the other time they survived winter but died off or left later, can’t remember which). But now we have a beekeeper friend that is going to help us try again next year. 🙂
me: Why goats? What got you started keeping goats?
Kathy: We wanted to grow our own milk for our family. We have ten children. Goat milk is such a healthy food, and healthier than the milk that you can buy at the store. We moved to the country in May, and got our first goats in July. In no time, we had a dozen or more.
me: How many goats do you have now?
Kathy: (laughing) Around 30, I think.
me: What breeds do you keep?
Kathy: We keep five breeds currently: Nubians–their milk has the highest butterfat. And we have Kinders–they are a smaller cross of Nubian and Pgymy goats–their milk is the best tasting, it’s really delicious, that’s what we use for drinking. And we also keep Alpines, the heaviest milkers, and Mini Nubians–which are a cross between Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf. Their milk is good, too! Oh, also we have a few Saanen Nubian crosses, which are the white ones (pictured above).
me: So you started with goats because of wanting to have your own goat milk. How did you get into making goat milk soap?
Kathy: It’s expensive to keep livestock, of course, so we were looking for another product that we could produce and sell, to offset the costs of keeping the goats.
me: How did you learn how to make soap out of the goat milk?
Kathy: I already knew how to make soap, but I spent a lot of time researching and learning about making goat milk soap. I joined some online communities and learned a lot from them. I spent over a year reading and learning about making goat milk soap before I made my first batch.
me: We use your soap at our house. We love it. It’s our favorite soap. Why does goat milk make such excellent soap?
Kathy: You’ve heard of milk baths, right? The goat milk has very high butterfat, and it adds moisturizing qualities. It’s very soothing. Lots of people with skin problems use our soap, and their dry, itchy skin problems go away.
(Me again: Some other benefits of goat milk soap: it has close to the same pH as your own skin, which may protect your skin from bacteria. It’s packed with natural nutrients and vitamins and cream–goat cream. Doesn’t that sound luxurious? “I’m gonna go soak in my goat cream bath now, dear . . . “)
me: I’ve used other homemade soaps, but yours is my favorite.
Kathy: A friend of mine said to me once “All homemade soaps are pretty much the same,” but I don’t agree. Each soap has a formula. I took a year of study and research before I came up with my formula, and we haven’t changed it much since. I found a winning formula and we’ve stuck with it.
me: Can you explain, in layman’s terms, how you make soap?
Kathy: It makes me laugh when people use the term “all-natural soap.” There’s nothing “natural” about making soap! Soap is the result of a chemical reaction: you use a recipe. You have to use the proper amount of lye for the amount of oil (in our case, butterfat from the goat milk). Lye combined with oil results in the chemical reaction that makes soap. That’s called “Saponification.”
me: (weakly) “Saponification?”
Kathy: (laughing) That’s the word for when lye reacts to the oils and creates soap.
me: My mom made soap a few times. I remember that it was very strong.
Kathy: In the old days, they used wood ash and that old-fashioned lye soap could be very harsh. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to waste a thing, so that’s why I researched for a year before I made my first batch of goat milk soap. We’ve deviated very little since. We raised the superfat level just a bit.
Kathy: For each molecule of soap you have, you have to have enough lye for the oils. “Superfatting” means you’ve got more oils than you need for the lye. Too much fat and your soap is too soft, and loses its suds.
me: How many bars do you sell every year?
Kathy: We are going to end up selling 12,000 bars by the end of this year. Our goal is to reach 25,000 bars in a year.
me: Wow! That’s a lot of soap!
Kathy: Our soap sells itself. Once a customer buys that first bar, they’re hooked. It’s just a matter of getting it to the customers.
me: Where do you sell your soap?
Kathy: We have our website up, and we have our soap in stores all over Nebraska. The Hy-Vee stores are the biggest stores that sell our soap. We have soap now in 25 stores. We also do craft festivals, and the big farmer’s market in Lincoln at the Haymarket on Saturdays during the summer. Our Soap House (down the road) is open most Saturdays in December, if you have any Christmas shopping left to do. Oh, and we have soap in a store in California.
me: California? How did that happen?
Kathy: A retired couple from Nebraska opened a store in California, and called it “From the Homestead.” They carry all handmade products from Nebraska. Somehow they got ahold of a bar of our soap and used it, and really liked it. They contacted us to ask if they could carry our soap in their store. We said “oh, okay . . . ” (grinning).
me: What are your plans for expanding?
Kathy: We want to expand into stores in Missouri and Iowa. We go to crafts shows in other (neighboring) states, people get hooked on our soap, and so we’d like to have it in stores in those areas. It’s just a matter of time.
me: What’s your favorite type of soap that you make?
Kathy: “Twilight.” Hands-down favorite.
me: And what’s your best seller?
Kathy: “Oatmeal, milk and honey.” It’s been our best seller for years. Everybody loves it.
me: Anything new you want to share with me?
Kathy: We have a new Nebraska line that we’re really excited about: “Nebraska Prairie Grass,” “Nebraska Wine,” and “Nebraska Sunflowers.” They’ve become very popular.
me: “Nebraska wine!” That sounds lovely.
Kathy: I’m Italian, so the scent of ripe grapes on the vine is something that I grew up with. Our Nebraska Wine soap smells just like ripe grapes on the vine. James Arthur Vineyards here in Nebraska provides the wine for that soap.
me: Any other production plans in the works?
Kathy: We’re looking for a local source for roasted coffee beans, because we want to produce a coffee-scented soap, using locally-roasted coffee beans.
me: I’m pretty sure I’d love that soap!
Kathy: I’ll let you know when we have some available, Amy!
Intrigued? Be sure to check out the Lomah Acres website, where you can purchase goat milk soap and lots of other goat milk products, as well. And you can stay updated by liking the Lomah Acres Facebook page, as well.
I’d like to thank Kathy and her family for letting us crash their quiet afternoon for our pretty-goat-picture-taking-session and for this interview. If you’d like a few bars of this lovely soap for your own self, please do enter the giveaway below! Here’s what you could win:
Or if you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, click on over to the Lomah Acres website and order a few bars today! They make excellent stocking stuffers and gifts, and you probably even have time to get a few bars for Christmas gift-giving!
More from my site
- Sketchbook Thursday: what’s going on this week!
- How to make pretty displays for the holidays out of dead stuff . . .
I’ve used this soap, and it’s my favorite. And I LOVE the Wine scent! It’s new to me, so maybe that helps, but it’s wonderful. 🙂
I have never used goat milk soap, but my mom’s cousin Doris used to raise goats and do all types of things with the goat’s milk. She lives in Phoenix now, and she sometimes misses her goats. I would love to win some! I am almost out of body wash and have been looking for something better to replace it with. Plus, I am very intrigued by the Nebraska Prairie Grass scent . . . I have always loved the smell of prairie grass on a warm summer day! It is by far one of my favorite smells ever.
I smelled that soap at the Soap House the other day: it really does smell wonderful!
Yaay! I love this soap. So happy to be able to enter the giveaway. And those pictures you took of the goats are SO good. You should submit them for publication to a farming magazine somewhere. 🙂
Thanks, Bethie. Actually Amalia took some of those photos–I tell you, it’s really easy to take good pictures of those goats because they are super friendly and curious. They came right over to us!
Why, yes, I have used goat milk soap. And now it is all I use! I love it. Thank you for doing this interview and giveaway, it was very informative and wonderful to read. I love supporting these hometown business.
Lomah Acres is a pretty sweet little business, Alisha: aren’t we lucky to have them in our area?
I love their soap! And their stain stick is one of the greatest things that ever happened to my laundry room. 🙂
Oh, really, Liz? I’ll have to search one of those out for myself!
I’ve never used goats milk soap, but I’ve wanted to try making soap for a long time. The whole lye part is scary though! Do they source goats milk from other places in addition to what they get on the farm? If not I’m amazed at how much they are able to produce with 30 goats! Great post as usual!
PS Did you know it’s snowing on your site? LOL 🙂
I think they have plenty of milk for their own goats. I don’t think they have to search out any more. And isn’t that snow fun?
I have not tried goat milk, but am excited to try it. I really like hand made soaps and I love the idea of using goat milk. They have so many scents, and types of soap. Something for everyone.
No, I have never tried it but I should now that you wrote this note!!! I have dry skin so I am very curious!
Try it and let me know, Rose, how it works for your skin!
I love this soap! It’s true…once you start using goat soap, it’s hard to go back (and who would want to?!)
Good point, sister!
Love goats milk soap.
It always makes me happy to see people succeeding at their ventures. The goats are adorable and I like that they have some soaps that have essential oils instead of fragrance oils.
oops, guess i was supposed to answer the question. I have never used goats milk soap but it looks like i’ll have to remedy that soon!
I have never heard of these soaps, I bet they smell really great! Enjoyed your post, always learn something new when I visit your blog and awesome pictures too!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
The goats are too cute. 😉 I’ve never used goat soap before but I might have to try it now.
It’s luxurious and I love it, Nicole! I hope you try some!
I have never tried goat milk soap, but am very intrigued!
Oooo, goat milk, hand-crafted soap. This is a luxury! Thank you for posting about this lovely family business. I like supporting such folks. Have a great day!
I have never tried goat milk soap! But would love too!
I want goats too! It took me 5 years to get chickens, so I haven’t given up yet! Nice interview, and thanks for the chance to win these soaps. They sound wonderful!
I’ve wanted some goats for quite some time, too! I’d have them now, except that my hubby is much more cautious about Livestock Additions than am I. 😉
Yes I have used goat milk soap before but would love to try it from Lomah acres.
I have used goats milk soap and I loved the creaminess of it! I’m glad that Lomah Acres has some essential oil options, at my house we are all sensitive to synthetic scents, colors, and preservatives. On their website it says that the colors are “mineral colors”, which I’m hoping are natural and wouldn’t bother my sensitive skinned family. 🙂
I’m sure that you could shoot Kathy an email or a Facebook message and ask her about that issue. (Just tell her that Amy sent you.) 😉
I would love to try the soap. Is sounds lovely.
It really is lovely, Julia!
I have not tried goat milk soap; it seems like it would be good.
I have never used goats milk soap but I do have milk goats for milk. I adore my goats. They are so sweet.
I’ve never used goat milk soap but I’ve heard amazing things!
Yes, I have used goat soap before! Love it!
Yes, I have used before but only once or twice.
I like the shaving soaps…I also like the shaving mug!!
I have not used goats milk soap but my sister in law, who has skin issues, uses goats milk soap and loves it. I am intrigued by some of the Nebraska “flavors”. Artisan made goats milk soap is common here in upstate New York (this is dairy country, including two commercial goat dairies within about 100 miles of me – and maybe more that I don’t know about) but it would be interesting to see the differences between our soaps and these.
Hmmm sounds like you need to place an order, maybe, Alana, and do a “taste-test” of the regional flavours?
I have found goat’s milk soap to be helpful for dry, itchy skin. Can’t have too much of it on hand! It would be so nice to win some. Thank you for this opportunity.
Good luck, Pam!
I have never used Goat Milk soap. Trying to convince my daughter that we NEED to raise goats for milk, soap, and CUTENESS!
They really are cute, aren’t they, Dee? And so photogenic and friendly!!
I have never tried goat milk soap, I’d never heard of it! But those goats sure are cute!!
Aren’t they, Michelle? So easy to photograph, too, since they are so curious!
I would love to try the twilight scent. I would imagine this would be great soap for anyone with skin problems.
Elizabeth, I think a lot of people with skin problems buy it, just because it’s so soothing.
I have never used goat milk soap, but I am willing to give it a try!
Debbi, It’s lovely!
I’ve never used goat’s milk but it sounds like I should. My skin is so dry this winter!
Laura, It has been very dry here, too. It does help!
I don’t believe I have. However I would absolutely love the opportunity!
I actually have not ever used it before.
yes, I have
I have never used goats milk soap but it sounds wonderful and I would love to try it.
I don’t think I’ve ever tried goat milk soap.
As far as I know I have not tried goat milk soap that is why it would be so great to win this giveaway and get to try some!! 🙂
hi! 🙂 I really have no idea if I ever have – we use lots of soaps, store bought, ones we find online, so if I ever have, I wasn’t paying much attention1
I have never used goat mil soap , sounds interesting.
I never tried goats milk soap before. I would love to though.
I haven’t tried goats milk soap but I’d really like to.
yes I Love Goat Milk Soap.
No, I have never used goat’s milk soap before, but after reading this interview, I am very intrigued by it.
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