Community & Business

7 May, 2024

Biodynamic cow’s milk makes soaps unique

VALUE-adding has been taken to a whole new level with the development and launch of an innovative range of products by a dairy employee from the Atherton Tablelands.

By Brigitte Daley

“Misty Creek Soap” mascot “Jedi” showcases the range.
“Misty Creek Soap” mascot “Jedi” showcases the range.

In what is quite possibly the first of its kind in Australia, Brooke Reeders from Mungalli Creek Dairy at Millaa Millaa has created a unique range of soaps which are made from biodynamic raw cow’s milk.

For those who can't indulge in milk baths like Cleopatra, this offers an equally luxurious experience!

Two years ago, Brooke and her husband Ian, relocated from Western Australia and purchased their beautiful property, “Misty Creek Farm” in Beatrice, Millaa Millaa.

“It’s our slice of ‘Paradise’, as it was previously called,” Brooke said, noting that the surname of the previous owners was also Paradise.

“We don’t have a dairy at ‘Misty Creek Farm’, but I do have the privilege of working for Mungalli Creek Dairy,” Brooke said who has been working there for two years.

Inspired by the creek situated on her property, Brooke named her soap range “Misty Creek Soap”.

Few can claim the dual roles of milking cows and then transforming their milk into soap, but Brooke Reeders is one of those exceptions.

“My ‘Cow’s Milk Soap’ features the dairy’s raw biodynamic cow’s milk which I obtain straight after I’ve milked ‘the girls’,” Brooke said.

The idea of a range of soaps originated when Michelle Bell-Turner from the dairy approached Brooke to supply soaps for the café.

“Michelle said it would be nice to have a Mungalli range of soaps,” Brooke said.

“Michelle planted a seed and I looked into it. This was the catalyst for some of my flavours and for trying my hand at making milk soap.

“Using biodynamic raw cow’s milk in my soaps is my niche target market.”

But adding the milk into her soaps was difficult to master in the beginning.

“The milk needs to be frozen into ice cubes before adding the lye (alkali) otherwise the milk will scorch during the chemical reaction," Brooke said.

“Milk contains natural sugars that cause the soap to superheat during the gel phase in saponification. This causes cracking and even volcanoes, which is not good.

“I had many failed attempts until I worked out my soaping temperatures of my lye (alkali) and base oils.”

Soap requires a minimum of four weeks to cure properly, which is essential for producing a harder and longer-lasting bar of soap.

Brooke has created an exclusive range of soaps that mirror some of the products which Mungalli produces - Milk, Mixed Berry & Clay was based off the Berry Greek Yoghurt, Milk; Mango & Saffron came from the Organic Mango yoghurt; and Milk & Chocolate Mint came from both the dairy’s chocolate milk and also the choc mint ice cream.

Five out of the nine soap flavours by “Misty Creek Soap” feature the dairy's biodynamic raw milk.

The remaining four soaps belong to an Essential Oil collection, offering customers a dairy-free option for those who prefer it and are especially suitable for people with sensitive skin.

“My soaps are cleansing and moisturising for the skin. They have a great lather and smell great because the combination of base oils I use are balanced so they are not drying on the skin,” Brooke explained.

“Some people have objections to the use of palm oil. The palm oil in my soaps is sustainably sourced, it adds many great benefits.

Brooke said that the addition of tallow was a “game changer” in her soaps.

The tallow she uses is sourced from local farms around the Atherton Tablelands, from Millaa Millaa to Julatten.

“It really makes the bar of soap enjoyable to use and helps create the lather,” she said.

“I want the beef fat, that I render down into tallow myself, to have low kilometres, to have been locally sourced, and for the animal to be respected by minimising what gets thrown away or is a waste product.

“My soaps are handmade by myself on many levels of preparation of the raw materials.

“I do not mass produce – I only make my soaps in small batches making 12 to 24 bars per flavour at a time.

“All my soaps are hand poured and cut which makes them unique.”

Brooke described the recent establishment of her soap-making business as immensely rewarding.

“Having a local business seek out my craftsmanship from only word of mouth blew me away,” she said.

Her "Misty Creek Soap” range was recently launched at the Mungalli Creek Dairy Café. For more information go to “Misty Creek Soap” on Facebook and Instagram.


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