Malarie McConaha and Tim Hunter: Stop #10 on the Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County

Malarie McConaha

Malarie McConaha will be performing with Time Hunter at Duck River Rose Farm both days of the tour.

When Malarie McConaha moved to Nashville in 2014 to launch her career as a singer and songwriter, she began hitting the local music scenes around the city most evenings while during the day, working at a Broadway boot store to pay the bills. That story is a familiar one for many music hopefuls, but for her, that part didn’t last long.

She had been hearing about a small town outside of Nashville, where many of her music icons live and play music in casual settings almost every day. A local open mic night seemed like a simple stop, but it would be the first of many that would change her life.

She quickly met friends and became close with many of the famous and not-so-famous talented locals who have become mentors, sponsors, dear friends, and fans.

“At first, I was a little star-struck, but that wears off pretty fast when you realize that they are normal people living normal lives,” says McConaha. “Being surrounded by great talent inspires your own growth as an artist.”

But don’t let her humility fool you. There’s a reason why the music veterans like working with her. She has a style that blends hints of Janice Joplin and Bonnie Raitt with undertones of Linda Ronstadt. But her style is all her own as she tells stories of conviction, love, mystery, and adventure in her original, unique music. She underscores her soulful voice and story telling ability with raw acoustic and electric guitar.

Her talents extend beyond music. After suffering a broken wrist one afternoon after playing a show, she developed a love of making jewelry, which she sells at every show. Her jewelry is also sold in shops across the nation under the name Copper and Clay.

McConaha will be joined by Tim Hunter to perform for two days at the Duck River Rose Farm on the 2016 Arts and Ag Tour of Hickman County. They will play covers by Bonnie Raitt, Fleetwood Mac, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and Guy Clark, as well as originals including McConaha’s “Smooth Talker,” and Hunter’s “Til the Hurricanes Are Gone,” which is currently on hold for George Strait.

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Tottys Bend Soap Farm: Stop #8 on the Arts & Ag Tour of Hickman County

Friendly Goat at Tottys Bend Soap Farm

Friendly Goat at Tottys Bend Soap Farm

Tottys Bend Soap Farm will be joining the the Arts and Ag Tour on Friday and Saturday, for the fifth year in a row, as stop number 8 on the tour map. There you can see firsthand how owners Nate and Vanessa Davis raise their goats and make a variety of skin care products from their goat milk. The Davis’ moved to Hickman County from Atlanta, GA in the summer of 2006. The couple was immediately drawn to the idea of raising dairy goats for milk and cheese. Soon they had a small, productive herd of registered Nubian goats. Neither Nate nor Vanessa had any experience with goats or farming of any kind. They relied on advice from experienced goat farmers and did much of their early learning through trial and error.

Tottys Bend Soap Bar

Tottys Bend Goat Milk Soap

In 2010, with a few years of goat farming under their belts, the couple decided to experiment with making goat milk soap. At first they gave their handmade soap to friends and family but soon they began selling their goat milk soaps at the Centerville Marketplace, a shop on the square in Historic Downtown Centerville, just a few miles from their farm. This was the perfect place for the Davis’ to try out different styles and scents of soap on local shoppers. Within the year, the Davis’ created what has become their signature goat milk soap, a four ounce rectangular bar embellished with a decorative Celtic pattern. It was in the fall of 2010 that Nate and Vanessa Davis founded Tottys Bend Soap Farm.

Totty's Bend Soaps

Goat Milk Soaps hand made by Nate and Vanessa.

The following year, Tottys Bend Soaps hit the shelves in several Tennessee Whole Foods stores. While the exposure at Whole Foods has been a blessing to the small company, the Davis’ agree their favorite venue is still Centerville Marketplace for its local charm and loyal customers. They also enjoy setting up a booth and selling their products directly to their customers during the Arts & Ag Tour. “There is nothing more rewarding than to talk to our customers in person. At the Arts & Ag Tour we can share our story and talk about our handmade goat milk soaps. People love to meet our goats, and learn about the nourishing benefits of goat milk, and the natural ingredients that go into our products,” says Nate. In addition to their goat milk soap bars, Tottys Bend Soap Farm also offers handmade goat milk lotions, shaving soaps, talc-free body powder and all natural lip balm. “We make over 25 different scents from recipes that are gentle on sensitive skin,” says Vanessa.

Goat Milking Demo at Tottys Bend Soap Farm

Goat Milking Demonstration

Goat expert Pam Hethcote from Possum Hollow Farm and owner of Star Brite Goat milk Soaps and Lotions will also be there with her handmade items. She and the Davis’ longtime friendship developed from their mutual love of raising dairy goats. “We goat people stick together!” says Hethcote. Brenda Estes, another fellow goat farmer, will also be onsite doing milking demonstrations. Early visitors are invited to milk one of Brenda’s dairy goats. Goat cheese and fresh goat milk samples will also be available to visitors of Tottys Bend Soap Farm during the Arts & Ag Tour.

JoAnne’s Creations will be set up with her beautiful handcrafted jewelry and fabric creations as well as homemade jams and sweets.

See www.TottysBendSoaps.com  or go to Tottys Bend Farm on Facebook for more information about Tottys Bend Soap Farm.

Toyzini Gallery – Stop #15 on the 2016 Arts & Ag Tour of Hickman County

Painter, Toyzini, at work

Toyzini at work in his gallery in Lyles, TN

Toyzini Galleries features a wide array of artistic exhibits, ranging from work by outsider or self-taught artists to work by both local and national artists in a variety of mediums. The gallery is run by Hickman County native Randy Toy, also known as The Great Toyzini, a local outsider artist who has been an exhibit designer for Cheekwood Fine Arts Museum and Brooks Museum in Memphis and has been showing his own artwork as well as the work of others for over 40 years. He was involved with the first Arts and Ag, originally held in the basement of the Old Courthouse on the Historic Centerville Square, and has participated in the event, either as a vendor or a stop on the map for the past five years.

As one of the early participants in the Arts and Ag festival, Toyzini has witnessed the growth of the artistic and agricultural community surrounding the annual event. According to him, this growth is “only natural” given the amount of rural beauty and talent present in Hickman County. At Toyzini Galleries, the focus is on making connections between artists and vendors, and for many of the vendors showing at the gallery, Arts and Ag provides such an opportunity.

Toyzini Art Gallery, ArtsandAgTour2015, Hickman County, TN

Toyzini Art Gallery, Hickman County, TN

Toyzini Art Gallery, ArtsandAgTour2015, Hickman County, TN

Toyzini Art Gallery,  Hickman County, TN


This year, Toyzini Galleries will present the following artistic lineup:

  • Dr. Dale Sworts, a veterinarian known locally as the Medicine Man, will be displaying his paintings, many of which feature some of his patients.
  • Rose Littrell, a nationally recognized sculptor who has created works for both the Wild Horse Saloon and Opryland Theme Park, will have one of her works on-site for the festival.
  • Brenda Dawson, local author of Running for Home, will have her book available at the gallery.
  • Terri Tucker, an amazing self-taught artist, will show her photo-realistic sketches.
  • Guest artist, Rand Lane, a well-known artist, who makes the southern folk art circuits with his paintings.
  • Guest speaker, Joyce Day will be giving a talk on collecting outsider art at 5 p.m. on the 27th and 11 a.m. on the 28th; she will also bring some pieces from her collection, as well as her original drawings.
  • Emily Naff, photographer, will be introducing her new series titled “The New American Gothic,” a look at the modern organic farmer in Hickman County.
  • Lauly Arts, created by multi-talented artist Claudia Reis from Berlin, Germany, will return to Arts and Ag with jewelry, paintings, bags, and found-object art.
  • Denny Adcock, a woodworker and photographer will exhibit examples of both at the gallery.
  • Lois Lewis will display her unique and beautiful, hand-painted pottery.
  • Penny Stafford, a sculptor known for the textured surfaces of the pots she creates, will present a sampling of her work.
  • Ben Lankford, an outsider artist whose work has been exhibited all over the southern United States.
  • Clinton Toy, a woodworker and painter, will show handmade bird houses and carved fish along with his colorful two dimensional works.
  • Tatum Creek Crochet, made by Cofie Toy, will feature crocheted market bags, baskets, and dishcloths.
  • Antonia Meadors will exhibit her series of out-of-this-world lizard paintings.
  • Austin Toy, Hickman County’s premier rap artist will have his latest CD available for sale.
  • Wonderful festival food by Gloria McCord will be available from her cart on-site.

Toyzini Galleries is located at 5603 Hwy. 100, Lyles, TN 37098 and is stop number 15 on the Arts and Ag map. Further information on each of the above artists will be available at their respective booths during Arts and Ag.

Painting of lizards

Paintings by Antonia Meadors on display at Toyzini Gallery.

Denny Adcock at Toyzini Gallery, ArtsandAgTour2015, Hickman County, TN

Denny Adcock at Toyzini Gallery

New American Gothic Photo

New American Gothic: Lewis Acres

Painting by Toyzini

Sunny Side of the Street by Toyzini

Come See our Tree at the Festival of Trees This Weekend!

Arts & Ag is very excited to invite you to come see our tree at the inaugural event, “Festival of Trees” coming up December 6th, 7th and 8th, hosted by the Hickman Co. Ag Pavilion! Plenty of details about the event are described below, but for now, we can’t wait to share some of the many things we’ve been working on in preparation to display a tree suitable to the Arts & Ag mission.

Arts & Ag Tree

The Arts & Ag tree is selected and going home!

When we first said, “Yes, Arts & Ag should be a part of the Festival of Trees!,” we didn’t actually have a tree with which to work. We looked around for an artificial tree to acquire inexpensively, but as we sought, we began to think how wonderful it would it be to showcase a live tree. “How wonderfully green,” we thought — a live tree, acquired locally, could be planted and live on after the event, and grow! We inquired to GroWild of Fairview where they graciously gave us a tour of their grounds and where we fell in love with a Juniperus virginiana ‘Brodie’. Although not a traditional Christmas tree, ‘Brodie’ is an evergreen indigenous to Tennessee and carries a conical shape. It currently stands about 10 feet tall in its pot and will get as tall as 25 feet with a spread of 6-8 feet, once mature. We purchased our tree and brought it home to Hickman County – it’s pictured here ready to be tied and loaded up. GroWild is an impressive place, we recommend a visit, but an appointment is needed. Visit their website here: http://www.growildinc.com

Of course, the Arts & Ag tree would have to feature handmade ornaments so what better reason to have an Ornament Party? We pulled out boxes, bags and bins from our craft artilleries; we glued, trimmed, glittered, wrapped, strung and crafted bunches of wonderful ornaments while drinking homemade eggnog and listening to Christmas carols. We made a huge mess and had huge fun doing so! Some ornaments to be featured on our tree have been created and donated by local artists and participants of Arts & Ag events.

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‘T’was late November and all through the house were visions of glitter, glue and ornaments scattered throughout…”

There are still some odds and ends being pulled together, but we wanted to share a sneak preview. This is just a sampling – we can’t reveal everything – you’ll have to come see for yourself how it looks once it’s all together. Come visit the Festival of Trees—it’s going to be magical! Keep scrolling down for event details.

Festival of Trees:“Where the Treetops Glisten and Children Listen…”
December 6th, 7th, and 8th from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. each evening
Hickman County Ag Pavilion & Fairgrounds
979 Grinder’s Switch Road, Centerville TN 37033

Wander through a winter wonderland of more than fifteen theme trees exquisitely decorated by local organizations, groups and businesses of Hickman County, displayed under the pavilion of Ms. Mable’s Back Porch. Visitors can “vote” for their favorite tree by making a small donation to the tree. Inside the Wash Shouse building will be the Unique Boutique featuring about a dozen vendors with freshly baked goodies, specialty food, crafts and gift items such as holiday ornaments, wreaths, jewelry, scarves, quilted items and more.

Each evening at 8 p.m., Mary Beth Pruett will read from “Christmas at Grinder’s Switch” and tell stories about her great aunt, Minnie Pearl. Also featured each evening will be a live nativity, carolers, and pictures with Santa!

Admission is $5 per carload. So, load up the kiddos, grandparents and your neighbors, too – this will be a wonderfully fun and festive family event!

COUPONS are HERE! Great savings for this Saturday only during the Harvest Market!

TWO pages of coupons from some of our vendors that will be at this Saturday’s Arts & Ag Harvest Market. PRINT these pages and bring with you this Saturday, the 19th for some great deals! Scroll down the home page for previous posts about details regarding the event.

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The Harvest Market is THIS Saturday, Oct. 19th!

logoONLINE_HM2013-01Arts & Ag Harvest Market 2013 October 19th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Featuring artisan crafts, locally farmed produce, grass-fed beef, live music with our County Mayor Steve Gregory as emcee, delicious BBQ, smoked sausages, and chili, award-winning wines, and goats to pet, too…all on a beautiful autumn day —what could be more fun?!

This family-friendly event will be fun for all! Stock up on fresh, local, naturally-grown veggies, even get a head start on some of your holiday shopping for truly one-of-a-kind gifts you will not find at any mall or chain store. Sit down and relax a spell to listen to local talent entertain the crowd with some Americana music.

parkwhereyoucanLots of parking available along the long drive to the Winery itself, as well as along Gail Lane (the road right before you get to the Winery’s entrance) — look for signage!

How do you get from there to here? It’s easy to find! DIRECTIONS: 

From I-40: Take Exit 148 and turn East toward Centerville on Hwy 50 West. Go 12 miles and turn left onto Hwy 50 West Loop.Go 1 mile to the WINERY sign and turn right into the driveway.

From Centerville: Take Hwy 50 West 4 miles to Hwy 50 West Loop.Turn right and go .9 miles to the WINERY sign. Turn left into the driveway.

From the Centerville Airport (GHM): Fly in to our local airport and ask Woody for the Courtesy Car and for directions to the winery! We are only 15 minutes away!

poodlesdrinkA COUPLE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

The Winery’s watch dog, Vinnie, asks you please do NOT bring your dog(s) to this event. He loves people and children visiting the Winery, but is not  keen on other dogs and animals coming to visit (this is part of his job — to keep other animals away from the grapes!)

And, out of courtesy to the Winery, please no outside alcohol. Although, you are welcome to enjoy some of Grinder’s Switch Winery’s vintages while you visit!

One last thing to keep in mind, please bring cash to shop, as many vendors are not able to process credit cards (although some can).

Be sure to grab something sweet to nibble, maybe with a hot cup of coffee, from the Harvest Market Bakery under the gazebo. All proceeds go to the expenses of the 2014 Arts & Ag Tour, held annually during the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day. Oh, and definitely stop by booth #30 to pet the goats before you leave! Pam and her goats would love to see you!

It’s time to celebrate AUTUMN and its bountiful harvest! Our list of vendors can be found on the home page (scroll down to see map and vendor list). We are looking forward to seeing you THIS SATURDAY!

What will you find at The Arts & Ag Harvest Market? Here is our Vendor List!


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October 19th 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Grinder’s Switch Winery, 2119 Hwy 50 W. Loop, Centerville, TN

‘Tis the season when crisp autumn air rejuvenates the spirit, multi-colored leaves light up the forests, and nature’s waning harvest reminds us to start stocking up for the winter ahead. Did you know there’s only 14 more weekends till Christmas? No need to panic – the Arts & Ag Harvest Market will be the perfect stop to get a head start on your holiday shopping and hostess gifts for this festive time of year! Featuring some of the county’s best homegrown farm goods, artisan crafts, live music, baked goods and award-winning wine the Harvest Market will offer a bountiful cornucopia overflowing with variety and fall fun. You can also munch on some delicious pulled pork and sausages made by Hickman County’s own Jodie Morgan (of Eatin’ on the Cheap!).  Mark your calendars and share the news with friends- you won’t want to miss this family-friendly event!

The 2013 Arts & Ag Harvest Market Vendor List:

Barefoot Farmgirl – raw honey, homemade beauty products, crocheted and sewn textile creations

Bratton Farms – harvest produce

Beaverdam Creek Farm – harvest produce, handmade soaps and more

Belle Springs Farm – information about dairy cow shares; farm-made, family-friendly household cleaners for sale. Also, find creations by Simple Stitches with lovely knitted items and handmade jewelry.

Buffalo River Artisans Cooperative

Centerville Garden Club

Cindy Sarlo Photography

Cheeky Petz – handmade stuffed animals and pet toys

Clay’s Benches and More – handmade wood creations

Clay Harris Theatre – tickets to Hickman County’s talented theatre shows

Dodi Lovett – watercolors and fine art

Fondue Vintage Homewares – vintage wallpapered home décor & more

Good Wool Etc. – felted creations from Jacob’s sheep wool, enameled necklaces, notecards, wooden accessories

Hardwear Merry – Jewelry with lots of texture and unique appeal by hammering, enameling, fold forming, etching, twisting, polishing and use of patina

Heritage Reclaimed Farm – fry bread, preserved food

Hickman County Quilt Guild – fabric and local quilt books

Home-Made-Home – blacksmith, Dustin Morgan’s creations; also, handmade brooms, pillows, stuffed animals and corn husk dolls

Joanne’s Creations – jewelry, jams and more

Leah McIntyre Jewelry – “simple, unique, handcrafted, jewelry”

New Eden Farm – harvest produce & more

Pieceful Worlds Clothing – tie dyed clothing and creations

Pinewood Farms – harvest produce

Ruby-Valentine Designs – jewelry and more

Star Brite Soap – goat milk soaps and real goats to pet!

Tom the Furniture Guy – barn wood signs

Tottys Bend Soap Farm – goat milk soaps, lotions, laundry powders & candles

True Self Studio – Copper Stainless Aluminum Brass Forged Wire Wrapped Hand Hammered Stamped One Of A Kind Artisan Designed Jewelry Earrings Bracelets Necklaces Pendants Rings

Unique Expressions – watercolor paintings and decorated boxes by Sharon Cude

Vottery – pottery creations by Vicki Imoberstag

Wild Duck Soup Emporium – a variety of all natural and handmade goods

Whippoorwill – fine art felted characters

Woodchips and Sawdust – turned bowls, vases, painted saw blades