WARNING: Y’all are about to be photo bombed with pictures of my time at Moss Mountain Farm a few weeks ago. The lovely folks at Arkansas Grown + Arkansas Made + P. Allen Smith and his team created an incredible day for me and a few dozen of my lovely blogging friends, igniting more passion for our local grown and made goods. Y’all enjoy!
There are so many things to say about Moss Mountain Farm, but the things that astound me the most are the constant beauty and the constant learning. I still pinch myself sometimes that we live in SUCH a gorgeous area, a hidden gem in this great country. And while I may be able to chew the air because of the current humidity, it’s so worth it to see the green and the gorgeous land here. Moss Mountain Farm was created as a place to inspire and teach, and that’s exactly what it does every time I’m there. There is always a new story, a new experience, a new friendship, and I always feel so inspired to create in my everyday when I leave!
This particular event was to learn more about the Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made programs that promote local farmers, craftsmen and artisans, working to raise awareness of the amazing things we can get here in our home state. As I’ll share a little further down I am pretty fired up about it now!
I think one of the things that strikes me every time I visit Moss Mountain is the intention of everything there. Things aren’t just there to be pretty, but rather to serve a deeper purpose. Whether it’s more eco-friendly and efficient cooling and heating, more dynamic and historically accurate art, or an added bit of whimsy, everything on this property serves a purpose. Definitely puts my Target clearance trips in perspective, you know?
New and old friends! From left to right: Jodi, James Busvlogger, Beth, ME, Stephanie, Debbie. These guys are the best, y’all. I tear up every time I think of the amazing blogging community here in Arkansas. It’s truly encouraging and I have yet to hear of or see any cattiness or competition. I love it!
Also, can we talk about my raging garden envy right now? I mean, I love flowers and all – they’re gorgeous, and I’m super inspired by them – but growing my own food is something that’s really getting my heart pumping these days. I could eat for months off of the Moss Mountain garden alone! And sure, I can’t do something like that in my own back yard, but I’m definitely doing my research and getting antsy for next year’s garden.
This is where the reality of buying locally, especially with our food, really hit me. These farmers, y’all, they care so deeply about what they do and every single one – when asked the question of what they love the most about it – said because of the people. BECAUSE OF US. They work their tails off to feed this country as best they can. If that’s not the best reason to get my tail up on Saturdays and support local markets then I don’t know what is. We got to chat with 4 amazing local farmers – Bob Barnhill (whom I’m adopting because he’s adorable), Chuck McCool, Mark Morgan and Beth Eggers who all were just so passionate about what they do.
Oh, and lunch? Was this crazy-amazing black bean burger on a Greek yogurt bun created by the team at Greenhouse Grill in Fayetteville and it was deliiiiiiiicious. Like I can’t stop thinking about it!
After lunch and chatting with our new favorite farmers we got to spend time chatting with more local artisans in an amazing tent full of talented and hard-working people. I think I may have gained 85 pounds that day, even if it WAS all fruit and veggies. Besides the dancing (y’all, I don’t dance. Not unless I’ve had a glass of wine…which I hadn’t. But Stephanie and Allen were game!) we were entertained with amazing stories from local bakers, farmers, winemakers, brewers, ice cream artists and flower experts. I’m constantly amazed at all that’s going on here!
There are big things happening in my life right now, which I hope to share in the coming months, but this eating locally is one of them. The past couple of Saturdays we’ve spent about an hour or so shopping at local markets, and the sense of pride I have when coming home and feeding my family fresh food is amazing. All of this incredible goodness comes from this very state – and what a blessing it is to share that love of good, fresh food with my family!
I’d love to hear from you – do you have a local farmer’s market that you frequent? A CSA arrangment you couldn’t do without? Dish!