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Tenne sse e
tnhomeandfarm.com Fall 2012
tennessee on two wheels
Bikers revel in rides throughout the Volunteer State
Comfort in a Jar
tnfarmbureau.org Published for the family members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau
Crossville woman finds new life making apple butter
Home & Farm
Ten n e ssee
An official publication of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation © 2012 TFBF
Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation
the first day of fall isn’t until sept. 22, but we are already welcoming autumn with open arms. after a summer with record-breaking heat, we’re looking forward to the cool breezes and colorful leaves the season brings. the travel feature (page 38) explores tennessee drives perfect for a weekend ride. our cover story (page 8) celebrates a favorite fall preserve through the story of a woman carrying on her family’s tradition of making apple butter the old-fashioned way. you can also read about a different type of preservation – a business that gives new life to old barnwood by “reclaiming” the lumber and repurposing it into new uses (page 12). the barnyard provides inspiration for another tennessee resident – an artist who paints farm scenes (page 16). autumn means the start of school for many families, so our fall recipes (page 22) focus on five-ingredient, one-dish dinners that primarily use staples you may already have on hand. and if you’re hungry for more, be sure to check out extra recipes online at tnhomeandfarm.com. Jessy Yancey, managing editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Pettus Read circulation managEr Stacey Warner Board of dirEctors President Lacy Upchurch, Vice President Danny Rochelle dirEctors at largE Jeff Aiken, Charles Hancock, Catherine Via district dirEctors Malcolm Burchfiel, James Haskew, Eric Mayberry, Dan Hancock, David Mitchell statE fB womEn’s chairman Jane May advisory dirEctors Dr. Larry Arrington, Brandon Whitt chiEf administrativE officEr Joe Pearson trEasurEr Wayne Harris comptrollEr Tim Dodd
managing Editor Jessy Yancey projEct managEr Blair Thomas contEnt coordinator Rachel Bertone contriButing writErs Jessica Boling, Melissa Burniston, Mary Carter, Carol Cowan, Shelley Davis-Wise, Nancy Dorman-Hickson, Kim Green, Sue Hamilton, Nancy Henderson, Tiffany Howard, Anthony Kimbrough, Leslie LaChance, Jessica Mozo, Bryan Wright crEativE sErvicEs dirEctor Christina Carden sEnior graphic dEsignErs Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams crEativE sErvicEs analyst Becca Ary photography dirEctor Jeffrey S. Otto sEnior photographErs Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord staff photographErs Todd Bennett, Michael Conti wEB crEativE dirEctor Allison Davis wEB contEnt managEr John Hood wEB dEsignEr ii Richard Stevens wEB dEvElopmEnt lEad Yamel Hall wEB dEvElopEr i Nels Noseworthy proofrEading managEr Raven Petty ad production managEr Katie Middendorf ad traffic assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan i.t. sErvicE tEchnician Daniel Cantrell color imaging tEchnician Alison Hunter accounting Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens intEgratEd mEdia managEr Robin Robertson chairman Greg Thurman prEsidEnt/puBlishEr Bob Schwartzman ExEcutivE vicE prEsidEnt Ray Langen sr. v.p./salEs Todd Potter sr. v.p./opErations Casey Hester sr. v.p./agriBusinEss puBlishing Kim Newsom Holmberg v.p./salEs Rhonda Graham v.p./visual contEnt Mark Forester v.p./ExtErnal communications Teree Caruthers v.p./contEnt opErations Natasha Lorens controllEr Chris Dudley distriBution dirEctor Gary Smith rEcEptionist Linda Bishop Tennessee Home & Farm is produced for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation by Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Association of Magazine Media Member Custom Content Council Please recycle this magazine
At a Glance/a sampling of destinations in this issue
2/Corryton 4/Nashville 5/Henning 6/Brownsville 1/Erwin 3/Crossville
1/ Enter the recipe contest at the unicoi county apple festival page 27 2/ meet an artist from corryton who finds inspiration in agriculture page 16 3 / learn how making apple butter may have saved a crossville woman’s life page 8 4 / visit nashville for the tennessee state fair in september and the music & molasses festival in october page 6 5 / return to historical roots at an author’s museum in henning page 18 6 / find fresh flowers in the fall at a Brownsville nursery page 7
Tennessee Home & Farm (USPS No. 022-305) Issued quarterly by the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, 147 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, TN 38401, (931) 388-7872. Periodical permit paid at Columbia, TN, and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER Send address corrections to: Tennessee Home & Farm Executive Offices, P.O. Box 313, Columbia, TN 38402-0313. SUBSCRiBE OR CHANGE ADDRESS Contact your county Farm Bureau office. TH&F is included in your $25 Farm Bureau annual dues; no other purchase necessary.
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2 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
Table of Contents Features
8 / comfort in a jar
Carrying on the family tradition of making apple butter gave new life to Yolanda Heuser
2 / Barns reborn 1
Eagle Reclaimed Lumber unveils beautiful wood from antique barns
1 6 / the art of farming 1 8 / retracing roots 2 f 2 / ast five
Knox County oil painter Sarah Weber makes the barnyard come alive
Alex Haley Museum makes literary history in Henning
Five-ingredient meals are the perfect quick-fix, one-dish weeknight dinners
5 / read all about it 6 / short rows
A life-changing jack-o’-lantern theft Win tickets to the Tennessee State Fair
2 c 7/ ountry classics
Apple Cheesecake wins recipe contest
2 r 9 / estaurant review 30 / ardening g
Applewood Farmhouse turns 25
New plant hardiness zone map
3 f 3 / armside chat
Sixth-generation farmer raises sheep
3 t 5 / o good health
Remembering the dentist debacle
3 m 7/ ember Benefits 38 / ravel t
The hunt for good neighbors
Explore Tennessee on two wheels
4 E 2/ vents & festivals
Things to do, places to see
4 v 8 / iew from the Back porch
On the COver Old-fashioned apple butter Photo by Brian McCord tnhomeandfarm.com
Porch ponderings instilled trust, faith
FOOD Tr avel HOme & GarDen aGriculTure Tn livinG
From Our Readers
In Ice Is Nice garden of hope
My husband and I were married in I really enjoyed the article [on the 1995 when I was working with Matt Rutherford County Detention Center’s [Simonds, “Artistry in Ice,” Winter 2011] “Garden of Hope,” Summer 2012]. It at the Crowne Plaza. As a wedding gift, shows what someone can do if they Matt offered to carve a bus in ice to know that someone is helping them. surprise my husband, who owned a bus All of the outside help is greatly company at that time. It was beautifully appreciated, but the main appreciation goes to the young men displayed as you walked in the door of whom are learning hopefully a trade our reception, and my husband was that can be used in their future. thrilled when he saw it. He still tells the story today of what a great surprise that Betty Deal, via tnhomeandfarm.com was and how beautiful the bus looked in ice. Thanks, Matt, for great memories! when west meets middle Hilary spellings I was born and raised in the via tnhomeandfarm.com beautiful town [of Linden, “Painting the Town,” Spring 2012], and I’m missing recipes about 100 percent positive it’s a What happened to the recipe archive? “small Middle Tennessee town” – it’s There used to be a salad recipe that not considered West Tennessee until included maple ginger walnuts for you cross the Tennessee River. garnish. I found it as recently as a I love this article, by the way! I month ago, and now it’s gone. moved out of Perry County about six years ago, but I still go back very Jennifer Goode stevens often to visit family. And I have loved via Facebook watching the transformation of Linden Editor’s note: Don’t worry – we have big and Lobelville over the past six years. plans for our recipes! Not all of It’s absolutely stunning now! them made it onto our new website yet, but Brandi raymer, via recipes are being added seasonally. tnhomeandfarm.com Stay tuned for a big announcement about our recipes soon. In Just wanted to give a big THANK a the meantime, if you’re looking for specific recipe, let us know by posting YOU for the photo contest. I love on our Facebook page as Jennifer did, looking at all the wonderful entries. or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Lisa Hammett, Lenoir City and we’ll send it your way. Editor’s note: You’re very welcome! We love the excitement from our Correction readers every year during the photo We made an error in the Turkey Pot contest. Remember, you vote for your Pie recipe on page 27 of our Winter online favorites in the readers’ choice 2011 issue. The recipe calls for 6 contest during the month of August at tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons tnhomeandfarm.com/photocontest. heavy cream. View the correct version The winners selected by our judges will of the recipe in its entirety at be announced in our next issue. tnhomeandfarm.com/turkey-pot-pie.
No, we’re not talking about politics – it’s time for the 3rd annual Readers’ Choice Photo Contest! Vote for your favorite photos during the month of August at tnhomeandfarm.com/photocontest. As always, only online Visit tnhomeandfarm.com to enter our annual photo contest. Online entrants are eligible, and no monetary prizes are awarded for this category entrants are also eligible for special web-exclusive readers’ choice contest. – just bragging rights. In the meantime, our judges will be poring over all of the entries and will announce those prize-winners in our winter issue.
It’s Voting Time! Photo Contest Online
Online Library Read past issues and new online-only magazines
A COLLECTION OF REFRESHING SUMMER RECIPES
through the lens
Sponsored by Tennessee Farm Fresh
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|Spring 2011 4 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
Read All About It
the great pumpkin thief
Stealing a jack-o’-lantern can change your life
t’s almost that time once again to get out the kitchen knife and Grandma’s old dishpan and start carving away at a helpless pumpkin to make it look like something out of an orthodontist’s nightmare. With Halloween approaching, I’m reminded of my youthful days, when jack-o’-lanterns became valuable on that frightful night. In our little rural community, we all grew pumpkins between the rows of corn, either in the field or in the garden. We grew them to feed our hogs, but some of the choice ones would become fall decorations for the front porch – and a target for jack-o’-lantern thieves as well. Jack-o’-lantern thievery was almost a major sport in my neck of the woods on Halloween night, with trying to catch who stole your pumpkin running a close second. There were those who sat up with their pumpkins all night, as at a wake with a deceased friend, and they were the ones targeted on the “Big Halloween Night Pumpkin Pilfer.” One year, a group of my friends planned for weeks to steal Miss Baskin’s pumpkin. She was an English teacher from the big city high school and never let anyone steal her pumpkin. It was said she guarded it with a shotgun, and no one was brave enough to steal her holiday gourd. That was, until Ronnie took the challenge. On Halloween night, he and his friend Bubba developed a plan. Bubba would cause a distraction at the house next door, causing Miss Baskin to look away and giving Ronnie the chance to snatch her pumpkin. He would dress all in black and crawl like a snake to the porch. Meanwhile, his friend would grab Mr. Hayes’ pumpkin off the porch next door. Mr. Hayes always let you get his pumpkin, but he always carried on about it, making a lot of noise, which Ronnie hoped would be enough to allow him to
get the Baskin gourd and hit the trail. Halloween arrived, and around 10 p.m. on a spooky moonlit night the two jack-o’-lantern thieves approached their targets. Bubba headed out to Mr. Hayes’ and Ronnie crawled like a serpent to the edge of Miss Baskin’s porch. Ronnie could see her sitting in her straight-back school chair in the shadows of the corner of the porch with something long in her hands that resembled a weapon of some kind. The two boys had made their plan that when Mr. Hayes started making his racket, Ronnie would make his move. Just as the moon went behind a cloud, Ronnie heard all kinds of hollering going on over at the Hayes’ house and he saw Miss Baskin get up out of her chair and move to get a better look. Ronnie made his move as well, and grabbed the pumpkin, preparing to make his escape. However, as he turned to run, Miss Baskin stuck a broom handle in his ribs, and at the same time Mr. Hayes threw a large firecracker over where Bubba was running with his pumpkin. Hearing the firecracker explode, Ronnie assumed Miss Baskin’s broom was a gun and his minutes were numbered, and he fell flat on the ground. For the next few minutes, he admitted to a lot of things right there in front of everyone, including Bubba, which wasn’t a good thing, and asked for a lot of forgiveness until he realized he was not injured but had only been goosed by a schoolteacher’s broom in the ribs. The night Ronnie got shot by a broom is still a favorite Halloween story in my neck of the woods, but pumpkin thievery is now a thing of the past. Pumpkins have gone plastic, kids don’t care and English teachers no longer guard pumpkins from teenage boys. What have the times gotten to?
about the author
Pettus L. Read is editor of the Tennessee Farm Bureau News and director of communications for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.
read More about it
Read has collected his favorite columns into a book titled Read All About It. Part of the proceeds of the book sales go to Tennessee 4-H and Tennessee FFA programs. Buy a copy online at tnhomeandfarm.com/ store.
1/ Fall Into Gardening
Plant your new trees and shrubs in October, when dormant plants will be under less stress. According to the University of Tennessee Gardens, newly planted deciduous plants require almost no watering during the winter months, as long as they are thoroughly watered when they are first planted. Monitor your evergreens, including junipers, hollies and arborvitae, through the winter if the season is particularly dry. Winter winds can hurt evergreen trees if they don’t have enough moisture. To learn more about preparing your plants for the winter months, visit the UT Gardens website online at http://utgardens.tennessee.edu.
2 / Pick the State Fair
Even the greatest traditions need a little change now and then. Visitors to the 2012 Tennessee State Fair can expect an event with a bigger emphasis on agriculture, a brighter, more modern twist – and a new logo, to boot. This year’s celebration – themed the “Pick Tennessee State Fair” – will feature the new Green Collar Exhibition, a place for fairgoers to see current energy technology, green and organic displays, and visit the fair lecture series on topics such as urban ag and energy. A new dairy and poultry show competition called Champion of Champions will showcase winning animals from poultry or dairy shows at local county fairs. Bluegrass music has long been a
popular stage, but banjo-pickin’ performers will be playing all 10 days this year. The fair runs Sept. 7-16. We’ve partnered with the fair to give away 25 family four-packs of tickets. Enter to win at tnhomeandfarm.com/fair.
3 / Music and Molasses
Celebrate the harvest season with good music and old-time molasses making. The annual Music and Molasses Arts and Crafts Festival features several music stages, dancing, and many activities from times past, including stir-offs at the sorghum mill, basket weaving, pottery making, ham curing and blacksmithing. Kids can pull on their boots for stickhorse races, a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, pony rides and goat milking.
6 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
The festival is Oct. 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville, located 7 miles south of downtown, with entrances on Hogan Road and Edmondson Pike. For more details, visit www.tnagmuseum.org or call (615) 837-5197.
TN FARM FRESH
TN FARM FRESH
falling for flowers
Looking to add some color to your garden this fall? Plant pretty pansies or violas to make your landscape pop this season. At Willow Oaks Flower Farm in Brownsville, Tenn., the floral choices are abundant. Owner David Levy offers more than 50 varieties of cold-tolerant flowers in addition to pumpkins, mums and other perennials. Levy says it has taken a while to master growing plants. He grew up on the farm in West Tennessee, helping his parents raise cotton, chickens and pigs, as well as an orchard filled with apple and peach trees. As an adult, he had not planned to return to the farm but found himself there once again. Levy’s mother had discovered plastic greenhouses at a horticulture meeting in 1953, and she just had to have one, which proved to be a fruitful decision. After some hard freezes in the 1950s, the family ventured out of fruit production and into the greenhouse business. Levy has been raising plants himself since 1974. Though he likes working with the plants, he thoroughly enjoys building the greenhouses. Customers can buy plants from Willow Oaks on site at the flower farm, or join Levy and others on Saturdays through October at the Memphis Farmers Market in downtown Memphis. “I encourage people to come out and enjoy the great produce, wonderful flowers, music and more, all under one roof,” says Levy, who is very involved at the farmers market. He says its success comes from the approximately 30 dedicated volunteers who show up every weekend to assist consumers and make sure they are having a great experience while they shop. For more information on Willow Oaks Flower Farm, go online to www.tnfarmfresh.com or contact the farm at (731) 772-9654. – Tiffany Howard
4 / The Crowd Goes Wild for Pasta
The perfect fall tailgating party requires the perfect pasta salad. The Pasta Shoppe, based in Nashville, makes pasta with unique, fun shapes – including your favorite college football team colors, mascot and logo. Team up with a University of Tennessee orange and white pasta salad with a Game Day Vinaigrette seasoning mix. You’ll score extra points serving your favorite sports fans with the Pasta Shoppe’s selection of more than 50 officially licensed team pasta salads at your next tailgate or cookout. See the full collection of collegiate noodles – including Vanderbilt pasta – and the rest of the “pastabilities” at www.pastashoppe.com.
5/ For Whom the Bell Tolls
A special bell rings outside the Pioneer Hall Museum in Pleasant Hill, Tenn. One of the last bells cast by Paul Revere, just two years before his death in 1819, this bell hung in the original academy building in Pleasant Hill. The museum is the only surviving building on the academy’s campus today. Operated by the Pleasant Hill Historical Society, the museum strives to preserve and share the history of the Pleasant Hill Academy, a mission school that taught the children in the community from 1884 to 1947. Pioneer Hall is open May 1 through Oct. 31 from 2-5 p.m. on Sundays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. Private tours are available by appointment by calling (931) 277-5313.
8 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
CARRYiNG ON THE FAMiLY TRADiTiON OF MAKiNG APPLE BUTTER GAVE NEW LiFE TO YOLANDA HEUSER
in a Jar
STORY BY CAROL COWAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY S. OTTO
hen tragedy and illness struck cumberland county farm Bureau member yolanda heuser’s life, she found comfort and healing in a surprising source: jars upon jars of rich, delicious homemade apple butter. as far back as she can remember, yolanda heuser’s mother and grandmother gardened, canned and made apple butter for their families. But heuser never imagined herself carrying on that tradition – that is, until a couple of years ago. “my grandparents were born in the 1800s. my grandmother had 11 children in the heart of the depression, and they just had to do what they had to do to survive. she used everything. when the apples fell, making apple butter was what you did to preserve something for your family,” heuser says. “my father died when i was seven, and my mother raised us singlehandedly.
she raised chickens and pigs and cows and had a big garden; that was just a part of our lives. “But times change,” she continues. “it wasn’t something i intentionally set out to do just because i was the third generation.” actually, heuser and her husband, Bud, agreed to make apple butter for the 2010 homesteads apple festival in crossville because someone asked them for help. the timing turned out to be providential. “my mother was diagnosed with alzheimer’s in 2006, and she did oK for three years. But in november of 2009, she started getting really bad and had to go into a nursing home. it was devastating. it was like a death, and yet she was still here,” heuser says. meanwhile, her own health began to decline, as she began to lose weight and became easily fatigued. thinking it was just the stress of her mother’s illness, heuser did not see a
doctor until several months later when she developed severe pain in her upper back and found it difficult to breathe. after extensive testing, her doctor delivered some difficult news. “the doctor looked at me and said, ‘you have got, more likely than not, bronchoalveolar carcinoma. it is a genetic cancer; it isn’t environmentally induced. there’s nothing you’ve done to bring this on, and there’s no cure. you will not be taking chemotherapy, because it does not respond to chemo. you have to have part of your lung removed, and you have to have it done now,’ ” she recalls. as she prepared for surgery, heuser researched her condition. the type of cancer doctors suspected she had was likely to come back, and more and more of her lung tissue would have to be removed, eventually requiring a lung transplant. “in the meantime, we’re doing apple butter,” heuser says. “But what
Yolanda Heuser peels and cores each apple by hand to make her old-fashioned apple butter. A batch takes about eight hours to make.
Heuser’s kitchen has been certified by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture so she can sell her apple butter commercially.
started out as just a venture to help this lady at the apple festival in crossville ended up saving my life. as i would do the things that i had seen my mom do, it was like she was standing right there beside me. as i would tighten the lids on those jars of apple butter, it was just like the way she did it. all those years of seeing her do all of her canning came back to me, just like second nature. it was just like my mama was there with me, guiding me through all of it, because of everything she had done and taught me. it was the most healing thing i’ve ever done.” during surgery, heuser’s doctors removed a tumor from her lung, but what they found was not the aggressive cancer they had seen on the scans. it was diagnosed as a “necrotizing granuloma,” a dead, benign tumor. heuser calls it a miracle. “god healed me,” she says. “i had lung cancer, and god healed me.” Because making apple butter was such a meaningful part of getting through that year of loss, grieving, sickness and healing, heuser decided to keep it up. she attended a university of tennessee Extension service class
at the Ellington agricultural center in nashville and got her kitchen certified by the tennessee department of agriculture in order to sell her apple butter commercially. although she created her own recipe, she honors her mother, christine, with the product’s name: ma maw ’teen’s old fashioned apple Butter. and she honors her history by using traditional cooking methods. heuser and her husband buy their apples from a local orchard – eight bushels are required per “cooking.” then they wash them, and, using a small peeler that hooks onto the kitchen table, they peel, core and slice the apples one by one. the apples, along with 20 pounds of sugar and a gallon of pure apple juice, go into a 15-gallon pot to cook down. “my husband and i take turns, but you stand there with a huge paddle and you stir and you stir and you stir,” heuser says. “it’s all manual; there’s nothing automatic about it.” then she adds her own secret blend of spices and continues cooking the mixture until it reaches the perfect consistency. it takes about eight hours to finish one
how to Buy
Ma Maw ’Teen’s Old Fashioned Apple Butter is not available in stores, but you can buy it – and see how it’s made – at the Homesteads Apple Festival in Crossville, Sept. 22-23, 2012, at the Cumberland Homesteads Historic District. The Heusers also sell directly from their kitchen. In order to preserve the meaning and history of their craft and to keep from being overwhelmed by a largevolume business, they decided not to build a website. However, customers can call their office to arrange a time to buy direct from the pantry shelves. Contact Bud Heuser at (931) 484-7317.
batch, which makes between 80 and 88 pints of apple butter. in 2011, they made 10 batches and sold more than 900 jars at festivals around the state. when it comes to comfort food, it’s hard to beat a slather of apple butter atop a steaming biscuit. for heuser, the comfort goes way beyond flavor. “apple butter’s been good to me,” she says.
12 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
EAGLE RECLAiMED LUMBER UNVEiLS BEAUTiFUL BARN WOOD
STORY BY JESSiCA MOzO PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ADKiNS
hen homeowners buy lumber from Eagle reclaimed lumber of murfreesboro, they aren’t getting factory-produced wood from who knows where. instead, they’re getting a one-of-a-kind piece of tennessee history. founded in 2008, Eagle reclaimed lumber is the brainchild of michael watson, who buys old barns and buildings, refurbishes the antique lumber, and sells it to be made into everything from hardwood flooring and cabinets to entertainment centers and countertops. “it’s one of the prettiest forms of recycling you could ever see,” says watson. “when you see lumber being reused instead of burned or bulldozed, it becomes an emotional product because it has a story – it didn’t come out of a big-box store. with most of our lumber, we can tell customers exactly where it came from and when the barn was built. it creates great conversation.”
watson and his team have dismantled approximately 50 barns so far, many of which were built between the mid-1800s and
the 1930s. he started with an old barn that was on his own farm in rockvale. “i wanted to do something with the barn because there was a lot of beauty in the wood. i didn’t want to just tear it down,” watson says. “i cleaned the wood and shaved off the old grayed surface and discovered it was red oak and beech wood. the gray or brown surface of old wood often hides its color and character, and once you open that up, you see its character come out.” next, watson dismantled a barn for a man in walterhill who was building a new barn and simply wanted the old one removed without bulldozing or burning it. “it was a beautiful barn made of oak, poplar, beech, pine and walnut,” watson recalls. watson took the wood to his warehouse in murfreesboro, where it was sorted, graded and cleaned. “we made some of it into six-inch heart of pine flooring, and we made some tables to let people see how the wood grain looks after being repurposed,” watson says. “our business spread by word of mouth. people were surprised by how pretty the wood is.
got an old Barn?
If you are interested in buying antique lumber, or if you know of an old barn that needs to be removed, you can contact Eagle Reclaimed Lumber at (615) 427-9759 or online at www.eagle reclaimedlumber.com.
Michael Watson came up with the concept of Eagle Reclaimed Lumber, which recycles old wood into new uses.
Eagle Reclaimed Lumber employee Israel Cruz tears apart the structure of an old barn while separating the good wood from the bad wood at a farm near Orlinda. The wood may be repurposed into anything from flooring to furniture, such as this coffee table made with reclaimed pine wood standing on a reclaimed maple floor.
14 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
the tightness of the grain is far greater than lumber you see in today’s market, so it has a more decorative appearance.”
WonderS in Wood
shrouded beneath decades of dirt, wear and tear, watson’s team has discovered many varieties of wood, including walnut, chestnut, cherry, heart of pine, southern yellow pine, red and white oak, poplar and beech. customers use the lumber for flooring, wallboard, wainscoting, trim work, farm tables, coffee tables, entertainment centers, counter and bar tops, and more. “we encourage customers to come pick out their wood so they can see different varieties. walnut is my personal favorite because of its rich brown earthtones and distinctive grains,” watson says. “Beech is another of my favorites because it has a very decorative grain pattern. it’s one of the most underestimated products i’ve seen – when people actually see it made into a table, they love it.” people often ask watson about the integrity of the antique wood, wondering if it will hold up for many more years to come. But he says the lumber is actually sturdier than some of the lumber you’d find in today’s market, and Eagle reclaimed lumber puts the old lumber through sterilization and drying processes to ensure it is bugfree and of high quality. “it’s amazing the old world craftsmanship that went into these old barns – how they were put together and how sturdy they are,” he explains. “today, we’re seeing more metal barns because they are more cost-effective, and we’re losing history in the process. By repurposing the wood from an old barn, the barn lives on.” watson says the best part about his work is getting to meet so many interesting people. “we talk to them as we’re taking the barns down, and they tell us stories about the barns – like the things they used to do in there when they were kids,” watson says. “it seems to bring back a lot of great memories.”
16 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
KNOx COUNTY OiL PAiNTER SARAH WEBER MAKES THE BARNYARD COME ALiVE
STORY BY NANCY HENDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ADKiNS
n the portrait, lucy the lamb looks so cuddly you can almost feel the soft white curls of her wool and the silkiness of her ears. But it is her gaze, that look of pure innocence and trust, that makes the oil painting come alive. “i love their eyes,” says corryton, tenn., artist sarah weber, referring to the pigs, cows and other barnyard critters she often depicts on canvas. “that’s what i’m painting for – to get the expression in the eyes, and then the rest comes from that.” weber, whose family has been in the greenhouse business for more than a century, worked as secretary for the East tennessee farmers association for retail marketing, selling bedding plants in Knoxville and oak ridge. “it was just natural,” she says of her former career. “i think i have green in my veins.” art, too, apparently runs in her bloodstream. after taking a few art classes at maryville college in the 1960s, she didn’t pick up a brush again until 2005, when the spark of the hobby she’d put on hold for years
fanned into a flame. “and i jumped in with all four feet,” she says. “somebody said i ‘burst forth.’ it had just been in me all those years.” first came the barnyard scenes, which rekindled weber’s fond childhood memories of raising goats and riding ponies. after that, she began painting exotic wildlife such as lemurs, chameleons and elephants, using her own photographs and composites created from magazine images. then she developed a sideline doing pet portraits on commission. recently, she ventured beyond her mainstay medium – oil paint – and started experimenting with a palette knife and acrylic color straight out of the tube. “at first it looks pretty awful, very elementary,” she says, describing the process of turning an idea into a sketch and, eventually, a finished painting. “But i just keep going. it’s very common for people to over-paint – what i call ‘lick the canvas’ – keep going and going and not know when to stop. But when that point comes,
you just lay your brush or your palette knife down and you know you’re finished.” more than anything, weber hopes her customers enjoy a childlike sense of wonder about the furry, feathered and finned creatures in her paintings. “i want them to remember how they felt when they were young and they saw animals on their grandfather’s farm, how the animals felt, how they smelled, how they would just stop and stand and stare at you like statues,” she says. “i love to stare back!”
Sarah Weber’s barnyard scenes can be found at Bears Valley Antiques in Sevierville, Roper Mansion’s Edward James Gallery in Dandridge and Artisun Gallery in Hot Springs, N.C. She also sells her original paintings, prints and giclee reproductions at festivals and art shows throughout Tennessee and North Carolina. See www.sarahbweber.com for more details.
The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning celebrates the author of Roots with interactive exhibits, artifacts from
STORY BY LESLiE LaCHANCE PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ADKiNS
if you go
The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center, 200 Church St. in Henning, is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is (731) 738-2240. For more information, visit www.alexhaley museum.com.
unta Kinte. Kizzy. chicken george. in the mid-1970s, these characters became household names thanks to author alex haley. his 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of An American Family, and the television miniseries Roots, which aired a year later, changed what many americans thought they knew about african-american heritage, taking the story of slavery and the quest for freedom out of dry-as-dust history textbooks and making it come alive in our living rooms. haley often said his novel had its own roots in oral history, inspired by the stories he heard as a child from his grandmother and aunts on the front porch of the family home in henning, tenn. this 1919 craftsman-style
bungalow in west tennessee has been transformed into the alex haley museum, where visitors can sit on that same broad front porch, sharing their own stories. inside, they’ll find period furnishings from the 1920s along with haley family artifacts and photographs, including one of the legendary chicken george, the former slave and patriarch who brought the murrays, haley’s maternal ancestors, out of north carolina to settle in henning in the late 1800s. a tour through the house is also a journey through the family’s history. chicken george’s granddaughter, cynthia murray palmer, was haley’s grandmother, and she and her husband, will palmer, built the henning home. it was one of the finest
18 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
his life and mementos from his career. Haley’s grave is located at his boyhood home, which sits in front of the museum.
ALEx HALEY MUSEUM MAKES LiTERARY HiSTORY iN HENNiNG
houses in town and the first africanamerican home in henning to have a telephone. will palmer owned a successful lumber company, and the spaciousness of the house and quality of the construction indeed show that the palmers were people of means. the son of the palmers’ daughter Bertha and college agriculture professor simon haley, alex haley spent his younger years moving around the country with his parents as his father pursued an academic career, but he thought of his maternal grandparents’ house in henning as home. it was there he first heard about an ancestor his
elders called “the african,” who was kidnapped by slave traders in west africa, survived the brutal middle passage (only one in six africans typically did), and was enslaved in colonial america. this tale and others would fire the author’s literary imagination. haley, who died in 1992, is buried in the front yard, not far from the porch. the haley site also boasts a new building, the interpretive center, dedicated in 2010. the center houses exhibits that provide an overview of haley’s literary career, from his early days as a journalist in the coast guard, through his struggles as a
freelancer, to his ultimate success with Roots, a book he spent 12 years researching and writing. additional exhibits educate visitors about other haley writing projects, including a series of magazine interviews and his collaboration with civil rights leader malcolm x, which resulted in the acclaimed biography. other displays provide background on haley’s family history and historical context for Roots, with information about the colonial slave trade and slavery in america. a genealogist is on staff at the center to help inspired visitors learn something about their own roots.
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*You must be an active member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau for a minimum of 60 days to be eligible. Membership eligibility and offer subject to change without notice.
20 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
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22 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
FiVE-iNGREDiENT qUiCK-Fix MEALS ARE THE PERFECT ONE-DiSH DiNNERS FOR WEEKNiGHTS
STORY AND RECIPES BY MARY CARTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY S. OTTO
dd the following recipes to your emergency list for weeknight relief. mealtime is important. it can provide a moment of connection for busy people, nourishing body and soul. scheduled meals offer an opportunity to relax and reflect. people who plan regular, balanced meals experience steadier weight control and lower stress and enjoy better health management (even improved sleep). whether you’re a busy single, a parent or an active retiree, the benefits are the same. stocking the pantry and refrigerator are step one. take a good hard look at the items you’re storing. give away the foods you don’t eat and stock your kitchen with convenience.
More Quick fixeS
Fresh Spinach: all of these dishes are enhanced with a few handfuls of fresh, chopped spinach, which melts like butter into any warm dish. it adds flavor, iron and lots of vitamins a and c. stir it in and enjoy. Greek Yogurt: super-high in protein, calcium and vitamin d, creamy greek yogurt is a great alternative to higher-calorie sour cream. stir it into some herbs to make a quick, creamy sauce for pork or poultry. Pasta emergency: prepare any shape of pasta. toss it with a can of garbanzo beans, garlic sautéed in olive oil, parmesan and chopped spinach. the beans paired with pasta make a complete protein. this low-fat dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Each of the following recipes takes about 30 minutes to prepare (including cooking time). they consist of five main ingredients. play with the seasonings and sides to fit your taste. But, don’t think too hard. you can save that energy for the project you offered to do at work, or the night class you’re taking. oh, and remember, you also need to go to the store to buy supplies for that science project that junior just told you is due tomorrow.
hungry for More?
Find more fiveingredient recipes at tnhomeandfarm.com, including Migas, a south of the border dish consisting of scrambled eggs, beans, cheese, tortilla chips and salsa.
Pantry: olive oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, rice, pasta, couscous, ramen, canned beans (a variety of garbanzo, kidney, refried, black, navy, etc.), salsa, seasonings, herbs and spices refrigerator: Eggs, tortillas (flour and corn), fresh spinach, cheese (some preshredded melting cheeses and grated parmesan), greek yogurt, slaw mix, fresh garlic, onions
Quick greek lemon Soup
6 3 2 cups chicken stock eggs, beaten juice of one lemon cups chopped cooked chicken, salmon or 2 cups cleaned and trimmed medium-size shrimp, optional *Converted rice is brown rice that has been converted to a white rice texture, which allows it to cook faster than traditional brown rice. Another long-grain white rice will substitute, but converted rice will have more fiber. ¼ cup converted rice*
Sweet potatoes and pork over garlic egg noodles
1 1 1 1 cup cubed sweet potato medium red onion, chopped apple, cubed pound pork tenderloin or boneless chops, sliced very thin garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
saute onion and sweet potato in a large heavy skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil until they begin to brown. if sweet potato is hard and uncooked in the center, add ¼ cup water to the skillet, stirring until water is absorbed and sweet potato is softened. if needed, this step can be repeated. in a medium saucepan, prepare noodles according to package instructions. lightly butter and toss noodles with garlic powder, salt and pepper. add the pork and apples to the skillet, stirring often, until pork is evenly cooked and apples are softened. season to taste with salt, pepper, fennel seed, bouillon powder, herbs (sage would be lovely), or red pepper flakes. spoon pork mixture over buttered noodles.
12 ounces hearty egg noodles (such as kluski or spaetzle)
in a large saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. stir in rice and simmer for about 15 minutes (until rice is soft). stir in eggs and lemon juice. lightly whisk until the egg is thoroughly cooked. add chicken, shrimp or salmon, if desired. season to taste with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
this soup is also delicious with snow peas or shredded carrots stirred in with the egg. the veggies will cook just slightly and offer a nice crunch. also, it has nearly magical curative powers for colds and flu.
24 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
1 1 1 2 1 pound flat iron steak, sliced very thin* onion, sliced green pepper, sliced cups pizza cheese pre-baked pizza crust *Uncooked meat slices easily if placed in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
asian noodles With rotisserie chicken and Vegetables
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil 1 2 1 (12-ounce) bag broccoli slaw mix or stir-fry veggie mix packages chicken-flavored ramen noodles rotisserie chicken, meat removed and coarsely chopped, about 1 pound (or 2 large cooked chicken breasts, chopped)
preheat oven to 400 degrees. saute onions and green pepper with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet. when onions are soft and begin to caramelize, spoon them into a bowl. add the steak to the skillet and saute until just done, using tongs to even out the cooking. place 1 cup cheese on the pizza crust. layer onion, green pepper and steak on top. sprinkle remaining cheese over all. season according to taste with garlic, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. serve immediately.
½ cup thai peanut dipping sauce
in a large skillet, stir-fry slaw mix in sesame oil. meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions. when done, drain liquid from noodles. toss hot noodles with vegetables, chicken and peanut sauce. garnish with chopped green onion, cilantro and crushed peanuts, if desired.
Season the crust with fresh garlic and olive oil or pesto, and bake for about 5 minutes before layering other ingredients. this freshens up a store-bought crust.
September 7-16, 2012
Bring a non-winning loTTery TickeT To geT $3 oFF adulT Fair admission!
Pick Tennessee sTaTe Fair For agriculTure, arT, educaTion and Family Fun! (And, Pick Tennessee Lottery!)
The State Fair is a leading Tennessee agricultural event. Our mission is to engage and educate people on the importance of agriculture in everyday life. Visit Kid’s Country and the Barnyard Animals for the little ones. The Green Collar Exhibition is the place to learn the latest on energy technologies. You don’t have to live on a farm to appreciate agriculture! To purchase tickets and ride wristbands, visit www.tnstatefair.org.
elizaBethton Man WinS unicoi apple feSt conteSt
e just took top honors in a baking contest, so it’s somewhat hard to believe there was a time when Joe Shultz didn’t cook. “I used to come home from work and put my feet up while my wife fixed the meal,” he recalls. One day, he decided to make dinner to surprise her. “I realized I enjoyed it,” says Schultz, who lives in Elizabethton. Over the years, Shultz discovered a passion for baking – and experimenting. “I’ll take a recipe that seems to have good possibilities and modify it,” he says. That’s just how he created his Caramel Apple Cheesecake for the baking contest at the 2011 Unicoi County Apple Festival, where judges chewed over contenders with three different types of apple recipes: apple pies, apple cakes and any other apple dish, the category Schultz won. There’s also a separate competition for youth. The 2012 Unicoi County Apple Festival takes place Oct. 5-6 in downtown Erwin. In addition to the baking contest, activities include craft sellers, a talent and beauty pageant, live music, food, and a children’s area. Find more details at tnhomeandfarm.com. – Jessica Boling
apple caramel cheesecake
1½ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers) ¾ cup sugar, divided ¼ cup butter, melted 1
in a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar and butter. press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of prepared pan. place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. cool on a wire rack. in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, cook caramels and milk, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. pour 1 cup over crust, and sprinkle with ¼ cup pecans. set remaining caramel mixture aside. in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon flour and remaining sugar until smooth. add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. combine the apples, cinnamon and remaining flour, and fold into cream cheese mixture. pour into crust. place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 40 minutes. reheat reserved caramel mixture if necessary; gently spoon over cheesecake. sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until center is just set. remove pan from water bath. cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. refrigerate overnight.
hungry for More?
Each issue of Tennessee Home & Farm highlights recipes like those featured in Country Classics Volume II. Copies of the cookbook are available for $17 each, including shipping and handling, from county Farm Bureau offices, or by calling the Tennessee Farm Bureau home office at (931) 388-7872, ext. 2217.
(14-ounce) package caramels cup evaporated milk (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup chopped pecans, divided 2 2 2
1½ cups peeled and chopped apples ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
place a greased 9-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 inches square). securely wrap foil around pan.
Jeffrey S. Otto
good food to the core
SeVierVille’S appleWood farMhouSe reStaurant turnS 25
elebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012, the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant occupies the renovated family dwelling of what was once a working Sevierville farm. Apple trees, planted as a pastime, were secondary to crops and cattle. When the mainstay crop failed and the trees began to bear abundant fruit, however, the hobby became an opportunity. When life gives you apples, well, you make apple cider – and sell ’em, too. Thus, the genesis of the Apple Barn and Cider Mill. After a few years of success and continued customers, you make apple butter, fritters, apple cake, apple pie, dumplings and donuts. You transform the thriving business, flourishing like the trees themselves, into a celebration of all things apple. Then, you open a restaurant. The original farmhouse, refurbished in 1987, is painted crisp white with neat green trim and overlooks a green sea of manicured lawn. Outside, numerous benches, rocking chairs and a couple of flower-ringed gazebos invite one to sit a spell. Inside, separate dining areas with names like the Parlor, the Pantry and the Sun Porch preserve the intimacy of the original family space. Everywhere, the aroma of something warm and sweet lingers in the air. Around the table, instead of traditional
yeast rolls, patrons are served a basket of the signature apple fritters with apple butter and a glass of sweet iced Applewood Julep. The menu boasts hearty country fare, such as Southern Fried Chicken and Momma’s Country Meatloaf, yet includes enough variety to please every palate. Entrees are amply portioned and come with a vegetable side and homemade soup. Sunday dinner includes all of this as well as a garden salad and a house-made dessert. You surely won’t walk away hungry. In fact, William B. Stokely IV, president of Stokely Hospitality Enterprises (which runs Applewood and its on-site sister restaurant, Applewood Farmhouse Grill), says he loves hearing from customers who have been returning for years. And they’re not the only ones. “The majority of our employees have been with us for a very long time,” Stokely says. “We have come to know one another well ... and that makes us feel like family.” Tina, a server at the restaurant, doesn’t hesitate to agree. “We’re one big family here,” she says. “Everyone helps each other out.” The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant has indeed cultivated the secret of longevity. – Shelley Davis-Wise
the dish on applewood farmhouse
In each issue, we feature one of Tennessee’s tasty eateries. You can find a collection of our favorite restaurants in the Food section of tnhomeandfarm.com. As always, please call ahead before traveling long distances. Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is located at 240 Apple valley Road in Sevierville, just north of Pigeon Forge in East Tennessee. The restaurant is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with breakfast from 8-11 a.m., lunch from 11a.m.-4 p.m., and dinner from 4 p.m. until close Monday through Saturday, and Sunday dinner from 11 a.m. until close. For more information, call (865) 428-1222 or visit www.applewoodfarmhouse restaurant.com.
Photos by Jeff Adkins
get in the Zone
uSda unVeilS neW plant hardineSS zone Map
f you haven’t heard, one of the biggest items in gardening news lately is the unveiling of the new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine what plants are most likely to endure winter temperatures at a given location. Even though 2012 was an unusually warm winter for much of the United States, low temperature during the winter is a crucial factor in the survival of plants at specific locations. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. While the zones do represent the average annual extreme minimum temperatures at a given location during a 30-year period in the past, they do
about the author
Dr. Sue Hamilton is Director of the University of Tennessee Gardens. The gardens are a project of the University of Tennessee AgResearch program, with locations in Knoxville and Jackson: http://utgardens. tennessee.edu.
not reflect the coldest it has ever been or ever will be at a specific location. The USDA zone map had not been updated since 1990, and the new version of the map includes 13 zones, with the addition for the first time of zones 12 (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit) and 13 (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit). Each zone is a 10-degree Fahrenheit band, further divided into 5-degree Fahrenheit zones “A” and “B.” The new map – jointly developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University’s (OSU) PRISM Climate Group – is available online at www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov. For the first time, the USDA zone map offers a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based interactive format and is specifically designed to be Internet-friendly.
30 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
The map website also incorporates a function that allows gardeners to find their zone by ZIP code. Zone hardiness is a handy thing to know, but don’t be frustrated when a plant dies, and certainly don’t give up trying to grow that particular plant again. Growing plants can be very complex, and many environmental factors can impact the winter hardiness of a plant – wind, soil type, soil moisture, humidity, pollution, snow and winter sunshine to name a few. Individual gardens may even have localized microclimates that may be warmer or cooler than the general zone for your area, so no hardiness zone map can take the place of the detailed knowledge that gardeners pick up about their own gardens through hands-on experience. Keep in mind, too, that Tennessee is in the Mid-South, meaning the “transition zone” between the North and the deep South. For Tennessee gardeners, this means our plants may not always acquire a gradual transitioning from fall to winter or winter to spring. We aren’t surprised by a bout of extremely cold weather early in the fall that may injure plants even though the temperatures may not reach the average lowest temperature for our zone. Similarly, exceptionally warm weather in midwinter followed by a sharp change to seasonably cold weather may injure plants as well. Be aware that the hardiness zone map is a great guide, but only a guide – and only when the zones assigned to plants by producers are accurate.
SEE MORE ONLiNE
If you are interested in learning more about the history and development of the map, noted horticulturist Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery offers a wonderful in-depth article. Find a link at tnhomeandfarm.com/usda, along with other zone maps of the state and country.
Tennessee Home & Farm presents:
Quantity: ______ @ $9.95 ____________ Sales tax Quantity: _____ x $0.92 sales tax ______ (TN residents add 9.25% sales tax) Postage: first book @ $3.99 ___________ additional books ____ @ .99 ___________ Total amount: ________________________ Make check payable to Journal Communications 1 book = $14.86 2 books = $26.72 3 books = $38.58 Send to: Name: _______________________________ Address: _____________________________ 4 books = $50.44 5 books = $62.30
Includes shipping & sales tax
As author Pettus Read puts it, “country has been around for a long time.” In this book of his favorite Read All About It columns from the past 30-plus years, Read discusses pulley bones, the disappearance of stick horses, Christmases at Mop-Ma’s and the ever popular Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie. Full of Read’s wisdom and wit, this Rural Psychology Primer will likely stir up your own feelings of nostalgia for the country way of life.
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By mail: Journal Communications Inc. c/o Retail Fulfillment Center 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400 Franklin, TN 37067
32 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
meet reyes rich
Sixth-generation farMer raiSeS Sheep, other liVeStock
hen it comes to sheep, Reyes Rich isn’t your typical Bo Peep. He and his family run the sixth generation of Ginny Ridge Farms, which includes beef cattle, broiler chickens, goats and sheep. He raises more than 100 Suffolk, Hampshire and crossbred hair sheep ewes (female sheep). “Sheep are amazing creatures,” Reyes says. “Even though I farm many animals, I am the most passionate about sheep. They are extremely efficient, versatile and manageable animals that complement small acreages, work profitably within many different production systems and mix well with Tennessee’s beef cattle.” six generations is a proud tradition. What do you value most? In the 1800s, Elisha Rich founded the family farm in rural Clay County, and eventually bequeathed a portion of it to his daughter, Virginia. That area became known as “Ginny Ridge,” and through the years, many generations of Rich descendants produced mostly cattle and small quantities of grains, fruits and vegetables. I have lived around farms and rural communities all of my life. The greatest thing about being on the farm and living in a small town is the sense of community and knowing your neighbors. The farm is also a wonderful place to raise children and have a family. What is it like to raise an animal that sometimes flies under the radar? It is fun and enjoyable because sheep production is unusual and a novelty to most folks. Most people have a bit of a nostalgic perception of sheep. Many in the general public assume sheep are raised for wool production only when, in actuality, we also provide lean, luscious lamb that appears on dinner tables and in restaurants all over the country and around the world.
Reyes Rich with son Eli, daughter Grace Ann and wife Carla
How do you tackle the topic of animal welfare with those outside of the agricultural industry? We have to help people understand animal welfare is the top priority for farmers. As an industry, we take the responsibility of livestock stewardship very seriously. We work hard every day to meet our animals’ needs and make good management decisions on their behalf. We have a common goal – healthy, high-quality livestock on our farms today will be healthy, high-quality food on their tables tomorrow, and that is beneficial to everyone. What advice would you give someone interested in raising sheep? Read, investigate and discuss! There are many opportunities in the sheep industry. I would encourage them to explore each of those and visit with other sheep producers. These folks are very passionate about what they do and are very willing to talk about this industry. Membership in the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association is also helpful, as it provides access to many educational opportunities throughout the year – guest speakers, field days, tours, newsletters, magazine articles and more. – Melissa Burniston
SEE MORE ONLiNE
Read more about Reyes Rich’s farm at tnhomeandfarm.com.
34 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
To Good Health
the dentist debacle
a tooth doctor cureS a toddler’S teMper tantruM
till today, I don’t enjoy going to the dentist. I like my dentist, personally and professionally, and the kind and capable folks with which he has surrounded himself. But give me an array of options for any given day, going to the dentist is going to fall out near the bottom of the list. The sights (too many pointed objects capable of inflicting pain), the sounds (that drill makes a noise because it’s cutting something) and the smells (kind of like what we put the bullfrog in before we dissected it in high school biology) are just not the stuff to which I look forward. I do the dental visit, though, twice a year because it must be done, unless I wish to finish the remaining years of my life eating only pre-chewed food. And I do it because Mom and Dad taught me to, beginning with my very first visit way back when to Dr. McGraw. Really, I remember nothing at all about that visit except for about a two- to three-minute segment of time outside the dental chair interacting with Dr. McGraw. That portion of time has forever been etched in my memory. Again, the times immediately before and after I do not recall, but the family story goes that I did not take to the dentist office very well upon my initial entrance. The larger-thanlife-to-me Dr. McGraw, who I later came to know as a kind Christian man behind a strong exterior, may have frightened me, or maybe I saw one of those wicked-looking tools. Whatever, this toddler boy must have cut loose with one heck of a Tasmanian-sized tantrum because there was no way Dr. McGraw could get near my mouth. I probably thought I had won out over Mom and Dad and this mean man in his big white coat. Not so. Remember, this was back in the good days when parents didn’t object to authority figures
actually expecting children to behave, and when you didn’t have to fear trampling someone’s self-esteem by simply requiring children to respect others and do right. So my parents didn’t object when they watched their family dentist grab up their screaming, scrambling toddler and march him down the hallway. This point of the story is where my brief recollection begins. I still recall those big hairy arms closing the door behind us and then lifting me up (that’s right) and plopping my little tiny heinie on the edge of the porcelain sink. I desperately wish I could recount those words today, but I only remember Dr. McGraw’s steel eyes, his firm hold on me as I sat on the sink and the seriousness in his voice as he explained how I would behave from that day forward in his dental office. With those words still swirling in the air above us, he plucked me off the sink and together we walked back down the hallway. I wiped away a few tears and a runny nose, but I was quiet as I marched to the dental chair. Dr. McGraw remained our family dentist for many years and, though no longer with us, his impression still remains. If he were still with us, he might take this opportunity to do likewise with you, plop you down for a serious talk about the importance of good dental hygiene and behavior. He was a fair man who charged fair rates and would appreciate the kind of decent dental plans you can purchase today from TRH Health Plans. Talk to us about them at your local Farm Bureau office – there’s automatic approval and rates at only $23.90 per month for an individual, $46.20 for a twoperson policy and $69.05 for a family. With those kinds of rates, there’ll be no need for a temper tantrum and no need for a chat with Dr. McGraw, either.
about the author
Anthony Kimbrough is vice president of marketing and government relations for TRH Health Plans. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about TRH Health Plans, call (877) 874-8323 or visit www.trh.com.
I care because I wouldn’t feed anything less than the safest foods to my fa mily and to yours.
Go to www.conversationsoncare.com and join one of the ongoing conversations on animal care.
the hunt for good neighbors
the Search for Morel MuShrooMS turnS into SoMething More
ears ago, I knew a fellow nicknamed Mouse because he favored a mouse quite a bit. He had a little mustache that ran out past the corners of his upper lip, his ears stuck out a bit and even his skin color was kind of a permanent tan color from years of working in the sun. He was a spindly little fellow who didn’t weigh 130 pounds soaking wet. During warm weather, his attire was limited to a pair of overalls and shoes that were never tied. It was pretty easy to tell that was all he wore because he didn’t buckle the sides of his overalls, nor did he bother with socks. In the spring, Mouse enjoyed heading to the woods to hunt morel mushrooms, which folks in the Upper Cumberland area call dry-land fish. When the morels are sliced, battered and deep-fried, they are nothing short of excellent. Years ago, meals like this were a treat to folks who didn’t have much variety in their diet, and they still are a fine meal today. One spring day, Mouse got an early-morning start hunting morels, traveling across hills and hollows that he had explored all his life. Around mid-morning, with his sack full of mushrooms, he headed back toward his home enjoying the peacefulness while reminiscing about the time spent in the woods as a boy and looking forward to a great meal that evening. While walking across a field, the tranquility of the morning came to an abrupt end when he heard a person screaming from a distance. “Hey, what are you doing on my property? You’re trespassing! Get out of here!” Mouse didn’t realize he was standing in the middle of a small parcel of property that had been sold to a gentleman who had spent his entire life in New York City and didn’t have Mouse’s appreciation for rural neighbors. Mouse wasn’t the type of fellow who liked to back down from a confrontation, and he
wanted to be a good neighbor, so he decided to make his way over to the location of the shouts to address the upset fellow’s concerns and introduce himself. As Mouse got closer, the fellow became more belligerent in his language, leading Mouse’s blood pressure to jump a few notches with every step and every hateful word spoken by the neighbor. When Mouse got within a few feet of the neighbor, the neighbor said, “You ignorant hick! Didn’t you hear me asking you what you were doing on my property?” “I heard you,” Mouse calmly replied. “Well, what are you doing here?” the neighbor asked. “I’ve been out all morning walking these hills looking for a horse’s behind, and I’ve finally found one,” Mouse answered. You see, Mouse was the type of fellow who appreciated the little things in life, and if the neighbor had just taken a minute to introduce himself, he could have found a new friend and gotten enough mushrooms for a good meal that night. That’s the way we feel about you as our member. You are our friend and our neighbor who we see at the ballpark, the grocery store and at church. While we can’t give you any morel mushrooms for supper, we can offer you discounts on products like home security systems, Ford automobiles, Choice Hotel rooms, Enterprise rental cars, Dollywood tickets, Grand Ole Opry tickets and many more. Go to www.tnfarmbureau.org/ memberbenefits to see all of the benefits associated with membership, or give us a call toll free at (877)363-9100 for more information. We have folks on staff who are as friendly as a good neighbor. As always, we appreciate your membership and your business.
about the author
Bryan Wright is the associate director of organization/member benefits for TFBF. His email is bwright@ tfbf.com. To learn more about member benefits, visit www.tnfarmbureau.org/ memberbenefits or call the member benefits hotline toll free at 1-877-363-9100.
38 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
on 2 WheelS
BiKERS REVEL iN RiDES THROUGHOUT THE VOLUNTEER STATE
STORY BY KiM GREEN PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY S. OTTO
or cyclists and avid motorcycle riders who crave a lonely byway short on traffic but long on natural spectacle, an abundance of rural tennessee roads-less-traveled beckons. “it’s a beautiful place to ride,” says retired construction equipment dealer chuck mason. the johnson city biker has been exploring the remote, snaking back roads of East tennessee for more than four decades from the seat of his harley. “it’s my fishing pole and my golf clubs,” he says of his longtime hobby. But even familiar roads, for him, always hold the promise of discovery. “i’ve never gone on a ride when i didn’t see something new,” he says. it’s that ever-changing, unrivaled scenery that lures Brentwood, tenn., real estate consultant Ken Barnes onto the saddle of a rented harley softail or street glide and out into the open air several times a year. “you feel a part of your surroundings when you’re on a motorcycle,” he says. “the wind and the smells, everything is heightened. you can feel the stress just melt
away into the background. i love it.” mostly, Barnes enjoys leisurely rides through the rolling middle tennessee countryside. “i love to make the run to lynchburg,” he says. “or the natchez trace parkway, down to the alabama line and back, just a comfortable day ride. stop at leiper’s fork, eat at puckett’s, see a few galleries.” But Barnes’ favorite rides of all require a journey east, and up (in elevation, that is). “the dragon’s tail is a fantastic ride,” he says. “it has 318 switchbacks in 11 miles. and then we usually move over to the cherohala … it’s gentle and rolling, and the views are incredible, looking out over the mountains.” those two famous rides – tail of the dragon, which straddles the tennesseenorth carolina state line along the southwestern border of the great smoky mountains national park, and the cherohala skyway, which crosses the cherokee and nantahala national forests in both states – draw thousands of riders every year from all over the world, to test their mettle and take in the spectacular natural beauty.
SEE MORE ONLiNE
visit tnhomeand farm.com/bikes to watch a video of the Tail of the Dragon and enter to win a book about the Natchez Trace.
Favorite fall rides include the Natchez Trace Parkway, bottom right, and the Snake Ride near Johnson City.
A dozen drives originate in Johnson City, allowing bikers to explore East Tennessee’s scenic hills and valleys.
But chuck mason and his tricities harley owners group (h.o.g.) wanted the world to know there was more to mountain riding than “the dragon” and the cherohala. in 2005, the group mapped out 12 of their favorite rides, using johnson city as a launch point, and created a detailed guide for avid bikers visiting the area. that project succeeded in convincing harley davidson to bring the first-ever state h.o.g. rally to East tennessee. “since then, we’ve hosted 11 motorcycle rallies,” says Brenda whitson, executive director of the johnson city convention & visitors
Bureau (cvB), including Bmw and suzuki groups and even auto clubs for miata and corvette owners. the cvB partnered with the tri-cities h.o.g. to rebrand and market the rides, now called the southern dozen and featured on a sleekly designed website, www.southerndozen.com. “the beauty of the 12 rides,” mason says, “is that we have very flowing, easy rides where everybody’s skill level is acceptable. one of my favorites is the long dam ride. it takes in, i believe, nine dams from the tva system. another one, the spelunker tour, takes in some natural caves.”
for veteran bikers like mason, with the skills and moxie to zigzag a wildly twisting course and bank low and hard around tight curves, there’s the famous snake ride, a challenging 138-mile loop leaving from johnson city. “the mantra is ‘three miles, one valley, 489 curves,’ “ he laughs. “so that really intrigues people.” at the far end of the loop, the snake ride weaves into damascus, va., which bills itself as trail town, u.s.a., a mecca of trails for cycling types who prefer a non-motorized power source. glen wanner, a nashville symphony bassist who is a past
40 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
president and current board member of walk/Bike nashville, falls decidedly into that category. “Biking combines fitness and travel,” he says. “going to the gym is just not as exciting as getting outside.” wanner and his wife co-authored biking guides to middle tennessee and the natchez trace and have logged thousands of miles doing bike trips all over the country. he particularly enjoys doing the natchez trace parkway in autumn. “the trace is kind of a mental journey,” he says. “it’s pretty and peaceful, and you really feel like you are in a different world, a different era.” he likes to make lots of stops and check out the natural history exhibits and sights along the way. “the boatmen, the indian cultures – my mind is always wandering, thinking, ‘who built these mounds? what was it like for those traders to walk 400 miles?’ “ wanner also recommends tackling the cherohala skyway, a beautiful but physically demanding ride that climbs above 5,000 feet; exploring the deep gorges and sheer cliffs of Big south fork’s o & w rail trail; and biking the mississippi river trail, a network of routes that follow that great american river from source to delta. urbanites looking for short rides can take advantage of paved greenways throughout tennessee, from the new, still-in-progress greater memphis wolf river greenway to old favorites at percy and Edwin warner parks in middle tennessee. “it was built in the ’30s during the depression,” wanner says of warner parks. “the roads really fit the land. there aren’t too many cities that have a ride to compete with that. “of course,” he smiles, “you have to like hills.”
Events & Festivals
Tennessee Events & Festivals
this listing includes a selection of events of statewide interest scheduled in september, october and november as provided to Tennessee Home & Farm by the tennessee department of tourist development. to include your local events in our listing, please contact them at (615) 741-7994 or email@example.com. due to space constraints, we are unable to include all of the events provided, but additional information and events can be found online through the department’s web site, www.tnvacation.com. Events are subject to date change or cancellation; please call the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend.
tennessee State fair – Sept. 7-16,
this year’s fair, themed “pick tennessee state fair,” will showcase the culture and promise of the entire state. contact: 615852-8997, tennesseestatefair.org
outdoor music festival dedicated to preserving old-time string, bluegrass and gospel music. contact: 800-748-9588, caseyjones.com
casey jones old-time Music festival – Sept. 8, jackson
two days and five stages of the best music, art, crafts, cooks, heritage talkers and storytellers the memphis/mid-south region has to offer. contact: 901-543-5310, southernfolklore.com
Sept. 1-2, Memphis
Memphis Music & heritage festival –
ut agresearch will host a field day and cotton tour beginning at 8 a.m. at the west tennessee research & Education center in jackson. contact: 731-425-4768, westtennessee.tennessee.edu
cotton field day – Sept. 5, jackson
Sept. 14-16, Bristol
Bristol rhythm & roots reunion –
Brings quality national, regional and local music to Bristol, the “Birthplace of country music,” in honor of its musical heritage and culture. contact: 423-573-4898, bristolrhythm.com
Southern heritage classic –
a football match-up between tennessee state university and jackson state university preceded by fun events. contact: 901-3986655, southernheritageclassic.com
Sept. 6-9, Memphis
national folk festival – Sept. 1-3,
one of the most prestigious and longestrunning celebrations of the arts featuring various music artists and performers from across the nation. contact: 615-891-4944, nationalfolkfestival.com
a two-day festival celebrating tennessee’s history that features arts and crafts, expert demonstrators, food, and more. contact: 931-364-2222
Sept. 14-15, chapel hill
Step Back in time festival –
Boomsday festival – Sept. 2,
largest labor day weekend fireworks display in the nation includes games, children’s activities, food, beverages and live entertainment. contact: 800-727-8045, boomsday.org
festival will be held rain or shine in historic downtown loudon at legion field. over $5,000 in prize money. contact: 865-986-6822, smokymtnfiddlers.com
30th annual Smoky Mountain fiddlers convention –
armstrong pie festival & great Bed race – Sept. 15-16, linden
a two-day festival in perry county featuring a pie-eating contest, pie cook-off, and a bed race to celebrate the armstrong pie. contact: 931-589-2453, chamber. perrycountytennessee.com
Sept. 7-9, eagleville
25th annual pioneer power days –
an antique tractor pull and gas engine show featuring a skillet throw, live music, and more. contact: 615-542-5656, eaglevilletvppa.com
african Street festival – Sept. 16-18,
this event promotes african culture awareness with entertainment, workshops, educational seminars and more. contact: 731-267-3212, saaca.com
42 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
eye full of paris Weekend –
this celebration of the arts includes three full days of visual and performing arts in a variety of venues. contact: 731-642-9271, visitdowntownparis.com
Sept. 21-23, paris
vendors, crafts, a children’s area and entertainment. contact: 423-743-3000, unicoicounty.org
oct. 5-6, erwin
unicoi county apple festival –
entertainment. contact: 731-885-7295, reelfootartsandcrafts.com
Sept. 22, covington
heritage day with arts & crafts –
a time-honored tradition with live music, good food, an abundance of arts and crafts, and more. contact: 901-476-9727, covington-tiptoncochamber.com
this three-day event features compelling performances by internationally-known professional tellers. contact: 800-952-8392, storytellingcenter.net
40th annual national Storytelling festival – oct. 5-7, jonesborough
15th annual liberty Square celebration & lester flatt Memorial Bluegrass day – oct. 6, Sparta
features a full day of music, crafts, food, games, truck and car show and much more. visitors from across the country come to pay tribute to bluegrass legend lester. contact: 931-836-3248, sparta-chamber.net
Buggin’ for a cure VW car Show –
an annual event benefitting the acs relay for life that features all vw cars with local vendors, food, and entertainment. contact: 423-638-4111
reelfoot arts & crafts festival –
allardt great pumpkin festival & Weigh off – oct. 6, allardt
Sept. 22-23, greeneville
voted the no. 1 craft show in tennessee with 300 plus exhibitors. free admission and toe tapping old time style musical
oct. 5-7 reelfoot lake, tiptonville
crafts festival, entertainment, parade, car and motorcycle show and the weigh-off of giant pumpkins for world record consideration. contact: 800-327-3945, allardtpumpkinfestival.com
pumpkin field day –
ut agresearch will host a field day at the west tennessee research & Education center featuring workshops for pumpkin growers and the impressive harvest display of 80 to 90 varieties of pumpkins and gourds. the field day begins at 1 p.m., but the pumpkins will be on display through nov. 27. contact: 731-425-4768, westtennessee.tennessee.edu
Sept. 27, jackson
Sept. 28-29, columbia
Southern fried festival –
watch a cooking challenge and scarecrow contest, run or walk a 5K, enjoy live music and much more at the annual festival in downtown columbia. designated a southeastern tourism society top 20 Event for september 2012. contact: southernfriedfest.com
louie Bluie festival – Sept. 29,
this all-day, family-fun festival is named in honor of howard “louie Bluie” armstrong (1909-2003), who grew up in lafollette in the 1920s and became one of the nation’s finest string-band musicians. features three stages of music including traditional oldtime, blues, gospel and more. contact: 423-566-0329, louiebluie.org
Sardis antique farm & home Show – Sept. 29, Sardis
this annual free event is held at the sardis city park and features antique tractors, engines, cars and trucks, along with anything from farming’s past. contact: 731-858-2159
oct. 4-6, covington
40th annual World’s oldest Barbeque cooking contest –
Bring the whole family to this annual festival where you’ll enjoy live music, tractor pulls, mechanical bull riding, and of course, barbeque! contact: 901-476-9727
Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call ahead.
44 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
stroll along the harpeth river to see an impressive showcase of artists, artisans, and musicians. you can even vote for your favorite in the “people’s choice” award. contact: 615-952-5295
art in the park – oct. 6,
granville fall celebration –
oct. 6, granville
this festival features quilting, storytelling, arts and crafts, blacksmithing and jazz on the cumberland, as well as civil war and world war ii maneuvers re-enactments, children’s rides and great food. visitors can also explore museums, sutton homestead and much more. contact: 931-653-4511, www.granvillemuseum.com
national Banana pudding festival –
come celebrate the ultimate southern treat – Banana pudding. Enjoy a fun-filled day of entertainment where the nation’s banana pudding champion will be crowned. this festival has been named a southeast tourism society top 20 Event. contact: 931-994-6273, www.bananapuddingfest.org
oct. 6, centerville
located at wilson park and the roy acuff museum. live country, bluegrass, and gospel music. art, crafts, and quilt show. free admission. contact: 865-679-7071, unioncountyheritagefestival.org
annual union county heritage festival – oct. 6-8, Maynardville
culture fest – oct. 7, chattanooga
celebrate diversity through performances, children’s events food and art. contact: 800-267-4232, artsedcouncil.org
Buy from a local farmer and
oct. 11, greeneville
northeast tennessee Beef expo –
registration begins at 7 a.m. at the ut research and Education center in greeneville for this opportunity to learn from Extension specialists, industry leaders and researchers about new methods and techniques that can help beef farmers achieve a more efficient and profitable operation. contact: 423-638-6532, agriculture.utk.edu
Enjoy the Best
goats, Music & More festival – oct. 12-13, rock creek park, lewisburg
features concerts, fainting goat shows, barbecue cook-off, games, food, entertainment and more. contact: 931-359-1544, goatsmusicandmore.com
that Tennessee has to offer!
ames heritage festival – oct. 13,
visit ames plantation for a fun-filled and educational day for the entire family celebrating the exciting cultural heritage of tennessee. contact: 901-878-1067, amesplantation.org
Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call ahead.
(931) 388-7872 ext. 2763
Visit www.tnfarmfresh.com for a listing of local farmers.
Favorite fall recipes
From dinner plate to tailgate
46 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
7th annual history hayride –
sponsored by friends of Edgar Evins state park and park employees, silver point is located between cookeville and smithville. ride on hay wagons back to the olden days with several stops along the way where costumed re-enactors will tell about past events and people of the area. contact: 800-250-8619, foeesp.ne1.net
oct. 13, Silver point
annual pontoon Boat color cruise on center hill lake – nov. 3-8,
sponsored by friends of Edgar Evins state park and park employees, ride pontoon boats from marinas at Edgar Evins state park on an approximately 1 to 2 hour color cruise on beautiful center hill lake. see homes of the rich and famous, maybe spot local landmarks like the old potato cave. contact: 800-250-8619, foeesp.ne1.net
gaylord opryland’s “a country christmas” – nov. 16-dec. 25,
sensational decorations, entertainment and some of the most delectable food anywhere. features the radio city christmas spectacular, icE!, and more. contact: 888opry-872, gaylordopryland.com
deck the falls – nov. 22-jan. 1,
celebrate the holidays 1,120 feet underground at ruby falls with holiday music, a light show and more festivities. contact: 423-821-2544, rubyfalls.com
the Zoo’s most spooktacular event returns with more activities than ever! Enjoy old favorites like the costume contest and dracula’s disco, and take on the rock wall, one of our new activities. get your costume and get ready for the best halloween event of the year. contact: 901-543-5310, memphiszoo.org
and 28, Memphis
zoo Boo – oct. 19, 20, 26, 27
nov. 6-feb. 28, gatlinburg, pigeon forge & Sevierville
Smoky Mountain Winterfest –
christmas at graceland –
14th annual fall folklore jamboree – oct. 20, Milan
the gateway towns to the smokies turn into a winter wonderland with more than 5 million light displays and special events. contact: 800-568-4748, gatlinburg.com; 800-251-9100, mypigeonforge.com; 888-7665948, visitsevierville.com
see traditional lights and decorations, a lifesize nativity scene, santa and much more originally displayed by Elvis. contact: 800-238-2000, elvis.com
november through january, Memphis
over 100 traditional folk artists, local bluegrass and gospel groups. demonstration traditional skills such as soap making, black smithing, weaving, quilting and more. contact: 731-686-8067, milan.tennessee.edu
Biomass: from grow to go –
last year’s biomass field day hosted more than 1,000 interested farmers, business representatives and students over the course of two days to learn from experts that cover the entire scope of biomass to energy. contact: 615-835-4570, agriculture.utk.edu
the smoky mountains’ family christmas destination features more than four million lights, fun rides and tractions, plus awardwinning holiday shows. contact: 800-dollywood, dollywood.com
annual dollywood’s Smoky Mountain christmas – nov. 10-dec. 30,
tour this stunning display of more than 1 million lights and hundreds of displays by car. or make a reservation to bring your group through by bus. contact: 423-9896933, bristolmotorspeedway.com
Speedway in lights – november through january, Bristol
oct. 24-25, Vonore
36th annual Mountain Makins festival – oct. 26-28, Morristown
the historic 1892 rose center is filled with juried fine arts and crafts, plus enjoy live music, dancing, storytelling, children’s activities, food and expert demonstrations of time-honored traditions. named a top 20 event by the southeast tourism society. contact: 423-581-4330, rosecenter.org
del rio days fall color festival –
the two-day festival features helicopter rides over the peak fall foliage in the mountains, bluegrass music, an auction on saturday, crafts, local foods and a car show, as well as the del rio song contest on sunday at 2 p.m. contact: 423-487-3161, delriosongcontest.com
oct. 27-28, del rio
OFFiCiAL NOTiCE OF TRH ANNUAL MEETiNG
Notice is hereby given to members of the Tennessee Rural Health Improvement Association (TRH Health Plans) that the annual meeting will be held at the Cool Springs Embassy Suites in Franklin, Tenn., beginning Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, at 9 a.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. Business at the meeting will include: the annual membership report, election of the Board of Directors for the coming year, discussion of activities and service, and other necessary business that may come before the membership. Each member in attendance is entitled to vote on any issues discussed during the meeting and the election of the Board of Directors, which will occur on Dec. 4, 2012.
jack daniel’s World championship invitational Barbecue – oct. 27,
this event has been called the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world. a unique event not to be missed! contact: 931-759-6332, jackdaniels.com
Lacy Upchurch, President Tennessee Rural Health Improvement Association Lonnie Roberts, Chief Executive Officer
Events are subject to date change or cancellation. Please call ahead.
View From the Back Porch
WitneSSing a daily ritual taught truSt in faith, faMily and the future
about the author
Nancy DormanHickson, a Southern author, writer/editor and speaker, co-wrote Diplomacy and Diamonds, the memoir of Joanne King Herring, who was portrayed by Julia Roberts in the movie Charlie Wilson’s War. She has also edited the “Tennessee Living” section of Southern Living and served on the staff of Progressive Farmer. Read more about her online at www. nancydorman hickson.com.
hhhh…if we’re quiet the grownups might forget we’re here. I don’t know if my friend Marilyn and I ever actually said those words aloud, but we certainly acted on them. Sometimes we’d sit cross-legged on the concrete of her family’s wraparound porch, in clear view of her parents but silent as church mice. Other times, we’d sprawl, semi-hidden, in the bushes surrounding the house, listening to the “music” playing above us. Swoosh, tap, swoosh, tap, swoosh, tap – the rhythm of the pale green wooden swing rocking to and fro followed by the patter of feet lightly landing before lifting again was hypnotic and soothing. Year-round, Marilyn’s parents remained faithful to their end-of-the-day porch ritual. On brisk days of fall and early winter a cozy fleece blanket and hot cocoa replaced the hand-held fan and lemonade of spring and summer. Only the most biting of winter days kept them inside after their daily work was done. Marilyn’s family farmed. Her father labored in fields just across the road. During some harvest seasons, the crops burst with bountiful abundance. Other times, the fields lay decimated, beaten by drought or driving rain. If you knew the language, the land across from Marilyn’s house foretold her family’s upcoming days and whether they’d celebrate a time of plenty or endure a time of want. Yet, in all our eavesdropping, I never once heard anything that indicated how close to the bone the family lived. From their rock-steady porch talk, it
was obvious even to a child that they considered themselves rich in what mattered. And why not? Each day, they experienced wonder and joy. I remember once when Marilyn and I perched on the coveted porch swing while her parents worked. From a distance, we spied her father, tall and thin, approaching. As he came closer, we saw that his calloused hands cradled a ball cap. “Look,” he said with a wide smile. We gasped when we saw three tiny bunnies, bunched in a cuddly mass of brown and white fur, all quivering ears and twitching noses. From the field where he worked, he’d rescued the abandoned babies near the spot where their mother’s still body lay. For the rest of the day, the swing became a makeshift cradle as we cuddled and fed Marilyn’s new pets. To and fro, up and down, swoosh, tap, swoosh, tap, Marilyn’s family rocked together day after day, joking, laughing, teasing and comforting each other through thick and thin. Just as the rhythm of the swing never faltered, neither did their contentment with their lives. They drew strength daily from their closeness to nature, to family and to the Almighty. We were young. We couldn’t have articulated why we wanted to immerse ourselves in those purloined porch moments. Yet somehow we knew that what we were witnessing went far beyond casual conversation. Wrapped up in those words, woven tightly in and out like the threads of a warm, thick blanket, was abiding love, pure and simple.
48 Home&Farm |Fall 2012
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