FRESH FROM THE FARM



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 raised/made products.

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.


Visiting with 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. 

Loblolly Creamery of Little Rock
offered us cool treats.


Pam & Bart
Buddy 
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.
Just before lunch, we attended a panel discussion about the Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made programs. The panel members were:


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. 

Members included:
  • 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.

My 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 Little Rock
  • Geri Chancellor, Geri’s Jams & Jellies, Hot Springs
  • Randy and Katie Crumby, Mount Olive Pepper Company LLC,Sage
  • Kate Finefield, Goatroper Farms, Roland
  • Will and Waltina Hanna, Hanna Family Ranch,Bentonville
  • 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,Fayetteville
  • Ruth, Thomas & Grace Pepler, Dogwood Hills Guest Farm, Harriet
  • 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 Springs
  • 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 Credit Services 
  • P. Allen Smith Garden Home and his fabulous staff
  • Stephanie Buckley, Debbie Arnold and all you great gals of Arkansas Women Bloggers who worked on Farm2Table

It 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…
Ps. 1:3


Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved

10 thoughts on “FRESH FROM THE FARM

  1. I was also at the Farm 2 Home event and it was just wonderful. I was sorry to have to leave early as well, but how absolutely educational for this once disconnected (still learning) city girl. I was truly humbled by the experience. Your recap is perfect.

    Like

  2. Thank you, Heather. I am also a city girl and although I have flowers, I'm content at this point in my life to buy from these wonderful gardeners/farmers.
    I agree. It was absolutely educational. Hope to see you again, maybe even back at Moss Mountain Farm.

    Like

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