My friend, Joanna, has a gluten-free-of-the-month subscription. Her husband got it for her for Christmas. Sweet-huh?

Knowing that I blog mostly about food, she offered to share with me her latest “treat”.

Seaweed Love package

Seaweed? Really? Thanks.

Seaweed is supposed to be good for you. Okay, we’ll try it.

nutritional facts

It looked interesting enough.

roasted seaweed

thin sheets of seaweed

seaweed snack

That’s it!

That is the nicest thing I can say.

It actually reminded me of when my sister and I would play mud pies as kids. After a rain, there would be this slimy moss that we would call “spinach” in our mud pie cafe. When we set it on the man hole cover in the front yard to “cook”,  it would end up looking very similar to this roasted seaweed! Mmmm.

This was NASTY!

The Critics all agreed! I wish I had a picture or a video of all of us trying it. The faces were priceless! It would have been fun to see who kept it in their mouth the longest.

Thank goodness none of us put a whole sheet in our mouths! We each broke a piece off of one sheet.

It smelled like fish food. My guess is the taste was pretty close, too.

Joanna, thanks for sharing?

Critics’ Corner

Chip: This is the best seaweed I’ve ever eaten.

Megan: Only one word befits this thing that should not be considered food: disgusting.

Katie: Unused toilet paper tastes better than this (please don’t ask how I know).

 

I was pleased with how some of my pictures turned out from the Moss Mountain tour Mom and I took. You can read about the tour here.

Since Mother’s Day was the following Sunday, I decided to make Mom some notecards from my photos.

Moss Mountatin Farm notecards

I should use “I” loosely. Actually my sweet hubby did most of the work. I did take the pictures! I did some of the layout, too. And the cutting–I did the cutting!

selection of notecards

photo cards

DIY notecards

notecards

garden notecards

homemade notecards

cards as gifts

Check out the back. That was my idea.

back of the card

Cellophane wrapping was my idea, too.

cards with envelopes

Everything looks better in a cellophane bag!

farm equipment

I was pleased with the way the cards looked in the little bags with envelopes. Mom loved the cards, especially since there was nothing like it in the gift shop.

packaged note cards

Surely you have some photos worthy of becoming a gift. Start printing! Just don’t forget your cellophane bag.

After hanging out on the porch for a while at Moss Mountain Farm, it was time to go home.

Our soggy tour had been a blast, even if we didn’t get to go to the vegetable garden.

But wait….

as we headed toward the car, we realized the vegetable garden was “just right there”. We decided to take a speedy look before anyone realized it was past 3:00!

giant cabbage

I’m so glad we did. I think the vegetable garden was my favorite!

kale

chives

lettuce

onions

I love the “salad garden” planted in wheelbarrows.

wheelbarrow planter

Even the gardening sheds were neat to see.

garden path

garden sheds

potting shed

peeling paint

There was an extra second or two for us to see the stone-fruit orchard–

stone fruit orchard

and more chickens!

delux chicken coop

chicken coop

I hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour of Moss Mountain Farm. Trust me, it is even better in person! If you go, I want to hear all about it.

 

With only about 30 minutes left in our self-guided tour window, Mom and I made a mad dash for the Rose Garden. We felt like we had to make a decision between the Rose Garden and the Vegetable Garden. Roses won!

Rose Garden at Moss Mountain Farm

I so wished for my great aunt to be in the rose garden with us. She had the most beautiful roses in her backyard in Atlanta! She always sends gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and such wrapped in rose paper. The same rose paper! She must have a ton of it.

I’m sure Auntie could tell you the names of all these different roses. I just know them by color.

pink rose bud

large yellow rose

They were so sweet-smelling.

peach and yellow rose

yellow rose buds

red and yellow rose

Raindrop on roses–now one of my favorite things!

single pink rose

rain-kissed roses

The color and fullness of these double peach roses was incredible!

double peach rose

After the roses, we peeked over a fence to see the back-side of the vegetable garden. We still had the Summer Kitchen and Art House to see!

I failed to take any pictures of the art house. Wouldn’t you love to have a private little get-away place to go create?!

Wouldn’t you love to have a second kitchen?!

You may see a little reflection on these photos. I was shooting through the window!

Summer Kitchen

peeking through the kitchen window

Time was just about up on our Moss Mountain tour.

One last look at the roses on the side of the house. These are the same roses you saw from the upstairs bedroom here.

small rose garden

photographer

dinner bell

I guess the only thing we saw on the tour that we didn’t like was this…

garden snake

Yikes!

Move along!

Mom and I took some selfies on the front porch-which all turned out horrible! So, here is a picture of just Mom on the porch.

I love the coral benches. I would have never thought to use that color.

coral bench

Allen and Laura were busy heading to Allen’s next engagement. Mom snapped this picture of Allen taking a picture of peonies under the big tree out front.

tweet

Later I saw where he posted the picture that we saw him taking on Facebook. Kinda cool!

See it here.

As we headed toward the car, we stopped at the barn to take a picture of the carriage.

buggy

More cool lighting…

outdoor barn lighting

We enjoyed our tour so much. We were sad it was time to leave–

Moss Mountain Farm–or was it?

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Finally time for lunch. I had grown quite thirsty on our Moss Mountain Farm tour. I was starting to get a little hungry, too.

Our tour group was led into the barn for lunch.

barn

Each reserved table was set with lovely white roses.

white roses table arrangement

We sat with some nice folks from Little Rock, Conway and Fort Smith, AR as well as Atlanta, GA.

The barn holds some of Allen’s paintings from his Squash series.

squash paintings

It felt pretty fancy for a barn! If only I could get our shed cleaned out, I’d have a place just like this. HA! Okay, maybe not JUST like it.

barn lighting

I love how  antique farm tools were used as decoration.

antique farm tools

Lunch was a bed of fresh, mixed greens topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled chicken.

salad with grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers

I have a confession to make. I don’t like tomatoes. Tomato sauce, salsa, tomatoes cooked in soups I’m okay with all that. Well, as long as they are chopped up really small. I think it is a textural thing. When the plate showed up with all those beautiful tomatoes I got a lump in my throat knowing I was going to have to eat them. I tried not to turn my nose up too noticeably. Here I was, a food blogger, at a fancy farm! I’m supposed to love all vegetables, right? Sorry.

I decided to be a big girl and try my first grape tomatoes. Guess what–I kinda liked them! There was not as much slimy surface as on a slicer. I found them to be a little on the sweet side. Believe it or not, I ate almost all of them! I must say, I was proud of myself.

grilled chicken

I also felt like I HAD to eat my salad before I dug into my dessert!

pie

Buttermilk Pecan Pie with fresh whipped cream!

Here’s a closer look. Try not to drool on your screen, please.

buttermilk pecan pie

YUM!

As we finished our dessert, Laura, our guide, answered questions from the crowd while we waited for Allen to arrive from Little Rock.

We stepped out on the drive for our meet and greet time. Allen is such an expressive person, it is hard to grab a good picture of him.

chattiing with P. Allen Smith

I looks like he is telling us a fish tale here. More than likely he is telling us about his chickens and their “poultry palace”.

P. Allen Smith

Next, it was time for photos and autographs in the gift shop.

Mom and I still had to see the chickens, roses, and vegetables in a matter of about 30 minutes! We made a dash to be first in line. Fortunately, Mom had made her cookbook purchases when we first arrived at the farm.

Moss Mountain Farm gift shop

Mom with P. Allen Smith

We zoomed down to the end-of-the-earth to see the chickens.

They were chickens.

Poultry Palace at Moss Mountain Farm

It was interesting to see all the different varieties. It was dark, so that made it difficult to photograph.

rooster

red, white, and black

poultry in black and white

farm baby

I liked the chickens. I just was anxious to see the Rose Garden before our time was up.

We trudged back up the hill toward the rose garden. Allen was finished with autographs, so we stopped for one more picture. Earlier, I had only taken pictures of Mom. I decided I wanted one too.

Looks like navy gingham was a good choice!

with P. Allen Smith

 

On to the roses!

The gardens on the back side of Moss Mountain Garden Home are just lovely. They called the area we toured next something specific like the South garden or something like that. For the life of me I can’t remember that name. Whatever it was differentiated this garden from the vegetable garden and the rose garden. I’ll share those with you soon.

Here is a view of the back of the house. I love the two-story screened porch.

screened porch

In this photo we are standing on a path between the Summer Kitchen and the Art House. (I failed to take a picture of these.) These facilities were not part of our tour, but we were allowed to peek in the windows.

Here is one of the water features on the property. If you squint at the middle of the picture you can see the Arkansas River. Remember, it was overcast the day we went.

garden fountain

The plants and flowers were lovely. I really enjoy touring gardens. I think I like it because I have a bit of a brown thumb. Seeing someone else succeed in that area is inspiring.

A couple of years ago my friend, Cathy, gave me some herbs to plant. I actually had success! I even planted more this year. There is hope for me yet!

Being the “green” gardener that I am, I am not 100% sure of all the names of the plants. I tried to look them up on the internet. You know, if it’s on the internet it must be true! wink wink

I believe this is called Allium. I really like the height and shape of these. The looked great in the kitchen.

allium

Lamb’s Ear always remind me of when my oldest was little. We would often stroll around the neighborhood after dinner trying to wear her out for bedtime. One of our neighbors had Lamb’s Ear around the mailbox.  Megan would always have to stop and pet the fuzzy leaves.

lamb's ear

The pink roses with the purple “whatevers” layered in front was stunning.

pink and purple flowers

This is Mrs. Big Fig, the huge fig tree in the middle of the path.

 

fig tree

I never knew this is what asparagus looked like in the garden!

asparagus

The lilies in my yard are no where near this tall.

lillies

There was a large variety of irises. I love the smell of irises. For some reason the smell reminds me of the taste of those marshmallow candy eggs we used to have at Easter when I was a kid. You know, the ones no one but Dad liked? Maybe the association has something to do with hunting Easter eggs while irises bloomed in the yard and I chowed down on candy! Dad wasn’t actually the only one who liked those things. The yellow ones were my favorite.

orange iris

purple iris

yellow iris

More irises around another water feature.

rock fountain

Some of the plants were ones I had never heard of or seen before…

…like Nicotiana. What a unique looking flower. I almost looks like a sea urchin.

nicotiana

Smoke Bush was a new one to me, too. I understand the textural difference in the landscape. However, I found myself wanting to bring this one into sharper focus for some reason.

smoke bush

I don’t know the name of this flower. It was just so tiny and cute, I had to include it.

tiny flower

Our guide showed us the way to the Rose Garden and Vegetable Garden, so we could tour on our own after lunch.

On our way to lunch, we visited the swans, Fred and Ethel. I saw on the P. Allen Smith Facebook page the other day that Fred and Ethel will be proud parents soon.

You can click on the gallery below to see these pictures better.

 

On to lunch–thank goodness!

rock wall

How about you? Do you have a green thumb or a brown thumb?

Are you a Master Gardener or a novice gardener?

 

Finally time to tour the home!

The welcoming foyer’s buffet table hosted three silver bowls filled with apples.

I was immediately reminded of this verse-even though the apples are green, not golden.

Proverbs 25 v.11

Our lovely guide, Laura, Allen’s personal assistant, led us into the front living room.

our guide

We were here for about 30 minutes learning all kinds of things about the home. Allen’s green, sustainable living philosophy was carried out in every aspect of the home. Attention to architectural history made the house feel much more than a decade old. Laura gave us some background information on Allen’s family and education as well as his current endeavors.

Front Room

Allen’s love of painting can be seen throughout the home.

After our introduction to Moss Mountain, we were given time to explore indoors.

Duncan sent us on our way.

doggie

Mom and I decided to start at the top and work our way down.

rug-covered stairs

I loved the casual runner stapled to the stairs leading to the upper floor.

The view wasn’t bad either!

double.indd

Four beds plus a reading/working/playing area would surely be a treat for guests.

fun attic space

The master suite was on the level below. Elegant meets quirky in this “hat rack” in the bathroom.

hatrack

The mirrors in their dark frames looked very nice against the pale blue wall. Heaven help me though! I wanted to straighten them so badly!

wall of mirrors

The use of “real” furniture in the bathroom was a nice touch.

My pictures of the bedroom and reading nook didn’t really turn our that great. You will just have to plan a visit of your own to see them!

butterfly collection

Just off the library area was the sleeping porch. Ahhhh!

sleeping porch

Do you see the tub there behind my Mom?!

sleeping porch with tub

Okay, here is a better picture.

copper tub

Wouldn’t you just LOVE to hang out there a while, gazing out at the Arkansas River?

Ahhhh!

On to the guest room.

headboard with fabric and nailhead trim

peonies in the guest room

There is a great view of the 300+ year old tree from the guest bathroom.

300 year old tree

As we headed back to the main floor, I snapped a couple more shots of the entry table. The symmetry is so appealing.

symmetrical entry table

The ottomans under the table look great! They are nice to have for extra seating if necessary. The orange with the green apples and silver bowls makes quite a statement!

ottomans under entry table

The kitchen was outfitted with beautiful Allium from the garden.

fruit and flowers

Unique kitchen lights–

kitchen lighting

Porch dining–

porch dining

Some of our picture taking was cut short when we found our tour group was already headed to the garden!

curved settee

I couldn’t resist one last shot–Mom on the curved settee.

See you in the garden next.

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