First things first, I need to start this post off by saying THANK YOU for all of your sweet comments on Friday’s post. Y’all really know how to love a sister well, and I’m so thankful for all of you. Really. BIG TIME.
Second, there is no way I’m going to be able to fit in our entire day at Moss Mountain in one post plus recipes. So today I just want to share the 50-ish photos that I narrowed down from about 450 from the entire day and just share some of my favorite points from the day, which was packed with beautiful gardens, home decor the likes of which puts Pinterest to shame, a group of amazing women, and lots of laughter.
When I pulled up I was welcomed by the view in the very first photo of the house – stunning, right? The thing that amazes me about the entire place – the farm + house + gardens – is that it’s all only been around for about 5-6 years now. All I know is that when we bought our house in Colorado we lived there for about 3 years and all of the projects I had planned for it never came to fruition. To see a place this beautiful that came from the ground up is pretty amazing! I also love what Moss Mountain farm works towards: teaching principles and good practices for design, cultivation and good stewardship. I think that the attitude of hospitality is also incredibly important as well!
During our Q & A session at the end Allen shared a lot of advice on interior design, but one of my favorites was that he likes things to be juxtaposed. When you have all rustic furniture or all the same color wood together it can be a little boring and monotone. Having really crisp colors next to faded woods can make all of those elements come alive!
This is also the point that I mentioned on Friday where he talked about staying true and authentic to the things we love. I guess it never really occurred to me in decorating a house to really get to know the things that I love and enjoy and integrate them into our living space. Silly, right? Although I will say that the next time we buy a house I’m going to be paying a LOT of attention to the details of what I want and like and work toward having a more cohesive look. I love our house and we have great stuff, but there’s no common bond that holds it all together. Seeing this living example of a house that has great design elements really made me excited about beautifying our own space!
Y’all, I really wish that you could all come with me and tour this house. The way I see it is it’s perfect for entertaining, creating that attitude of hospitality and making it easier to love others well. There’s these incredibly screened in porches that overlook the Arkansas River Valley, and it’s just so peaceful! And the kitchen? Well, let’s just say that I didn’t have the best lens for capturing the fully kitchen in all of it’s glory, but I think I may just steal every idea from it!
Another part of the day that I really loved was getting to see all of the animals. I can’t say I dream of having my own chickens and such (apparently that’s a thing these days?) but it was really wonderful to see all of the breeds of heritage poultry at Moss Mountain. All I know is that if I were a chicken, this is the place I’d like to be! There were also sheep (like the little guy below) and a donkey named Moose, plus dogs and a horse as well. I loved all of their faces and could probably have spent an entire day just watching it all.
If you follow me on Instagram at all you’ve probably seen that I finally got the nerve to start my own little garden again this year. Sure, I’ve had minor freakouts that a sudden downpour will kill all of my plants again, but so far this little garden has proven me wrong. I have tomatoes coming in, zucchini blossoms are going to soon yield to a real live zucchini, and we have herbs galore. And yet this little container masterpiece in our backyard will always pale in comparison to the incredible organic 1-acre garden at Moss Mountain!
There was honestly too much to see, but I have to admit that I was pretty stoked about the rainbow chard, blueberries and blackberries. I’ve never seen them before in real life! And just to sit back and realize that I could eat everything right there – kind of a neat feeling! It definitely made me excited about an even larger garden one day – maybe I’ll even have blueberries! 😉
One thing I really loved was the rose garden. I love yellow roses the best (hello, yellow rose of Texas? YES), but it reminded me so much of my grandparents. They always had this amazing rose garden in their back yard, and seeing them in huge quantities again made my heart ache.
The night before the event we had some really hard rains, which beat up a lot of the roses in the garden, but I am always amazed at how beautiful a rose still is even in its brokenness. I like to think that God sees us all that same way – beautiful even when we’re broken.
So let’s get down to it a bit: this amazing event was hosted by Allen and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, which means that we learned our fair share about the soybean production and economy specifically in the state of Arkansas. First off, a few fun facts:
- More soybeans are grown in the US than in any other country;
- Soy is valued at $21.5 billion and is the #1 US export;
- Raw soybeans are about 36% protein and 19% oil.
Another amazing fact I learned though? 98% of US farms are family owned operated. I think back to the stories my dad told me about his family’s farm and the hard work they put in, and I see that the same hard work is being put into cultivating the land even today. Farming is hard work and farmers have to be sort of the ultimate business people – all I can really say is that I am so thankful that there are people who want to farm the land and provide food for people they’ve never even met!
Another thing I really loved about this event was just feeling sort of brought in to the inner circle of Arkansas natives. This has been such an incredibly welcoming city and state, and the people here in Arkansas are amazing. Texas will always be home, but I absolutely love it here and feel an ever-swelling sense of pride to live among such loving and hard-working people!
OH! And I almost forgot – I planted some soybeans of my very own the other day! When we were in the gardens Allen said that soy grows incredibly fast and is very hardy, which is one of the reasons it makes such a great crop for farmers. I put his words to the test and planted seeds of my very own the other day, and you guys? THEY ALREADY SPROUTED. I can’t wait to harvest my own!!! And the amazing team with the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board gave me some samples to give away to you guys – I’ll share the details on that soon!
Honestly the day at Moss Mountain was just what I needed, and I left feeling so refreshed. I’m going to be sharing some recipes coming up that show off how easy it is to use soybeans, and I can’t wait to share!
MY INSANELY BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED NEW FRIENDS:
Angie – A Growing Season
Debbie – Dining with Debbie
Stephanie – The Park Wife
Alison – Alison Chino
Lyndi – NWA Foodie
Jerusalem – Jolly Goode Gal
Lauren – In Arkansas
Sarabeth – The Dramatic
Gina – Desperately Seeking Gina
Julie – Eggs and Herbs
JoBeth – Boots McBlog
Blair – In Arkansas
Paige – Approaching Joy
Anita – Aunt Nubby’s Kitchen
Beth – The Food Adventuress
Melissa – A Familiar Path
Karen – Ting’s Mom