Marilyn Cade

Homemade Goat Milk Soaps, Lavender Products

In December of 1974 we moved to the North Carolina mountains, filled with enthusiasm for the romance of farming our own land. We were also filled with complete city-bred ignorance of farming. Over the years, we were helped by many real farmers, who are neighbors and friends today. Back-to-the-earth books showed me how to milk our first goat.

We discovered what parts of farming we really liked: lots of small animals and raising flowers and herbs. Today we have dairy goats with their own guard-llama, chickens, angora goats and rabbits for their knitting wool, various barn cats and a dog.

The idea of living self-sufficiently evolved into living in nature as an art form. That is, to make a small number of really lovely yet ordinary things, using the farm’s spring water, mint, comfrey, lavender and rosemary. Each 80 bar batch of soap is hand-made, hand poured. All the lavender products are made in quantities of about a dozen at a time.

In the beginning we made soap the truly old-fashioned way, with lard rendered on the stove from animal fats. Now we make only vegetarian soap, using coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil, with goat milk, essential oils and our own herbs.

Marilyn Cade and her husband Jerry are the owners of Mountain Farm, a working lavender, blueberry and goat farm open to visitors throughout the year. Marilyn offers soap-making demonstrations at the farm and at schools, and twice a year she gives two day hands-on complete process workshops in cold-process soap making.

Marilyn is a member of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, the American Dairy Goat Association and Heifer International.

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