ABOUT ROSEMARY AND THYME
In 1911, the Chattanooga Southern Railroad underwent
reorganization. Out of that reorganization came the
Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia Railroad. This railroad
ran from Chattanooga, Tennessee, through the
northwest part of Georgia, and into Gadsden,
Alabama. Altogether this added up to a distance of 91.7 miles. In the 1960's the TAG Line was owned by Mose and Garrison Siskin, who owned the Siskin Steel Company in Chattanooga. They used the TAG to move steel products between Siskin Steel and Republic Steel in Gadsden. During that time the TAG Line was the most profitable of the short railroads in the country. The TAG was purchased by the Southern Railway in 1971. The northernmost section was operated by the Chattanooga and Chickamauga Railway until the Dow Chemical Plant in Kensington shut down in September 2009. Dismantling of the line began in 2010.
In 2019, business partners Hannah Walker and Brent Smith established a sheep farm and creamery eight miles southwest of Lafayette, Georgia, at 5328 Chamberlain Road. The farm's 45.7 acres included the 3.8 acres that were left of an abandoned right of way of the former railroad. Thus, the TAG Line Farms and the Rosemary and Thyme Creamery were born.
ROSEMARY AND THYME'S BEGINNINGS
MEET THE HERD
The farm began with a flock of fifty sheep: twenty-six St. Croix and twenty-four of a cross between the East Friesian and the Lacaune. Since that time, two good lambing years have increased the population to over one-hundred. Some of the excess rams have gone to market while some of the ewes have found homes with 4H families.
The St. Croix, native to the U.S. Virgin Islands, are quite adaptable to their environment but are not too comfortable around people. They are good milking sheep, with milk that is high in butterfat, making them well suited for cheese making. The East Friesian, native to northern Germany, is one of the best breeds in terms of milk production. The Lacaune, native to southern France, is considered one of the best breeds in terms of milk production, second only to the East Friesian. This combination results in the production of excellent cheese.
OUR HARDWORKING (AND EXTRA CUTE) TEAM MEMBERS
Overseeing all of the activity of the farm is Acorn, a donkey who has specific likes and dislikes and does not hesitate to let the world know about them. Her bray can be heard
from a half mile away. Give her an apple and
you're her friend for life.
Helping Acorn is Clyde, an intimidating
(about 120 pounds) livestock guarding dog
whose job is to make sure that nothing
happens to his charges. Clyde is a Komondor
(sometimes called a "mop dog" because of
their appearance). After training, this intelligent
dog is independent but very protective.
It's safe to say the sheep on the TAG Line
property are in good hands, hoofs, and paws
thanks to these guys.