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I recently ordered some meat from Forevermost Farms, a small, family-run operation based in Rose Bud. Impressed with the items that I was cooking, I wanted to reach out and learn a little more about the farm owned and operated by The Grappe Family.
“Three years ago, we were still living in the Little Rock area, working corporate jobs. We were newly engaged and planning our wedding when we decided that we wanted to change our lifestyle. We have a teenage daughter and we wanted to get her into a smaller school. We had both dreamed of moving to the country, living a simpler life and having a farm. Our initial goal was to build a sustainable lifestyle and raise enough healthy protein to feed our family. We had very specific requirements when we started looking for property. We traveled across central Arkansas for several months trying to find the perfect piece of land. Late one Sunday afternoon, after we had driven about a million miles, we ended up in Rose Bud. The minute we drove up to what we now call Forevermost Farms, we both knew this was where we wanted to be. It had the perfect mix of pasture, wooded area, a nice yard, ponds and a house that we could work with. We love our little community and are so thankful to be centrally located where we can offer our products across central Arkansas,” says co-owner Kelly Grappe.
Kelly, along with her husband, Steve, and daughter, Grace, raise pastured chickens, pastured turkeys and forested pigs. All of the animals are raised naturally with no antibiotics, hormones or other additives. They use all non-GMO feed and practice regenerative agriculture. The overall goal is to leave the land better than they found it.
“Animal welfare is one of our top priorities. We give them the best life possible while they are in our care and we believe that happy animals just taste better. We have about 200 layer hens, so we have fresh, free-range, non-GMO eggs available. We raise about thirty different breeds of specialty chickens and will be selling day-old chicks and fertilized eggs in the Spring. We have two Myotonic (fainting) goats, Claree and Weezer, that we will breed next year. We also raise Great Pyrenees dogs which are excellent guardians of the farm. We raise Cayuga ducks and guineas.”
Amazingly, this is the Grappes’ first attempt at professional farming. The education along the way has been a combination of self-teaching and steady guidance from mentors.
“Neither of us had any experience other than helping our grandparents in the garden growing up. I worked in Little Rock for Alltel and Verizon for almost 25 years and left there in October 2018. Steve worked in big box retail, had a photography studio and managed a car service center before we got married in 2018. We have done a significant amount of research on regenerative farming practices, watched countless YouTube videos and networked with many other farmers. In our first year of farming, we were fortunate to work with Heifer USA and Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. We have learned so much from them about how to be profitable as a small farmer. They helped us figure out the best way to get our products to market efficiently and sustainably. They have also been an invaluable resource as we have had questions or issues along the way.”
From the tastes of things, the results have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve cooked with Forevermost Farms’ boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pork chops, and apple sausage, all products that I would highly recommend. They even offer fantastic recipes. But here’s the thing, remember that the farm is a small business, producing a relatively small amount of meat at any given time. If you see something on the website you want, order it.
They currently offer direct delivery to certain areas of Arkansas, as well as pick-ups on their farm and St. Joseph’s Farm Stand, along with distribution through Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. In 2021, Forevermost will continue the delivery program in Central Arkansas. They are also talking to several other outlets with hopes to be able to sell wholesale, as well as evaluating a shipping option.
“It has been an amazing experience. Personally, it’s been a blessing to get to spend every day working together as a family. We each have a role and work together daily to problem solve and find creative ways to do what we do. As importantly, we are honored that our customers invest their hard-earned money to buy from us. It is humbling to think about families sitting around their dinner table eating healthy food that we raised right here on the farm. We take that responsibility very seriously.”
I encourage you to not only follow Forevermost Farms, but to also order some of their products. You will not be disappointed.
*Animal pics courtesy of Forevermost Farms
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