Category Archives: Community

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

With a name like Mamma Goat, you might think we have a certain affection for mammas.  Well, it’s true.  Mammas are special.  So, if you’re stumped on how to honor your special Mamma, here are some thoughts to get your creativity flowing.

Sometimes, the best gift is a hug.

Sometimes, the best gift is a hug. Curl up on the couch and watch Mom’s favorite movie. Or just bask in the sunshine together.

For the gardener, a pair of nice gloves to protect Mom’s hands, a knee pad for more comfort kneeling, and a promise to do the weeding this month (or some seedlings from the farmer’s market).  A nice lotion and our honey-shea soap (Buckwheat Honey) add a nice touch of luxury and care.  You’ll find lots of started plants at the farmer’s market this weekend.  Would Mom love to spend an afternoon planting her new treasures with you?  Maybe you should get a pair of gloves for yourself, too!

Give Mom a goat.  Well, give a goat in her honor, through Heifer International.  Goat shares start at $10; for $120, Heifer will give a needy family the gift of a goat – a long-term lift from poverty – in Mom’s honor.  Wrap up a goat milk soap with a note telling Mom about her gift.  Maybe bees are Mom’s thing?  Heifer has those, too, and we can hook you up with a honey soap for Mom.  For $20, Heifer can give a family an entire flock of chickens, or ducks, or geese, and llama shares start at $20; sheep shares start at $10.  We don’t have felted soaps right now, but Nuts About Berries does, and you’ll find them at the farmer’s market, too.  What’s a felted soap?  It’s soap wrapped in raw wool, llama fiber, or alpaca fiber, and then hand rubbed until it forms a soft, scrubby pouch around the soap.  It’s like a bath scrubby or washcloth, but much, much nicer!

Moms love spending time with their kids.

Moms love spending time with their kids.

Take Mom for a hike.  Our Take a Hike soap has a fresh burst of Citronella.  Add a foot massage, some heel balm, and a picnic lunch for a special day out with your favorite Mamma.

Try to spot Mom's favorite flowers and birds.  And lend her a hand on the steep parts.

Try to spot Mom’s favorite flowers and birds. And lend her a hand on the steep parts.

How about Thai?  Give Mom one of our Lemongrass soaps, one of our virgin-coconut oil soaps, and take her out to your favorite Thai restaurant.

Does Mom love farm blogs?  How about a copy of the Chickens in the Road book, and one of our Redneck soaps (made with shortening, like some of the Crisco recipes in the book!)?

Lavender!  Always a favorite!  Box up one of our lavender soaps with a lavender bath salt, maybe add a potted lavender plant, or seeds and a seed starter?

Did you enjoy tea parties with Mom?  How about a selection of gourmet teas and one of our green tea (artificial fragrance) soaps (99% natural, though!)?  Add a nice set of teacups and fresh baked pastries or flavored honeys from the farmer’s market for a grown-up tea party with the special woman in your life.

If Mom is more of a caffeine afficionado, pack up some special coffees, some luscious toppings like gourmet cocoa powder, whip up homemade whipped cream, and maybe tuck in a bar of our Mocha coffee scrub soap and some chocolates from the farmer’s market.

For the gourmet mom, some fresh veggies from the farmer’s market, a knife sharpening service or a gift certificate to her favorite kitchen store, and a nice kitchen soap may be in order.  Stop by the New Seasons Market booth for a recipe, and maybe it’s your turn to cook for mom?  Maybe a flavored vodka (available at the farmer’s market) to spice up one of her signature sauces?  Or some local chocolates?  Fresh free-range eggs?  If your mom’s a gourmet, you’re sure to find some great, unique gifts at the farmer’s market this weekend!

For the mother of your children, maybe carve both your initials into a bar of soap, old-timey style*.  Add a few kid-free hours to soak in the tub, or read a nice book (provided by you), uninterrupted.  Bring her a mug of her favorite beverage, light some candles, and take the kids to the park (or to the farmer’s market to pick up dinner fixins).

Personalize your gift.  Most of our packaging can be personalized with permanent markers.  All of our soaps can be packed in a cotton drawstring bag on request, and you can write your heartfelt message right on the bag.  Our brown gift boxes can also be drawn on, written on, or decorated with stickers.  Our handprint shopping bags take ink like a champ, whether pen or stamps, so you can spend time personalizing with the kids to make Mom’s gift totally unique.  If you want to go all out, you can even decorate our wood crates before filling them with plants, gourmet tidbits, or a whole lot of soap.  (A thin layer of sealant will make your message permanent).

Oh, and if you’re thinking flowers – yep, the farmer’s market has that, too.  Fresh, local flowers, gorgeous and fragrant.  By the stem, for you to arrange ’em as pretty as you want, or already arranged into gorgeous bouquets (I watched them made all day last Saturday, beautiful).

* Soap is hard, but it can be carved if you’re careful.  Use an ice pick or a mechanical pencil with the pencil lead retracted.  Wipe the tip of the mechanical pencil clean before carving so you don’t leave lead in the soap.  A narrow philips screwdriver will work, too.  Carve lightly and repeat until you get the desired result.

Drop off bags and bars for kids

I posted before about the IMpossible drive, a great program that collects duffel bags, suitcases, and care items for foster kids in transition.  The impressive thing about the program is that it is run by kids themselves.

Well, I’ll be going through our closets and cupboards and pulling out the old suitcases, blankets, unopened soaps, spare toothbrushes, etc. that we’re really never going to use.  I hope you’ll join us.  Maybe you don’t use those chemical soaps anymore?  If you’ve got some unopened bars laying around, there’s someone out there who could really use it.

If you have something to share and don’t have time to take it to Portland, maybe Hillsboro would be more convenient?  Mamma Goat’s farmer’s market booth will be a casual dropoff point for donations.  If you have anything big, please call or e-mail us beforehand (we’ll be hauling our display and inventory in a prius most days, but we’ll bring the old farm truck if we know we have something big to bring back).

Your duffel bags, suitcases, and care items can provide comfort to a child in transition, and a little hug that lets them know we want them to thrive.  With community support, the kids running this program can provide comfort and reassurance to 1500 children this year.  And we can help make it happen by donating spare blankets, unwanted shampoos, unused journals, school supplies, new toothbrushes and similar little items that don’t mean much to us but mean a whole lot to the kids receiving them.

A really great cause

May is a great time to clean out the closet and let go of those old suitcases and duffel bags we’ll never use.

Oregon Foster Youth Connection is a program that facilitates great programs run by foster youth. The kids do the work and get to meet kids like themselves – good kids who want to make the world a better place, even if they’re not in a great place right now, family-wise.

One of the kids told me that she saw a TV program about foster kids who had only have a trash bag to carry their belongings as they move into a new home, a difficult transition period to begin with. Can you imagine having life as you knew it tossed away, and then carrying everything you own in a trash bag?  Well, these kids decided to help other foster youth transition with a little more dignity and comfort.

They have a program called I’Mpossible. They collect donated duffel bags and suitcases, plus things to put inside, like blankets, personal care items and school supplies.  They’re hoping to provide 1,500 young people with a bag and care items.

Can you donate a suitcase or duffel bag?

Maybe you have some (unopened) soaps or body washes that you don’t want anymore?  They’re also looking for personal care items, feminine hygiene products, hair brushes, school supplies, notebooks and journals, teen books, and blankets.

Collection dates are May 1-29, and there are three official drop sites in Portland.  For addresses and details, go to http://oryouthconnection.org/.