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Spring at Moss Mountain Farm

After the long winter that most of us have endured, I invite you to celebrate Spring’s arrival with a visit to Moss Mountain Farm, located just outside Little Rock, AR.

A visit to Moss Mountain Farm is an immersive experience of inspiration, education and conservation. I love welcoming guests into my home and gardens, all while promoting the local food movement, organic gardening and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds.

One of our most popular Spring events is the annual Easter Sunday Celebration. We invite guests to join us for a lunch buffet and an afternoon of fun for all.

Bring the family for an Easter portrait among the tulips, and give the little ones a chance to hold a baby chick or feed some sheep. It’s a fun-filled celebration that I look forward to every year!

For more information about visiting Moss Mountain Farm, check out our tour schedule.

Caring for Pollinators

Many home gardeners and those in the agriculture industry know we have a pollinator problem on our hands. We need pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and birds, to enjoy some of our favorite fruits, vegetables and flowers. However, some threats to pollinators include, habitat loss, pollution, the introduction of non-native animals and plants, and climate change. And while we may not be able to address all of these, activities like beekeeping, planting native species and increasing habitat can provide relief to these helpful garden assistants.

Not all of us have time to start keeping bees, but it’s fairly easy to create little pollinator gardens full of native wildflowers to give them a place to land. Pollinators are creatures of habit, and though their natural habitat may be overtaken by construction sites or development, they will stay in the same areas and won’t travel very far to find food or shelter. That’s why it’s important to have patches of wildflowers and comfortable areas for them to live and work.

In an effort to help these vital gardening assistants, I have joined with First Community Bank for the “Bloom with Us” project which will install 20 pollinator gardens in the bank’s locations across Arkansas and Missouri. These gardens will begin growing in the first week of March and will not only be beneficial for pollinators but also beautiful for the members of the community.  It’s a win-win!

I hope you’ll drop by to stop and smell the flowers, and maybe even glimpse a few bees and butterflies at work or play. If you’d like to find out more about planting pollinator friendly gardens in your backyard, check out the planting guides at pollinator.org.

 

 

 

 

And for more information on how you can support pollinators in your world, check out my YouTube video below and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

My Top Spots to Visit in Arkansas


It’s no secret that I love living in the Natural State.

There’s so much to see and do, from outdoor adventures to unique cultural experiences. Even as a longtime Arkansan, I’m constantly discovering new ways to experience this beautiful state.

Check out a few of my favorite spots to travel in Arkansas!

 

BUCK ISLAND

As a nature enthusiast, I never grow tired of exploring the Natural State and all the outdoor experiences it has to offer. I’m always looking for areas I haven’t seen before, and Buck Island has quickly become a new favorite of mine for outdoor adventures.

Located just outside Helena, AR along the Mississippi River, Buck Island is a public island featuring 880 acres of native forests, 620 acres of white sand beaches, five miles of hiking trails and a three-mile side channel.

Buck Island gives visitors a chance to experience the natural wonders of the Mississippi River in a whole new way. Recently conserved for public access, the island offers new opportunities for camping, hiking, paddling, swimming, fishing and more.

The island also supports numerous wildlife species, some of which are endangered, and is a stop-over site along the Mississippi Flyway, used by 65 percent of North American migratory bird species, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise!

 

SUBIACO ABBEY

I love exploring unique spots around Arkansas, especially those that offer a glimpse into what feels like a whole other world. Subiaco Abbey offers just that.

Located in the small town of Subiaco in the Arkansas River Valley is Subiaco Abbey, which houses a community of over forty Benedictine monks and includes a preparatory academy and retreat center.

Established in 1878, Subiaco Abbey features Old World architecture, such as the massive Romanesque-style Abbey Church. Perched on a hillside, the Abbey also offers scenic views of the surrounding area.

Subiaco Abbey isn’t just known for its breathtaking views and architecture. Since 2003, the monks at Subiaco have been making their famous hot habanero pepper sauce known as “Monk Sauce.” Made fresh from habanero peppers grown in the Subiaco gardens, “Monk Sauce” packs a fiery punch and is a favorite among visitors.

 

CRYSTAL BRIDGES

If you’re looking for an incredible cultural experience, look no further than Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Crystal Bridges is a state-of-the-art museum which has created a nationwide buzz since its opening in 2011. Located in Northwest Arkansas, this museum attracts visitors from all over the country.

Any art lover would be impressed by the museum’s world-class permanent collection, which spans five centuries of American masterworks. Crystal Bridges also features a year-round schedule of exciting and unique temporary exhibitions.

The architecture of Crystal Bridges is just as impressive as the artwork inside the museum. Surrounded by native forest, the exterior of Crystal Bridges was designed in a way that blends nature and art seamlessly.

The museum grounds also feature a classic “Usonian” home designed by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which is an absolute must-see!

 

THE UNEXPECTED

I love seeing how art can rejuvenate an area or space, which is exactly what the Unexpected has done for Fort Smith, Arkansas.

If you’re passing through the Arkansas River Valley, you’ll want to stop by downtown Fort Smith to catch a glimpse of the colorful, unique murals that are scattered about the area.

The Unexpected is an annual public art festival and downtown revitalization project created by the nonprofit, 64.6 Downtown, which brings renowned artists to the Fort Smith Area to create outdoor art over the course of one week.

As you explore downtown Fort Smith you’ll find that the urban murals truly are, as the name says, unexpected! The public art is a walkable experience that also allows you to explore the downtown Fort Smith area and all it has to offer. While in the area, check out some of Fort Smith’s well-known historic sites, such as Judge Isaac Parker’s courthouse and the National Historic Society.

 

To learn more about my favorite spots in Arkansas, check out the video below or visit Arkansas.com.

It’s A Good Day To Have A Good Day!

From the splendors of spring through the holiday season, I love welcoming guests into my home and gardens. As I have said many times, I love to share the farm with all of you because keeping Moss Mountain Farm to myself wouldn’t be near as fun!

Some of the kindest and most genuine folks visit the farm, and it makes me so happy to receive messages with kind words from them regarding their experience! It is not only encouraging to myself and the staff, but I hope you find a little encouragement in the following words as well!

Thanks again to everyone who has visited or plans to in the future! You can find tickets here!

-Just a short note to let you know how much we enjoyed our tour at the farm last Friday.  My niece seemed to have a wonderful time and appreciated the special attention with the gluten free crackers. Please tell Ellen how much fun we had. Maybe another trip in the future.

Best regards,
Sherry Dale & Lynne


– A group of ladies (and our male driver) from the Murphysboro United Methodist Church visited Moss Mountain Farm on Friday, Nov. 9th. I just wanted to let you and your staff know that we had a splendid day and how much we appreciated your hospitality. You have such a beautiful home, barn, gardens, structures, animals, etc., and you are kind enough to share that beauty with the world!

Since I’m a 4-H Leader in Illinois, I very much appreciated how much time you took in answering my question about your involvement in the 4-H Program in Arkansas (and how you caught your first chicken). Teaching our youth important life skills has been a priority in my life for the past 20 years. Several years ago, I started an Apple Pie Workshop for youth, and now they have created a new youth division with a cash prize in the Apple Pie Contest at the annual Murphysboro Apple Festival. We hope to continue this tradition for years to come. I’d love to bring our 4-H club members to visit Moss Mountain Farm!!!

The lunch was divine, and the Buttermilk Pecan Pie was scrumptious – coming from one pie snob to another. Several on our church bus purchased your cookbook and enjoyed reading the recipes and stories about the recipes on our trip back home. Well, you might think our trip would end with good conversation and laughs about our trip. However, on the way home, one of the ladies suggested that we have a P. Allen Smith Dinner Party (after we have had time to try some of the delicious recipes, of course). We will all make and bring a couple of our favorite dishes from your cookbook to share with each other.

Thank you again for your genuine hospitality for a fabulous day at Moss Mountain Farm!

Rosie


– I just want to say how impressed we were with the whole experience of the tour, grounds and especially the staff! We got lost on our way there. We got a call asking if we were lost and did we need help!! 5 min. later we arrived! Even the rain did not dampen how much we enjoyed the gardens, lunch, chickens and houses.   The lunch was delicious and well done. Ellen was our guide. She charming, knowledgeable and personable.  I bought a book in the gift shop then hurried back to the tent for Allen’s signature. We enjoyed having a personal visit with him! Then left with better directions this time. A short time later we received a call from Diane saying I had left my credit card in the gift shop. She asked where we were and told me it was on her way!! She brought the card to us!!! We are very grateful for her extra effort and felt it was way beyond normal !!! We are totally impressed with our wonderful day!
Thank you!

Jerri

Ralston Family Farms Rice Contest

I don’t know about you, but I like to know exactly where my food comes from. I could go on and on about all the reasons I love Ralston Family Farms rice, but you wouldn’t understand until you try one of their delicious farm-to-fork rice varieties for yourself!

Head over to my Instagram to enter to win a Ralston Family Farms prize package including 3 of my favorite rice varieties and a rice cooker to make meal prep a breeze!
Enter HERE! 

Decking The Halls With Holly Chapple

Every year I pick a Christmas decorating theme, drawing inspiration from everyday items or materials from the garden. This year’s theme is completely nature inspired, and I am thrilled that Holly Chapple is bringing the ‘Holly’ to Moss Mountain Farm! If you have never been to Moss Mountain Farm during the holiday season, this is the year to make the trip! I can’t wait to collaborate with Holly and I know the decor will be more spectacular than ever!

 

“Decorating for the holidays is one of my absolute favorite times to design. Perhaps being born on Christmas Eve has something to do with my love of seasonal decor. It’s also why my parents named me Holly. So it looks like we have a date with a horse named Trudy, a chicken temple, a gingerbread house and a fabulous designer, landscape architect, author and tv personality named P. Allen Smith!” – Holly Chapple

A longtime resident of Loudoun County Virginia, Holly is a highly recognized and sought after floral designer whose work has been published in countless prestigious publications and top industry blogs. With over 25 years of successful business experience behind her, Holly now serves as a teacher, speaker and mentor for other professionals in the wedding industry. She currently sits on a trend report board with industry leaders, owns and operates Hope Flower Farm.

 

 

**Holly will NOT be present at 2018 holiday tours, but her designs will be on display for guests to enjoy.

 

 

 

2018 Arkansas Cornbread Festival Preview

Executive Pastry Chef at Cathead’s Diner, Kelli Marks, and I had the pleasure of spending a little time with Ansley Watson to talk about The Arkansas Cornbread Festival on Good Afternoon Arkansas yesterday! I am sure you can guess without watching what the video below is about… it’s cornbread!

The Arkansas Cornbread Festival is this Saturday, October 27, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Little Rock on S. Main Street in SoMa. It’s a free event for all ages, however a Cornbread Tasting Ticket is $8 before the festival and $10 at the festival. This allows you to taste all the cornbread within the competition.

For more information on the event you can visit the KATV website or the official Arkansas Cornbread Festival website!


Video courtesy of KATV Little Rock.

Top Five Must See List for Arkansas This Fall

It’s impossible not to love fall in Arkansas. After the summer heat dissipates, we’re rewarded with pleasant weather and a changing of the leaves that’s not to be missed. Fall is one of my favorite times of year to get out and explore the great destinations Arkansas has to offer. Here are 5 of my favorite things to do around The Natural State this fall.

1. Arkansas Cornbread Festival – Who wouldn’t travel to sample the best cornbread in the state? I know I would! Luckily for me, SoMa Little Rock is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the farm! I look forward to this event every year and bonding with the community over cornbread… it’s a southern tradition! This year, the festival happens on Saturday, October 27 from 11a-4p.

Photos courtesy of https://www.arkansascornbreadfestival.com/

2. Crystal Bridges Museum – Crystal Bridges will make my list any time of year! It’s such an inspiring place, celebrating American art and culture. This fall, experience works of art by important Native American artists from the 1950s to today, enriching our understanding of American art.

3. Mount Magazine Scenic Byway – There’s nothing like hitting the open road just to enjoy the scenery. This 28-mile drive stretches between Havana, Arkansas and Paris, Arkansas. On this beautiful trek, you will experience Mount Magazine, which is the highest peak in Arkansas at 2,753 feet. When the trees are showing off their gorgeous fall foliage, the views of the mountains, valleys, and waterways just can’t be beat!

4. Johnny Cash Heritage Festival – Dyess, the boyhood home of Johnny Cash, will host their annual 3-day festival honoring the Arkansas legend and the programs that shaped his childhood. The event includes regional music, public presentations, food and craft vendors, demonstrations, and tours. This year’s closing concert, from noon to 5p.m. on Saturday October 20, will include a tribute to the 1968 Johnny Cash Homecoming Show. Hosted by producer/performer John Carter Cash, the performance will feature award-winning singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson and Grammy record-holder Alison Krauss, along with Ana Cristina Cash, Suzanne Cox, Heather Berry Mabe, Ira Dean, and others.

5. Battle of Prairie Grove Reenactment – This December, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park will commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove, fought on December 7, 1862. This battle saw about 22,000 soldiers fighting most of the day, with about 2,700 killed, wounded, or missing. During the weekend there will be many activities to take part in, including tours through the Union, Confederate, and civilian camps, along with living history programs.

If none of these events sparks your interest, there is much more to experience this fall in The Natural State. To explore other travel destinations in Arkansas, visit www.arkansas.com.

 

Experience Moss Mountain Farm

When guests visit Moss Mountain Farm, it is more than just looking at flowers and gardens, it is an experience where you become completely immersed. Moss Mountain Farm is an epicenter for promoting the local food movement, organic gardening and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds, while serving as a place of inspiration, education, and conservation.

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Of course, what I love more than sharing my home with folks from all over the globe are the stories you all share with me during your visit. One of my favorite stories from this spring was of a family who found their way to Moss Mountain Farm from Mississippi thanks to their adorable 8 month old son. Their son would awaken each morning at 5:00, and the parents would turn on the television to try and wake up as well. Garden Home is shown in the early hours of the morning, and that’s how the parents became inspired by P. Allen Smith. This day, they were among 63 guests who came from 17 states to visit the farm.

I am also appreciative of those who trek through the rain and sludge. This is a group of 84 guests from 18 states enjoying a rainy day at Moss Mountain Farm.

One of my favorite events at Moss Mountain Farm takes place in the fall and spring, when flocks of poultry enthusiasts gather at the farm to learn more about conservation of heritage breed poultry.

Each day at Moss Mountain Farm is different, and I love seeing guests participate in the variety of activities we have planned throughout the spring and fall. One of my favorite tours recently was a “make it and take it” class, where the tour attendees were able to paint their own flower pots to bring home with them.

 

Lets look at a few stats for 2018 so far:

2122 guests visited from
38 states and Canada

634 eggs used in
203 Buttermilk Pecan pies and
200 dozen of Aunt Jamie’s Cookies
and Infinite memories made!

To learn more about our upcoming tour dates and to reserve your spot, click HERE!

 

Flock Around The Clock

If you’re raising chickens or think you might add birds to your backyard in the near future, Chicken Chat at Moss Mountain Farm is for you. It’s ideal for everyone from small-scale chicken farmers to novices wanting a pet bird.

Event attendees will learn from P. Allen Smith about his heritage breed poultry and the importance of preserving these rare breeds. He’ll be on site answering all of your burning questions and sharing his long-standing love for chickens.

Best of all, you can meet Allen and tour the grounds of Moss Mountain Farm and his garden home, which is the staging area for his Garden Home and Garden Style television shows. He will take you to Poultryville, and you will see how he feeds, nurtures, and protects his own flock of heritage breeds.  Dr. Keith Bramwell will also be in attendance this day, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge on heritage breed poultry.

Lunch will be provided. You could even purchase chickens to take home and add to your flock! Chicken Chat is kind of a big deal, so reserve your spot today before they’re gone!

Click here for more info!