Kaitlin Jones, owner and founder of Fox and Fern Farm in South Mountain, makes handcrafted goat’s milk soap using milk from her Oberhasli goats. Kameron Elizabeth Photography Courtesy Photo
Fox and Fern Farm lathers locals with handcrafted goat’s milk soaps
SOUTH MOUNTAIN – “I am passionate about creating soaps that bring joy to people’s lives,” Kaitlin Jones said. “It has been so fun through the pandemic to be able to witness so many different people get so excited about one of life’s simple pleasures, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Jones is the owner of Fox and Fern Farm where she creates handcrafted goat’s milk soaps. She’s lived on her hobby farm, along with her husband and two sons, for roughly 10 years. She said she started with just a few chickens, but she’s since taken on the care of seven Oberhasli goats, and her decision to create handcrafted goat’s milk soaps came, literally, from a dream.
“A few years ago, before owning goats, I woke up from a vivid dream where I was a soap maker who used milk from my own goats. I woke up with a strong feeling that it was something I needed to pursue, and so, fast forward several years and here we are,” she said.
Fox and Fern Farm’s handcrafted soaps are created with certified organic, and sustainably sourced, oils and butters, Jones said. She said each oil and butter has its own unique skin properties and benefits to create “that perfect balance” between cleansing and skin conditioning. Once the oils are melted down, Jones said she dissolves the lye into the goat’s milk, which she’s gathered from her Oberhasli goats, and then she mixes everything together.
“Goat’s milk is an excellent additive to soap because the natural fats help to create a bubbly lather to provide a gentler cleansing than commercially manufactured soaps. Because goat’s milk is high in caprylic acid, it maintains the skin’s natural moisture barrier, and doesn’t leave skin feeling dry and tight like most other soaps. People who suffer from skin conditions, such as eczema, generally find goat’s milk soap to be soothing and helpful in repairing damaged areas of the skin,” Jones said.
Although she’s not making any health claims about her handcrafted soaps, she encourages consumers to do their own research about the many benefits of goat’s milk soaps. In fact, it was her own internet research that allowed Jones to make her dream of becoming a soap maker a reality.
“Many of my designs are inspired by nature. I enjoy using many different colours to mimic those of the fruity, natural, or floral elements of the specific fragrance I’m using. There are many different swirling techniques which can be used to create specific elements within your loaf,” Jones said. “Sometimes it all works out just as planned, and other times not so much. That really is part of the fun of soap making.”
While Jones is the soap maker in the family, she said her husband and children help in other ways. While her two sons assist with the goats, both feeding and spending time with them, her husband Mike helps with construction activities, like building structures, as well as modifying and improving them when needed. Jones said Mike has done a lot of work in the past few years not only building goat shelters and goat play structures, but also clearing new pastures.
Right now, my focus is just about keeping a broad selection of soaps available for my market stand and online store, but I hope, in a couple of years, to be able to turn my soap business into my full-time day job,” Jones said.
“My soaps are available at many local farmers’ markets. I post my market locations each month on Instagram and Facebook. Alternatively, the soap can be purchased at The Maker’s Hub in Winchester,”
Jones said. “I don’t have a brick-and-mortar shop, but there is an option online for free local pickup where you can stop in and grab your order from my home in South Mountain.”
Fox and Fern Farm is located on Pleasant Valley Road in South Mountain. To learn more about Jones’ handcrafted goat’s milk soaps, visit her website (foxandfernfarm.ca), or contact her directly via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Fox and Fern Farm can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
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