Soothing the Skin for Spring
By Susan Gloss | Photos By Jim Klousia 0
A Naughty Goat and a New Career
Goat milk is the star ingredient in the handmade soaps, salves and lotions handcrafted by Naughty Goat, the brainchild of Miranda and Chris Pollock-Raymond at Under a Rock Farm near La Farge. Miranda and Chris tend a herd of eight goats along with heritage chickens and ducks, red wattle hogs, Shetland sheep, turkeys, geese and trout. Not to mention five children.
The family’s average day starts off with the children in a mad rush, getting ready for school and tending to farm chores, clearing the barn of manure, feeding and watering the animals. Managing such a diverse farm operation requires a team effort from the whole family.
“We try to remind the kids that we are the caretakers for the animals, and that they depend on us,” Miranda says. While Chris oversees the animal chores, Miranda tackles plant-related tasks. Many of the ingredients used in Naughty Goat soaps, lotions and balms are sourced right onsite at Under a Rock Farm.
In addition to utilizing goat milk and yogurt produced by their Alpine and LaMancha breed goats, Miranda uses tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and pumpkin purees and juices in her personal care creations. Home grown lavender, an herb known for its calming and antidepressant properties, goes into her recipe for an indulgent mineral spa soak. Antioxidant rosemary adds a fresh scent to a biodegradable shampoo bar. These natural ingredients not only smell heavenly but provide the skin with much-needed nourishment after a harsh winter. And they do so without the use of the petrochemicals, synthetic dyes or paraben preservatives commonly found in commercial body care products.
Making soaps and other body care products has been, quite literally, therapeutic for Miranda. Two years ago, a rollover car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury that affected her speech and memory. As part of her recovery, she had to relearn certain skills, such as following instructions, using a timer, and measuring and weighing items. These skills tied in well with soap making. At first, Miranda made her soaps and other products as a hobby, but family and friends soon began to request that she make more. Miranda worked on developing her own recipes and expanding the types of products she offered. She now sells Naughty Goat care products online, at the Viroqua Farmers Market and at Tulips General Store in Viroqua, which she and Chris run as an extension of their farm.
In addition to Naughty Goat soaps, Tulips General Store offers pottery by local artists, handmade jewelry, clothing and other items made by members of the community. The idea behind the store, explains Miranda, was to have a place where people could purchase unique items that would directly benefit friends and neighbors.
With all the creatures—two-legged, four-legged and fish-tailed—that depend on Miranda and Chris daily, it is hard to imagine that they ever get a moment to relax. They are too busy balancing their roles as selfdescribed “rogue farmers,” artisans, retailers and parents. Drinking plenty of coffee helps fuel them, as does their commitment to the community and their passion for the work they are doing.
It’s not all work and no play, though. “Most days involve some sort of animal antics, like goats dancing on a picnic table or Willie, the five hundred pound hog, taking himself for a walk,” Miranda adds. “Something interesting always happens.”
This simple body oil can be prepared at home and used in place of lotion after a bath or shower. It also makes a wonderful massage or bath oil.
Read on for more handcrafted body care businesses in the southern Wisconsin region!