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Goat milk – dairy product and beauty staple

Mary Sue Leistico is a busy lady. Leistico, owner of Dewmar Acres, raises goats that she uses not only for drinking and dairy products but also to create fragrant lotions and soaps.Milking the 50 goats takes seven hours a day. Leistico said that when the milk is used for human consumption, milking is done by hand; otherwise, a milking machine is used. “That’s all I do. I mean, literally, I get up in the morning and start feeding and milking and it just takes all day, because of the number I have and the time I’m milking,” Leistico said.She said the benefits of goat’s milk outweigh the labor involved. Leistico said that the goat’s milk soap is moisturizing, clears eczema and takes away the itch of psoriasis. People with sensitive skin may like the unscented soap, but for others there is a myriad of scents to choose from, such as Oatmeal Milk and Honey, Cherry Almond, Plum Spice, Lemon Grass and Lavender.Leistico uses more than 20 different molds for her soaps, including pictures of horses, goats and roosters. Leistico said she makes up baskets for baby gifts and Christmas and also creates baskets with Southwest and Irish themes.The basic ingredients in her soap recipes are lye, goat’s milk and fat such as palm oil, and a scent of choice. Leistico said there are no harsh drying agents in this natural soap, as opposed to commercial products. When the soap has hardened in the mold, it is removed and there is a long drying period of six weeks to firmly set the soap before it can be used. Each batch of soap is made from about a gallon of milk, which makes 30 bars of soap. Leistico sells the soaps for $1 an ounce.She also makes goat’s milk lotions, which she said have therapeutic benefits. Learning the recipe for lotion was trial and error for Leistico. She started from a recipe in the Goat Quarterly Newsletter; unfortunately, they had left out a few of the important ingredients. Her first batches were failures because they did not mention the need for emulsifying wax and preservative. She has now learned the tricks of the trade. Leistico said the lotions are all natural and non-greasy and sell for $2 an ounce.When she bought her first pair of goats, she said she surprised herself. Her neighbor heard an ad for goats on the radio, so they went to take a look. “I had never seen a goat in my life, so we went out there and looked at the goats and I ended up buying a pair,” she said. “That’s how it got started. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh what did I do?’ I thought people were crazy that milked cows.”Leistico said she enjoys raising goats because their milk gives her an instant payback.”It’s like having a chicken, and everyday your instant payback from a chicken is the egg,” she said. “I don’t have to wait for a year or six months. I get a payback on the product. I can go make yogurt with my milk or cheese or whatever.”

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