About Colestin Caprines:
The goats, the herd name, and then, the soap:
we are: Colestin Caprines Goat Milk Soap began
in 1995 as a cottage industry here on our own ranchland in southern
Oregon. Our dairy goat herd feeds freely on open range forage,
supplemented with grain, grass and alfalfa hay, which provides
them with a high-quality varied diet, and contributes in turn
to the richness of their milk. We filter and use only the freshest
of this milk for our products.
this is not how it all began... and
in fact, we had no idea that acquiring a couple of very young
dairly goats for brush reduction because of the fire hazard in
our area would lead to where it has now. So, to back up a bit...
began raising dairy goats in 1988, with one grade saanen-alpine
(Castor) and one grade saanen-togg (Pollux), purchased at the
Jackson County Fair in southern Oregon. We registered the goats
and created our herd name, "Colestin Caprines," representing
our local, small, rural community in the Colestin valley, down
the southern side of Mt. Ashland, just south of the town of Ashland,
Oregon. ("Caprines" is a generic term referring to goats,
similar to "felines" for cats, "canines" for
dogs, etc., and comes from the Latin for dairy goat, "capra
The area of Colestin has a unique history, going back into the
1800's, when miners abounded, and travelers arrived by stagecoach
to stay at the Colestin Mineral Springs and Resort Hotel. Colestin
was populated enough then that it was considered a town, and had
its own post office. By the turn of the 20th century, as logging
and ranching took hold and the railroad became the predominant
mode of transportation, Colestin blended back into the map as
just another early western memory.
Later Colestin residents have included Uncle Theo Avgeris, of
a family from Greece, who kept several hundred goats here in the
valley. Uncle Theo's goat's milk cheese became well enough known
that some people in southern Oregon, upon the mention of Colestin,
still ask about it today. The Colestin valley even has a mountainous,
precipitously challenging back road named Goat Hill Road, after
Uncle Theo's tenure as a goatkeeper in this area.
A more recent resident was Martin, "The Goat Man," a
rustic hermit who tended a herd of nearly 200 goats earlier in
his life elsewhere in Oregon. In addition to ourselves, the Colestin
valley presently sports a number of other goatkeepers, who have
likewise discovered that this rugged, mountainous terrain and
its interspersed hills and valleys go very well together with
goats. In fact, it could be argued that goats are partly responsible
for keeping Colestin on the map!
Our own two foundation does went on to produce many more generations
of goats: Colestin Caprines became, after nearly ten years, a
78-member herd (bucks included); since then, we have become more
selectively conservative about breeding, with our numbers now
in the mid-50s, with intentions of getting the number down to
about half of that. The herd "supports itself" with
goat milk soap products sales, while lowering the area's annual
fire danger fuel loads.
continue to sell our soap through local
venues, craft fair events,
and through our website, shipping our products across the country
and to international customers as well.
As for the two small white kid figures who once barely stood out
against their surroundings on the hillsides, who started it all:
after many productive seasons, Pollux died in 2000; Castor, after
a stroke, in 2001. As a 12-year-old, Castor still received a linear
appraisal score of 90. She left us with 9 daughters.
Who we are not:
We often receive inquiries about farm tours, soapmaking
classes or workshops (and visits to our workshop "just see
how you make the soap"), direct soap sales, goat dung manure
availability, and other similar requests.
While such interest is
very much appreciated, as a very small family enterprise with
ranch/farm and other work obligations, we do not really have time
for such visits, nor are we set up to properly handle them here
at our private residence.
In addition to mail order,
we do make our soaps available for purchase locally in a number
of locations (see Our Retail Locations), and sell directly to
the public at local craft fairs during the year (in particular,
on July 4th and in December during the holiday craft fair season).
We regret that we aren't
able to offer soapmaking demonstrations or workshops ourselves;
however, other soapmakers sometimes do, and we encourage those
of you who are interested to check online and elsewhere for such
Similarly, at this point
in our evolution, we are not generally selling animals, buck breeding
services, or goat dung manure. Our breeding program is very selective
and limited (just our hay bills alone have skyrocketed in recent
years), and any available manure for gardening is usually provided
only by agreement to very close neighbors.
Thank you very much for
your understanding with regard to these limitations. As always,
if we can be of service to you to help you find our soaps, answer
any questions about our products, or to assist you with an order,
please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing