My Visit To Moss Mountain Farm (11.14.2014)

(click here for my pictures)

Today I had the chance to go to Moss Mountain Farm, home of P. Allen Smith.  I was invited with many other Arkansas Women Bloggers and it was quite a treat.  I had heard of P. Allen, unlike my friends tonight, and I had even heard about his farm lately so I was pretty excited.  

I left in plenty of time since I had no idea where I was going.  It was just a few miles past our blueberry picking stop so I was quite early.  But thankfully, I wasn't the first.  I wasn't too sure of where to go when I arrived but walked into the first set of inviting doors that I saw and was in the right spot.  I was handed my shirt for the day and my name tag.  

I found my seat and soon things got started.  Before things did start, there was plenty of time to look around the room we were in.  It had table after table made of barn wood.  There were 3 rows of tables-one was set for lunch, one was for serving the food and the other was empty.  It was empty except for the layers of burlap filled with flowers and pumpkins.  The walls were filled with large pictures of gourds and pumpkins painted by P. Allen.  I could have just gone home then and been pretty happy with my trip.

The first real event was a quick ice breaker so all of the bloggers could get to know each other.  Not too surprising-most everyone had kids (I had the most but there was no prize for that!) and most everyone was from central Arkansas.  

Next up was a tour of the home led by P. Allen.  He was around most of the day and sat nearby at 
lunch.  The home is built in the Greek revival style and I tried to take many pictures since I probably won't be back.  

It is a gorgeous home and decorated beautifully.  I did fall in love with his kitchen-windows on all 3 sides with a huge island in the middle.  The cooking area was probably about the same as mine but the kitchen was just so inviting.  Unfortunately, my kitchen pictures just don't do it justice.  

The other awesome thing about the house was the sleeping porch filled with a bathtub and 3 beds out on the porch.  How awesome would that be-you would never have to take your kids camping.  You could just say "go sleep on the porch."  Now the house was pretty perfect but I do feel odd about snooping around a man's home...but oh, I so wanted to open his refrigerator (I didn't but a docent did show me his pantry-lots of canned tomatoes and chicken stock in there.)

After the house, we had time to roam around the house and gardens.  It was cold, cold, cold-even with my gloves, coat, long underwear and 3 shirts on.  But I still was able to wander around some.  I was however careful because I had this fear that I might just get lost on my walk around the gardens-I didn't!  

Then it was my favorite part of the day-lunch time.  We were served roasted sweet potato and feta salad topped with grilled chicken and buttermilk pecan pie.  (click on the food name for the recipe). The sweet potatoes were so good that I thought that my crew might even eat them.  Then the serious business started.  We were all invited so we could help spread the word about the GIFT College Investing Plan, a 529 program offered by the State of Arkansas It didn't take too long for me to text Robby (oh, no it wasn't rude for me to text during the first speaker-I was in a room full of bloggers-there were computes, phones and cameras being used at all times today.)  Anyway, I text Robby that this event was going to end up costing him a lot of money....

I was talking about saving for college.  We should probably save more than we are now (nothing currently) and even starting is pretty overwhelming to think about.  With the AR529 you can save as little as 15 per month and that is probably where we would be!  But the lady said, "Every dollar you save for college will earn you money, and every dollar you borrow for college will cost you money." That did stick with me-so we are now accepting donations to our kids 529 plans (which I plan on opening up very soon.)

Next up was a Family Feud game hosted by P. Allen-my blue team lost but everyone was rewarded with Starbucks gift cards -- so that was fun.  Then my favorite speaker spoke-the president of Pulaski Tech.  She talked about how important career education is which is so true.  In college, I ended up studying speech because someone said that had "fun" in those classes and Robby has said many times he would change his major if he had it all to do over again.  Though I don't know how to go about exposing your kids to the plethora of different jobs that there are in the real world.

Then she talked about how important financial literacy is.  Very true and we do try to teach the kids about money even now.  One reason that I chose the math I did for school was because they have a stewardship course.  That is grades and grades away from now but it really drew me in.  
The Pulaski Tech president made perfect sense when she said that we need to teach our kids the value of money and help them know what they want to do so they do not waste their time in college. 
And then we need to consider a 2 year school so we can get more with the money that we have saved for them.  

After these speakers, we had one last speaker who discussed the nitty gritty of the plans.  But by this time my mind was only on the appetizers that were coming soon.  The band, Salty Dogs, played as we did eat those appetizers-a stuffed potato and chicken on a stick (sorry, I am sure that they have fancier names but it is late!)  

I stayed to hear the band play for a bit and then I headed off to meet my crew before we turned right around and headed out again.  It was a fun, fun day and now to decide where I am going to build my pumpkin house....and to start completing that 529 application!

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