I showed up for my visit to Moss Mountain Farm with great flair and style. The farm is about 15 miles from civilization, including gas stations. I drove about halfway to the farm on a gorgeous fall morning, then looked down at my gas gauge. It was hovering precariously on Empty. I had no choice but to double back, otherwise there was a greater than zero chance I’d be stuck.
So what started as a leisurely drive in the country, with plenty of time to make my appointment, ended up as a frenetic drive after pumping my gas. I arrived at the farm about 5 minutes late and a little frazzled. Without reading the instructions that came with my invitation, I assumed that the meeting was in the (gorgeous) main house.
After a quick knock on the door, I assumed that the meeting had already started so I let myself in. I was greeted at the door by a little scottie dog. I was so frazzled I didn’t even note the fabulous-ness of the interior of this impressive house. P. Allen Smith himself walked into the entry hall, coffee mug in hand, & asked if he could help me. When I explained that I was here for a blogger event, a member of his staff escorted me to the barn. When I tried to apologize profusely for barging into the man’s home, he graciously brushed it off & explained that it happens all the time.
Like the rest of Moss Mountain Farm, this was no ordinary barn. The tables were set with a beautiful fall scenes. After we got ourselves situated with coffee, P. Allen came in to kick off the day.
He was a real delight and told us about the history of his farm, which was established in 1840. By the time he acquired the land, the farm was in a state of disrepair. 8 years later, he has one of the most prime, scenic plots of land I’ve ever visited and he’s finished it with a variety of gardens, meadows & buildings that make it a joy to explore.
Initially when he began keeping chickens, he moved a bunch of trailers together to make a giant village. But that required an upgrade after a writer told him the structure looked like a chicken shantytown. The new poultry palace is based on an Italian palazzo. It’s situated alongside a swan pond, just adjacent to a rolling meadow where sheep dogs mind grazing sheep. I’m not making this up or spewing some kind of Martha Stewart inspired poetry.
One of the most interesting parts of the tour for me was the sleeping porch. Not because it afforded some of the most beautiful views of the Little Maumelle River (though it did). Not because of the copper bathtub situated next to the 3 wrought iron beds. No, my fascination with the sleeping porch was because I dreamed about it the night before my visit. In my dream, the sleeping porch had 6 beds of varying heights. In my dream, P. Allen told us that the tallest bed was reserved for the most important person.
In reality, the designer who helped with the sleeping porch designed it with 6 beds. When P. Allen told the designer that it “looked like a tuberculosis ward,” the bed count was reduced to 3. All beds are the same height. But the coincidence is uncanny.
After a simple but delicious lunch of sweet potato & spinach salad with grilled chicken, we began our presentation. I was here to learn about college savings and why it matters. As you may recall, I have some anxiety on this subject, so the timing couldn’t be better. I’ll be blogging about the excellent advice I got on college savings soon, but for now, let’s just enjoy some home design p@rn, shall we?