Busy,busy!

The days are offering a chill now, and it’s wonderful.  We have an update on our farm hatched chicks. They are almost full grown. It appears that we have one rooster and two little hens. Last week we added some Lavender Orpingtons to our flock.  We have seven of them, three molted and four are solid in color. When grown, they are a beautiful shade of lavender.

Today we put more trees in the orchard. We put in two apricots, one persimmon, one peach, one nectarine and two pecans. We also added two blueberries. Can’t wait to see know the do in spring. We have nurtured these trees in 20 gallon pots for a year and a half. Now they are nestled in their new homes!

We are at the beginning of breeding season for our goats. We are hopeful to get our does bred this month, to set us up for a mid spring kidding season. We must have kids to keep having milk, to continue making product.

We have been really working to have enough product for all our fall shows. I am really putting in some extra hours to make lotion and get enough bottles filled. All of our Christmas line is up. We have a new soap and lotion, Woodland Elves, this one is awesome. I have also added two new lip balms, Mint Truffle and Creme de Menthe.

Stop by and see us next week in Jacksonville at the Park and Rec building. We will be at their annual craft show!

Updates

We have lots of updates: Our Momma hen and her three chicks are doing very well. She takes them out further everyday. She is raising girls to be brave and strong!

We had a real scare last week, on Thursday morning, there were two coyotes not twenty feet from our chickens. That got my attention. We have been locking them up each evening at dusk. The girls are not happy! There have been no casualties. I ordered four Nite Guards. They are a solar powered flashing light.  The lights came today. We have them up and they are covering 360 degrees around our girls. I feel much more at ease.

Today I made the first of our Christmas soaps, today. We have Christmas Spice, Season’s Greetings and a new yet to be named variety. Can’t wait to get started  on lotions and the rest of our holiday line.

Come visit us this Saturday at Our Savior Luthern Church at 301 S. Pine in Cabot!

Surprise!

We have new chicks on the farm. Last Tuesday when I was going out to water the goats, I was pleasantly shocked by on of our hens and her three just hatched chicks. Apparently, she had laid some eggs, hidden from us and had been sitting on them. They are almost two weeks old and doing great. What an amazing Momma she is.

Things on the farm are really looking nice. We have taken six dead trees out of goat yard. With the dead limbs, we made a jungle gym for the goats to play on, and play they do. As I stand at the kitchen window, I can see several of our kids frolicking on their new playground equipment. We have the existing goat houses cleaned and moved around. The next project is to build an extension on the goat barn. We are hoping to add about four stalls. With this addition we should be in good shape for spring kidding.

We are also adding some new products to our business line. This week I will begin to make solid perfume with our beeswax. It will be in slider tins, so it’s easy to carry and use. I can’t wait to see how this works out. Another product for our beeswax!

Fall?

This morning as we woke up, it appeared that fall had rolled in. The air is crisp and cool and there is a dew on the ground. Does this meanwe have survived another grueling summer? At this time the extended forecast looks very nice?

With this delightful change, comes thoughts ocooler evenings and shorter days. Our thoughts are turned to our fall line. We have Amazing Apple and Cherry Almond lotion available. Applejack soap is also back, soon to be followed by Pumpkin Spice and Autumn Harvest. Join us at the Argenta Farmer’s Market this Saturday as we celebrate the coming of fall.

Improvements

This summer has certainly been a test of our will. The heat has been unrelenting and rain has been unheard of. But in the last few days, things have started to improve. We have had a bit of rain. At least we have received enough to call it rain. It’s not enough to end our drought conditions, but we at least can have hope.  As I am writing this, we are getting an afternoon shower. We had a bit of rain last night and also last Thursday and Friday morning. That is worth rejoicing about!

 

Drought

As the drought continues without relief in sight, it is really taking a toll on your local farmers. Triple digit temperatures are becoming the norm. Local tomatoes are pretty much played out, as they are literally cooking on the vine.There are a few varieties holding up but not many. The insects are beginning to really play havoc with the crops that are surviving. Farmers are working as hard as they can to harvest.

Animals are also showing signs of stress. We are having to water chickens, goats, and horses twice a day. We must also hose down the chickens and horses a couple of times in the afternoon to keep their body temps down.

Because of  the drought in other parts of the country, feed will be going up. This will have a ripple effect on everybody as prices change at the grocery store.

Im not trying to be depressing with this information. I am just making a few statements of fact. Please stop by the North Little Rock Farmer’s Market on Saturday from 7:00-12:00 and support your local farmer. Unlike other markets, this one is a producer only market. This means what these farmers sell, they must produce on their farm.

Challenges

When we were beginning this adventure called farming, I read several books on the subject. I learmed you can never have too many hoses, it will always take longer than you expect for any project, and will cost lots more than you expect. Weather is always a key factor. It doesn’t matter if you do crops or livestock, you are dependent on Mother Nature.

Today this was brought home to me again. It was 105 out and we went out to cool the critters for the second time. Upon inspection of the chickens, I found one hen in very bad shape. She had gone back in the henhouse and had gotten overheated. When I found her she was listless and unresponsive. Immediately, I took her out and began to soak her with cool water. I sent husband in to get ice packs and placed them under her wings. We got her in a box and brought into the air conditioning. Within thirty minutes she was coming out of it. I got her to take some water. I called my daughter, the vet, to see if anything else could be done. She assured me that I had done all that was possible. Her odds were about sixty percent for survival. As I am writing this, she is still with us!

Summer Arrives

It may only be early July, but the weather is acting like mid August. We are really experiencing some unseasonal heat. A great deal of our time is spent keeping the critters comfortable. It seems that if we hose the chickens down a couple of times day, they manage quite well.

The goats are handling the heat pretty well. We do have to keep their water cool enough for them to drink. It seems that they do not like warm water.

We are doing three Farmer’s Markets a week. Tuesday is at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church at Kavanough and McKinley in Little Rock. The Thursday market is at North Hills and Country Club in Sherwood. Saturday is the Argenta’s Farmers Market at 6th and Main in North Little Rock.

We have been very creative this summer. We have made several new products. Our laundry soap and body butter are just a couple of them. We are getting ready to introduce our luffa scrubs. They are designed to help with really tough cleaning or very rough skin.

Our summer project is to redo our floors. We are using reclaimed wood. This means planing and ripping and cutting each board in preparation for laying them. Hopefully this week, we will take out the carpet and start laying our reclaimed wood!

Well, I think we are up to date. Keep cool!

Summer Routine

Summer is upon us. We are in the new routine. At this point we are doing three markets each week. It is lots of fun to do these markets. We have also addded a couple of new retailers. Our products are at the Hardin Farm Store in Scott and now at BJ’s Produce and Plants in Sherwood.

Our laundry soap is moving well. It is a great product. All that is needed for a full size load is 2 tablespoons. It can also be used in the he washers because it is low sudsing.

We have our body butter out and it is amazing! You only need a very little bit to soothe all the rough problem areas. Right now we have it available in Juicy Pear and Grapefruit?

All of our kids have now been born. We have a total of eleven. There are eight does and three bucks. We have lots of extra goats right now. Anybody  interested?

Changes and Addititions

There is a big change here on the farm. I am no longer employed outside the home. I have resigned from my day job. As of last Friday, Tammy Sue’s Critters is my full time job. This is something  we have been working toward for several years and we are very grateful to be at this point. I’m a bit nervous, but exhilarated at the same time.

In order to help build our enterprise even more, I am doing a Tuesday evening market over in the Heights. This market is at the corner of Kavanaugh and McKinley in the parking lot. We are there from 4:00-7:00 pm. Last Tuesday there were about 15 vendors. Starting on June 7, we will be joining the city of Sherwood for their Thursday evening market. We will be at the corner of Country Club and North Hills in the parking lot. This market will run from 5:00-8:00 pm. We look forward to seeing some old customers and meeting new friends.

As always, we will be at the Argenta Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. This is at the corner of 6th and Main in North Little Rock.

We will be debuting our laundry soap tomorrow at the Argenta location. This is a new product for us. we are making it with our soap, as an alternative to store bought detergentwith all the chemicals.

We will soon have body butter and a new scent in our shampoo bar.

Lots of excitement as we move forward.