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Cranberry Ridge Farm ...a goatmilk soapery

History of

Cranberry Ridge Farm

It all started shortly after Matt and

Rhonda were married in an old barn in

Eau Claire, Michigan.

An assortment of animals lived with them on their 40 acre rented farm. A good portion of these were goats.  With plenty of milk available at all times (sometimes the whole fridge was filled!) they played with cheese and soap making. The mountains of Matt’s home soon called and after a year in Michigan they made an epic 11 day journey to Matt’s home in Alaska.  Three pregnant mares, a dog and Rhonda’s parents drove two vehicles and a horse trailer 4000 miles over endless  prairie lands, treacherous  snowy mountain passes and vast expanses of wilderness.  Smiley, the dog was lost and found again. Breathtaking views were relished and hot springs were soaked in.  One major accomplishment was gained on this  memorable trip. Through hours  of driving the debate waxed, sometimes passionate, sometimes desperate.  The final conclusion netted a name for the farm they were heading for, exact destination unknown, only that they WOULD farm, somewhere in Alaska. Cranberry Ridge Farm it would be.  Matt had fond memories of the fragrant high bush cranberries that populated the ridges where he spent many hours of his childhood playing with his two younger brothers. Ten years in Alaska creating Cranberry Ridge Farm netted a soap making business, filling local gift shops and stores with skin loving goat’s milk soaps.  During this  time they created a custom goat ration, soy and corn free, still used to this day.  They were the first family to start a commercial goat dairy and bring product to market.   Four children were born to them, three boys and one girl.   Smiley,  the lost and found dog, passed away and many life time friendships were developed.  After ten incredible years a move East was planned.  Farming virgin Alaskan Bush was very difficult.  Support, services and family called from the across the country.   God opened the doors in amazing ways, and Matt and Rhonda jumped through them.  Another incredible journey occurred.  Four horses,  ten years older,  a new dog, four young children and their crazy parents traveled 5000 miles into the unknown, towards no house or job. After a year of staying with family and new friends, Matt’s parents joined them and purchased a small farm in Williamstown, NY.  Cranberry Ridge Farm had a new home.  Barns were remodeled and soon they were up and operating a Raw Milk Goat Creamery.  Alaska’s  faithful customers soon had cheese again.   The soap made in Alaska ran out and soap making resumed full force.   Another daughter was born and brought the family number to seven. Cranberry Ridge Farm’s raw milk cheese is now found from New York City to Anchorage, Alaska.  Presently there are plans for the farms goat milk soap  to follow. Another big change is in the works!  We are in the process of selling our farm and are planning another BIG move. We are in the middle of remodeling an old bus into a fabulous tiny home.  Then off to another adventure.  What will it be like with two dogs, five kids, two parents and a new work from home business all in 210 square feet?  Follow us on Facebook to see what happens.
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