The busy season begins with April as we ramp up soap production in preparation for summer at the Franklin Farmers Market. Not to mention milking every morning and latching the kids at night. It’s always a fun challenge to keep up with the extra goat care, yard work and soap inventory that Spring brings.
Our Duck River Rose soap is one of the very first scented soaps we made and it continues to be a favorite with our customers, especially this time of year. Here in Tennessee, we had an abundance of rain this April and just like the saying goes, May flowers are now in full bloom. The delicate scent of spring blooming roses is captivating and has become a symbol of love and beauty. Those qualities are what inspired us to create our very own rose soap. It took experimenting with several rose fragrances until we hit on just the right true rose scent for our Duck River Rose soap.
In addition to a true rose scent our Duck River Rose soap is infused with an all-natural rose clay. This clay is what gives our rose soap its rosy color. The clay we use in our rose soap gently draws out impurities in the skin which makes our rose soap a good facial bar. The clay also creates a richer lather with smaller bubbles which makes Duck Diver Rose soap good for shaving too!
Our rose soap got its name, Duck River Rose, from our neighbors Larry and Connie Baird who are award winning rosarians. They have a rose farm, with a view of the Duck River, a few miles from us on Tottys Bend Road where they cultivate over four hundred rose plants. You can tour their rose farm this May 22nd and 23rd during the Arts & Ag Tour. Our farm will also be open to visitors taking the Arts & Ag Tour. The tour is a free, self-guided event on the back roads of Hickman County, Tennessee. Stops on the Arts & Ag Tour will feature farms, art, and music as well as southern style food and hospitality. You can visit the Arts & Ag Tour website for more information.
Our Duck River Rose soap is as classic, and classy, as it gets. Imagine how the fresh spring air smells at Larry and Connie’s rose garden and you will have an idea of what this special rose soap smells like. Duck River Rose soap makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys true old fashioned scents with vintage style. We also make Duck River Rose body powder and Duck River Rose goat milk lotion. We make our rose soap and all the rest of our goat milk skin care products right on our farm in Duck River, Tennessee. Nate hand milks our small herd of dairy goats each morning. He weighs the milk and freezes it to use in every batch of our goat milk soaps. We pamper our goats so our customers can pamper their skin with our goat milk skin care products.
The Franklin Farmers Market is a special place where farmers and artisans from Middle Tennessee gather each Saturday to meet our customers and sell our wares. It is a producers only market which means that everything at market is grown or made in Middle Tennessee by the market vendors. We have a booth at the Franklin Farmers Market where we sell our handmade goat milk soaps. We have been part of the Franklin Farmers Market for over four years. It is a wonderful venue with a loyal following of customers who come out every week to support their local farmers and to purchase fresh, local foods and handmade wares. The Franklin Farmers Market summer season begins this Saturday at 8:00am and we are so excited to be there again!
We look forward to Saturdays at the Franklin Farmers Market because that is where we do our socializing and shopping for the week. This time of year we are able to get fresh strawberries, tender salad greens, farm eggs, goat cheese, local milk, meats and seasonal veggies. We have fun catching up with many friends we’ve met at the market. Some of our friends are fellow farmers like the Lingo family from Beaverdam Creek Farm who grow and sell chemical-free produce, organic corn grits and grass fed beef. We also have friends from the Franklin Farmers Market who are artists like Rockin’ Robbin. Robbin creates handmade jewelry that is inspired by her Texas roots. She also sells vintage cowboy boots!
Last year we enjoyed a fantastic summer season at our booth which was in the parking lot just outside the main shed. But this year we are happy to announce we will be in a new location beginning this coming Saturday. We are expanding our space at the Franklin Farmers Market and will be in two booths, side by side. The extra space will give our customers more room to browse, and to take their time smelling and looking at our large selection of goat milk soaps, lotions, body powder, shaving soaps, and lip balms. It will also give our customers room to stand while we process their credit cards. We are thrilled to run credit and debit cards at the Franklin Farmers Market, right on our cell phones. Being able to accept credit and debit cards makes shopping so much more convenient for our customers.
If you’ve visited us at the Franklin Farmers Market before please remember you won’t find us in our usual summer location. This year we will be in a 20 foot wide, white tent at the far end of the shed next to Rocky Glade Farm and Sue’s Flowers. Please stop by and see us if you are in the area. We love meeting our customers and making new friends at the Franklin Farmers market!
Our Green Thumb Soap is a great goat milk soap for spring. Working in the garden, planting, pulling weeds, pruning, picking, mowing, working on your mower, etc. gets your hands dirty enough that you need a little (or a lot) of extra scrubbing power to get your hands clean. The apricot seeds we use in our Green Thumb goat milk soap are just the right ingredient for the job. When you wash your hands with Green Thumb soap you can feel the fine grit of each tiny apricot seed as it exfoliates and scrubs the dirt away. We chose the fresh scent of rosemary mint for this exfoliating, apricot seed soap because it reminds us of working in our herb garden in the spring and early summer. Our Rosemary Mint Soap is just like Green Thumb soap but without the scrubbing apricot seeds.
Green Thumb is the favorite hand soap of our loyal customer, Tom the Furniture Guy. Tom is one of our neighbors here in Hickman County, Tennessee. Tom doesn’t garden but he works with his hands all day taking down barns and making custom barnwood signs with the salvaged wood. Tom says our Green Thumb goat milk soap cleans the paint and sawdust off his hands without being rough on his skin.
Our goat milk soaps are handmade on our small farm in Duck River, Tennessee. We are located about 50 miles southwest of Nashville. Here, on Tottys Bend Soap Farm, we raise a small herd of registered nubian dairy goats and we milk them by hand each morning. Each bar of our soaps contains one ounce of real goat milk from our own goats.
Milking Goats is a part of every morning on Tottys Bend Soap Farm. We use milk from our own goats in each batch of our goat milk soaps. Our season of milking goats begins when the first kids are born, which is usually in January, and goes until late fall which is the beginning of breeding season. Making milk requires a lot of protein and the proper combination of vitamins and minerals. That is why when we are milking goats we supplement their intake with a special diet that contains everything they need to produce high quality, fresh goat milk. Our goats also graze and browse outside on pasture all day, every day. The nutrients in their diet is what makes the milk we use in our goat milk soaps so good for dry, sensitive skin.
Of course the female goats are the milk producers. They are called does. Their milk comes in each year when their babies are born. They will produce milk for about nine months. Young females are called doelings. From the time they are babies we handle our doelings every day and prepare them to be good milkers. They learn to follow us from the barn to the milk parlor. They learn to get on the milk stand and to let us handle them. Our goats learn that milking is a time when they get special food and lots of attention which are two of their favorite things. Most of them learn to be patient while we do the milking which usually takes about ten minutes per doe. Each doe produces about half a gallon of milk at each milking. They are always happy to go back to the rest of the herd when their turn is over (and their food is all gone).
This short movie is about milking goats on Tottys Bend Soap Farm. Watch and you will see how our goats literally run to the milk room for their turn to be milked. You will also see the milking process, which is all done by hand, and some of the special equipment we use.
We make hand made goat milk soap on our dairy goat farm in Duck River, Tennessee. Our soap is made in small batches with milk provided by our own goats. We sell our goat milk soaps in Tennessee at the Franklin Farmers Market every Saturday. Come see us if you are in town!
Maybe we wrote down the wrong due date or maybe Magic really was six days overdue? Either way, we welcomed baby goat Cinnabun into the world Easter Sunday, after several days of anticipation. Cinnabun is our first girl baby goat of the season. Girl baby goats are called doelings and when they get older we call them does. Cinnabun was preceded by five bucklings. The first two, from our doe Casey, are named Bert and Ernie. Then, Orange-y had twin bucklings during the ice storm. They are named Sherlock and Watson. Next, Dot had a single buckling we named Patrick. All of our kids so far this year share the same daddy. He is our herd sire and his name is Blaze.
Cinnabun has different coloring than any of the goats on our farm. She is an all over mix of brown and black with solid black legs and a bright white stripe on each side of her body. Her ears are kind of short and flare out like Magic’s ears. Goat breeders prefer long flat ears but we don’t care. We are head over heels for this little goat. Magic is in love with her doeling too! She has kept her new baby goat in the barn since Cinnabun was born, making sure she gets enough milk to eat and keeping her safe. We took mamma and baby out to the side yard for this picture and short video but Magic wanted to take Cinnabun back to the barn as soon as she could. You can see from the pictures that Magic has a very full utter. She makes tons of rich, wonderful goat milk.
Right now we have several of our best producing does in milk. They will continue making milk for the next seven to nine months, reaching peak production in mid-June. Spring and summer is when we restock our supply of goat milk that we use to make our goat milk soaps. We put one ounce of goat milk in each bar of soap we make. Fortunately we use frozen milk when making our soaps. That works out perfectly because we can freeze the milk when our does are in full production, and store it to use later in the year when they have dried off. There is always plenty of milk for the goat kids to eat and for us to use in our goat milk soaps.
We plan to keep Cinnabun in our herd because Magic is such a good milker. We hope she has passed on those genes to her new baby. Over time we will train any doelings we keep how to walk with us from the barn to the milk parlor, how to get on the milk stand and how to behave while being milked. We always want to have a good stock of up and coming young milkers. That way we will always have enough goat milk to make our soaps and lotions.
Come visit us at the Franklin Farmers Market, we are there every Saturday of the year. We are happy to answer any questions about our goat milk soaps. We love our goats and the vital part they contribute to making all our goat milk soaps.
We’ve had several days in a row of beautiful spring weather in Duck River, Tennessee. The goats are loving the warmer days and fresh, green grass. They also really love weeds, which we have plenty of. Some of their favorite weeds are dandelion, plantain, and bee nettle. These and other types of weeds contain nutrients that are very healthy for goats to eat. Goats need lots and lots of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals, especially now that it is kidding season. Kidding season is when the baby goats are born and the mamma goats are producing lots of milk. Here on the Soap Farm, we use that wonderful goat milk to make our goat milk soaps. But don’t worry, there is still plenty for the baby goats too. Dairy goats are bred to be high milk producers, which is the main reason they need so much healthy, nutritious food to eat.
Along with greener pastures and longer, sunny days, spring brings a laundry list of various chores that need to be done. Barn cleaning is our least favorite spring chore because it is one of the toughest jobs on the farm. The hardest part of barn cleaning is breaking up the layers and layers of barn litter that have accumulated over the winter. When it’s cold outside, these layers of manure mixed with wood chips and straw act as a kind of heater for the goats because the layers release energy as they decompose. During the winter we just add dry straw and wood chips when the barn gets damp or stinky. But in the spring its time get rid of all that poo and start fresh again! This year, we had the brilliant idea to put our tiller to the task. The tiller really worked great to break up all of the layers of barn litter which N8 then loaded into our wheelbarrow and dumped in a pile a little ways downhill. Next spring that pile of poo, straw and wood chips will be perfect to use as garden compost.
While N8 was barn cleaning I noticed the other farm critters lounging around enjoying the beautiful spring weather. How nice for them! I also observed the cutest, little inchworm making his way around a fencepost.You can see it all in this short movie we made.