By Mary Wolf
Updated intro by Dawn Shelton (11/3/22)–The thought of Mary Peters brings a smile. She is beloved in her community, by her family, friends, and customers, and by her goats! Naanii’s Five-Acre Farm is one of the original Luther Pecan Festival vendors featuring skincare products made from goat’s milk. She’s coming back in 2022. I wanted to share a personal memory about Mary and her friend Vicky from the 2021 show at the orchard.
To hype shopping, we offered $5 Pecan Bucks drawings every hour or so. Vicky Price won one, and she made a beeline to Naanii’s Five Acre Farm booth. Then, Vicky gave ME a beautifully wrapped Naanii soap that had a calming earthy patchouli scent that I inhaled deeply. My heart melted! It was the sweetest gesture I’ll always remember.
Mary’s artist story represents part of the WHY of the Pecan Festival. We wanted an event to showcase creative artisans and courageous entrepreneurs who step out with their passions, dreams, and products. We wanted an event where shoppers would come from all over (and right here in Luther where Vicky lives), see the goodness, and buy while making new friends. It personalizes what we mean when we say #shoplocal and #shopsmall.
The 2022 Luther Pecan Festival is Nov. 19 – 20 from 10 am – 4 pm both days on Luther’s Main Street.
Thanks Vicky and Mary. Here’s the artisan profile Mary Wolf wrote about Mary Peters for the 2018 Luther Pecan Festival.
You don’t have to smell like an old goat to appreciate the line of creamy, aromatic soaps whipped up in Mary Peters’ kitchen. As the owner of Naanii’s Five Acre Farm northwest of Luther, Peters may be a newcomer to the skincare business, but she’s garnered a loyal following.
“I make hundreds of bars of soap,” Peters says. “When friends stop by, they always say my house smells wonderful!”
It’s no wonder. When Peters isn’t making soap or spending her days at Luther Public Schools, she’s busy tending her beloved Nigerian Dwarf goats, plus two recently acquired Lamanchas. The goats provide a steady supply of milk, the critical ingredient for Peters’ handcrafted soaps, lotions, and shaving creams.
“Goat milk has higher protein, which makes it much creamier than cow’s milk,” she explains. The result is a silky, less drying product that feels wonderful on the skin.
Peters’ line also includes beard balms and bath salts and have aromatic essential oils, plus assorted organically grown flowers and herbs from her garden. Because she is an experienced jelly maker, Peters says making soap came naturally to her. The animal husbandry required, not so much.
“I’m terrified of large animals,” Peters says. “That’s why I started with little goats. I knew it would be easier for me to wrangle them by myself.”
Despite her initial apprehension, she found the goats’ sweet, docile nature easy to love. “They’re my pets,” she admits. “They are wonderful, sweet, awesome animals.”
She taught herself how to milk by watching online tutorials and has become an expert milkmaid. The goats provide roughly a half-quart of milk daily, she says. With all that creamy goodness, why doesn’t she make cheese?
“I decided if I’m going to sell something, it better not be something I can eat.”