Soap Market & Goat Milk Info

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Great news for all y’all soap makers out there! According to Research and Markets brand spankin new publication:

The (US Cosmetic & Toiletries) market grew by around 2.8% in 2010 crossing US$ 36 Billion over the previous year…The organic and natural personal care sector has observed higher growth rate compared to the total market for personal care products in the US…In the current scenario, marketers are pressing their R&D efforts to develop greener products to satisfy consumer demand with sustainability becoming the prime focus for them. Locally made products or sourced ingredients are also gaining popularity…there is a large room for future growth in the US.  Continue Reading >>

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesdays.

 

 

The 3 L’s of Handmade Soap

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Soap is near and dear to my heart and my wallet (which is one of the reasons it’s near and dear to my heart). I love soap for its many exclusive traits including the fact that it cleanses, but more so because I can actually make it on my farm and sell it to people legally. Soap is the only “unregulated” product I’ve found that I can sell to the public and fortunately it happens to be a very popular item. However, I’ve also discovered not all handmade soap is created equally.

There are some things that will set a good handmade soap apart from the rest. These details are quite important because as you may have noticed; there are a lot of soap products on the market these days. But first let’s talk about why handmade soap is so different and better than commercially manufactured soap like products. See More…

This post is liked to Works for Me Wednesdays and Simple Lives Thursday.

USDA fines Missouri family $90k for selling a few rabbits without a license

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By Jonathan Strong

It started out as a hobby, a way for the Dollarhite family in Nixa, Mo., to teach a teenage son responsibility. Like a lemonade stand.

But now, selling a few hundred rabbits over two years has provoked the heavy hand of the federal government to the tune of a $90,643 fine. The fine was levied more than a year after authorities contacted family members, prompting them to immediately halt their part-time business and liquidate their equipment. Read full article…

June 2 protest planned for USDA $90K rabbit fine.

Farm Party Potluck

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The big day is almost here, my first ever farm party! At this point I am more nervous than excited but I keep telling myself to relax and have FUN with it because that’s the whole point right?

The purpose of the event is to bring our county’s farmers and small business owners together for an afternoon of music, games and farm fresh goodies. I got this idea about a year ago when I noticed in a local publication just how many small farmers there are in Hickman County. I thought how great it would be to network, share marketing ideas and customers, get advice and just plain get to know one another. Hence the farm party concept was born.

Here’s the picture I have in mind:

Yeah right.

At this point I am realizing how unprepared I am. With just a few days to go I still need to gather scarecrow making supplies for the children’s craft project, follow up with the bluegrass band (I’m beginning to fear they are unavailable that day), set up the horseshoe pit, decorate the photography area and touch base with the other farms to see who’s bringing what. Then there’s sprucing up the barn (hahahaha) and scouring the milk parlor. Last but not least I’ve got to set up a vendor’s area and create the backyard farming handouts for the info booth.

BTW, I’ll be serving radish leaf pesto, a recipe I got from Kris at Attainable Sustainable.

So there it is, my to-do list which was the main motivation for this post. Gotta go now, bye!

This post is linked to Homestead Barn Hop.

Making it without Losing it

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Recently I had the opportunity to attend a conference for women in farming and small business. I expected the workshops on marketing and management  but what I didn’t expect was an intimate forum in which several successful business women shared their stories of self doubt, faith, motherhood, natural disasters, community support, customer relationships and well facebook of course.

I couldn’t believe my ears, all this time I felt like a crazy person, obsessing over every detail of my fledgling soap company, feeling incompetent, frustrated and overwhelmed while simultaneously having the time of life. It is a strange reality sometimes but hearing other women share their experiences, I realized I don’t occupy this reality alone. In a way, I felt reassured and relieved that I’m not the only one… But then it was also kind of like wtf? will there be no end to the insanity?! These “successful” business women are obviously struggling with the same issues I am.

I walked away with some great tips on how to tell my story and how important that is in business. I went home and began the first draft of a press release about my soap farm, vowed to open a twitter account and made photocopies of all the important crap I carry around in my purse. Then I had an extra dry vodka martini, cried, laughed and fell asleep.