The Gleaner
Agriculture

Baby goats and lots of soaps in Ormstown

“I really have a period-style farm,” says Jennifer Thiffault, of her small goat operation on the outskirts of Ormstown. The farm’s name, the Fermette du 4, is a nod to her four children as well as the road on which they have settled.

She has a herd of ten goats, including several babies, who happily live in the same space as her chickens and a pair of miniature pigs. Most of her animals were rescued, and she continues to take in small farm animals. “They each have their own corner,” she says, noting she is supported by a veterinarian.

Thiffault and family moved to the farm two years ago. Before arriving in Ormstown, she had been operating a rescue for horses, but she says she had no choice other than to place them with the escalating costs associated with feeding her animals.

She transitioned her goats to organic feed so she could use their milk to produce a line of natural soaps. She also produces several alternative products based on pure essential oils to help with everyday aches and pains targeted mainly at women. She says she is also working on a line of products that would be helpful for men as well.

 

Jennifer Thiffault runs a small goat operation in Ormstown She also sells her line of goat milk soaps and essential oils at different farmers markets and events throughout the region PHOTOS Sarah Rennie

As a relative newcomer to the area, she says she is starting to make a name for herself through her workshop and by participating in different farmers markets and events. She says she is trying to be as ecologically responsible as possible, both on the farm and in her side projects. Her soaps are all natural. She incorporates essential oils and the only colouring she uses comes from different clays.

Thiffault says it can be a lot of work managing the animals as well as the other sides of her business. It is worth it though, she says, to be doing what she enjoys. She adds that her children are often eager to help in their own way. Some prefer to accompany her to markets, while others enjoy helping to set up the table, and other prefer to be with the animals, especially when there are babies in the barn.

On May 1, Thiffault will officially open her workshop to the public so individuals can come to the farm to purchase her soaps, as well as her essential oil products. She says it is exciting to be starting this new phase, which really brings her two worlds together as an artisanal farmer and soapmaker.

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