DEATSVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Raising animals on a farm is hard work, especially if you have very little farming experience. But one family in Deatsville decided to give it a try, and it seems to be growing by the day.
It’s called the Heavenward Homestead farm.
"We got our first goats in December of 2017,” said Kristi Barbour. “It was a set of boy twins and their mother. We knew nothing besides what we learned along the way."
It all started with the Barbour’s decision to retire in Alabama. They didn’t know anything about raising animals, but they visited some friends with a farm and fell in love. Kristi was homeschooling their three kids and thought some new “family members” would add to the fun.
“The goats just have a place in my heart, so we just ended up with goats. They think they are dogs. They will sit with us. They will eat from your hand. It’s just something about them, the eyes, their expressions, they’re just very personable.”
It wasn’t long until the personable pets turned into business partners. The family uses goat milk to drink and cook, and Kristi started up a business making goat milk soap.
"We take the goat milk that’s frozen to add to lye because otherwise, it will burn, the sugars in the milk will burn and that’s not a pretty soap. So, you mix those together, heat down the oils, olive oils, coconut oils, grape seed oils, avocado, oils, pick any oil.
Once you get it all mixed up, you can add a scent and a color, pour it in a mold, then in 4-6 weeks, it’s ready to sell. Heavenward Homestead has all kinds of scents and shapes. It really is a team effort and Kristi says she wouldn’t trade her new farm life for anything.
“As a child, I would sign up for field trips to do things like that. I think it’s pretty cool when they wake up and say ‘hey guys there’s babies inside’. My kids and everyone help out with the hay when we need to rake hay.”
And it looks like more family members are one the way. Several of the goats are set to deliver babies any day.