I love Farmers’
Markets, don’t you? Wandering through even a small one provides a great sense of wellbeing.
Last week was especially good because I went to two Farmers Markets. Tuesday, I was part of an Arkansas Women Bloggers group invited to visit Moss Mountain for the Farm to Table event.
I was so inspired, I headed over to the Hillcrest Farmers' Market Saturday morning.
|The house's design is based on early |
American style with modern conveniences.
It was my first
visit to P. Allen Smith’s beautiful experiment in the agrarian lifestyle inspired by Thomas Jefferson. If you haven't been to Moss Mountain, put it on your bucket list.
In addition to touring his beautiful home
and grounds, I visited with a group of people who have chosen to live close to
the earth and bring us locally-grown produce and other naturally
|This 300-year-old tree sold Allen on the property.|
|They are experimenting with |
early varieties of roses here.
|Sometimes, vegetables and flowers share space.|
|From the screened-in sleeping porch |
at the back of the house, you can see
the mighty Arkansas River.
|Who can resist a gate?|
|Flowers, flowers, everywhere flowers|
|Allen is a gracious host. He welcomes all.|
the vendors was my favorite part of the day. In many instances, they were multi-generational operations. As I talked with each
group, I felt their love for what they do and respect for God’s earth and creatures.
My biggest regret is that I spent so much time getting acquainted that I didn't get around to all the booths.
|Pam & Bart|
I met Pam and Bart Petray who raise grass-fed
beef with the help of their blue heeler, Buddy, on Top O’The Mount Farm near
Winslow. When I expressed an interest in their beef, they offered to meet me to deliver my order on their way to visit family in Scott.
Valorie and Jay Lee of JV Farms near Bigelow raise pastured-poultry and
woodland pork, grow organic
vegetables and blackberries, and offer milk from grass-fed animals. Look for them in Hot Springs on Saturdays.
These two friendly fellows from Hot Springs shared the Lee's tent. They were offering samples of sausage and flowers. (Wish I had gotten their names.)
Katie Beaton of Weal and Woe Farm near Houston sells vegetables and gorgeous flowers. Her mom,
Pat, helped out Tuesday, and I met her dad, Neal, when I bought Pattypan Squash and flowers from
Katie at the Hillcrest Market.
The Foleys from Harrison create all-natural skin care products, insect repellant, sunscreen, and more. I tried
out their Serenity Naturals sunscreen and
didn’t get a hint of sunburn even though I was in the sun most of the day. They
also gave us a nice gift bag.
Felder Farm in Little Rock is an urban farm that Nathanael Wills started in the Little Rock Public Schools. When it ended in 2012, he relocated the farm to the Stiff Station neighborhood. If you drop by the corner of West Sixth and Woodrow, you'll see one of his satellite plots. His mother, Andrea, was on hand to help out Tuesday.
The Brandon tribe of Fayetteville started
their artisan-style bakery, Ozark Natural Bread, in 1987. Their gift bag included
four different kinds of sourdough bread and granola. I’ve been eating Walnut Cranberry Sourdough Bread for breakfast all week. Yum.
Stan and Jan Farmer retired to Willowbrook Farm near my hometown of Searcy. They raise sheep and sell the meat, milk, and wool, along
with eggs from free-range chickens. They also offer turkey, goose and duck on a
limited basis. You can find Jan on the court square most Saturdays. I’ll be
stopping by to see her the next time I'm in town.
Bob Barnhill of Barnhill Orchards, Lonoke, not only manned a booth but was also part of a panel
discussion. His granddaughter,
Madison, was working with him Saturday morning when I bought Early Girl tomatoes
from them in Hillcrest. Bob says the peach crop is going to be good.
|I enjoyed talking with the Burrows family|
of Wylde Abandon Farm, Conway.
Isn’t that a great name for a farm?
|Terry Cokes of Farnsworth Foods of Hot Springs|
offers a variety of artisan foods
made with recipes from four generations.
Their passion for practicing and promoting sustainable lifestyles, offering natural products, and their desire to pass along that love with the fruits of their labor was both refreshing and exciting.
|In the true farming spirit, |
they fed us a hearty, delicious lunch.
After lunch and tours of the house and several gardens, a second panel discussed programs available to help small farmers overcome the barriers they face in marketing.
- Bob Barnhill of Barnhill Orchards is the patriarch of a three-generation conventional farming operation in Lonoke.
- Damon Helton of The Farm at Barefoot Bend near Lonsdale also runs Olde Crow General Store near Hot Springs Village. Damon is an Army Ranger and part of the Arkansas Homegrown by Heroes program.
- Cody Hopkins of Falling Sky Farm is a founding member of Grass Roots Cooperative.
- Ben Maddox represented Foodshed Farms, a farmer-owned coop that offers a community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscription for local produce spring through fall.
The last tour was to Poultryville. I was sorry to miss seeing all Allen's feathered friends, but the 100+ heat index was too much for me. I had to go home. I hope to make their acquaintance next time.
apologies to all the vendors I missed. I hope I run into you at another Farmers Market sometime soon.
Readers, if you live close to any of the following places, be sure to look up these folks. You won't be sorry.
- Jordan Archote,
Red Road Woodworks, Leslie
- Chris Bacchus,
Arkansas FFA Assn., Hot Springs
- Rick Boosey, Kyya Chocolate, Elm Springs
- Bobby and Karen
Bradford, BoBrook Farms, LLC, Roland
- Dr. Sarah Brown,
Maison Terre Natural Products, North
- Geri Chancellor,
Geri’s Jams & Jellies, Hot
- Randy and Katie
Crumby, Mount Olive Pepper Company LLC,
- Kate Finefield, Goatroper Farms, Roland
- Will and Waltina
Hanna, Hanna Family Ranch,
- Jay Honeycutt, Eve’s Treat, Fayetteville
- Jacinda Jones, Aretha’s Beverages, Little Rock
- Tessa McCormick,
White River Creamery, Elkins
- Dennis McGarrah,
McGarrah Farms, Garfield
- Barry &
Amber Moore, Ozark Herbal Creations,
- Ruth, Thomas
& Grace Pepler, Dogwood Hills Guest
- Liz Preston, Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Co., Paris
- Amanda Stevens, Homayd Natural Care Products, Maumelle
- Cat & John
Swenson, Great Ferments, Winslow
- Richard Tanner, Tanner Farm, Rison
- Michal Voss, Fresh Right Now Farms, Rogers
- Bob Wayne, Wayne Plantation, Scott
- Clare Thomas
Williams, Maryclare Macaroons, Hot
- Karen Withers, Katie Connally Confections, Little Rock
Many thanks to everyone who made Farm to Table possible.
- Wes Ward, Arkansas
Agriculture Department Secretary
- Cynthia Edwards, Arkansas Agriculture Department Deputy Secretary
- Elizabeth Baker, Arkansas Grown Director
- Amy Lyman, AgHeritiage Farm
- P. Allen Smith
Garden Home and his fabulous staff
Buckley, Debbie Arnold and all you great gals of Arkansas Women Bloggers who worked on Farm2Table
was a very good day.
Remember, for the freshest and best, visit your local Farmers’ Market. Go often and you're sure to make
some new friends.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season...
Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy's Ridge 2016. All rights reserved
Labels: Arkansas Grown, Arkansas Made, Farm2Table, Farmers Markets, Moss Mountain