Clarence Wolfe of Lebanon, Missouri. Photo by Laura L. Valenti.
Photo by Laura L. Valenti.

Hometown: Lebanon, Mo.

Family: Wife, Tricia; sons, Aaron Wolfe and Clarence Wolfe III; two grandchildren and two more about to join the family through a new marriage. 

In Town: Clarence is retired military and for 20 years was a mortarman with the Army’s Indirect Infantry. Clarence has worked in Lebanon for the past four years for White River Marine as a painter, applying powder coating to aluminum boats. 

In the Country: “I keep about 15 diary goats on 40 acres,” Clarence said. “I have one Nigerian dwarf buck, one Nubian and the rest are mini-Nubians. I milk them until I get a freezer full of goat’s milk, and then I slowly stop. I sell goat’s milk to a few friends, and it is ideal for people who are lactose intolerant. Some friends with a new baby were having quite a time, and the baby never slept through the night until they tried goat’s milk.

“I never had a problem with milk until I had my appendix removed, and after that, I started to have problems with lactose intolerance, but goat’s milk, even products made with goat’s milk like ice cream and cream cheese really make a difference.”

Clarence has made goat cheese in the past, but his biggest hit with his family has been his goat’s milk soap.

“My wife, her sister, and her mother are all allergic to commercial soap products and goat soap works well for them. We even mail some of it to the relatives in Michigan where we are from originally.”

Clarence and his wife Tricia moved to the Ozarks in 2005 to help friends who lived near Fort Leonard Wood and were involved in the Cadence International Ministry, a Christian nonprofit ministering to military members. The ministry has since closed in this area and their friends have moved on, but the Wolfes stayed in the area.

Clarence’s new project is the construction of an earthbag home. 

“It’s an earth home built with sandbags filled with dirt,” he explained. “It consists of a 20-foot circle that encompasses 314 square foot, and then there are four smaller circles. The research I’ve found states this house is energy-efficient, storm- and earthquake-proof. It was originally developed by scientists looking for a practical way to build on another planet where there would be no trees available for construction. The basic construction material is bags that can be filled with dirt or whatever soil type that would be found on another planet. The bags are then covered with a thin layer of a mix of clay, sand, and cement.”

 The end result, as seen on the internet, is an attractive, yet practical, structure resembling a small castle. 

“I looked at all kinds of buildings while researching this,” he said. “And I think we can do this.”


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