Feb 19, 2012

Tammy Sue's Critters

Tammy & Skip at the market
To help our readers get to know the farmers of central Arkansas, I have asked some of them to share about their farms.      Today's article is by Tammy Pope of Tammy Sue's Critters.

Known as Tammy Sue's Critters, my husband, Skip, and I farm ten acres on the Pulaski-Faulkner county line.  Our critters include dairy goats, angora goats, a llama, and a flock of chickens.

The spring is a busy time on the farm.  Let me show you around.
Our Critters
The herd of French Alpine dairy goats is hovering at eleven heads.  However this spring our farm will experience a bit of a population explosion with kids (baby goats). We also have three angora goats, which are kept for their fleece. From the goats, we get milk and use this to make soap and lotion for our small business. We also make cheese. For personal use, we make yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, and buttermilk.

Currently we are in the process of doing an add on to the goat house. This will enable us to install a three section sink and apply for grade A dairy status. Hopefully this will be completed by spring.

Our flock of chickens flitters at forty for the time being. About mid March we are expecting thirty more chicks. This will really increase our egg production. The girls head out in the morning to forage for the day, then are in by dusk. Later in the spring, we are enlarging the hen house to add additional boxes. We offer our eggs at the Argenta farmer's market and on the Farm 2 Work online market.

Soap and Lotion
Our forty scents of (as well as unscented) soap are made with goat's milk and vegetable products.  The same natural ingredient standard goes for our lotions. We are expanding our line this year to include a shampoo and a shaving bar.

My hope, when we started this, was to create a useful product, reasonably priced. We are proud of our soap and our lotion and are pleased to keep it affordable.

The Veggies
Each spring we grow heirloom vegetable plants in our small greenhouse. We have many varieties of tomatoes, several types of peppers, beans and eggplant. These are available through Farm 2 Work, Little Rock Locally Grown, Conway Locally Grown, and the Argenta farmer's market.

The Future
This is our fourth year in business and we have been on the farm for over six years. Our web site is Tammysuescritters.com. I have a blog which also provides contact and product information on it.  Spy on in and see more pictures of our farm.

Our biggest issue at present is that my husband and I are still working full time with the North Little Rock School District. This makes it difficult for us to keep up with everything. The plan is for both of us to be on the farm full time in three years. When we are in a tight spot our son helps us out. We also have built relationships with some other farmers and they have been there to help if needed.

As a community, we need to support each other and our neighbors. By purchasing locally produced products, we are strengthening our own economy and helping people we know achieve their goals, raise families and become self sufficient.

Each Saturday in the farmer's market season (April - October) you will find us at the Argenta Farmer's Market or say hi on Facebook.  Please stop by and try our soap and lotions.  We are looking forward to meeting you!
Last week we learned about Rattle's Garden.  If you are a farmer and would like to be a part of this series, email Julie: luvmyhub AT gmail DOT com

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