VENEDOCIA – Got goat milk?
Christine and Eric Greer sure do. And when saying “get your goat,” they literally mean it.
The Van Wert County couple procured their own in 2017, buying four Nigerian Dwarf doelings (unbred females) and two bucklings. The Greers proceeded to found Bended Knee Acres, which set up shop with health-related products on the outskirts of Venedocia.
The idea of running such a business arose partly because Christine and their daughters suffered from eczema and dry skin. They had, as it turns out, just scratched the surface.
“We purchased goat-milk soaps and lotions from another source for years but hoped to make our own by utilizing milk from our goats,” said Christine, noting the family sold their Logan County home circa 2018 and relocated to their current farm. The Greers always hoped to sell additional products to the public “on at least a small scale.”
The company can be reached by phone at 937-539-0001, on Facebook at BendedKneeAcres and via email at [email protected]
Due to a variety of factors, not the least of which was COVID-19, showing the dwarf goats hasn’t come to fruition yet.
“We participated in milk testing last season and hope to show this year or participate in linear appraisal” via the American Dairy Goat Association, Christine explained. The minimum price for ADGA registered stock is $300, contingent upon performance and pedigree.
Christine has the final say about which four-legged friends are for sale.
“We as owners retain the right to retain any animal we choose,” she said.
The family will continue selling soaps with scents, including honey oatmeal, lavender and pumpkin spice. Essential oils and other natural ingredients are used to create the soap bars, whose average cost is $6.
Eric, her husband, lends a hand and muscles while assisting in many capacities.
“I design and build what is needed for the business, such as feeders, pens and fences,” said Eric, adding that he helps with chores such as cleaning and hauling. He also sells Bended Knee merchandise at craft fairs and farmers markets. The company’s soaps are also available at Spencerville Hardware.
Also pitching in are their youngest daughter and Christine’s brother, who rolls up his sleeves for “goat refuse removal.”
Christine’s livelihood stems from her upbringing as a farm girl surrounded by an assortment of pets and livestock.
“Like farming of any type, it is a work of heart: One has to love it to do it,” she said. “The products’ business operation has been a slow process, as we try to maintain a workable balance for our family.”
What does Christine foresee in her crystal ball?
“As long as we are physically able and enjoying what we are doing, we’ll keep going,” she said.