Kentucky author and Calloway County native, Bobbie Smith Bryant recently published her fourth book, A Beautiful Star: The Life of Lois Etoile Brewer. In this, her first biography, Bryant captures the simplicity of farm life from the turn of the century into the industrial age and beyond. The social and cultural elements of the family farm are firmly embedded in Kentucky’s heritage. Bryant once again weaves ordinary daily chores – the basic tasks of a farming lifestyle – into the story.

“Bobbie Smith Bryant has a gift for tapping the rich veins of Kentucky’s rural heritage and sharing it through pictures and stories. In this, her latest book, she takes us into the tobacco fields of the Black Patch region, behind the barn doors of a farm culture known for its dark tobacco. For generations, western Kentucky farmers have grown the dark leaf as a cash crop: to feed and clothe their families, educate their children, and help build their communities. These farm families are inseparably linked to a way of life that may soon be gone. Thank you, Bobbie, for an important story, well told.”

                                    – Byron Crawford,

 Kentucky Living magazine

Passions of the Black Patch: Cooking and Quilting in Western Kentucky


"Passions of the Black Patch: Cooking and Quilting in Western Kentucky” is more than just a cookbook. It's a tasty and tender journey through the culinary joys and culture of a magical time and place. The delicious recipes fortify the body while the beautifully written descriptions of the traditions and history that inspired them nourish the soul."   

Teresa Medeiros

New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers list

Forty Acres & A Red Belly Ford: The Smith family of Calloway County


There is a kind of idealism that seems to be native to farming.  Farmers begin every year with a vision of perfection. And every year, in the course of the seasons and the work, this vision is relentlessly whittled down to a real result-by human frailty and fallibility, by the mortality of creatures, by pests and diseases, by the weather. The crop year is a long struggle, ended invariably not by the desired perfection but by the need to accept something less than perfection as the best that could be done.  

 Wendell Berry

Excerpt reprinted with permission from

 “Tobacco Harvest: An Elegy

Judge Bill Cunningham and Bobbie Bryant share stories from the Black Patch.