October 26, 2021

These goats get hero’s respect

Katie Keyser/living and leisure editor

Marie Vogt’s goats jump on her as she tries to escape a pen at her farm in Cortlandville. Vogt uses goat milk makes dairy-based soaps and goat cheese for her family.

Alison Frost said goat milk soap is good for the skin.

The Truxton farmer has made soap using goat milk for more than 20 years — and it’s one of her products from her Frosty Morning Farm she owns with her husband, Karl.

“It makes a mild soap,” she said, and it has extra moisture.

Several soap makers in the area, many goat farmers, make use of goat milk for their beauty bars.

Frost has been raising goats for 30 years. She and her 4-H club in the the ‘90s, Kids 4 Kids, were regulars at Cortland’s June Dairy Parade.

“I started making soap because of Jo Ellen Roehrig,” she said. “She’s considered the goat goddess. She was the leader of our club.”

Goats are dairy animals too, Frost said. Their 4-H club had a massive male goat pull a cart in the dairy parade. He was a regular. They had a hippy theme with kids wearing tye-dyed shirts and carrying “Goats are Groovy” signs. Another year: A “goats feed the world,” emphasis.

They made a Goatzilla statue.

“It’s a Cortland thing,” she said.

The Frost farm is organic and sells plants, flowers, potting mix, as well as soaps, salves and extracts. Goat milk soap is part of the mix.

Frost has eight goats. Two are milking and there are five babies.

“Goats are sweet,” Frost said. “We drink their milk. We think it tastes better. We think it’s healthier. Their milk is delicious. We make cheese, yogurt. They are right sized for a homestead animal.”

The fat globules in goat milk are smaller, easier to digest and goat milk has fewer allergens, she said.

Frost’s most popular goat soap is “Fresh Morning,” with oatmeal, honey and lavender, and calendula soap, made with the flower.

Her products are available Saturdays at the Cazenovia Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Village Green and the Syracuse Cooperative Market. People can shop at www.frostymorningfarmcny.com, email the order to frostymorningfarm@yahoo.com and pick up their order at the farm or at the market.

Marie Vogt of Cortlandville has 50 nubian goats, half of which are babies, and makes goat milk soap seasonally for family and friends.

“I’d like to make it more of a business. I haven’t gotten that far,” she said. “All summer I will make it. The babies will get the mother’s milk for two-three months. Then the milk is mine.”

She also drinks goat milk, makes cheese and has a goat processed for meat.

“My goats make exceptionally nice milk and the cheese is out of this world,” said the 22-year goat farmer. “I support them and they support me.”

Making soap from goat milk is a little difficult to make. “You have to keep your soap cool while making it,” Vogt said.

She has been making both hot- and cold-press soaps for 10 years, after taking two soap classes at Onondaga-Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services to learn.

She has a special shop set up in her garage with dried flowers, plants and herbs.

“It makes my skin soft,” said Gabrielle Shute, Vogt’s granddaughter, a helper on the farm. “I love having any choice of soap I want. If I do it and I like it, I keep doing it.”

Katie Keyser/living and leisure editor

Gabrielle Shute, Marie Vogt’s granddaughter and assistant, holds her baby goat, M&M.

Goats like cool days. They are fussy, she said. They don’t like hot sun, wet grass, rain. “They spend a lot of time in the barn.”

Jill Swartley of Friendsville, Pa., is a member of the Central New York Dairy Goat Society and said she can ship goat milk soap anywhere, she said. She’s working on a website but can be accessed at jill.kutz24@gmail.com.

She bought goat milk soap for herself 20 years before learning to make it herself.

“I used to break out in hives while traveling,” she said. “I’m allergic to sheets and soap in hotels.”

Goat milk soap is really good for people with sensitive skin, she said. She’d buy it in bulk from a woman from Broome County, then she took a class from her soap maker, to help a 4-H Club fundraiser. She started making her own.

Goat milk soap has Vitamin B5, A, B, D, E, and folic acid, all naturally occurring, she said. It’s good stuff.

“I am 53. People say all the time I look like I am 40,” she said.

Nancy Lee owns Balsam Rose Soap Co. in Spafford with her husband, Bob. She uses goat’s milk from a Conquest farmer.

“We sold together at the the Skaneateles market,” she said

She said the milk is rich in moisturizers, but won’t make any scientific claims.

“People know it when they use it,” said Lee, who has been making soap for eight years.

“A year after we started making it in New Jersey, we moved up to New York on weekends. And then we bought a house,” she said. “We’ve been here seven years.”

She has a website, www.balsamrosesoap.com, is on Facebook and is part of the artisan gallery in Cazenovia.

“We love living here. We were living in Freeville at first,” Lee said. “We got our start at the Homer farmers’ market.”