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Batch & Bushel showcases local goods

Xavier Smith • Updated Jan 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

<p>The inaugural Batch & Bushel Showcase at the Wilson County Expo Center highlighted some of the best self-sustaining services and products in Wilson County.</p> <p>Batch & Bushel Showcase is an event that celebrates the self-sustaining lifestyle. In addition to live music, various local agricultural vendors and speakers will attend the event.</p> <p>Friday’s events included entertainment from Anne Buckle, Templeton Thompson and Sam Gay and the One Way Out Bluegrass Band and seminars from Tri-Green Equipment, Trey Cioccia with Farm House, Nashville Jam Co. and Jenna Gibbons with Hickory Hills Farms.</p> <p>Saturday’s events include entertainment from Anne Buckle, Templeton Thompson and Sam Gay and the One Way Out Bluegrass Band and seminars from Tri-Green Equipment, Nashville Jam Co., Walker Creek Confections and Bountiful Acres.</p> <p>Saturday’s event will be from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and children 12 years old or younger get in free. </p> <div id="tout-l6owlu-target"> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://player.tout.com/embeds/l6owlu.js?content_brand_uid=805f8b&width=auto&height=auto&autoplay=false&element_id=tout-l6owlu-target"></script> <p>“What we’re seeing with the farm to table movement and the elements that go with that is it’s not just about agriculture and farming, it’s the farming elements and agriculture that lends itself to local makers and purveyors. What you see at Batch and Bushel is where farming is meeting entrepreneurship and business,” Wilson County Expo Center marketing director.</p> <p>“When Charity approached me about Batch and Bushel, I was excited about it because I didn’t know how to connect with farmers and the agriculture arena at all. I’ve been trying to push shop local and help with the local sustainability, so I thought this was a way for me and other people to meet our local entrepreneurs that I may not have been aware of,” said Sarah Haston, Lebanon economic development director.</p> <p>Haston highlighted several local-based businesses at the event, including Bountiful Acres Farm Shoppe and Jug Creek Distillery.</p> <p>Sue Dickhaus, owner of Bountiful Acres, located on The Lebanon Square, said she started her company when she was 19 to help her mom.</p> <p>“My mom had multiple sclerosis and she was having bedsores, and we could see that the conventional medicine wasn’t really helping,” Dickhaus said. “I was interested in herbs because my father’s family was farmers in Wisconsin, so I was aware of things naturally growing. I made an herbal salve and we used it on her and could see that it was helping in healing, so I was hooked.”<br /> Dickhaus, now 52, said since she was 19, she been experimenting and taking classes and learning how to perfect her craft. Her products include milk soaps, salves, lotions, herbs, bath bombs and more that are all produced at her family’s farm.</p> <p>Jug Creek, which opened to the public two weekends ago, is Wilson County’s first handcrafted moonshine distillery.</p> <p>Heath Frazier, Jug Creek co-founder, said the distillery property features distill houses, retail shop, tasting bar and tours and tastings are available for the public. Frazier said the tour includes an in-depth discussion about the distilling process and visual of how Jug Creek makes their products.</p> <p>The company has three products line currently available – Gran’s Banana Pudding, Granddad’s Coffee Creamer and Jug Creek Vodka – with the hopes of two more – Cedar’s Gin and Wicked Chocolate Cranberry – in the next few weeks.</p> <p>Frazier said he hopes to have the event venue available for use by spring, which would be available for weddings, parties and events.</p> <p>“We don’t want to be seen as just a distillery. We want to be seen more as a destination – an artisanal type distillery where our products are different than everybody else’s and we really work hard to do that,” Frazier said.</p> <p>The Batch and Bushel Showcase also feature other unique products and businesses, including Tojo Creek Ranch and Little Big Dog Treats.</p> <p>Tojo Creek features several products made from homegrown gourds, which is a hard-shelled fruit. John and Zena Swendiman own Tojo Creek, and John said it all started with a pack of seeds from Wal-Mart and a farm in northern Wilson County around 2000.</p> <p>Swendiman said he took the gourds to work and was informed about the gourd festival at the Wilson County Ag Center.</p> <p>“My wife is an artist and she needed a new medium to work with, so I thought here is a product I can grow and find a niche for. We grew and over the years we became the premier gourd supplier in Wilson County,” Swendiman said.</p> <p>The pair holds their annual gourd show at the Ag Center – the Tojo Creek Gourd Gala – and showcases their products at Fiddlers Grove.</p> <p>Products include birdhouses, Christmas tree ornaments, necklaces and jewelry, baskets, bowls and eating utensils, art pieces, ceremonial masks and more.</p> <p>Little Big Dog Treats features a mother-daughter duo – Sandi and her daughter, Cailyn Wheaton, who was born with Down syndrome.</p> <p>“Last fall, it was getting close to Christmas and we thought to make some dog treats for our dogs and we had such a blast and started thinking about the training she had in school,” Wheaton said. “I asked her if she wanted to do it for a business and she said, ‘yeah,’ so it has just blossomed from there.”</p> <p>Wheaton said she hopes as the business grows, she and her daughter will be able to help and hire other special-needs people.</p> <p>“This is really a mission to hire other special needs individuals to truly be a career and fun place to work,” she said. “Cailyn does all of it. She’s the boss and tells me what to do and we just have a lot of fun doing it.”</p> <p>All products are organic, non-GMO and hormone-free ingredients with no preservatives.</p> <p>Other sponsors and participants will include the following: Cellar 53, Urban Farmer, Firepot Chai, Little Seed Farm, Hickory Farms, Farm Credit, Circle S Farms, Strawberry Patch, The Juice Bar, Freeland Family Farms, Wise Butter, T & L Honey, Galena Garlic Company, Active Live, Historic Lebanon, Tosha Guard, Southern Jerky, Ten Thousands Village, Gardens on Main, Toby Wade, Walker Feed, The Faith Store, Tennessee Foundations, Tennessee Beef organizations, Lester Farms and Be Still, Be Breathe.</p> <p> </p>

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