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.

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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.

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.

2013 Harvest Market was a Topnotch Affair!

The view from the front porch of Grinder’s Switch Winery at last Saturday’s Harvest Market was just what we hoped it would be. Folks of all ages, from near and far, strolled in small clusters down the gravel drive lined on both sides with cars, bumper to bumper. Autumn was in the air and the pale grey sky, which caused a bit of anxiety when it rained, but provided the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous pallet of multicolored leaves on the overhanging branches and surrounding shrubbery. Nestled among the natural features of our county’s award winning winery was a joyful patchwork of festively decorated booths representing the talents of our local artisan and farming community.

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Trish Lingo of Beaverdam Creek Farm greeting two young customers

The quality, craftsmanship, variety, creativity and bounty of handcrafted, homegrown items on display at the Harvest Market was topnotch, and not just, “for around here,” either. In fact, that’s a phrase Arts & Ag is on a mission to see eliminated from the thinking and speech of our county’s citizenry! This region, which has long been a haven for farmers, artists and musicians, is on the cutting edge of the sustainable farming movement and has simultaneously created a niche for other cottage industries and crafts such as soap making, quilting, blacksmithing, pottery, woodworking and many others that were on display at the Harvest Market and that often go hand in hand with agriculture. ALL of this (the arts, crafts and abundance of small, sustainable farms) is fast becoming a source of pride for our locals and we at Arts & Ag couldn’t be happier about it!

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Gabriel New of New Eden Farms selling his famous homemade pickles.

A gigantic THANK YOU to everyone involved with the Harvest Market, including the fine folks at Grinder’s Switch Winery for being such gracious hosts and for supporting our marketing efforts. Over 800 people (according to our closest estimate) came out to shop, to enjoy the tasting room, have a bite to eat and listen to some fantastic local, live music– while spending in the ballpark of $15,000. We couldn’t have been as successful without our dedicated, thoughtful, enthusiastic volunteers!  We are deeply grateful to our Bakery Team for keeping the coffee flowing and selling all the home baked goodies that were donated to the Arts & Ag Bakery. Thanks to you and all who contributed baked items (and those who purchased them), we were able to generate funds to jump start our PR budget for the 2014 Arts & Ag Tour. Our thanks also goes out to our amazing Street Team, all who helped us spread the word about the Harvest Market, emailed their contacts, passed out rack cards and hung posters. We also want to thank our fabulous Loading and Layout Team who staked out booth spaces Friday night and helped load and haul items throughout the Market. Thanks to all the musicians that entertained at the Harvest Market: Gloria McCord, Billie Joe Sawyer, and Mark Meadors with Martin, Trei and Miranda Louise, and many thanks to County Mayor Steve Gregory for doing a very fine job DJing and MCing!

We look forward to many more events like this year’s Harvest Market.

Sincerely the Arts & Ag Trio,

Antonia, Nicole and Vanessa

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

Episode 2 of Late Bloomer Arts & Ag Tour series

Kaye Kittrell’s urban gardening web show and blog, The Late Bloomer, seeks to entertain, enlighten and inspire anyone to grow their own food. Kaye visited Hickman County during Memorial Day Weekend for the 2013 Arts & Ag Tour. See the Latest episode of the Late Bloomer Show here where Kaye visits several Tour stops in the neighboring farming communities of Tottys Bend and Little Lot.

Click HERE to visit Late Bloomer’s website where you’ll find Kaye’s web series and blog about how she is converting her small yard in Pacific Palisades, CA, to an edible garden and sharing her experience. You can also like the Late Bloomer facebook page by clicking HERE.