[Parham Farms]

Milk Soaps and Lotion Tennessee handmade Goat Milk Soap and Goats Milk Lotion Dairy Goats for Sale Lamancha Dairy Goats in southwest Tennessee

 




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About Us

We are blessed to have raised two of our children on a small farm in rural southwestern TN.
The kids are now adults, and off to their own adventures, but we remain here, content with
our little place in the woods filled with wonderful memories.

Our little farm has been home to a variety of rare and heritage breeds of chicken, ducks and a
herd of dairy goats. We enjoy the beautiful brown, pink, white, blue and green eggs that our
birds share with us, and the sweet fresh goats milk that we drink and use to make our own yogurt,
cheeses, butter and soap. We also share our farm with a Clydesdale and a Tennessee Walking Horse.

After having worked with Nigerian Dwarfs, Lamanchas, and their miniature crosses for the past eight
years, we made the decision as empty nesters in 2015 to narrow our focus to a smaller herd of only
LaMancha Dairy Goats. We love the gentle and personable temperament of the LaManchas and their
unique tiny ears have grown on us. We find the Lamanchas easier to lead and work with because of
their height. Besides saving our backs and knees from so much squatting with the shorter goats,
we also appreciate the the calmer spirits of the Lamanchas and their prolific production coupled with
teats that are generally well sized to be hand milked. Nigerians do tend towards higher butterfat
values, but diet can have an impact there too. Plenty of quality long-fiber hay will improve
butterfat values in any breed. We participate in a National Dairy Herd Improvement Program that
tracks production of both fluid volume and fat/protein/milk solids components. Laboratory analyses
of milk collected from each doe monthly helps us optimize our feed program. In 2016, we began
participating in the ADGA Linear Appraisal Program in which a representative of ADGA comes out
to assess our stock against an ideal objective "perfect goat". There is no perfect goat but the
program helps breeders break down their animal into structural components assessing each against
ideal values. This program helps us make better pairings/breeding decisions for improvements in
our herd and the breed overall. The data becomes part of a national searchable database where
breeders can "shop" for the ideal animal to cross with their own. So people participating now are
helping the future breeders as well by contributing to the program and growing the database.

Parham Farms acreage is primarily in timber, but the ability to produce our own food here at the
farm rather than to have to run out to the store for basics was a lifelong dream for us. We've
grown accustomed to the delicious freshness of farm eggs and fresh milk, despite the extra work
required to enjoy them. We also enjoy a summer vegetable garden, a few fruit trees and
several wild berry patches. Summer is a busy time on the farm as we try to can, preserve
and freeze as much food as possible so that nothing goes to waste and so that we can
eat from our own garden even over the winter. We'd love to put in a permanent greenhouse
crafted from recycled materials and are studying various creative solar and wood fired heating
options for keeping it warm even in the harshest winter weather in case an opportunity for
supplies presents itself. We are also trying our hand at restoring the beekeeping tradition
in the family. Kathy's father and his father kept bees in traditional Langstroth hives. That
involves some heavy lifting when the boxes are full of brood and honey, so we are attempting
to try a Kenyan top bar hive first. We constructed it ourselves and the bees seem to be thriving
in it. We hope to enjoy a little homegrown honey next spring after the nectar flow and perhaps
when the colony is large enough we will split it and start another hive.

We also make goat's milk soap and lotion to keep the goats "employed." Those things are available
in our gift shop (see the link at the top). All proceeds from the sales of goats milk soap and
lotion go towards the feed and hay bill for the animals. We started making goats milk soap for
Kathy's mother's dry and super sensitive skin and later for gifts. It was so well received that
we were asked to make it available for sale. Considering the cost and quality of the ingredients
used, our soap is quite a bargain.
We also have 16oz bags of frozen goat milk available
for those of you who want to try your own hand at soap making. We won't share the recipe we have
developed for our own soap, so don't even ask, but there are a great many books and recipes
available out there if you want to give it a try. Contact us on Facebook or using email
address dairy at parhamfarms.com. Frozen milk for soapmaking in 16oz freezer bags is $1.00
per bag while available. Email Kathy or message us on Facebook to arrange for pickup.


For our aspiring homesteader friends: Presently, our little hobby farm is operating in the
red. I share this because many aspiring homesteaders have the notion that they will be able
to support themselves with farm sales. I have to tell you, that while it is possible to
supplement a family income with sales from a homestead farm, that it will require much
more time and energy than a full time job does, without vacation and sick days! It is
a much more realistic expectation for an aspiring new homesteader to plan on reducing
grocery or other expenses by working on the homestead than to expect to supplement income
with it right away. If you are new to homesteading or farm life, give yourself a couple
of years to get accustomed to the work flow, the expenses, to get organized and determine
how much time and what resources you have available to put towards generating supplemental
income through your homestead. Search your heart and decide if you are willing to work more
than full time, with no pay or benefits (except the way of life) before jumping into this
life with great expectations. It is rewarding and we wouldn't trade our way of life for
anything, but it is a great deal of work to care for animals 365 days a year without regard for
weather or your own health. It's disheartening to have a crop come in when you've just sprained
your ankle, or to tear your rotator cuff stacking hay and realize that you really don't have the
option of not picking the ripe crop today or handling bales for a few weeks while it heals. We
are operating in the red because we keep reinvesting any profits into the farm itself in an
attempt to expand our own self sufficiency. Back up propane powered generators, two onsite deep
wells and additional shelter for stored hay are some of our more recent "reinvestments". You also
have to plan for those times when things just go wrong... For example, the house had been heated
with, and all hot water is provided by, a wood burning outdoor hot water heater for 18 years. The
hot water heater requires regular attention (maintenance), like patching, welding, and boiler
treatment in addition to cutting about 5 cords of firewood annually. After a back injury and
a torn rotator cuff in the same season, we were not able to use the wood fired hot water heater
one winter and had to invest in a pellet stove. The pellet stove is very efficient and inexpensive
to operate, but the investment was significant.

in the past, none of our milk or eggs were for sale, we've only producing what we need to feed
our own family and our animals. We are now considering a farm/herd sharing program. In Tennessee
farm shares are a legal way by which you can enjoy fresh milk, without having to house, manage or
milk a dairy animal yourself. With a herdshare, you purchase a share of a milking herd. After you
own a share of the herd, you are entitled to enjoy milk or cheese from a herd that you own in part,
provided you pay for its weekly feed and boarding. This includes our milking out the goats using a
closed system milking machine and storing the milk for you in the refrigerator until you come pick
it up on a pre-arranged date/time. The size of the share you choose to own would determine how much
milk would be available to you and what the boarding fees would be. Milk will be stored in machine
washed and sanitized 1/2 gallon glass mason jars. You would be assigned 2 sets of jars. One would
always be here at the farm clean, waiting to be filled and exchanged at your next pickup. The clean
(they must be rinsed clean-not sour) jars you return will be sanitized and ready for your next pickup.
We are working out the details of the herd agreement now. If you are interested, the best way to
contact us is through facebook message at our facebook farm page, www.facebook.com/parhamfarms
We've found that a great many email inquiries are lost via junk mail filtering.
I think that more people should become involved in producing their own basic food items both to
appreciate the animals that provide for us and the work that goes into keeping them healthy and
happy so that they can produce wholesome food for the family table. I am happy to work with others
who are also interested in this way of life. Some call it the simple life, and while it is more
basic, it certainly isn't easier than running out to the store and getting what you need when you
need it. A great deal of hard work and planning on someone's part goes into everything we eat and
use, I'd rather that it was my work and planning for our food simply because I know how and where
it was grown, that no chemicals or radiation were used to preserve it or to control insects or
weeds. I know how our vegetables were fertilized (with our own aged compost) and exactly when they
were harvested. Growing your own food can be as simple as a few earth boxes on the patio and a
trio of laying hens in a small coop, or as complex as a vast hydroponic greenhouse system and large
barn. No matter how you choose to do it, it can be incredibly rewarding. Don't wait until you
get that ideal farm someday in the future, even if you live in an apartment, you can start growing
some of your own food now, search apartment gardens online and be inspired!



Email Us: dairy at parhamfarms.com
Or message us through our Parham Farms Facebook page
You'll know it's ours because the profile photo is of our
brand seal, a burgundy seal with a goat head in the center.

 

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