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.

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.

CALL TO ARTISTS, MUSICIANS & FARMERS

The Fifth Annual Arts & Ag Tour is coming up May 27th and 28th!

If you are interested in participating as an artist, crafter, musician, or as a farm on this back roads tour through Hickman County, please contact us at 931-628-0215 or email us at artsandagtour@gmail.com. More info and applications available to download and print from the link below. 

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity! Participate on Friday or Saturday or both days. Stay tuned on Facebook, too!

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Arts & Ag Harvest Market – October 18th at Grinder’s Switch Winery

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Arts & Ag Harvest Market 2014

Bringing the back roads Tour into a “one-stop” marketplace for Holiday shopping

‘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. The creators of the Arts & Ag Tour invite you to come celebrate the bounties of the season at the Arts & Ag Harvest Market, on Saturday, October 18th from 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Featuring some of the county’s best homegrown farm goods, arts and crafts, music, and award-winning wine, this outdoor market will set up on the picturesque grounds of the Grinder’s Switch Winery just off Highway 50 West in Centerville, Tennessee and offer a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping.

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Inside the Winery’s cozy, hand built log cabin, owners Gail and Joey Chessor welcome visitors to free tastings of their Tennessee wines. With selections from sweet to dry, there is something for every palette. Their four estate grown wines are named after old trains (inspired by the local train history of Grinder’s Switch) and each feature a classic locomotive on the label. Also inside the log cabin is a gift shop with wine related gifts, cheeses, snacks, and some local crafts. Learn more about Grinder’s Switch Winery and their many offerings at gswinery.com.

In addition to shopping the Harvest Market, visitors can savor smoked barbeque and tasty fixin’s (delicious washed down with a crisp glass of Dixiana, the Winery’s newest dry white) while listening to live music by Brown’s Giftshop Revival Band and many more! . Stop by the Arts & Ag information booth for information about what they do and why they do it, or just to say, “Hello!”

Stay posted for vendor spotlights and new details about the Harvest Market by subscribing to the blog at artsandagtour.wordpress.com, and “like” Arts & Ag Tour on Facebook. You can also visit Wild Duck Soup Emporium, the Unofficial Arts & Ag Headquarters, at 105 South Public Square in Centerville, or call 931 729 0690.

Mark your calendars now for October 18th – you will not want to miss the Arts & Ag Harvest Market!

 

New Eden Farm Stop #16: Pastured Prok, Chicken and Goat Dairy-by Elise New

Over the hills, through the trees, and at the end of a bumpy dirt road, you’ll find New Eden Farm. When the road opens up into pasture, you know you’re getting close, and when the road ends, well, you’re there. 

At New Eden Farm, you’ll find a small herd of grass fed cattle, pastured pigs, diary goats, and an up-and-coming flock of meat bred chickens.

You won’t want to miss this stop on the Arts and Ag Tour! 

Pastured Pork

We will have a freezer full of the highest quality pastured pork you can imagine. I’m particularly proud of this one, having been one of the ones who lugged the daily bucket of whey-soaked non-GMO grain out to the heritage breed pigs. When we first started keeping pigs in the same pasture as the cattle, we weren’t entirely sure how we would keep the cows from eating the pig’s grain, but the aggressive nature of the pig makes it a non issue. That pig isn’t going to leave any room for a cow to stick her head in the trough!

Goat Cheese

Goats are definitely another favorite thing of mine. Whereas Gabriel, my husband and founder of New Eden Farm, is a cattle lover all the way, I like to spend my time with the goats. 

You’ll definitely want to sample our herb infused goat cheese while you’re here! There is just nothing like it.

The mild flavored, finely textured cheese is only one reason I love goats so much.

Goat  Milk Soap

Goat milk soap is unparalleled in the world of soaps for its skin softening power. From the first day we used it, we knew that there was no going back to conventional bars! Add in some amazing smelling essential oil blends, and a few beautiful botanicals, and you have something really special. 

Making soap has become one of my greatest pleasures here on the farm, and we will have eight different varieties here for you to see and smell, including an insect repellent bar.

Goat milking Demonstrations

I could go on all day about the benefits of having your own dairy goat, and why they’re a better choice for small families – especially those of us with small children – than a cow, but my space here is limited, so be sure to come for one of our 10:00 A.M., or 2:00 P.M. milking demonstrations, for an earful, and be sure to bring your questions with you!

Patured Chicken

We are so blessed to have the Lemmon family for neighbors. There couldn’t be a kinder, sweeter, more giving family on the planet. 

The Lemmons have been raising pastured poultry for their own family’s use for some time, and now, their nutritious chicken is available to the public. We’re thrilled to be able to host them for this year’s Arts and Ag Tour, and will have a freezer full of these delicious birds packaged and ready for you. (So bring your coolers!)

Homemade Bread

There is just nothing better than homemade bread, is there? I’m so happy this year to be able to offer our Amish style homemade bread, in both white, and whole wheat varieties, as well as cinnamon rolls. 

Our bread contains only five ingredients – all of them easily pronounceable. In fact, you probably have all of them in your pantry already (flour, salt, yeast, oil, and a smidgen of sugar). There are NO preservatives, and NO chemicals in homemade bread, and you won’t find anything this soft and fresh in a store! Be sure to try it while you’re here. 

Blacksmithing Demonstrations

On Saturday, Dustin Morgan will be giving blacksmiths demonstrations. I’m rather looking forward to this. There’s something about a forge and an anvil that just take me back to the Wild West. Old school blacksmithing is not something we have he opportunity to see every day, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity!

Homemade Jams 

In addition to all these things, we will have a selection of delicious homemade jams and jellies available. I’m in love with our grape jam. Made from locally sourced Concord grapes, it packs a punch of flavor that frankly, I’ve never tasted in a jar of any commercial brand. I never thought I’d say that grape jam is my favorite, but I must admit, it’s very close to knocking apricot out of the top spot! 

Are you drooling yet? I am! 

See you this weekend!


Elise is the home and dairy manager at New Eden Farm, and author of frugalfarmwife.com where she blogs about simple living, farming, and shares gluten-free recipes.

Stop #20 Features Self-Taught Artist Glenda Lovell

glendas barnGlenda Lovell is a self-taught artist who enjoys bringing new life to images of our not so recent past. She specializes in homesteads, old buildings, and barns. The latest addition to her portfolio is note cards which usually transform us to another time and place with historically significant structures or scenes. Each card contains a scripture reference that captures the essence of Glenda has a passion for art as well as history. She has found a way to preserve both in the gift for which she is so richly blessed. Glenda will be at Stop # 20.

Goat Crazy at Stop #12

Goat DemoJoin the goat craze on the Arts & Ag Tour at Stop #12, Tottys Bend Soap Farm, where Arts & Ag founding member, Vanessa Davis, and her husband Nate raise Nubain dairy goats for their goat milk soap making enterprise. Tottys Bend Soaps are a local favorite and are even carried in regional Whole Foods Markets. Take advantage of their special deal, Friday only during the Tour, 3 bars of their famous soaps for only $12.

While at Tottys Bend Soap Farm, learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about small scale goat husbandry from Nate and expert herd manager, Pam Hethcote of Possum Hollow Farm. Pam raises Lamanchas and Alpines so you will be able to see three breeds of dairy goats and learn the differences between them. All the goats at Stop #12 are friendly creatures and you are welcome to pet and interact with them. Nate and Pam look forward to answering your questions and sharing their passion for these amazing animals. You’ll learn what makes goat milk so good for you, both inside and out and see what feeds and minerals are essential for goat health and quality milk. You can even try your hand at milking one of Pam’s goats.

Pam will also be selling her line of Star Brite goat milk soaps and lotions. So there will be a huge selection of high-quality handmade goat milk body products to choose from. But that’s not all! Going goat crazy also means free samples of fresh goat milk and goat cheese. Plus a tour of Nate’s milk parlor, and live music by singer song writer, Charlie Pate.

Tottys Bend Road is one of Hickman County’s most scenic back roads. Stop #12 is one of three unique places to visit on Tottys Bend Road during the Tour. Their neighbors at Duck River Rose and The Tottys Bend Community Center will also be open for visitors both Friday and Saturday.