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A Desire for a Thriving Community

Keeping people and animals healthy—naturally

By Jillian Chandler

Photo By Kiersten Patterson Photography

In 2016, Thomas and Darla Fletcher made the move to North Idaho. Drawn to the mountains and the four seasons—which their home state of Texas didn’t offer—the couple was seeking an agrarian lifestyle that they so admired of generations past.

The appeal of the “simple” life that can be found in a small town, where residents know their neighbors and are an integral part of the community, is what ultimately brought them to North Idaho. Since day one, the Fletchers have been dedicated to improving the local agricultural community, which is why they created Only Local Farmers’ Market.

“When we realized the difficulty and challenges that face small farm and ranch operations, we decided to open Only Local as another option for local farmers and ranchers to sell their products. We farm and ranch too, so we know firsthand the difficulties in getting products to market,” says Thomas. “We offer our time and resources to local small producers and give them an opportunity to market their products year-round. This allows them to stay focused on their farming/ranching and not worry about selling products.”

The Critter Apothecary is another way Darla, RN and Thomas, MD give to the community they love. Opened July 1 of this year, the pair created this unique business catering to those seeking herbals, salves and tinctures to promote the health and wellness for themselves and family, both two legged and four legged.

“Organic herbal products are a healthy alternative that, along with education, contribute to a healthier and happier population,” affirms Darla. “Wellness begins with a healthy immune system. We want to keep people healthy by teaching them to support their immune system.”

Located in Sagle, Idaho, customers will find a wide array of certified organic remedies from Dr. Paul’s Lab and other local purveyors of holistic products. In addition, the apothecary stocks organic holistic veterinary products for cattle, horses, sheep, goats and poultry, along with a variety of remedies for human use as well.

The Critter Apothecary was born from the tragic loss of one of Darla and Thomas’ cows last winter. Darla recalls the event: “One of our cows came down with pneumonia, and even with the vet coming to the farm on a daily basis, we ended up losing her and the unborn calf. I was devastated that we couldn’t save her. Out of desperation, I called my friend, a local organic dairy farmer, for advice. That’s when I learned about Dr. Paul’s products and the importance of building immunity before sickness sets in. We still value traditional veterinarian care, but we now supplement all our animals with Dr. Paul’s products.”

The reward for the work they do is immense, as customers return to thank the Fletchers for the insightful information they have generously offered along with the array of available products for purchase. “We are proud to be offering the best certified-organic remedies available to our customers,” says Darla. “Given our combined 65 years in traditional medicine, we are impressed that the time to intervene is before anyone gets sick. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.”

Darla and Thomas invite you to stop by their Critter Apothecary Sunday through Friday from noon to 6pm and Saturday from 10am to 6pm. You can find them in the Only Local Farmers' Market on Highway 95, just north of Cocolalla Lake.

“Nothing feels better than helping another person or animal. That's why I became a nurse,” smiles Darla. “I knew from the time I was a small child that I wanted to help people, and that became my life’s journey. The Critter Apothecary is another way that I can continue to help people and promote health and wellness.”

Critter Apothecary

464138 U.S. Highway 95

Sagle, Idaho 83860


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