Chino House, Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith

Chinos to Moss Mountain Farm

Chino House, Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith

photo by Mark Fonville

Last week we played hooky one day to spend some time in one of the most idyllic settings in Arkansas, P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm.

The kids were excited because they had heard me talk all about the farm after I went to Bean 2 Blog out there last spring.

Chino House, Garden Home,  Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith

It was a very busy day on the farm because P. Allen Smith and his talented team of producers, assistants, designers, photographers, publicists and camera folk were all working on many projects at once.

Photo shoots, recipe segments, gardening pieces, radio recordings and dinner plans were happening all over the farm. As soon as one project would wrap up, another would be starting somewhere else and still another getting ready to be up next.

There was so much was going on that it kind of made my head spin, but I also felt really honored to get to be there for it.

My entire family got to be a part of some photo shoots for P. Allen Smith’s eMagazine. For one shoot, we played lawn games in a side yard surrounded by gorgeous pink roses. (How long has it been since you played croquet?)

Next we had an ice cream party underneath the 350 year old oak in front of the house. Our kids got to eat as much ice cream and cookies as they wanted at ten in the morning.

Simon was all, Oh, you need me to eat another cookie? No problem, sir!

Chino House, Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith

In between set ups, we got to tour the gardens and see all the farm animals. Oh, the chickens! P. Allen Smith really does have the most beautiful chickens in the world.

Then we were served lunch on the lawn before Taido and the kids headed home and I got to stay.

Cole in The Rose Garden

After lunch, I made three salad recipes from this blog. I made the first one inside the house with Mary Ellen, who was my contact for the day and a familiar face after meeting her last year at Bean 2 Blog.

I was timid at first about actually using the amazing kitchen, but soon, I was digging around in drawers and cabinets, finding what I needed to make the Crunchy Church Picnic Salad. I got in my little corner and chopped my veggies as different people came and went. At one point I even traipsed down the road to the vegetable garden to get the basil for my salad. As I walked the little farm lane, I thought, I could get used to this!

Chino House, Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith

The other two recipes (Sesame Kale Salad and Barbeque Chicken Salad) were filmed as I put them together with Allen in the summer kitchen, a little bit of paradise for this foodie.

The summer kitchen is out behind the main house and I tried hard not to covet, but you enter through sliding French doors to a view of shelves filled with bright orange Le Creuset pots and cookware. Oh my heart.

Chino House, Moss Mountain Farm, P. Allen Smith

I loved being in this space and getting to visit with the people who are behind all the content that P. Allen Smith produces. They are an incredibly gifted group of individuals, as was everyone I met during my time at the farm.

After the TV segments, we did a radio interview. That’s a lot of talking and being in front of people for this introvert, friends. But Allen, for whom this was just a normal day at the office, was very at ease and helped me find my way through the taping.

I left feeling a little anxious about how it would all turn out, so it made me happy when the photographer who took most of our pictures, Mark Fonville, sent me the photo above of our family in this beautiful setting.

We felt very grateful to be asked to be even a small part of the swirling motion of activity that happens out at Moss Mountain Farm.

Be sure and subscribe to the eMagazine, so you won’t miss the Chinos with P. Allen Smith!

And stay tuned for more farm adventures with P. Allen Smith, because I am heading back out to the farm on Tuesday for Bean 2 Blog 2013 to learn more about farming and soybeans!