MAKER FEATURE: DREAMGOATS

MAKER FEATURE: DREAMGOATS

Meet Leah, the founder and owner of Dreamgoats. If you're local to the area, you know Dreamgoats is the best spot for handmade soap and goat cuddles
Many of us at Conscious Clothing have been huge fans of what Leah offers to the Grand Rapids community. Kendra offers up her time as a volunteer and Olivia swears by Leah's Goats Milk laundry soap. So without further ado, let's dive into the Dreamgoats world.
Tell us a little bit about your story and introduce us to your life - how did you get where you are today?

"The path to Dreamgoats is winding and bootstrappy. It still is! And I like it that way. I am a child of artists who stubbornly studied science because I love the earth and because I felt the answers to loving it better were hidden there. Turns out I prefer to love the earth by inhabiting it, naming it, being a creature inside of it, rather than dissecting it under a microscope. I created Dreamgoats to explore my relationship with animals and plants and to entice others to explore theirs. I think that goats orient us to learning that each creature is a character of its story, and I think they do that better than a radish can--which is why I’m raising goats and not vegetables (though organic vegetable farming was my first love).


Since 2016 I’ve moved the herd from farm to farm to friends’ backyards, and to an elementary school! Where we grew the business for six years--and where the goats got me a job as an Outdoor Education instructor. Through the farm and the teaching gig, I was able to save enough to build a barn on my friend’s land (Idlewild Farm in Belding, MI) and moved the herd there in winter 2022. This is our second spring in Belding and we are settling in! Flower farmers and hogs and apple trees are the best neighbors I’ve ever had."

"I am a child of artists who stubbornly studied science because I love the earth and because I felt the answers to loving it better were hidden there."

What does a typical day look like for you?

"Our schedule at the farm is created around the needs of a dairy goat. In the morning, we milk, which includes a lot of sanitizing and cleaning of equipment, bottling milk, monitoring udder health, and battling stubborn goats, sweeping, cleaning. Then we herd the goats out to pasture--or move the solar-electric fence to a new pasture and then herd the goats out. If I’m efficient I can accomplish this before 10:30am, although I usually pause for a cup of tea somewhere in there… This leaves the morning and afternoon to complete other farm chores and to share lunch with the flower farmers, whose land we share. Each evening, the goats are herded back to the barn so the kids can be separated for the night, so they don’t steal all the milk we’ll need for morning milking! We give fresh water, hay, and bedding for the night and reset the parlor and milk house for morning chores. Weekends are filled with agritourism events; we host baby goat cuddles each spring and goat hikes summer through winter. I also make soap! With organic oils, excess goat milk, and botanicals! I try to include native plants from the farm (or farms nearby) to tell the story of the season and the herd."
Tell us about what inspires you—either personally or at work.

"The most inspiring and motivating part of goat-world is the humans that power it. We have a host of around twenty-to-thirty angel volunteers who each herd or milk a few times a month so that I can accomplish other parts of the business--and also not spend fourteen hours a day at the farm. The reciprocity of accomplishing something together for the good of the goats and the good of the milk has been the most heartwarming and inspiring thing that has grown from Dreamgoats. It feels really magical to be surrounded by people who also care deeply about the creatures that make up so much of my life. Farming can be lonely but I am exceptionally grateful to say that it’s not for me! Some of the most magical moments have been burying my goat friends with my goat-loving human companions. Raising animals can sometimes be dark and filled with anxiety but doing it alongside friends keeps me going."

 

 

 

 

 

"The reciprocity of accomplishing something together for the good of the goats and the good of the milk has been the most heartwarming and inspiring thing that has grown from Dreamgoats"

 

 

 

 

We think a lot about our natural resources and uplifting our communities. Tell us why community and sustainability is important to you!

"Dreamgoats is an expression of my values. I love bringing people onto the farm and introducing them to each of the twenty-three goats (Each has a name! Of course!). I love the joy and connection people feel with animals. Both the cuddling and the hiking + grazing are enjoyed equally by the goatherd and the humans who join in. It’s a collective joy that sort of taps into our ancient selves and our long held connection with the grazing animals. Bringing people back into that innate understanding reorients us to our place in the world and the ecosystem. The more we can see “natural resources” as characters with value and story, the better people we will be and the better the communities we can create."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The more we can see “natural resources” as characters with value and story, the better people we will be and the better the communities we can create."

 

Tell us about regenerative agriculture and how it relates to what you do at Dreamgoats?

"To me, regenerative agriculture is raising plants and animals more closely aligned with how they raise themselves in nature, which leads to healthier creatures, healthier food, and healthier land and soil. We’re so disconnected from this knowledge that it seems like a modern invention, but really it comes from indigenous wisdom and is currently in practice by cultures worldwide. I’m passionate about the herd harvesting their own wild foods for a majority of their diet and rotating pastures daily for both goat and land health. I raise my goat kids on their moms, rather than bottle feeding, and I do my best to allow the goats to express their instincts. Learning to raise creatures naturally and gently is an ever-evolving journey; there is a lot of unlearning from conventional dairy that must be done. I ask a lot of questions, and I spend a lot of time watching and listening to the goats and getting to know the land we’re so fortunate to be on."

 

Want to buy some of Leah's incredible handmade soap? We just listed 3 different scents on the site! They have an incredibly luxurious yet natural smell and feel. Shop all 3 scents here.
We had an absolute blast hanging out with Leah and her goat clan. To follow along and support her work check out the Dreamgoats website and Instagram.
Garments Pictured:

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