Well, here we are at the beginning of 2015. The time when many bloggers roll the highlight reel from 2014. (Much like the paper your teachers used to make you write every year on the first day back from summer vacation.)

Okay, I’ll play along. WordPress is so nice to send all the “best of” stats at the end of the year.

Most of the posts that were popular this year were not even from this year. I guess that is a good thing.

#1-Christmas Party Food is a post from 2011. It features a Snowman Cheese Ball, a Christmas broccoli appetizer, and a Turkey Cranberry Ring.

#2-I Say it Every Year-an adorable Nutcracker gift box craft from 2012.

#3-Banana Pudding from 2013. If you haven’t tried this yet, put it on your things-to-do list for 2015!

#4-Apple Slaw (2011) Ironically, this was a dish that my crew was not super wild about. I guess the pictures grabbed some attention. Hey, that is why I tried it!

#5-DIY Placemats (2013) I love this craft tutorial. I have used this method several times. I have some candy corn fabric I plan to try at some point.

So, those were the overall top five posts here at Pork Chop Tuesday.

Curious about 2014?

The busiest day around here was the day I posted my Project 180 photography project. It was so gratifying to work on something for so long and see it to a successful completion. Please go check it out. I really enjoyed it!

Ecclesiasties3

I did a series of posts about my trip to P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm. It was a lot of fun with lots of opportunities for photography practice. You can check out the series below. I think my favorite was the Rose Garden.

There was actually one more Moss Mountain post–a post-series post.

DIY Notecards

selection of notecards

Lasagna Cups was a fun, new recipe to try. We all liked these! I need to make them again–soon!

Lasagna Cups

We enjoyed trying out some new restaurants, well, new to us. Green Leaf Grill and The Root Cafe to name a couple.

Rounding out the year were Bananas Foster with friends and the Thanksgiving 101 series.

Most of the folks who visit Pork Chop Tuesday are from Pinterest or Facebook-along with folks who are subscribers.

To all of you, I say…

ThankYouNote

Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet.

Subscribing to Pork Chop Tuesday is easy. Click the home button at the top of the page or here. Go over to the right. You will see a box with “Email Subscription” on it. Just click on the “sign me up” button!

You can also follow along on social media. Sometimes I post things there that don’t get on the blog. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the social media outlets I use.

Thanks for all the comments and support in 2014. I hope to hear from you in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

After cramming our sneakers in our  purses and our boots on our feet, Mom and I were ready for our Moss Mountain tour!

Mom at Moss Mountain Farm

One other thing I wish I had added to my purse was a bottle of water. Consider taking one when you go–lots of walking.

Our instructions were to arrive at 10:30 for the 11:00 tour.

We were a little unsure what we were supposed to do once we got there. We followed the crowd to the gift shop area. Of course we had to take some goofy pictures.

gift shop 2

gift shop 1

 

The chickens were happy to pose for us.

chickens

chicken

 

After perusing the gift shop for about 15 minutes, we decided to ask one of the ladies wearing a name tag what the plan of action was. (You can only take so many chicken pictures.)

She motioned toward the vegetable garden and the sheep pasture as she told us we were free to roam until 11:00.

We kicked things into high gear in order to cover as much ground as possible. We were both grateful for our boots as we trekked across the wet field.

Moose, the donkey, was not nearly as cooperative for his photo shoot as the chickens had been for theirs!

Moose the Donkey

 

The little garden house was so cute! It was a wire frame covered with burlap. I wish I could have seen it when the daffodils were in bloom!

burlap house

I remember seeing  on Facebook back in the fall how Allen covered the little house with pumpkins.

burlap and wire house

 

Joyce’s House was featured in Southern Living not too long ago.

cotttage

 

It was getting close to time for the “official” tour so we had to head back. We did do more self-guided touring after lunch.

The Barn is where we had lunch-more on that later.

barn

 

In front of the garden home is this beautiful 300+ year old tree. Don’t you like the lights strung up for a party?

tree over 300 years old-Moss Mountain Farm

 

While the house is only about 10 years old, the crew did a nice job making it look as if it had been there 100 years or more!

side of the house-Moss Mountain Farm

 

The yellow “knock out” roses near the house were incredible!

knock out roses

 

You never know who you will run into at Moss Mountain Farm. I met Ceri, a fellow ARWB food blogger. at the blog conference I attended last year. She and her friend, Vanessa, drove down from Fayetteville, AR that morning.

RecipeDoodle

 

Next up…inside the house!