By Taylor Boyd
A local farm that set out to make use of the land has developed its own brand of goats’ milk-based products.
Courtney and Jay Moose, owners of The Moose Country Farm in Stuart, moved to the area in 2014. The couple, who migrated from the King George area, said they wanted to get away from urban living and move towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
While originally unsure of how to use their acreage, Courtney Moose said she decided to start creating goats’ milk-based products to help with the skin rashes her youngest daughter, Jayme, developed due to reactions with her soap.
“I had been reading, and I had always loved goats milk products, and I said, ‘well, there’s our direction. There’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to figure out how to help her sensitive little skin do better,’” she said.
Courtney Moose decided she would milk her own goats, and after hours of research and numerous failed attempts, learned how to make soap.
Courtney Moose said the family started out with Nigerian goats and a Toggenburg mixed breed, but that attempt was met with little success.
“Boy I tell you, if they could get out the fence, that was the first thing they did,” she said.
After researching more goat breeds Courtney Moose found the Nubian breed.
“For our very first Nubian, we drove all the way out to Christiansburg, and there was a lady that was running a milk-share place. We saw these Nubians, and I went ‘that’s it,’” she said.
The farm currently has eight Nubian goats that are normally milked once a day. The couple also keeps bees and uses beeswax for some of their products.
Courtney Moose said she’s been encouraged that she’s going in the right direction by returning customers. She also knows her products are helping other people.
“You know, folks get poison ivy, and they send me a message for goats’ milk because they know that’s going to help ease their skin,” she said, noting that goats’ milk has been shown to help with the symptoms of acne, eczema, and dry skin.
Jay Moose said the milk is rich in Vitamin A, which helps boost a person’s immune system and is full of anti-aging properties.
“I can’t sell something I don’t think is good and doesn’t work,” Courtney Moose said.
Creating the products has also allowed her to further teach her daughter the value of hard work and the art of being your own boss.
“We’re teaching her to have the wherewithal, the knowledge, and the ethic to be your own boss. That is something that’s invaluable,” she said.
Courtney Moose said the couple sells the products to buy more supplies that will help them keep creating more products.
“We enjoy going places and we enjoy talking to people, and this provides the opportunity to do so. We enjoy the opportunity to educate people on the value of growing your own thing, making your own things, and the animals,” she said.
Jay Moose said the couple recently encountered a five-year-old boy at the Meadows of Dan Folk Fair. “He got there and couldn’t understand why we had the goat, but he latched onto that goat and stayed with that goat the entire time until his momma got him,” he said.
Through their conversation with the boy, the family planted a seed about the goat and how its milk is used to create products.
“He’ll always remember the goat and will talk to some other child about it, and that’s what we enjoy about what we do,” Courtney Moose added.
She said she also is in talks of a partnership with the Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group LLC to create Christmas gifts for nursing home residents and Alzheimer’s patients.
“A lot of the elderly folks do well with it. It seems to help them,” she said.
Goats’ milk cold processed soaps make up the bulk of Moose Country Farm’s beauty product line.
“They are made with lye, and I make those using high quality oils. The essential oils are what offers them the scent, so there’s not a fragrance that could produce a reaction,” she said, adding the soaps are available in a variety of molds.
Other products include various scents of goats’ milk lotion, candles, lip balm made from home-sourced bees, bath bombs, and charcoal face bars.
“I just started making those. Activated charcoal has become a big thing for people to use for their skin. They also take it internally and use it for sores,” she said.
The farm also sells chow-chow and a variety of pickles.
Moose Country Farm products are available at the Concord Corner Store in Meadows of Dan and Spring Drug in Patrick Springs.
For more information or to order products, visit Facebook/com/MooseCountryFarm or www.etsy.com/shop/MooseCountryFarm.