This week I had the privilege to participate in the Farm2Home event held at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm.
P. Allen Smith is an author and television host based out of Arkansas. His shows include Garden Home, Garden to Table, and Garden Style. He is passionate about promoting organic gardening, local foods and preserving heritage breeds of poultry. Mr. Smith was gracious enough to host a group of Arkansas bloggers and local farmers to his 650 acre estate this week in an effort to promote Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made products. The event also included a tour of Smith’s home, gardens, and his famous Poultryville which houses several heritage breeds of chickens, ducks and turkeys.
The Garden Home Retreat, as it is known by his followers, was built less than ten years ago, but was designed to look as if it was built in the 1840’s. This Greek-Revival style home is actually red brick on the outside but covered in a lime wash to distress the appearance. Smith states that his best compliment is when people ask him when he did the renovation.
The massive 300-year old oak in the front yard is definitely a focal point of the estate
and was our meeting point for the events of the day.
As we entered the massive tall doors of the home, we were greeted by Duncan our tour guide.
The living area and formal dining area happily share a space.
Smith is also an artist and one of his paintings depicting his home state of Tennessee is displayed in this area
as well as an antique sugar cabinet. Back when sugar was scarce, these cabinets were locked and guarded by the mistress of the house. It is also believed that she kept her best whiskey in the cabinet, too. This, of course, is speculation, but who would blame her for a nip now and then.
One feature of the house is the Rumford fireplace
These tall, narrow, fireplaces were designed in the 1790’s to make the best use of fireplace heat. The shallow angles of the wall, deflect heat more efficiently than larger square fireplaces we see today.
The dining room table was set with a variety of books
and led us into the kitchen.
And what a kitchen it is (and hard to photograph with so many people in it)
Next to the kitchen, is a small dining area
which also leads out to the screened porch sitting and dining area
The upstairs houses the bedrooms
and their beautiful antiques, but my favorite sleeping area was the screened sleeping porch
complete with a copper bathtub
and breathtaking views of the Arkansas River
The third floor accommodates the nieces and nephews of Mr. Smith. Up the narrow staircase,
is a retreat any child would love.
And, as the daughter of an electrician, I always notice the light fixtures.
If you think this was spectacular, wait until you see the gardens.