Returning to her roots is paying off for Barb Bailey, who lives on a farm near Marble Hill with husband, Anthony, and their children. Farm living has evolved into a home-based business for the couple.

Bailey raises goats and her family drinks the milk and eats the yogurt and cheese she makes from the goats’ milk.

A conversation she had with a friend in Kennett, Mo., led Bailey to start a home-based business, Patchwork Acres. Her friend, who makes soap using store-bought goats’ milk, suggested Bailey try making some using milk from her own goats.

Bailey now sells her soaps at farmers markets, craft fairs, through mail order and from her website.

Bailey said her husband milks the goats, and sometimes their children help. After she filters the milk, what the family doesn’t use goes into the freezer, part of the cold-process soap-making. After she adds the ingredients necessary to make the soap, she pours the soap into molds and lets it cure for three to six weeks.

In addition to the goats’ milk and more than 30 fragrances, ingredients include olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil, palm oil, vegetable shortening, lard, clays, honey, pumice, oatmeal, even coffee and beer.

Making goat milk soap isn’t a living, Bailey said, “but every year is better and better. This past year has been my best year. It contributes to the family finances.”

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar