Sunday, December 18, 2016

Researching Goat's Milk Soap and Zoning and Yarn-Making Thingies

I got excited today - for a minute, I thought that I might be able to have some farm animals on my current property.  I was reading my town's zoning laws and discovered that my family's house is in the "Village Commercial District," and that even though we're practically in the center of town, some Domestic Farm Animals are allowed - with restrictions.

So I read a bit more and learned that the "restriction" is that the property needs to be at least one acre.  Our lot is only .61 of an acre, according to the tax map.

*Sigh.*

So that means no goats or chickens yet.  (Don't worry, Mom and Dad - I would NOT have tried to bring cows or pigs onto this little bitty piece of land!)

The house looks secluded in this photo, but the neighbor's house is to my left, and a busy road runs past the house just to my right.  
Related to goats, however, I've been wondering how many goats I would need if goats' milk soap was my primary source of income.  I'm still figuring this one out, but I picked away at a few numbers today.

The first recipe I looked at calls for 13 ounces of goat's milk (along with some other ingredients); this will produce four 4-oz bars of soap.  

One person's record of her Nigerian Dwarf Goat's milk production came to roughly four cups of milk a day - which would equal roughly twelve bars of soap a day.  

The goat produced milk for over a year...twelve bars of soap a day for one year = 4380 bars of soap. 

Wow!

I'm skeptical that it's as cut-and-dried as that - for example, how much of that is consumed by the kid(s) until they are weaned? - but I'm happy to at least have the start of some numbers to think about.  It sounds like I wouldn't need to have very many goats in order to run a thriving goats' milk soap company, and that a nice small breed like the Nigerian Dwarf might work out very well for me.

There's even a breed called the Nigora that you can get both milk and fiber from...I've never been particularly interested in knitting or crocheting, but I have to admit that making my own yarn sounds mildly intriguing...

I forget what this thing is called, but it has something to do with making yarn...
Oh, and back to the zoning stuff...on a happier note, I did find out that apparently all the land in our area that is not zoned as just commercial or residential is considered Residential Agricultural, and if my understanding of what I read is correct, then there are no restrictions against owning farm animals on that type of land.  I need to stop by Town Hall sometime to confirm this hypothesis and to see if they have a better map than the PDF file I was looking at.

Okay, I looked it up...it's a yarn winder.  I believe that the bell would ring to help count how many revolutions the arms had made so you could get a consistent amount of yarn in each skein.
Tomorrow I'm going to pick up ingredients to try making Butterscotch candy - can't have a name like Butterscotch Farm and not be able to back it up with some real Butterscotch!

We'll see how it goes...I've never tried making hard candy before...

Worst case, I'll settle for cookies with Butterscotch chips.  :)

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