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.

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.

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.

Carl the Llama, Wilbur the Pig, Pony Rides, Crafts and More at Stop #18

Claudie MaeDon’t miss Claudie Mae’s Farm, located in the Shipp’s Bend area! With farm animals, food, and crafts for sale it is fun for the entire family. Kids love the pony rides and farm animals, especially “Wilbur” the adorable mini pot belly pig, and “Carl” the coolest llama ever!

Claudie Mae’s will be doing an educational piece for the kids at 11am and 4pm both Friday and Saturday. Learn about the animals and what their jobs are on the farm. At 2pm on Friday and Saturday Miss Minnie Pearl will make an appearance – after all – she was born and raised right across the way in Grinders Switch. Hotdogs will be on sale for lunch each day. Two artists will be featured at the farm: A and W Enterprises, selling handmade pens and other wood crafts. Amas Veritas, selling natural soaps, lotions, and shaving products.

Claudie Mae’s specializes in Birthday Parties, but when they aren’t partying they open the farm up to share with kids and adults! Sign up for drawings throughout the day on Friday and Saturday. The Grand Prize will be a FREE two hour birthday party at the farm. Come by and put your name in the hat! Claudie Mae can’t wait to see you there on May 23rd and 24th from 10 am -6pm.

Visit their website at claudiemaes.com and like them on facebook!

2014 Arts & Ag Tour Guide Release

With just one month to go, the countdown to the Arts & Ag Tour has officially begun. To kick off the countdown, we’re releasing the online version of the 2014 Arts & Ag Tour Guide today! The hard copy, printed version of the Tour Guide will be available for free to folks taking the tour. Look for them soon at Wild Duck Soup Emporium or email us at artsandagtour@gmail.com for more information. This multi-paged booklet contains everything you need to know about taking the Arts & Ag Tour including descriptions of each stop, touring tips, a schedule of music and demonstrations, the tour map and much more. Stay tuned here for more posts highlighting various points of interest on the Tour as we journey to our opening day, Friday May 23rd. Click the image below to link to the Tour Guide.

1 Map Book Cover

Join us for Eco Ag March 3rd

Eco Ag FlyerArts & Ag invites you to join us for our third annual Eco Ag seminar Monday, March 3rd, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at LuLu’s Roadhouse 1726 Highway 100, Centerville TN, 37033.

Eco Ag is a FREE opportunity for our community to learn about the sustainable methods used by many local farmers right here in Hickman County. We’ll hear from a panel of farmers from all over Hickman County who farm using sustainable methods. They produce a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grass fed beef and lamb, honey, soaps, yarn, etc. We will sample their products and learn what, how and why they have chosen to farm the way they do.

Contact Wild Duck Soup Emporium for more details and if you would like to participate on the panel CALL 931.729.0690. OR email us at artsandagtour@gmail.com.

Calling Local Artists & Farmers!

1ladyliberty003With Spring just around the corner, Arts & Ag is gearing up for the Third Annual Arts & Ag Tour of Hickman County which will be Memorial Day Weekend Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24, 2014. We are now accepting applications for farms, artists and musicians who would like to showcase their talents and their wares on the 2014 Arts & Ag Tour Map. Community Canters and local non-profit organizations are also welcome. Applications can be picked up at Wild Duck Soup Emporium, 105 S. Public Square, Centerville, TN  37033 or downloaded from our blog here.

Applications must be submitted to Antonia Meadors at Wild Duck Soup Emporium along with the entry fee of $45 cash on or before March 15, 2014. Receipts will be provided. The $45 fee is waived for non-profits and for musicians who are willing to perform at a site – a display to promote yourself and sell your cds is encouraged, if it’s possible.  Space on the map is limited and there is a selection process so please submit your completed application as soon as you can. Late applications will not be accepted.