December is one of the most hectic and anticipated months, especially here at Moss Mountain Farm.
Photography by Lily Darragh and Mark Fonville and courtesy of Southern Girl Soapery and JK Woodworking
[dropcap]Holiday[/dropcap] activities are added to an already-busy schedule of feeding chickens and chasing daylight. Even with the additional fuss, it still remains one of my favorite times of year. How could one not love the season of giving?
When it comes to gifts, there’s no lack of checklists and guides ready to point us to the season’s newfangled, trendiest or must-have presents. No wonder the thought of picking the right gift can be totally overwhelming. What if, this year, you cut through the clamor, and select items with ties to our home state? Right here, in Arkansas, you’ll find many traditional, yet creative ideas that are both affordable and support locally owned retail outlets. Plus, it’s a marvelous way to show off the personality of The Natural State. You can pick expressive handcrafted pieces, traditional favorites or one-of-a-kind experiences that bring joy and convey thoughtfulness.
In the spirit of the season, I have put together my own special Arkansas-based, gift-giving guide to share with you.
(Photo at top)
The holidays would not be complete at Moss Mountain Farm without aromatic, decorative candles from Arkansas’ premier candle maker, Aromatique. Their products include single- and double-wicked candles with decorative detailing designed to complement any décor with a luxuriously warm and inviting fragrance. My seasonal favorites are The Smell of Christmas, Smell of the Tree and Pumpkin Spice — they’re the perfect way to give the gift of holiday cheer. Aromatique’s home fragrance collection includes a variety of scented candles, oils, potpourri and room sprays. Their products are at Dillard’s and numerous locally owned gift shops.
P. Allen Smith Water Colors Garden Hose Collection
Make a splash with a gift of watercolors exclusively from my Water Colors Garden Hose Collection. With the premium construction and revolutionary design of Flexzilla®, the Water Colors Collection comes in the warm, inviting colors of “blue skies,” “coral candy,” “crazy for cocoa” and “green envy.” Best of all, Flexzilla® garden hoses have a lifetime warranty. You’ll find these hoses at local garden centers and online at shop.pallensmith.com.
Add a touch of functional, rustic charm that will last past the holidays with authentic kitchen tools handmade in Quitman, Arkansas. Choose from spoons, spatulas, mortars and pestles, saltcellars, bowls and — my favorite — biscuit cutters. These heirloom, quality pieces are made with reclaimed wood and polished with a natural wood rub or food-safe finish. Surprise the foodie, chef or aspiring chef with a one-of-a-kind kitchen collectable. JK Woodworking items are available in Little Rock at Eggshells on Kavanaugh and the Green Corner Store on South Main.
Southern Girl Soapery
Southern Girl Soapery creates handmade bath and body products inspired by the traditions, stories and scents of the South. Each is a nod to some part of our Southern heritage, from the first strand of pearls to that first sip of home brew. Product gift packages are available for men and women online at southerngirlsoapery.com.
Lambrecht gourmet chocolates
Don’t get caught wrapping the usual fruitcake this holiday season. Instead, give a gift that delivers sweet decadence on a new level. Indulge someone special with the richness of milk chocolate, roasted pecans and rich, crisp butter toffee with Lambrecht Gourmet’s award-winning Southern Pecan Toffee. Based out of Heber Springs, this family-owned business ships its confections to more than 40 states. You can buy these sweets online at lambrechtgourmet.com.
TICKETS TO OPEN HOUSE TOURS
AT MOSS MOUNTAIN FARM
Visit my home and have a farm-to-table lunch; walk through the gardens; and experience everyday farm life at Poultryville, home of the Heritage Poultry Conservancy and resident farm animals.
During the early spring, guests will see the 300,000 daffodils in bloom on Daffodil Hill. Masses of colorful tulips follow in April, and in May, the rose garden is at its peak.
Not to brag too loudly, but The New York Times hailed Moss Mountain a “stunning estate,” an epicenter for promoting the local-food movement, organic gardening and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds.
Here’s what one visitor wrote: “I came to Moss Mountain after my mother visited here last fall. She told me it was a MUST for my trip from Colorado to Alabama – she was so right; just beautiful.” Rob Overall, Denver, Colorado
So send a friend or loved one who loves gardening, design or poultry to see us at Moss Mountain Farm. Tickets and reservation information are available at pallensmith.com.