Home & Farm

Tenne sse e
tnhomeandfarm.com Spring 2012

awesome blossoms
Greenhouses galore sustain McMinnville’s title as Nursery Capital of the World

blazing a Happy Trail
Daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans shares her story

a grand ole Time
Community of Granville finds hope in history, music

Published for the family members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau

Home & Farm
Ten n e ssee

An official publication of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation © 2012 TFBF
Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation

Editor’s note

Rural Roots
in this issue, we’ve returned to our rural roots. Even if we live in larger cities now, many of us hail from the backroads of tennessee. tiny towns such as granville, where a businessman returned to save an old general store that now draws visitors each weekend to experience an old-fashioned radio show and music hour. a small county seat like linden, where in the face of rising unemployment, the community gathered together to literally paint the town as part of a renovation arts project. or any of the off-the-beaten-path spots featured along tennessee’s trails & Byways, on which we’ve found dozens of outdoor attractions to discover this spring (page 36). while you’re out exploring these bucolic settings, be sure to grab your camera. our annual photo contest kicks off with this issue, and this year are categories are (1) tennessee, (2) home and (3) farm. any photos that represent these themes will be accepted (but only one entry per category, please). find details on page 47 or online at tnhomeandfarm.com/photocontest. Jessy Yancey, managing editor thaf@jnlcom.com

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 copy Editor Jill Wyatt contEnt coordinator Blair Thomas contriButing writErs Barbara Beihler, Lori Boyd, Melissa Burniston, Kim Green, Dr. Sue Hamilton, Nancy Henderson, Anthony Kimbrough, Jessica Mozo, Karen Schwartzman, Julie Vaughn, Bryan Wright crEativE sErvicEs dirEctor Christina Carden puBlication dEsign dirEctor Murry Keith sEnior graphic dEsignErs Laura Gallagher, Vikki Williams graphic dEsignErs Taylor Nunley crEativE tEchnology analyst Becca Ary photography dirEctor Jeffrey S. Otto sEnior photographErs Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord staff photographErs Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier wEB crEativE dirEctor Allison Davis wEB contEnt managEr John Hood wEB projEct managEr Noy Fongnaly wEB dEsignEr ii Richard Stevens wEB dEvElopmEnt lEad Yamel Hall wEB dEvElopEr i Nels Noseworthy wEB account managEr Lauren Eubank proofrEading managEr Raven Petty ad production managEr Katie Middendorf ad traffic assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan i.t. sErvicE tEchnician Daniel Cantrell dataBasE managEr/it support Chandra Bradshaw 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./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
3/Granville 2/Linden 1/Shiloh 5/McMinnville 4/Oak Ridge

1/ honor the sesquicentennial of the civil war’s Battle of shiloh this april page 44 2/ stop into linden’s historic commodore hotel for small-town hospitality page 20 3 / savor the sounds of sutton ole time music hour on saturday nights in granville page 12 4 / celebrate 100 years of girl scouts at the children’s museum in oak ridge page 6 5 / learn how mcminnville became the nursery capital of the world page 8

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.

ADVERTiSiNG POLiCY For advertising information, contact Robin Robertson, (800) 333-8842, ext. 227, or by e-mail at rrobertson@jnlcom.com. All advertising accepted is subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume all liability for their advertising content. Publisher and sponsor maintain the right to cancel advertising for nonpayment or reader complaint about service or product. Publisher does not accept political or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher prescreen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in Tennessee Home & Farm.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Table of Contents Features
8 / awesome Blossoms 12 / a grand ole time
McMinnville claims title as Nursery Capital of the World

Community of Granville finds hope in history, music

16 / Blazing a happy trail

Daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans shares a glimpse into her unique childhood

20 /painting the town 22 /herbal Essence

Linden creates colorful art, restores historic hotel to draw new visitors

Gather goodies from your herb garden for fresh, fragrant flavor

5 / read all about it
Uncle Sid spins a yarn

6 / short rows

4-H helps flooded families

27/ country classics 30 /gardening

Sweet Potato Casserole Biscuits

Mulch guide from our master gardener

32 /farmside chat

22 12


West Tennessee farmer Ben Moore discusses the challenges of his career

33 /to good health

The importance of keeping it simple

35 /member Benefits 36 /travel

A good prank can be a bad idea

Enjoy outdoor attractions along Tennessee’s Trails & Byways

43 /Events & festivals

Things to do, places to see

48 /view from the Back porch
The buildup for spring lasts longer than the season itself

On the COver Photo by Jeff Adkins Mary’s Greenhouse in McMinnville tnhomeandfarm.com



FOOD Tr avel HOme & GarDen aGriculTure Tn livinG

From Our Readers
trail talk
I’m a little biased, but southeast Tennessee has some really great places to eat. The Pie in the Sky Trail offers up High Point Restaurant, Cookie Jar Cafe and Blue Orchid Bistro, not to mention a plethora of greats in downtown Chattanooga – Champy’s is my fave. And on the Tanasi Trail, you’ve got places like the Dam Deli, Bald Headed Bistro and Cafe Roma, plus the Tellico Bakery. It just doesn’t get much better. Cindy milligan, via tnhomeandfarm.com Editor’s note: Thanks for all the suggestions for our “Taste the Trails” story [Winter 2011-12]! Learn more about the Tanasi Trail and other area attractions on page 38 of this issue in our travel story about outdoor attractions on Tennessee’s Trails & Byways. Love the magazine, love Tennessee, love the awesome food offerings... regardless what part of Tennessee one happens to find themselves. sage Hill Farms family, via Facebook When I lived in New Jersey, I would beg my mother to bring barbecue with her when she came to visit. She would get off the plane with a big pan of meat, like a pied piper, with people following her in the airport… okay, maybe they were just going to baggage claim, but I’d like to think they were hungry for some REALLY good cookin’! Pat Vanden Bosche, via tnhomeandfarm.com Correction: The correct address for Jack’s Creek BBQ on the Walking Tall Trail (Winter 2011-12, page 41) is 10 State Route 22A N., Jack’s Creek, Tenn. You can also reach them at (731) 989-4140.

Remembering Roy
In honor of the 100th birthdays of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (in 2011 and 2012, respectively), read even more of the story of Cheryl Rogers-Barnett and her famous parents at tnhomeandfarm.com/royrogers.

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Questions, comments and story ideas can be sent to: Jessy Yancey, 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, or email us at thaf@jnlcom.com.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012

Read All About It

uncle sid spins a yarn
the story of a kitten, a preacher and mysterious ways


t was a bright spring morning when I pulled in the long gravel driveway of Uncle Sid and Aunt Sadie’s farm. In the brightest of sunshine, I could see Uncle Sid sitting in the swing on their front porch. As I parked my car beneath one of the huge maple trees near the house, I could see him waving me in and Aunt Sadie coming out the gingerbread trimmed screen door, wiping her hands on her apron. However, this day I noticed something very different I had never seen on their porch. Laying all curled up in a ball in one of the rocking chairs was a half-grown yellow kitten. Uncle Sid has not been one to appreciate a cat around the place. A good shepherd dog or bird dog he feels is a necessity for having the most perfect place in the country, but a cat has not been an animal you would see anywhere near Uncle Sid. Looking over at the cat and trying my best to control my curiosity, I said to Uncle Sid, “See you have a cat these days.” Uncle Sid just puffed on his pipe and replied, “That’s Sadie’s cat.” Seeing my confusion he went on to explain his cat ownership: “Your Aunt Sadie’s been wanting a cat, and after I heard a story the other day about a preacher and a cat, I finally broke down and got her one.” Of course, I had to hear the cat story, which Uncle Sid was also dying to tell. “Now,” he began, “I heard this from a preacher, who heard it from a preacher in East Tennessee, and it is suppose to be true, but you know how these preachers can spin a yarn at times.” With a willing audience, Uncle Sid continued. “This preacher had a kitten that

had climbed up a sapling poplar tree in his yard and was afraid to come down. The preacher tried everything, but the cat just wouldn’t budge. The tree was not strong enough for the preacher to climb, so he decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the silly cat.” “So, that’s what he did. But, the rope was sort of rotten and it broke. That tree shot straight up and that cat went clean out of sight. Of course, the preacher felt terrible. He looked everywhere for it, but couldn’t find it,” Uncle Sid said with somewhat of a pout on his face. “A few days later he saw one of the good sisters from his church in the grocery store with a cart load of cat food. He knew she didn’t really like cats, somewhat like me, and asked her what gave with all the cat food she had,” Uncle Sid continued, now having me completely listening to every word. “She told him that the strangest thing had happened. She said her daughter had always wanted a cat and to get her to stop asking for one, she told her to go outside and pray for one. Sure enough the child did just that, and as the lady stood in her kitchen watching the little girl down on her knees praying for a cat, a kitten fell right out of the sky right in front of her. “That lady told the preacher there was no way that cat would ever be given away and had a home with them forever,” he said with a laugh. “And, you know? That story made me sort of soften up and get Sadie a cat too. You do know He works in mysterious ways.” Yes, I do, Uncle Sid. He sure does.

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.




Short Rows



Meredith Bustillo

3/ Set up a Base Camp
Planning to hunt wild turkey this spring? An online resource offers a simple way to connect hunters with landowners across Tennessee. Base Camp Leasing provides an online central location for landowners to contract the leasing for hunting rights. The website allows hunters to view land descriptions, annual leasing prices, topographical maps and photos of the land available to them. Base Camp serves as the broker, handling the marketing and contractual details for the landowner and retaining a percentage of of the lease amount. Find a link to Base Camp’s website, along with information about hunting events, such as the Governor’s OneShot Turkey Hunt on April 7, at tnhomeandfarm.com/hunting.

1/ A Big Bang
These aren’t your average marshmallows. The Bang Candy Co. specializes in artisan marshmallows and candy for the discerning palate. With flavors such as Chocolate Chile, Orange Ginger Cinnamon and Rose Cardamom, these are big, puffy and uniquely delicious. The candy company got its start in May 2010 when owner Sarah Souther had her first taste of a handmade marshmallow. Blown away by the delicious treat, she began experimenting with recipes until she created the Rose Cardamom flavor. The confections, crafted in small batches, are sold at the Nashville Farmers Market and online at www.bangcandycompany.com. Plans are in the works to open a store in Nashville.

2/ Picture Perfect
Get your cameras out! In this issue, we kick off the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s annual contest in this issue. More than 1,700 photos were entered in last year’s contest, and this year we have three brand new categories to inspire our readers to get behind the lens. For the 17th annual contest, the categories are (1) Tennessee, (2) Home and (3) Farm. Category winners each receive $100, and the grand-prize winner receives $200. Farm Bureau members can enter one photo in each of the three categories online at tnhomeandfarm.com or through our mail-in entry form on page 47, which also includes the contest’s official rules. Entries will be accepted through Aug. 1.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012

4/ 4-H Helps Flooded Families
When the Mississippi River spilled over its banks this time last year, many farms and homes were under 7 feet of water. Residents in Dyer County saw their community flooded, and the damage wasn’t fixed overnight. When students returned to school last August, they needed supplies many families couldn’t afford. Across the state, 4-H members stepped in to help, amassing more than 850 items to be placed in backpacks for students. Members from West Tennessee gathered glue and hand sanitizer, Middle Tennessee 4-H’ers collected crayons and markers, and East Tennessee members brought in packets of notebook paper and pencils. Together, the 4-H program helped its fellow youth and their families recover. To learn more about getting involved in Tennessee’s 4-H programs, visit http://4h.tennessee.edu.



Buying local made Easy
Growing fresh fruits and vegetables comes as second nature to the family members of Delvin Farms in College Grove, just outside of Franklin. After all, Hank and Cindy Delvin celebrate 40 years of farming in 2012. In the late 1990s, the Delvins began the process of turning their 140 acres on the Harpeth River into a certified organic farm. Around that time, their son Hank Jr. and his family returned to the farm, and shortly after, their daughter Amy rejoined the farm crew. These days, the Delvins sell both heirloom and traditional produce at many local farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores and through their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Members of the Delvins’ CSA sign up in the springtime to pick up their shares – boxes packed with fresh, seasonal produce – weekly or biweekly throughout the regular growing season (though they do offer off-season options as well). Up front, members can learn which crops will be planted for that year. With more than 80 varieties of certified organic produce – from kale, broccoli and cabbage to strawberries, peaches and watermelons to squash, potatoes and garlic – they are sure to find many items to tempt their taste buds. CSA members can conveniently stop by the farm to pick up their share, or visit one of the 14 drop-off sites in the greater Nashville and surrounding areas. Not ready to make the CSA commitment? The Delvins also sell additional produce at a number of farmers markets throughout the Nashville area. “Our family strives to provide a fresh and safe product to your family,” says Cindy Delvin. “When you purchase produce from us, you know where your food came from, and you can be assured in the quality and care that was used in producing our products.” Visit www.delvinfarms.com for more information on how to sign up for the CSA program or where to find more of Delvin Farms produce in your area. Buy locally and enjoy products you love, fresh from the farm. – Tiffany Howard

5/ On Their Honor, Honored
Celebrate a century of scouting with a new permanent exhibit honoring Girl Scouts at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. This collection of awards, memorabilia, documents, photos and vintage uniforms opens March 24, in time to honor the 100th birthday of the Girl Scout organization, founded in 1912. The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians will co-sponsor a special day of presentations and guests for the exhibit’s opening. Longtime Girl Scout leader, historian and author Joyce Maienschein donated the items in the exhibit, which illustrates the club’s century-long history with a focus on the troops from the area. For information on ticket prices and hours, visit the museum’s website, www.childrensmuseumofoak ridge.org, or call (865) 482-1074.



Awesome Blossoms
Home&Farm |Spring 2012

Home & Garden


t doesn’t take long for visitors to warren county to realize the region is a natural wonderland. with more than 300 nurseries operating in mcminnville and the surrounding vicinity, the city is known as the nursery capital of the world. local growers ship their trees, plants and flowers to customers all over the united states. it’s a trade that has thrived here for more than a century thanks to the region’s fertile soil, mild climate and geographic location.


nursery numbers
Tennessee ranks eighth in the nation in total gross sales of nursery producing states. Read on for more interesting nursery stats: • In 2009, Tennessee had 327 nursery operations. The United States had 8,441. • In 2006, 135 of Tennessee’s nurseries had sales greater than $100,000. • In 2006, 43 Tennessee nurseries had sales of more than $1 million. • Tennessee ranks third in the nation for production of deciduous flowering trees, fourth for deciduous shade trees, and fifth for fruit and nut plants. • Tennessee nurseries cover more than 1.5 billion square feet, or 34,000 acres, of land. Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2007 Census of Agriculture

cumberland Valley nursery
warren county nurseries range in size from one-man operations to long-standing family businesses such as cumberland valley nursery, which dates back to 1902. “i started as a partner at cumberland valley nursery in 1988, and my wife, pat, and i bought it in 1992,” says phillip pelham, nursery president. “my wife and i had both been growing trees all our lives, even before we met. today we’re one of only two warren county nurseries that specialize in fruit trees and sell them to commercial orchards.” cumberland valley nursery grows 1.5 million fruit trees annually in more than 150 different varieties of peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, pears, cherries, apricots and almonds. phillip’s son nick is vice president of the nursery and started helping his father with the business at age 19. “i love farming and being outside – it’s all i’ve ever done,” nick says. while cumberland valley primarily sells trees wholesale to commercial orchards, they also sell to the public. “we’ve seen a lot of homeowner demand from people who want

Mary’s Greenhouse, like other McMinnville area nurseries, often sells to wholesale customers such as Debbie Vaughn of the Old Feed Store & Antique Mall in Woodbury.



Clockwise from left: Boyd & Boyd Nursery, Four M Greenhouses and Mary’s Greenhouse are among the more than 300 nurseries located in and around McMinnville. Trees and plants grow well in the area’s climate, making it a hotbed for nursery operations.

a few fruit trees in their backyards,” nick says. “we can ship anywhere from one tree to a whole semi-truck load.” phillip credits mcminnville’s geographic location as the reason for the area’s high concentration of nurseries. “if you go any further south, the climate is too hot, and if you go north, the growing season is too short,” he says. “mcminnville is an ideal location.”

mary’s Greenhouse
at mary’s greenhouse, the focus is not on trees, but on annuals and perennials. the business is named after founder mary hamby, who started the nursery with her husband, joe, as a hobby around 1976. mary passed away in 2009, but her husband and adult children continue to work at the greenhouse, which now has about 20 employees. “my mom loved plants, and that’s how we came to be,” says mike hamby, president of mary’s greenhouse. “she liked trying new things, and people showed up to buy

them. she loved to dig and weed, which sounds like work to most people, but it wasn’t work to her.” mike runs the business with help from his dad, brother gary, wife Beth hamby, sister Beth jacobs and sisterin-law charlotte. his nephew scott works at the greenhouse part-time. “we grow a huge variety of annuals and perennials, from impatiens to hostas, and sell them both wholesale and retail to the public,” mike says. mary’s greenhouse also offers ornamental grasses, vines, hardy ferns, roses, ground covers, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetables. there are too many varieties to choose a favorite, mike says, but he is somewhat partial to daylilies. “we grow a lot of daylilies. they’re a good, low-maintenance plant,” he says. “if i want to get away from everything, i’ll go divide up daylilies. i like to watch things grow.”

boyd & boyd nursery
three miles away on smithville highway, Boyd & Boyd nursery is run

by fifth-generation nurseryman tommy Boyd. he took over the business in 1988, and it offers a large selection of shade trees, ornamentals, evergreens, and deciduous and ornamental shrubs. about 90 percent of the nursery’s products are sold wholesale to landscapers and garden centers, but they welcome the public too. “we keep a well-stocked sales yard, so it’s easy for people to drive in and visit us,” says tyra green, office manager at Boyd & Boyd nursery. “i love seeing all the people who come through. we get a lot of customers from nashville, chattanooga and Kentucky.” if the dedication of current nurserymen and women in mcminnville is any indication, the region’s abundance of greenthumbed citizens is sure to carry on into the future. “i’ve got a 3-year-old grandson who already wants to be a farmer,” says phillip back at cumberland valley nursery. “he lives and breathes john deere tractors.”


Tennessee Living


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Tennessee Living

A Grand Ole Time


n 1967, the waters took randall clemons’ home. But first, the waters gave birth to his hometown – tiny granville, a riverboat town first settled in 1799 on the cumberland river in jackson county. then, in the 1960s, when the army corps of Engineers created cordell hull lake in this pastoral river bend, the clemons family home ended up under water. “the lake took my parents’ home and my grandparents’ home,” he says. “granville became somewhat of a ghost town.” clemons never forgot granville. he bought a weekend retreat there in the 1990s, just as an influx of retirees had begun to resettle the area. and then in 1999, the tide turned for the town: an old local church closed down, and the community rallied to save it. in saving the church, the citizens of granville realized that they could breathe new life into their town, one building at a time, by telling the story of what granville once was. that same year, the small community of preservationists founded the granville museum and the town’s annual heritage day celebration in may. now the museum’s president, clemons says that over the past

decade-plus, heritage day has grown into a major event, drawing thousands of visitors to the uncle jimmy thompson Bluegrass festival, square dancing, storytelling, antique car show and other activities. a mt. juliet man named harold sutton found himself at one of the early heritage day celebrations and discovered his namesake – the t.B. sutton general store – neglected and decaying. he made it his mission to restore the place and, in 2007, gifted the store to the granville museum to operate as a general store. now the town had a central meeting place again, a front porch on which to sit and gossip, a beating heart for the community. the two-story store evokes a bygone age of ice-cream counters and soda jerks. and on saturday nights, the old walls ring with the sounds of a hundred years ago: the sutton ole time music hour is a live bluegrass radio show engineered to sound like the early days of the grand ole opry. “the acoustics are wonderful in there,” says sam stout, who manages the weekly show. “oldtime bluegrass music and the old store really go hand in hand.”


see Video

Watch an acoustic bluegrass performance by Ken Scoggins & Miller’s Creek online at tnhomeandfarm.com.

Visitors watch Ken Scoggins & Miller’s Creek during the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour in Granville.



The T.B. Sutton General Store presents live music and down-home cooking every Saturday night. In 2011, the Granville community opened the Sutton Homestead, which houses an agriculture museum and other buildings to tell the story of farm life in the 19th century.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


grammy-winning mandolin player mike compton agrees. “it’s just more down-home, a simpler place to play, and it’s real cozy,” he says. the intimate setting, the rich sound and the southern-style dinner makes the ole time music hour feel like “a throwback from days gone by.” the bucolic, small-town atmosphere puts him into the mindset of a less harried era. “it makes me take a deep breath and slow down,” he adds. with the general store’s resurgence and the growing popularity of the radio show (broadcast on several stations and to u.s. armed forces worldwide), the preservationists seemed to reach a tipping point and gather speed. two bed-and-breakfasts have since opened, and clemons converted an old bank building into a gift shop. and then last spring, clemons says, the town raised more than $175,000 in 30 days to buy the old sutton estate, refurbish it and begin operating it as a homestead museum with guides in period dress and an evergrowing array of exhibits, such as blacksmith and weaving shops, a smokehouse and corn crib, and a car and transportation museum. the homestead site also features a log house with adjoining orchard, tobbaco crop and garden to tell the story of 1820s farm life. clemons says the momentum behind these restoration projects has invigorated his hometown and cemented a sense of community. the museum and homestead are largely run by volunteers, he explains – longtime locals, retirees who moved to granville and enjoy offering their time and talents, and folks who drive in from nashville and other areas just to help out. “it just kind of caught on,” he says, “and everybody wanted to be a part of it.” compton says that granville’s renewal is evidence that the traditions of small-town life in the south, though harder to find these days, have not disappeared. “it may be just beneath the surface,” he says, “but it’s still alive. it’s a refreshing thing to see.” for clemons, granville’s rebirth means he can go home again, to a place where commerce, community and church are all a stone’s throw from the front porch. “it’s meant so much to me to have a place to come back to,” he says. “not many places in america can you do that anymore.”

if you Go ...
The Sutton Ole Time Music Hour takes place Saturday nights at 6 p.m. at the T.B. Sutton General Store. Granville’s annual Heritage Day occurs in May, the Saturday before Memorial Day. For more information on which radio stations air the music hour or to make a reservation – recommended for the good old-time Southern dinners on Saturday nights – visit www. granvillemuseum.org or call (931) 653-4151.



Tennessee Living

Blazing a Happy Trail

see more online
Read more about Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger’s Tennessee connection online at tnhomeandfarm.com/ royrogers.

he spent a day at the zoo with “rocky” lane, played gin rummy between film sets with “dobe” carey, sat in on rehearsals with the sons of the pioneers, and shared mayonnaise sandwiches with trigger, “the smartest horse in the movies.” the famous couple known around the world as “the Queen of the west” and “the King of the cowboys,” were, to her, simply mom and dad. cheryl rogers-Barnett, daughter of cowboy legend roy rogers and western star dale Evans, has childhood memories that could themselves be scenes from a movie. from spending time in the company of celebrities such as “gabby” hayes and jane russell to watching Keith larson play the role of Brave Eagle in her own front yard, rogers-Barnett grew up under the lights of the golden age of hollywood. as a small child, she would often go with her father to the studio, at times filming commercials while roy filmed segments for his


television shows. “that was my playground, and the people who worked there were my baby-sitters,” rogers-Barnett says. her life had forever changed during one moment in 1940 when, as an infant, she reached up and grabbed ahold of roy rogers’ finger during his visit to the hope cottage orphanage in dallas, texas. rogersBarnett became roy’s first adopted daughter and, as the oldest of his children, had a part in many of the activities and events that took place throughout his career. “i don’t remember not being aware that dad was roy rogers,” she says. however, she has a unique and personal insight into the man he was. the public saw a side of roy rogers that reflected greatness: a gifted musician, a handsome actor, a talented horseman, a skilled hunter and a true humanitarian. as his daughter, rogers-Barnett saw those traits and much more. he was someone who loved


Home&Farm |Spring 2012

Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, grew up during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

ourt Photo C

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heryl Rog

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to sing in the car as he drove and eat mayo on his pancakes; a man who enjoyed surprises, flea markets and milkshakes from dairy Queen; a “country boy in the big city” with a mischievous sense of humor, a deep concern for people and a genuine appreciation for his fans. on the big screen, roy rogers and dale Evans became role models for children and adults worldwide. they portrayed characters of integrity, those with compassion along with the courage to stand up for what was right. rogers came to represent the true american cowboy: the hero who always chose good over bad. “when you watched his movies, there was no question about whether he was going to do the right thing. he never let you down,” rogers-Barnett says of her father. children everywhere wanted to look like him, talk like him and “save the day” like him, she adds. he didn’t let them down offscreen, either. the

roles he played in the movies and on television were reflective of the man he was in real life. “roy was very concerned with his influence on kids. he felt a responsibility to them,” says larry Barnett, husband of rogers-Barnett. her 2003 book, Cowboy Princess, gives readers a glimpse into her life as the daughter of western royalty. her latest published work, The All-American Cowboy Grill, is a collaboration with Ken Beck and jim clark. the cookbook not only provides recipes from some of hollywood’s most popular cowboy and western stars but also includes pictures, quotes and many fascinating extras. the recipe for g-g’s salad, one of Evans’ best dishes, is among many cowboy family recipes found in the cookbook. about the salad, rogers-Barnett has two bits of advice: “you have to use a wooden bowl, and you have to put it together in the steps that it says. it is wonderful!”



Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Cheryl Rogers-Barnett shares family photos and signs copies of her books, Cowboy Princess and the All-American Cowboy Grill, during an event honoring the 100th birthday of Roy Rogers held at the Patterson Community Center in Murfreesboro in 2011.

the years 2011 and 2012 mark what would have been the 100th birthdays of roy rogers and dale Evans. rogers-Barnett and her husband have been traveling across the country attending film festivals and events sharing memories of america’s beloved singing cowboy and cowgirl. “we want to keep the roy and dale legacy alive along with the cowboy and not let it die,” Barnett says. their desire is that the centennial birthday celebrations will generate enough interest to do more. “hopefully we’ll get a revival going,” rogers-Barnett says. “all little kids drink shirley temple and roy rogers drinks; they just don’t know why.” the trail that rogers-Barnett is blazing today is characterized by fond recollections of what once was and the hope for what can be again. the trail, she hopes, will reach the hearts of a new generation as well as revisit the memories of western fans from days gone by – and it is a happy trail, indeed.

Country legend Dale Evans’ specialty was this simple salad recipe, which her daughter Cheryl Rogers-Barnett contributed to the All-American Cowboy Grill cookbook.

g-g’s salad
For every four people: 1 clove garlic 1 rounded teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon granulated sugar 1 lemon, cut in half Leaf oregano, enough to cover lemon juice 1 medium head romaine lettuce 1 small bunch green onions, chopped Extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil Squeeze the garlic with a garlic press into the bottom of a wooden bowl, and cover it with the salt and sugar. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the bowl. Cover with the oregano. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Tear (do not cut) the lettuce into bite-size pieces, and drop them on top of the ingredients in the bowl. Sprinkle the green onions over the lettuce. Drizzle the olive oil over the lettuce, starting in the center of the bowl and working outward in circles. Toss the ingredients from the bottom up. Serve with your favorite garlic bread.



Painting the

Michael and Kathy Dumont own the refurbished Commodore Hotel, a shining example of downtown Linden’s revitalization efforts. The community has also launched a new arts and historic district that features public art, murals, galleries and shops.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012




aced with a dismal 27 percent unemployment rate in january 2009, the small town of linden desperately needed to find a way to revive the local economy, bring about positive economic changes and restore community pride. local leaders working on the problem decided to take a novel approach in attempt to resolve its economic woes. their solution: cover the town in vibrant artwork.


reViVinG linden with art
art became an integral part of the revitalization of linden. today, it’s virtually everywhere you look. Bright, colorful murals replace faded facades on buildings, and lively images cover trash cans along streets throughout the town. perry county residents hope the establishment of this new, thriving arts district will attract tourists, spur economic development and reinvigorate their community. visionperry, a summer youth art program, engaged local young people to create these vivid works of art. working with 11 professional artists over the course of eight weeks in 2009, 20 program participants created a diverse mixture of public art including paintings, pottery, glass mosaics, assemblage and environmental sculptures. all this hard work resulted in the new linden arts & historic district, a magnet for visitors and residents alike.

“Even though the staley had not been operated in 20 years, i fell in love with the architecture of the hotel,” says dumont, a former real estate developer. “we knew it could be a signature building in the area and an asset to the community. renamed in honor of the county’s namesake, commodore oliver hazard perry, the beautifully restored commodore hotel linden is now a historic downtown centerpiece. a grand fireplace, high ceilings and crown moldings opulently adorn the hotel lobby, while large windows and exposed brick walls elegantly decorate the guest rooms. “preserving a piece of americana built during simpler times was a real goal,” dumont says. “during restoration, we attempted to retain the original character of the building while adding 21st-century amenities.” one such amenity, the hotel restaurant, the dumonts transformed into a casual, artsy eatery offering a selection of hand-cut meats, fresh baked breads, desserts and local produce.

festival in bloom
Visit Linden during the city’s annual Blooming Arts Festival, slated for March 23-24. Visit tnhomeandfarm.com/ linden for more details. To learn more about the hotel or to make a reservation, call (931) 589-3224 or visit www.commodore hotellinden.com.

handcrafted Gifts
no visit to linden would be complete without a stop at the Buffalo river artisans co-operative (Brac) gallery. a venue for local artists and craftspeople to display their wares, the Brac gallery carries many unique items such as hand-woven rugs, pottery, paintings and much more. “our customers can feel confident when they make a purchase here,” says Brac member teresa yoder. “they know who made their item and have a chance to speak to the artist, in most cases. your special gift or personal item can be even more unique when you, the customer, are involved from the beginning to the end of the process.”

restorinG a piece of history
however, linden’s attractions go beyond artwork. with the support of mayor jim azbill, visionperry director michael dumont and his wife, Kathy, decided to purchase the dilapidated staley hotel in 2007. their mission: to restore the old downtown building to its former glory.


Herbal Essence


Home&Farm |Spring 2012




lanting a culinary herb garden is one of spring’s simple pleasures. whether you have a well-tended garden plot or just a few pots on a small patio, growing fresh herbs is convenient, cost-effective and easy, too. parsley, for example, thrives in our state’s sunny weather, as it requires about six to eight hours of direct sunlight. however, you can even grow it indoors, if needed. indoorgrown parsley may be a little less leafy but should be fine as long as you provide it with good lighting and drainage. snipping its stalks near the base of the plant, starting on the outside, will result in new growth. Basil also needs plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil conditions. you can grow it in the ground as a companion plant alongside tomatoes, which helps both plants flourish and even makes them taste better. alternately, keep it in a container that can be moved into sunny areas throughout the growing season. make sure you keep your basil trimmed, cutting off the flowering shoots at the top to increase your yield and keep the plant flavorful. rosemary, on the other hand, features several varieties that are cold-hardy and can survive tennessee winters. other rosemary



fresh from the farm
No herb garden of your own? Many Tennessee farms that sell produce also offer bundles of fresh herbs in season (as well as other ingredients, such as goat cheese). To find a farmer near you, visit www.tnfarmfresh.com.

varieties can be brought inside – with good air circulation – during the coldest months. Be careful not to over-water the droughttolerant rosemary. cut it back in the early spring to encourage new growth, but just trim it occasionally for the rest of the year. when cooking with rosemary, chop coarsely to release its flavorful oils. Each of these, along with other herb garden favorites such as sage, thyme and tarragon, can be dried by being hung upside-down or frozen in small zip-close freezer bags. you can even combine the fresh herbs with a bit of water or stock and freeze in ice cube trays for easy supplements to soups or skillet suppers. when following recipes, remember that dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh. a good rule of thumb is that typically one teaspoon of dried herbs equals about one tablespoon of fresh herbs. speaking of recipes, turn the page for our herb-inspired culinary creations, including herb pasta primavera, sicilian heirloom carrots, herb-rubbed pork tenderloin and rosemary goat cheese muffins. go online to tnhomeandfarm.com/ herb-recipes to find a bonus recipe, rosemary citrus shortbread cookies.




herb pasta primavera
½ pound penne pasta 4 1 1 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed bunch asparagus, use tips only (top 2 inches) yellow or red bell pepper, julienned

sicilian heirloom carrots
1 1 2 1 pound heirloom carrots, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick on the bias (at an angle) teaspoon minced garlic tablespoons extra virgin olive oil cup chicken stock

¾ cup frozen green peas, thawed ½ cup mixed herbs (tarragon, parsley, chives, basil), roughly chopped 2 1 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest tablespoon fresh lemon juice kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. rinse under cold water and set aside. sauté artichoke hearts, asparagus and bell pepper in olive oil until tender. add peas and cook for an additional minute. add pasta to the pan and toss with the lemon, herbs and parmesan. season with salt and pepper. heat in pan until pasta is warm.

½ cup sliced pickled pepperoncini peppers ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped ¼ cup basil, chopped chiffonade style (in thin strips)
sauté garlic in olive oil just until light golden brown, then add chicken stock to the pan to prevent the garlic from burning. add the carrots, season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook over medium- high heat for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until desired tenderness is reached. uncover, and add pepperoncinis, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. cook for 1 more minute just to warm the dish throughout. serve immediately.

½ cup grated parmesan

you can substitute other frozen vegetables, herbs or types of pasta of your choosing in this simple, low-fat recipe.

some heirloom carrots may be orange, but varieties include red, white and purple. heirloom vegetables, which refer to those grown from older, less-common varieties of seeds, are available seasonally at farmers markets and farm stands.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


herb-rubbed pork tenderloin
1 2 2 2 2 2 2 pork tenderloin, trimmed, silver skin removed tablespoons parsley, finely chopped teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped teaspoons minced garlic teaspoons kosher salt

rosemary Goat cheese muffins
1½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1½ teaspoons sugar 1½ teaspoons salt 6 1 1 4 2 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter cup whole milk large egg ounces soft mild goat cheese tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

¼ cup olive oil
combine all the herbs, seasonings and oil into a bowl. rub the herb-oil mixture all over the pork tenderloin. allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. preheat the oven to 400 degrees. sear the pork in olive oil, on medium-high heat, until browned on all sides. roast the pork in the oven on a sheet pan until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees on a meat thermometer, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. allow the pork to rest before slicing.

preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a muffin tin (regular size that holds 12 muffins). in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. in a separate small bowl, melt butter, and whisk in milk and egg. finely chop the rosemary and stir into butter mixture. slowly stir butter mixture into flour mixture until just combined. divide half of batter evenly among muffin cups. top each with about 2 teaspoons goat cheese. pour remaining batter over goat cheese in muffin cups. Bake muffins in middle rack of oven until golden and toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

instead of layering the goat cheese in the muffin tin, you can mix it directly into the batter after adding the butter mixture.





Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Country Classics

Biscuit Queen
sweet potato casserole biscuits win knoxVille festiVal
im Randall’s son finally got tired of eating biscuits. She’d been practicing her recipe for the International Biscuit Festival’s Biscuit Bake Off for a week straight. “I wasn’t nervous about my recipe, but I was nervous about having to bake the biscuits on site,” she says. “I’d made a few dozen test biscuits, and my son – who was 2 at the time – finally said, ‘Mommy, please no more biscuits.’ ” All that practice paid off for the Chattanooga resident and Hamilton County Farm Bureau member who won top prize in the dessert biscuits category and the overall Grand Prize at the 2011 festival. (Other categories are traditional, most creative and kids, for entrants under 16.) “I spent years watching all of the women in my family make sweet potato casserole for every holiday, and I know the recipe by heart,” Randall says. “So when I sat down to write out my biscuit recipe for the competition, I just combined that recipe that I knew so well with the biscuit recipe I’d been making for years.” Biscuit making is a family tradition for Randall. Her grandmothers made them all her life, and her mother taught her how to make biscuits when she was younger. But Randall often adds flavors to the dough. “I like making them just a little different,” she says. “It makes them my own while still holding their tradition.” The 2012 festival is May 17-19 in downtown Knoxville. Learn more about this year’s event and how to enter the Biscuit Bake Off at www.biscuitfest.com. – Blair Thomas


topping: ½ cup light brown sugar, packed ¼ cup melted butter, salted (do not substitute with margarine) ½ cup chopped pecans
preheat oven to 450 degrees. prepare sweet potato by slicing into ¼-inch sections. Boil until fork tender. drain and mash with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. set aside to let cool. sift flour into a large, clean bowl. cut in butter and shortening until mixture appears to have pea-size lumps in it. make a well in the mixture, and pour in buttermilk. with large spoon, pull from the sides of the bowl only enough to mix in wet ingredients. add sweet potato mixture. mix again, only enough to distribute sweet potato mixture into dough. it should look swirled. turn the sticky dough out onto a floured surface, and with floured hands gently pat the dough to about ½-inch thickness. fold dough in half and gently pat again. repeat three more times, taking care not to work the dough, just carefully coaxing in layers. cut out biscuits with 2-inch biscuit cutter. do not twist the cutter; push it straight down. transfer biscuits onto a greased cookie sheet making sure they are touching. in a bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and pecans. sprinkle over biscuits. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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.

sweet potato casserole biscuits
1 1 1 4 large sweet potato teaspoon cinnamon teaspoon vanilla cups self-rising flour (such as white lily), sifted
Jeffrey S. Otto

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup salted butter (not margarine), chilled ¼ cup shortening (such as crisco), chilled 1½ cups buttermilk




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multitudes of mulch
a Gardener’s Guide to landscapinG materials
ulch. You know it’s good for your landscape, but with so many choices, how do you choose which one to use? Different mulches have different attributes, so I base my selection by determining my most critical landscape need that mulch can satisfy. Any mulch will benefit your landscape by helping soil to retain moisture and by moderating soil temperatures, but different mulches will also help you in different ways. For serious gardeners who want to see the plants in their landscape have maximum performance, an organic-rich soil is a must. The best mulch for making your landscape look neat and tidy with a well-defined design, while improving your landscape’s soil, is wellcomposted organic mulch such as shredded hardwood or pine bark. Composted leaves, grass clippings, peanut or rice hulls, and other green waste can also work. The more fine textured the mulch, the more quickly it will break down and be consumed into your soil, thus enriching its organic matter content and nutrient value. The coarser and larger the particle size, the slower the mulch will decompose, but the longer it will last as decorative mulch. A variety of bark types and colors are readily available to appeal to almost everyone’s taste.


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.

By spreading the recommended 1- to 3-inch layer over your landscape beds, you will most likely find that a fine-textured mulch needs to be applied twice a year. This is not always cheap and is pretty labor intensive, but it is the best way to build your garden soil and maximize plant performance. When I moved into a 20-year-old home with a landscape that had black plastic in all of the garden beds with super-sized pine bark chunks as the mulch, I quickly removed all the plastic and pine bark. I don’t think the previous owners ever had to mulch because the black plastic prevented the bark from making contact with the soil and decomposing. That’s not a good situation if you are a gardener like me. I’m happy to report that after six years of mulching with a finely shredded hardwood bark, I have fabulous soil! Great soil allows me to grow just about any plant my heart desires. My soil has improved so much that last fall I made the decision to switch to a type of mulch that enhanced the reseeding of the flowering annuals and perennials I like to grow. I’m learning that the older I get, the less I want to have to plant each spring in the garden. I have been purposely planting flowering annuals and perennials that are great for seeding and volunteering in the


Home&Farm |Spring 2012

garden each year. A coarsely-textured inorganic mulch like a mixture of sand and gravel is the best for maximizing seed germination in the spring. I rarely purchase flowering plants anymore. My chore has become thinning out the volunteers. Many make a welcomed gift to my gardening friends. Gravel, stone, chipped brick and volcanic rock will not break down and enrich the soil habitat, but they can make an attractive mulch. And, of course, they are long lasting. Raking once a year and freshening areas with new materials is all that’s needed to keep the garden looking good. How about pine-needle mulch? I love that it’s easy to handle and spread, and makes for a good winterinsulating mulch. Pine-needle mulch is great to use on container gardens in the winter and around pansies and other winter annuals like snapdragons, ornamental cabbage, and kale and in fall and winter veggie gardens. Somewhat slow to decompose, this mulch might give you a year of use out of it in the landscape, especially if you apply a 4-inch-thick layer. It won’t affect the pH of your soil either. Have you heard of rubber mulch? The media has hyped the use of this recycled product. There is only one place where I’d recommend using rubber mulch: in a playground for children. Other than being recycled and a soft, cushiony and non-prickly surface cover, rubber mulch is not an environmentally friendly product. Like black plastic in the landscape, it will not decompose and enrich the soil. Rubber mulch also easily blows and washes away in heavy storms. In the end, most of us like to use a mulch that suits our needs, both attractive and economical (that is, will last as long as possible in the landscape). No matter which mulch you choose, be sure to apply about a 3-inch layer to reap the benefits of retaining moisture and moderating soil temperatures.



Farmside Chat

meet Ben moore
farmer describes his job as a “risky business”
more about the moores
In January, Ben Moore and his wife, Jennifer, won the Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, besting finalists from across the nation. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Visit tnhomeandfarm.com/ moore for more farm questions and answers from Ben Moore.


arming is more than a 9-to-5 job. For farmers, it’s a 24-hour-a-day dedication to their land, their animals and the people who depend on thems. For the Moore family, it’s also a privilege they don’t take for granted. “It is an honor to produce quality food for our country and world,” says Ben Moore, who farms on 3,500 acres in Weakley County. “American agriculture is more than a lifestyle that 2 percent of our nation’s population enjoys. It is a quality of life that 100 percent have come to expect.” He works with his parents, wife Jennifer and three boys to raise corn, soybeans, cattle, pigs and, more recently, vegetables. What is your biggest farming challenge? Farming is a great occupation, but it does have its share of ups and downs. The weather has been challenging at best the past couple of years. Last year [2010] was extremely dry, and our yields and profits were cut tremendously. Then, last spring was one of the wettest on record, which forced our crops to be

planted late. The summer was another hot one, but our yields were relatively good. When you combine the unpredictable weather with record-high input costs [the money farmers put into their operation on the front end for items such as seed, feed and equipment], farming today is risky business to say the least. recently you diversified your farm to include fruits and vegetables. How does that affect your operation? Every farming operation is unique in its own way. Diversity can be a way to add extra income or, for me, it is a way to relieve stress associated with farming. We started raising vegetables two years ago, and then added half an acre of strawberries last year. I enjoy raising a product that people recognize as a superior one. My customers appreciate this and are repeat customers. I enjoy the interaction that comes from vegetable sales and plan to continue and grow this part of the farm in the future. How do you explain your farming practices to people far removed from farm life? Growing up a farmer in a rural area, I struggled to understand how some people could doubt the integrity of the American farmer. A trip to New York City opened my eyes to their misconceptions. New Yorkers are just like us – consumed with jobs and families. The closest farms are several hours away, and their knowledge about agriculture comes from the media, which is scary. When you think of it, residents of Nashville, Memphis and even Dresden are no different if they don’t know a farmer. Farmers need to do a better job of getting to know non-farmers by becoming involved in their children’s PTO, joining a civic club or using social media. Non-farmers desire to know more about agriculture, whether they learn from a farmer or the media, is up to us. – Melissa Burniston


Home&Farm |Spring 2012

Brian McCord

To Good Health

Keeping it simple
from lawn care to health care, personal relationships win customers
popped the trunk, grabbed the weed-eater and walked up the driveway to find Charlie. This Charlie (not the Charlie of Farm Bureau Insurance fame) is known affectionately by me as ‘the lawnmower man,’ and gauging by the mowers, trimmers and gaspowered devices scattered about the premises, a lot of other folks feel the same way. Granted, my ability to fix things – especially if it requires tools – is limited. My attempts to do so usually end with five simple words: “Michele, I need your help,” and then, “Wow, so that’s how you do it!? Thanks, honey.” So when it comes to lawn machines, I don’t attempt to fix anything. I go see Charlie out in the country. He lives a rock’s throw from where he was born and, after retiring as a school bus driver, he now makes contrary machines run smoothly again. “It’s a gift,” is how he explains his ability to fix stuff despite having never taken a single machine repair class. Recently, while I marveled at the ease with which he worked his machine magic, we talked about his beginnings in the repair business. A simple start from a donated, broken mower has evolved into all the work he needs. From push mowers to high-priced machines, he fixes them all, even occasionally when a dealer can’t fix his own product. I asked him why he had not maneuvered his way into ‘a bigger deal,’ and he admitted he had once approached a big-name retailer about their repair and warranty work. The retailer asked him if he had certain highfalutin (big Southern term) certification papers, and he admitted he did not, ending his chances for the job. Recalling that story, Charlie the lawnmower man said something that proves he is far smarter than any kind of certification or training could ever warrant: “Those papers on the wall cost something. They come with a price tag.” Charlie wasn’t talking about an annual fee for maintaining a certain type of licensure. He was making a broader statement, expressing


his contentment with operating the oldfashioned way. No fancy sign, no fancy office, no fancy shop. Instead of complicated contracts, a handshake and a ‘I’ll have it ready by Tuesday’ is sufficient. No over-abundant folks from the government are needed to ensure he treats customers the way he should. As I drove away after dropping off the weedeater, I could not help but think about my conversation with Charlie and his way of looking at things. I honestly don’t know whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat, but his philosophy is right-on. The bigger the government and the more it is involved in my life and business, the more complicated and costly things generally become. Examples to support Charlie’s theory are probably not necessary, but here’s one that hits close to us at TRH Health Plans. We’ve been providing health-care coverage to Tennessee Farm Bureau members for more than six decades, and over the past year, we’ve spent literally millions of dollars adjusting to and implementing requirements of national health-care reform, the Affordable Care Act. That’s a fact, whether you support the law or not. (The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately determine the law’s constitutionality). The health-care market has become costly, confusing and uncertain. As a result, we’ve had many individuals and families who are between jobs or simply cannot afford a permanent health policy approach us for Short-Term Care policies. Though not the answer for every situation, the policies can help keep you from losing everything in case of a catastrophic injury or illness. We’d welcome an opportunity to talk with you about one of these policies or other health coverage options, including family plans and Medicare Supplement policies. There’s a TRH representative at every Farm Bureau office, and much like Charlie the lawnmower man, they’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.

about the author
Anthony Kimbrough is vice president of marketing and government relations for TRH Health Plans. His e-mail is akimbrough@trh.com. For more information about TRH Health Plans, call (877) 874-8323 or visit www.trh.com.



I care beca use I wou ldn’t feed anythin g less tha n the safe st food s to my fa mily and to yours.

Go to www.conversationsoncare.com and join one of the ongoing conversations on animal care.

Member Benefits

good prank, Bad idea
you can’t squeak by with poor customer serVice


pare time, a streak of mischief and an active imagination are dangerous things for a boy. About 30-some-odd years ago, I was in the back room of my father’s grocery store, and I heard the distinctive snap of a mouse trap going off. Sure enough, I discovered a mouse that had just went on to meet his maker. Now, the common sense thing to have done would have been to simply dispose of the corpse, but I saw a much grander opportunity and decided to go another route that showed a complete lapse in judgment on my part. I thought that this mouse would be a great source of a good laugh at the expense of my mother, who was up front working the cash register, so, I hatched a plan. I wrapped up the mouse in a small meat tray, placed it on the scales and printed off a label for “mouse” at $1.99 per pound. After verifying that no customers were in the store, I proceeded up front and dropped the mouse on the counter in front of Mom. That’s when things spiraled out of control. The details of what happened next are somewhat hazy to

me today, but I seem to recall something about a chain of events beginning with my mother shrieking at the sight of the mouse and my father unexpectedly coming around the corner. He spotted Mom backing up from the wrapped mouse and said, “Son, you’re going to get my store closed down!” The next few moments of the mouse incident have been blotted out from my memory. I understand this can happen when traumatic events occur to a person that the human mind just cannot process. As you might have gathered, I learned a valuable lesson that evening. It’s not a good idea to wrap up a dead mouse as a prank. It’s not good for business, and it’s a dangerous thing to do with Dad around. I learned a lot of lessons in that grocery store, but possibly the most important was the need to say “thank you” to customers. In fact, I will go far enough to say that those two little words are the foundation of customer service. In truth, I made it through the mouse incident without bodily harm, but one of the surest ways to upset my Dad was failing to tell a customer thank you. You see, he understood customer service – and that without customers, he had no business. Today, I feel the same way. Without members, we have no Farm Bureau. So let me take this opportunity to say a big thank you for your membership. Don’t forget your membership offers you big savings on a lot of things including Ford vehicles, home security systems, Enterprise rental cars, Choice Hotel rooms and many more. Thanks again for 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.






Home&Farm |Spring 2012

Photo Courtesy of Chris McLennan



pring is finally here, and it’s time to pack away the coats, dust off the atlas and plan a road trip that gets you out of the house. Want to immerse yourself in Civil War history? Tiptoe through a garden of tulips? Be amused at an offbeat attraction? Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Tennessee State Parks? Do it all? The Tennessee Trails & Byways guides can steer you in the right direction. Here, we suggest a few places that focus on history, nature, and some of the zaniest spots and events in Tennessee. Now get outside and play!


Clockwise from top: The Museum of Appalachia in Clinton (White Lightning Trail) blends history, nature and agriculture; the Civil War Trail includes battlefields, historic sites and markers across the state that overlap with other trails, such as Old Tennessee; Pigeon Forge’s ZORB (Sunny Side Trail) gives thrillseekers the opportunity to roll down a hill in a giant inflatable globe.



out on the trails
To view a map and find links to attractions featured in this story, visit tnhomeandfarm. com/getout.

Shiloh national Military Park, Shiloh (Walking tall trail): grab a civil war heritage trail brochure at a tennessee visitor center, and make plans to attend the civil war sesquicentennial signature Event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the momentous Battle of shiloh at pickwick landing state park on april 4-5, followed by battlefield events at shiloh national military park on april 6-8. park road, pickwick dam, (731) 689-3129, www.tn.gov/environment/parks 1055 pittsburg landing road, (731) 689-5275, www.nps.gov/shil Carter house, Carnton Plantation, Lotz house, Franklin (Old tennessee trail): this trio of restored homes gives an up-close look at the gruesome battle fought during the Battle of franklin in november 1864. the carter house and surrounding buildings

hold more than 1,000 bullet holes, the carnton mansion-turned-civil-war-hospital still shows the blood stains, and the antiqueladen lotz house sports the original cannonball scars. carter house: 1140 columbia ave., (615) 791-1861, www.thecarterhouse.org carnton plantation: 1345 carnton lane, (615) 794-0903, www.carnton.org lotz house: 1111 columbia ave., (615) 790-7190, www.lotzhouse.com the hermitage (Promised Land trail): in addition to the greek revival mansion that was home to andrew jackson for decades before and after his presidency, the grounds also feature gardens and trails located on 1,000 acres near nashville. take the hermitage’s Beyond the mansion tour for a history lesson on slavery, farming and nature. 4580 rachel’s lane, (615) 889-2941, www.thehermitage.com


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


From left: The Lotz House Museum provides a look back at the Battle of Franklin, as do nearby Carter House and Carnton Plantation (Old Tennessee Trail); what began as a middle school World War II remembrance project became the Children’s Holocaust Museum in Whitwell (Pie in the Sky Trail); visitors to the Hermitage just outside of Nashville can see Andrew and Rachel Jackson’s tomb (Promised Land Trail); many sites on the Civil War Trail are holding events to honor the sesquicentennial anniversary of several of the state’s battles.

Ames Plantation, Grand Junction (Walking tall trail): home to the national field trial championship for all-age Bird dogs, this 18,400-acre plantation is rich in 19th-century history, with rows of crops, a herd of horses, and 700 head of angus beef cattle. at the national Bird dog museum, check out sculptures, paintings, and photographs that depict pointers and retrievers. 4725 Buford Ellington road, (901) 878-1067, www.amesplantation.org Civil War trails and re-enactments: in addition to shiloh, other battles honoring 150th anniversaries in 2012 include fort donelson in dover (february) and stones river in murfreesboro (december), though they will commemorate all year long. www.tnvacation.com/civil-war Old Stone Fort Archaeological Park, Manchester (Jack trail): the cliffs and rivers of a 2,000-year-old native american ceremonial

site form the south’s largest hilltop enclosure. 732 stone fort drive, (931) 723-5073, www.tn.gov/environment/parks Children’s holocaust Museum, Whitwell (Pie in the Sky trail): what began as a way for whitwell middle school students to study the holocaust has turned into a worldwide lesson in tolerance. step into an authentic 1917 german railcar that carried prisoners to the concentration camps, and see 11 million paper clips piled high to represent the jews exterminated by the nazis. 1 Butterfly lane, (423) 658-5631, www. whitwellmiddleschool.org. students give guided tours on fridays. closed june-august. Shiloh Indian Mounds national historic Landmark, Shiloh: this “mississippi mound builder” village is one of few places in the eastern u.s. where you can still see remains of prehistoric houses on the ground’s surface. route 1, (800) 552-3866, www.nps.gov/shil



reelfoot Lake, tiptonville (Great river road trail): this popular bird-watching sanctuary is known for its bald cypresses, nesting bald eagles (through mid-march) and shallow, bayou-like waterways. tour the lake by canoe, pontoon or a “stumpjumper” boat. 3120 state route 213, (731) 253-7756, www.reelfoot.com ellington Agricultural Center Iris Garden, nashville (Jack trail): the state flower, from bearded to siberian, steals the show this time of year. save time for the tennessee agricultural museum, which harbors an array of 19th-century home and farm artifacts. hogan road, (615) 837-5197, www.tnagmuseum.org the Gardens at the Museum of

Appalachia, Clinton (White Lightning trail): peek inside more than 30 authentically furnished log structures while strolling through wildflower gardens with rare hepatica poking through blankets of virginia bluebells. time your visit right to catch a porch performance by mountain musicians. 2819 andersonville hwy., (865) 494-7680, www.museumofappalachia.org Springtime in State Parks: more than 20 wildflower pilgrimages, bird walks and butterfly identification events take place in april throughout tennessee’s state parks. what’s more, the tennessee state parks programs turn 75 in 2012, with events scattered throughout the state all year in commemorations of the anniversary. (888) tn-parKs (867-2757), www.tn.gov/environment/parks

Tennessee State Parks celebrate 75 years in 2012. Parks across the state include Montgomery Bell (Screaming Eagle Trail), which also has a public golf course, and the shallow waters and bald cypresses of Reelfoot Lake State Park (Great River Road Trail). Spring visitors to Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville (Jack Trail) can revel in the beauty of the center’s iris garden.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Clockwise from top left: Some of the state’s more unusual stops include ZORB riding in Pigeon Forge (Sunny Side Trail), Jackson’s Electro Chalybeate Well (Walking Tall Trail) and the annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival held each May at Castle Gwynn in Arrington (Jack Trail).

the unique
ZOrB, Pigeon Forge (Sunny Side trail): unleash your inner child by rolling down a hill inside a huge, inflatable globe. this wacky new sport originated in new Zealand. 203 sugar hollow road, (865) 428-2422, www.zorb.com/smoky hang Gliding, Chattanooga area (tanasi trail): learn why chattanooga was named the Best city Ever by outside magazine as you soar above the beautiful landscape. lookout mountain hang gliding offers tandem hang gliding rides with certified instructors for a truly breathtaking experience. (800) 688-5637, www.hangglide.com Castle Gwynn and tennessee renaissance Festival, Arrington (Jack trail): on any weekend in may, travel back in time at a full-size replica of a 12th-century border castle and enjoy armored knights jousting on horseback, renaissance musicians performing, and costumed artisans displaying their wares. 2124 new castle road, (615) 395-9950, www.tnrenfest.com electro Chalybeate Well, Jackson (Walking tall trail): anchored by a vast underground river of mineral spring waters believed to

cure internal ailments, this site has drawn curious vacationers since the late 1800s. 604 s. royal st., (800) 498-4748, www.jacksontncvb.com Mule Day, Columbia, March 29-April 1 (Old tennessee trail): the annual celebration of all things related to this hardworking donkey-horse hybrid features a large livestock market, a mule-driving contest and lumberjack competitions. maury county park, (931) 381-9557, www.muleday.org International Biscuit Festival, Knoxville, May 17-19 (Sunny Side trail): comfort-food lovers pay homage to the “most perfect of foods” with samplings on Biscuit Boulevard. other weekend events include the southern food writers’ conference, the Biscuit Benefit dinner to raise money for local and national charities, and entertainment including biscuit songwriting, biscuit art and live music. market square, (865) 384-7290, www.biscuitfest.com tanasi trail, Chattanooga area: Besides hang gliding, other tanasi trail attractions include the famous choo-choo, ruby falls and rock city. (800) 322-3344, www.chattanoogafun.com

hit the trails
Organized by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, the self-guided driving tours of the Tennessee Trails & Byways can help you discover hidden gems off the beaten path. The program will eventually include three statewide and 16 regional trails originating in or coursing through Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and the Great Smoky Mountains. For a complete listing of trail attractions or to request guided maps of trails you’d like to explore, visit www.tntrailsand byways.com or call (800) 462-8366.



grow, cook, eat, learn

Find recipes, tips and food for thought at farmflavor.com.


Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, Tennessee Farmers Life Insurance Company and Tennessee Farmers Assurance Company will hold their annual meetings on Thursday, April 5, 2012, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (Central Time) The meetings are for policyholders of Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company and stockholders of Tennessee Farmers Life Insurance Company and Tennessee Farmers Assurance Company.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Events & Festivals

Tennessee Events & Festivals
this listing includes a selection of events of statewide interest scheduled in march, april and may 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 www.tnvacation.com. due to space constraints, we are unable to list all of the events provided or accept unsolicited events. however, you can find additional information and events at the department’s website as well as in the travel section at tnhomeandfarm.com. Events are subject to date change or cancellation. please call the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend.

Jeff Adkins

tennessee’s commemoration of the war of 1812 bicentennial –
through june 24, nashville
visit a special bicentennial exhibit opening at the tennessee state museum. contact: 800-407-4324, tnmuseum.org

this event pays tribute to the art of quilting with a quilt show, showcasing more than 200 quilted pieces, a large vendor area and classes taught by the nation’s top quilting experts. contact: 800-251-9100, mypigeonforge.com

150th commemoration of the battle of shiloh –
march 29-april 8, shiloh
a week of events includes more than 13,000 re-enactors march 29-31, the tennessee sesquicentennial commission’s signature Event april 4-5 at pickwick landing state park, and a grand illumination across shiloh Battlefield on april 7. contact: tncivilwar150.com

50th annual irish day celebration – march 17, erin
Enjoy a parade, food, entertainment and crafts at the largest irish day celebration and parade in this area. contact: 931-289-5100, houstoncochamber.com

march 1-june 3, sevierville, pigeon forge and Gatlinburg
a countywide celebration featuring special events, great entertainment, local craft shows and beautiful spring scenery. contact: visitsevierville.com, gatlinburg. com or mypigeonforge.com

smoky mountain springfest –

tennessee healthy hardwoods –
march 31, oak ridge
this field day event held by university of tennessee agresearch at the forest resources center begins at 8:30 a.m. contact: ginger rowsey, 731-425-4768, http://agriculture.tennessee.edu

march 17, bell buckle
daffodil show and observation of arbor day featuring gardening vendors and other festivities. contact: 931-389-0223, bellbucklechamber.com

daffodil days –

23rd annual nashville lawn & Garden show –
march 1-4, tennessee state fairgrounds, nashville
tennessee’s premier horticultural event, the nashville lawn & garden show features outstanding live gardens created by professional landscape designers, a series of free lectures and 250 exhibit booths of horticultural products, services and equipment. contact: 615-876-7680, nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com

tin pan south songwriters festival – march 27-31, nashville
america’s largest festival dedicated to songs and songwriters covers all genres of music: country, rock, folk and more. contact: 800-321-6008, tinpansouth.com

52nd annual dogwood arts festival – april 1-30, knoxville
miles of trails feature some of the most spectacular dogwood trees of all kinds. contact: 865-637-4561, dogwoodarts.com

march 29-april 1, columbia
one of the world’s biggest mule celebrations. Events include mule sale, mule pulling, mule shows, pancake breakfast, flea market and parade. contact: 931-381-9557, muleday.com

mule day –

awesome april –

april 1-30, nashville

mountain quiltfest –

march 14-17, pigeon forge

a musical tribute to the city that promises a major event each weekend. contact: 800-657-6910, visitmusiccity.com Home&Farm



Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Events & Festivals
martin luther king jr. commemoration –
april 4, memphis
the national civil rights museum offers a special program to commemorate the late civil rights leader. contact: 901-521-9699, civilrightsmuseum.org weeklong events include a rodeo, parade and catfish races. contact: 731-644-1143, worldsbiggestfishfry.com

national cornbread festival –
april 28-29, south pittsburg
this hometown festival to benefit the local economy features the national cornbread cook-off, food vendors, art and music, along with a carnival, car show and much more. contact: 423-837-0022, nationalcornbread.com

62nd annual spring wildflower pilgrimage –
april 25-29, Gatlinburg
celebrate and enjoy the beauty of great smoky mountains national park with over 150 different programs, including hiking tours, motorcades, demos and classroom lectures centered on the flowers, plants and wildlife. contact: (865) 436-7318 ext. 222, www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org

rivers & spires festival –
april 19-21, clarksville
a festival with more than 100 entertainers, kids area, car shows, food, jazz and more. contact: 931-245-4344, riversandspires.com

april 28-29, franklin

franklin main street festival –
the 29th annual event held in historic downtown franklin features more than 200 artisans and crafters, three stages, two carnivals and an international food court to round out a full weekend of entertainment. contact: 615-591-8500, historicfranklin.com

africa in april cultural awareness festival – april 19-22, memphis
a celebration featuring education, economics, fashion, arts, crafts, music and cuisine. contact: 901-947-2133, africaninapril.org

april 26, knoxville

organic crops field tour –

april 19-26, nashville

nashville film festival –
with genres from drama to comedy to foreign documentaries, this festival has something for everyone. contact: 615-7422500, nashvillefilmfestival.org

university of tennessee agresearch organic crops unit presents this field day event, which is a tour of organic crops. the event begins at 9 a.m. contact: ginger rowsey, 731-425-4768, http://agriculture.tennessee.edu

tennessee iris festival –
april 28-may 5, dresden
a week-long event filled with family fun, from the citywide yard sale to its annual music fest, along with baking contest, car show and much more. contact: tennesseeirisfestival.com

rossini festival italian street fair – april 28, knoxville
a celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts with an emphasis on italian and mediterranean culture. the annual opera festival features operatic performances and stage productions as well as music and dance. contact: 865524-0795, knoxvilleopera.com

trenton teapot festival –
april 29-may 5, trenton
the week-long festival begins with a ceremonial lighting of the teapots on april 29 and culminates in the annual grand parade on may 5. contact: 731-855-2013

april 22-28, paris

world’s biggest fish fry –
more than five tons of catfish are served to thousands of visitors on friday, plus other

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Events & Festivals

storytelling live! –
may-october, jonesborough
storytellers from across the u.s. will share stories and entertain guests. contact: 800-952-8392, storytellingcenter.net

cosby ramp festival –
may 6, cosby
this buegrass music, food and family festival celebrates the ramp, an onion-like vegetable that grows in the East tennessee’s mountains. this year the festival will be held at a new location, 200 major jim Burnett drive. contact: Kathy cody, 423-623-1009

may 12, nashville

71st annual running of the iroquois steeplechase –
this is the nations’ oldest continuously run, weight-for-age steeplechase. contact: 866-207-2391, iroquoissteeplechase.org

memphis in may international festival – may 4-26, memphis
month-long events include Beale street music festival and world championship Barbecue cooking contest. contact: 901-525-4611, memphisinmay.org

west tennessee strawberry festival –
may 6-12, humboldt
in its 75th year, this festival includes parades, live entertainment, barbecue cook-off, concerts, fireworks and more. contact: 731-784-1842, wtsf.org

may 12-13, ut Gardens, knoxville
unique garden goods, dozens of workshops, live musical performances, children’s activities and more make Blooms days a great destination for more than just gardeners. contact: 865-974-7324, http://utgardens.tennessee.edu

blooms days –

may 17-19, knoxville

international biscuit festival –
named one of the country’s top-10 food festivals, this popular event will rise again in downtown Knoxville at market square. guests enjoy food, fun, music and more throughout the three days of the festival. contact: biscuitfest.com

sevierville’s bloomin’ bbq & bluegrass – may 18-19, sevierville
this event features the tennessee state championship Barbeque cook-off, bluegrass concerts from rising stars and bluegrass legends, kids games, great food and authentic mountain crafts. contact: 888-889-7415, bloomingbbq.com

americana music festival –
may 24-27, crawford
Enjoy a three-day camping and music festival that coincides with the taping of an episode of the “jammin’ at hippie jack’s americana music series” on pBs. a similar fall festival is held in september. contact: 931-445-2072, myhippiejack.com

may 25, Granville

Granville heritage day –

antique car, tractor and engine show, bluegrass festival, storytelling, arts and crafts, children’s rides and great food. contact: 931-653-4151, granvillemuseum.com

may 25-28, natchez trace

muster day on the natchez trace –
as part of tennessee’s commemoration of its role in the war of 1812, experience living history demonstrations and historic speeches recreated by impressionists. contact: scenictrace.com

memphis italian festival –
may 31-june 2, memphis
this community celebration demonstrates the values of family, faith and fellowship in the italian-american tradition. music, food, events, games, arts and crafts and more. contact: 901-767-6949, memphisitalianfestival.com


Home&Farm |Spring 2012


Dana Knight

Bill Jones

it’s Time to Enter the 17th Annual Tennessee Farm Bureau Photo Contest
Pull out your camera and start snapping! Submit your best photos in our annual contest, and you could be named the grand-prize winner. To enter, fill out the form below and mail your prints to us. Or, visit tnhomeandfarm.com to upload your digital photos and enter online. Winners will be announced in the winter issue of Tennessee Home & Farm. First-place winners in each of three categories will be awarded $100 cash prizes; the grand-prize winner receives $200. Entries must be postmarked (or submitted online) by Aug. 1.

Name ___________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________ City __________________________ State _______ ZIP ________ Phone ___________________________________________________ County of FB Membership _________________________________ Farm Bureau Membership # _______________________________
Located in the address label of this magazine above your name. For example: #123456789#

Category: ❒ Tennessee

❒ Home Mail entry to:

❒ Farm

Tennessee Farm Bureau Photo Contest P.O. Box 313, Columbia, TN 38402-0313
OFFICIAL RULES: Only original photos or high-quality reprints will be accepted via mailed entries. Color or black-and-white photos are acceptable in any size. Attach this entry form to the back of the photo (copies may be made of entry form if more than one is needed). No digital media storage devices will be accepted via the mailed entry option. To submit a digital photo, visit tnhomeandfarm.com and click on the photo contest entry form. Digital files must be high resolution – minimum of 5x7 inches at 300 dpi. To avoid legal entanglements, make sure permission has been given for use of photos. Online entrants are automatically entered in a web-only readers’ choice contest, which has no monetary prize. We offer three categories: Tennessee, Home and Farm. Only one entry per category per person. Only Tennessee Farm Bureau members with a valid membership number are eligible to enter. Employees of Tennessee Farm Bureau, Tennessee Farmers Insurance Cos., county Farm Bureaus or their families are not eligible to win. This is an amateur photo contest. Professional photographers are not eligible. Entries must be postmarked by Aug. 1, 2012. Photos will not be returned and will become property of Tennessee Farm Bureau and Journal. Images may be used in TFBF publications with photo credit given. For additional information, call Tennessee Farm Bureau, (931) 388-7872, Misty McNeese, ext. 2211. For questions about the online entry form, call Jessy Yancey at (800) 333-8842, ext. 217, or e-mail thaf@jnlcom.com.




View From the Back Porch

rushing spring
the buildup for the season seems to last lonGer than sprinG itself
“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” – Henry Van Dyke

about the author
Julie Vaughn is a farm wife and mother to two cooped-up farm boys who are hoping for spring to arrive in Middle Tennessee sooner than later this year.


he anticipation for spring at my house begins the day after Christmas each year. I am all good with coveralls and two pairs of socks until Santa arrives, but then I am ready for spring, warmer weather and outside work. However, despite years and years of wishes, it has never once happened that way. Apparently this is not a new struggle for me. During my grade school days, I clearly remember asking my mother, “When can I wear shorts?” Her reply: “May.” On the very first day of May without consulting anyone, including the weatherman, I put on my favorite shorts and T-shirt and headed out for the bus. True, the air was a bit fresh on my arms and legs, but it was May! My mom took one look at my white legs heading out the door, frowned and told me to get back inside and put on some pants. It was only then I learned that our previous conversation about shorts was not about May as a month, but about “may” as in correct grammar. That same struggle for all things spring continues in my life today. I plant outside too early, only to be humbled by a late frost. I turn ground too wet only to be reminded by my husband that I am just making “clods.” Often I wonder if I will ever be able to enjoy that last

month of winter with a cup of hot tea in my hand instead of looking for a warming trend in the 10-day forecast. What really gets me about spring is that the season doesn’t necessarily arrive when the calendar says it’s here. I don’t like hearing on the radio that it is the first day of spring when I am feeding cows in the snow. Even worse is spring’s deceptive comeand-go tactic. This is especially tough on those of us who farm. The season comes rushing in, warming the earth and filling us with the desire to work that only spring can bring to a farmer. We plow, chisel and fertilize until the Co-op has no more buggies available. We make plans, plant and calculate harvest dates. Then we hold our breaths and watch the Weather Channel hoping to see anything but that late-frost warning. Yes, spring is a tricky one. That said, there is not a more miraculous time of year than spring and all it holds from the smell of fresh turned dirt to clean white new lambs on the ground. There is so much to see and enjoy despite the risks and challenges of spring, and I suppose I will never stop trying to get it here a bit ahead of schedule.


Home&Farm |Spring 2012

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