Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

May 31, 2013

I recently traveled to Arkansas to visit Moss Mountain Farm, the home of P Allen Smith and the set for his television shows that include the Garden Home and Garden to Table. A group of two dozen garden writers and eight business sponsors gathered together with P Allen and staff for a few days of tours, presentations, networking, and fun filled activities.

Heading into the trip I wasn’t sure what to expect but I left Moss Mountain Farm impressed with the operations and grateful to have received the invitation to attend the Garden2Blog event. This was my first time setting foot within the state of Arkansas and I immediately took notice of the lush, beautiful countryside, and a climate that is very favorable for agriculture.

The Man and Vision Behind Moss Mountain Farm

P Allen Smith himself served as our host, tour guide, expert lecturer, historian, and head of the entertainment committee. In other words he was very generous with his time and accessible to all of us! Allen is personable, approachable, down-to-earth, and could not have been any more hospitable to our group of garden bloggers.

He expressed his concern over the current generations who have not experienced the knowledge related to the “Hand Arts” such as gardening, crafts, food preservation, and cooking being passed down to them.

P Allen acknowledged a revival of interest in these skills and the need for individuals to share the traditional knowledge. Moss Mountain Farm was created to represent hospitality and to demonstrate the “good practices” of agriculture, food preparation, animal husbandry, and sustainability. All of this and more was in evidence during our time on the farm!

P Allen Smith Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Perfect Spot to Mark the Beginning of a Tour or a Farm

Our visit to Moss Mountain Farm began as we gathered underneath of a huge oak tree that is over 300 years old and served as one of the anchors that P Allen Smith used when he planned the layout of the farm and its facilities. The more you look the clearer it becomes that much thought, attention to detail, and care goes into everything at Moss Mountain.

Great Pin Oak Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Gathering Place Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Modern Home or Classic Farmhouse

The farm house may look just as old as that stately oak tree, but it was actually constructed less than five years ago, is designed to reflect the historic culture of the region, and includes modern conveniences along with its charm. The home and other new structures on the farm employ the latest in green construction technologies while maintaining a retro look and feel.

The Farm House Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Presidential Welcome Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Rear View of House Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Enjoying Priceless Views and Endless Landscapes

The vision and foresight of Moss Mountain Farm is reflected in everything from the smallest details of the furnishings, to the overall sight lines where there is not a bad view from any window of the house! P Allen also has many stories to offer up related to the history and circumstances surrounding the artwork of his collections and creations.

A Side View Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

River View Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

View from Rear Porch Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

A Garden Full of Colorful Roses

Outside the farm house there are assorted gardens that incorporate foliage, color, forms, and sculptures to greet you at every turn. As you tour the grounds there is always an air of suspense and surprise as one garden room opens up to yet another that you have no expectation of. Here are a few pics from a colorful garden to the side of the house.

Roses Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

The Rose Garden Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

View from Rose Garden Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Terraces, Espalier Fruits, and Water Gardens

There are abundant terraced gardens, fruit orchards, meadows of daffodils, water gardens and pastures spread over the 600 plus acres of land that is cut by the Arkansas River and framed with rolling hills that make Moss Mountain Farm a perfect retreat or location to stage an event.

Terraced Garden Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Espaliered Fruit Trees Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Laguna Pond Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Checking Out the Moss Mountain Farm Vegetable Garden

Of course I wanted to explore P Allen Smith’s vegetable gardens and was excited to learn of his work with heirloom varieties, trial gardens, and organic gardening practices. The edible gardens at Moss Mountain Farm contain a large assortment of vegetables, herbs, stone fruits, and berries.

Veggie Garden Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Swiss Chard Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Farm Garden Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Happy Hour: P Allen Smith Style

And I have to give props to P Allen for his expertise at creatively staging an event… for example, what began as a leisurely tour through the vegetable gardens, wound into a happy hour. As the veggie garden tour ended we caught the faint sound of music in the background and followed it down a path to discover a secluded ”garden room” all set with live entertainment and refreshments!

End of the Garden Tour Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

A Surprise Reception Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Happy Hour Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Taking a Trip through Poultryville

We also hiked over to Poultryville, the area of the farm where P Allen Smith raises a variety of heritage poultry breeds that include rare chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and even swans. His interest in poultry goes back to his childhood and that passion for feathered fowls has led to the establishment of the Heritage Poultry Conservancy.

A New Feathered Friend Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Heritage Poultry Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

Su with a Silkie Chicken Moss Mountain Farm and the House that P Allen Smith Built

I’ll have more Garden2Blog event experiences to share with you next week, but for now I’ll just say that if you ever have an opportunity to tour or attend an event at P Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm I’m sure that you will enjoy the hospitality and have a great visit!





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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Yamauchi June 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Wow! That’s a wonderful experience. I wish I could also visit P Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm. BTW, you have great photos. Thanks for sharing! :-D

Kenny Point June 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Thanks Kelly and actually you can visit Moss Mountain, they offer special events and tours if you are ever in the area.

Joy Smith June 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Wow, wonderful visit you had there! Good for you, but now I bet you’re back to pulling up some weeds!

Kenny Point June 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Joy, it was a great visit and I am still trying to get things caught up out in the garden since my return from Moss Mountain Farm.

Julia Yohe June 9, 2013 at 9:17 am

Great photos you have there, Kenny! I love the rose garden. It’s really beautiful! BTW, about the last photo in this post, is that pretty lady holding a duck? It looks like a swan to me.

Kenny Point June 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Thanks Julia, that is actually a Silkie chicken that Su is holding. They are rare, ornamental, and pretty cuddly with a fluffy plumage that seems fur-like and feels silky.

Dominick Lanting June 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

This is a great trip, Kenny. Is this a one day tour? I showed this post to my wife and she is also interested. Anyway, I hope it’s not expensive because I’m planning to bring our kids.

Ralph Blunk June 15, 2013 at 1:50 am

It’s very unfortunate that I’ve never heard about this great place when I went to Arkansas last January. I’ve missed all the fun! I wish I can visit that wonderful farm! ;-)

Aaron June 16, 2013 at 4:52 am

This is what can be truly termed as ‘labor of love’. P Allen indeed is a magic man, who created a beautiful paradise out of nothing. Can not wait to visit this place at the earliest!

Kat Bradshore June 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

Moss Mountain Farm is really amazing! I’ve been there with my family and we had so much fun there taking pictures of everything. It’s a good summer destination for those who have passion for gardening.

Noemi Bostrom June 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

Great photos, Kenny! The trip to Poultryville is my obsession. My family used to have a farm a long time ago before my dad passed away. We had poultry when I was a child.

retention wall gold coast June 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Oh, that’s a beautiful experience you had there! Would love to come and visit the place one day as well. Lovely photos! Nice share!

Lenny Polley June 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

I love the photos! I wish I can also visit that classic house. I love the view from above. It’s really amazing! You could see the beauty of the whole farm.

Matt Sullivan June 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

Kenny,

Thanks so much for sharing your adventure. My family and I are just starting a family min-farm. It is a lot of fun…and work. Lots of work! I enjoyed seeing the different types of chickens. We have chickens and they are so amazing to watch.

God Bless,

Matt Sullivan

Lily Parkes June 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm

The rose garden looks so beautiful. I would like to go there. I’m sure my husband will like that place.

Jesse @ Humble Seed July 1, 2013 at 11:37 pm

We love P Allen Smith and watch him all the time on PBS. What a wonderful opportunity to meet one another! I was especially intrigued by his comment about how he wishes this current generation were more interested in gardening. I’m hoping that with more awareness about GMO and non-organic produce, young people will start gardening more to keep their families safe and their bodies healthy. I’ve seen many young ones (even teenagers!) understand the positives of growing your own food. What do you think?

catherine July 20, 2013 at 12:53 am

I read recently that the demise of gardening as a ‘hand art’ started with the WW2 generation – although they had worked in their parents vegetable gardens as kids, in the 1950s once refrigeration became common and then frozen vegetables came along, they were relieved never to have to rely on home gardening for fresh food again. So the Baby Boomers then missed out on essential gardening education and then GenX and GenY…..such a shame but great to see concerted efforts to bring it back as something everyone realizes they need to know.

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