The chickens led to the goats and to the garden and to more chickens and more goats and rabbits. But first there was the day, back in Atlanta, that my socks and undies went missing. There I was at the laundry mat on Moreland Ave., just back from the apartment where I had run to hang up my favorite bra, staring at an extra-large-front-loading dryer which 10 minutes before held every last pair of my socks and underwear –EVERY PAIR– The dryer was completely empty! As I stood peering into the shiny gray cylinder where my bikini briefs used to be and believing they would somehow reappear any minute, I had an epiphany. It was as if a thick fog in my mind, which had hung on for longer than I could remember, simply lifted and I knew in an instant what must be done. MOVE—I needed to move! My health, happiness and possibly my future existence depended on it. It was The Outlaw Farmer, my guardian angel, reaching out to me, shaking my shoulders saying, “Wake up girl, you’re late! You don’t want to miss this. And besides, I’m counting on you.”
That afternoon, my husband and I began searching for a new home from the living room of our Grant Park apartment. We were looking for somewhere affordable and quaint with a fair amount of locally owned businesses. As luck would have it, or maybe it was fate, perhaps even divine intervention– I stumbled upon the Hickman County Chamber of Commerce’s website where Nate and I found the charm of county native Minnie Pearl irresistible.
Three months later, we arrived in Hickman County without a penny to our name. Neither of us had a job, the roof on our newly purchased home was leaking, and both of our vehicles needed repairs. I can only describe that time as perfect in every way. We were embarking on something special and we both knew it, so nothing else really mattered.
So, here are my top 10 answers to Why Hickman County? in no particular order:
1. I can wear jeans on every occasion and never feel under dressed.
2. Scenic views, fresh air, water and wildlife.
3. Community spirit and volunteerism.
4. Time spent searching for cool stuff at Shop ’til It Stops.
5. The Hickman County Times
6. The fact that discovering the county never seems to end
8. The abundance of diverse businesses makes it easy to shop locally
9. The nicest people you’ll ever meet
10. You know you can count on your neighbors when the you-know-what hits the fan!
Vanessa Davis, the founder of Arts & Ag also has a refreshingly candid and informative blog, The Outlaw Farmer, check it out here: http://outlawfarmer.wordpress.com. She and her husband, Nate, own and operate Totty’s Bend Farm & Dairy Soap Company where they make soap and beauty products using goat’s milk from the goats raised on their farm. Their products are available on the Centerville square at the Centerville Marketplace or online HERE: www.tottysbendsoaps.com AND, HERE: www.etsy.com/shop/TottysBendSoapFarm
ABOUT ARTS & AG: While Arts & Ag is not an “official” non-profit, we are not paid or compensated in any way for our contributions. We volunteer because we LOVE promoting the artists and farmers in our community and we LOVE living in Hickman County!
The mission of Arts & Ag is to provide an open network for independently owned, craft-based and agrarian businesses and to promote those local businesses to the public. Furthermore, Arts & Ag will provide educational opportunities for the community about the arts, cottage industry and sustainable farming. Through these efforts we hope to raise awareness, encourage creativity, increase agri-tourism and commerce in Hickman County, and support the practice of small-scale, sustainable agriculture.