TEWKSBURY — There have been goats on Krochmal Farms for years. They have been featured in the petting area of the farm during its annual Pumpkin Festival.
But five years ago, Jennifer Nagle and her daughter, Kayleigh Ann, brought in some dairy goats.
“We totally fell in love with the dairy goats and absolutely fell in love with the goats’ milk,” Nagle said.
After talking it over, Nagle decided it would be a great time to expand the family farm operation. They didn’t realize the extensive process they would have to go through to become licensed with the state to sell their goats’ milk. But 20 months later, Indian Valley Goats held a grand opening Friday evening at the farm located at 81 Jennie’s Way.
“We don’t use any antibiotics or any type of growth hormones,” Jennifer Nagle said. “Everything is completely organic and natural.”
Of their nine dairy goats, six of them are currently used for milk. They are milked twice daily by hand. According to the Department of Agriculture, Indian Valley Goats marks the third licensed raw goat-milk dairy in the state. The milk is tested randomly each month, so Nagle said customers have the security of knowing they are producing a safe, quality product.
But milk won’t be the only thing available for sale. Indian Valley Goats has an array of handmade products available for purchase.
“The goats’ milk soap is actually something we started doing about two years ago,” Nagle said. “We had an overabundance of milk. It took us six months to a year to find a recipe we felt lasted the longest and worked the best.”
In addition to soaps, they have lotions, bath bombs, bath melts and lip balms. Customers have also sworn by goats’ milk soap in helping to clear up acne and skin irritations.
Nagle said she is nervous and excited about the new endeavor. These days there are so many milk options, including a variety of non-dairy milks, and Nagle said she believes people are beginning to pay more attention about what they put in their bodies.
“I’m just very excited about this,” Nagle said. “I’m excited about getting people down to the farm and getting people to really associate where all of their products are coming from.”
She encourages people who may be wary of tasting goat milk to give it a try. Nagle said unlike the United States, most other countries across the world are more productive in goat dairy compared to cow dairy. She added that, for the average person, it’s difficult to tell the difference between goat and cow milk, but that goat milk is creamier.
“Goats’ milk in itself is the closest thing to humans’ milk,” Nagle said. “The calcium is higher, the fat molecules in goats’ milk are much smaller than cows’ milk, so its more easily digestible.”
Her 12-year-old daughter, Kayleigh Ann, is also helping to raise bantam chickens, which lay smaller and sweeter-tasting eggs, which Kayleigh Ann has nicknamed “butt nuggets.” Those free-range eggs are also for sale.
“We’ve been waiting for almost two years so it’s really exciting,” Kayleigh Ann said.
Her brother, 14-year-old Zack Pepe Nagle, is also thrilled that after working so hard, the day has finally come when the family can share their product with the community. He also helps out with the goats, chickens and the making of the soaps, lotions and bath bombs.
“My favorite thing is definitely working with the goats because they’re super-adorable and friendly,” he said.
George Brooks was also present at the grand opening, selling a variety of his handmade scented candles from Tewksbury’s Green Hallow Orchard.
One of the most rewarding parts of this work, for Nagle, has to be the family involvement.
“Seeing the younger kids wanting to take part in the work that we do, knowing that our kids know where their food is coming from — I feel very blessed that we have the kids on the farm,” she said. “And the goats themselves, they just have such big personalities and each one is different.”
Indian Valley Goats will be open once a week at Krochmal Farms. Its hours will be posted each week on its Facebook page. To place an order directly, contact Nagle at 978-360-3002 or kzfmom73 @yahoo.com.
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.