Vendor Highlight – Deb Haka of DakotaGoats

This is the first in a series of vendor highlights and a teaser for the upcoming markets starting in May. You see us at market, and we chat a bit, but there’s still a lot to know about each of us…and we’d like to share.

First, you’re going to meet Deb Haka of DakotaGoats. Yep, she’s the one with the awesome goat milk soap. And, if you were lucky, you came to the market last season when she brought one of her fainting goats.

How Deb got started making goat milk soap…

I have had goats for 4 years. I started with Fainter goats the first year and the year following I decided I needed dairy goats to help with feeding baby calves every spring. I have had dairy cattle for 9 years and I always have several bottle calves on some nurse cows….some ranchers have a several sets of twins and they call me. Having the extra milk from a dairy goat seemed sensible so I purchased a few and I now have 25 dairy goats. That first year I had to buy an extra freezer just to keep the excess milk. I did a little research on uses of goat milk and found soap to be a really good product to try. About 3 years ago I started making soap for us at home and found that it truly is a wonderful product. I used the best ingredients and loved the luxury of a moisturizing silky soap. I was hooked!!

When the Farmers’ Market came along it just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. I work full time as a bookkeeper and tax preparer and my soap hobby is my relaxation. It’s also excellent stress relief to visit with people at the markets. The best part of the Farmers’ Market are the friends I’ve made. It starts to feel like we’re family by the end of the season. I truly appreciate all the efforts that other people put into growing or making a product for the market. American Spirit at its best!!

About the goats…

They are easy to care for and, contrary to popular belief, they don’t eat everything. What they do like to do is taste everything first, though…including coats, pants, shirttails, and fingers. They are simply curious like infants and everything goes into their mouth first to sample. They will spit it out just as fast, though, and are actually quite picky about the type of grass, alfalfa, or weeds they eat. There is always a leader of the pack who keeps the group in check. The leader always knows which is the best grass, tree, or shrub to eat and typically teaches the followers which weeds they shouldn’t eat. The leader sample weeds first and if it doesn’t make them sick they allow the rest to follow. They are exceptional mothers.

An unusual fact about goats is that the pupils of their eyes are rectangular.

One thing you wouldn’t know about Deb…

I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer exactly 9 years ago this month…it involved the lymph nodes. I am almost ready to say I have it licked…but I’m not going to jinx myself. Give me another 35 years and I’ll say it!!

And if you want to read more…

My blog is http://dakotagoats.blogspot.com and I started blogging for a diary of sorts to keep better track of births and happenings. I am not fancy, but it’s sure a lot of fun looking back at stuff…..usually!!

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