Home & Farm Tenne sse e
tnhomeandfarm.com Winter 2011-12
Natural Talent Photo contest winners share shots of flora, fauna and farm life
A Country Cure
4 -Hâ€™ers preserve ham tradition with blue ribbons and Christmas dinners
Published for the 657,201 family members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau
We’ve Gotcha Covered! Health Coverage: It’s complicated and it’s changing. But health care coverage isn’t out of your reach, even if you’re between jobs. TRH Health Plans has short term coverage for individuals and families. Affordable coverage for 60, 90, 120 or 180 days. Talk to us. We’re at your local Farm Bureau office.
877.874.8323 • www.trh.com We also have permanent individual and family plans plus Medicare Supplements and dental plans.
Home & Farm Ten n e ssee
An official publication of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation © 2011 TFBF Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation tnfarmbureau.org
Editor Pettus Read circulation manager Stacey Warner Board of directors President Lacy Upchurch, Vice President Danny Rochelle Directors at large Jeff Aiken, Charles Hancock, Catherine Via district directors Malcolm Burchfiel, James Haskew, Eric Mayberry, Dan Hancock, David Mitchell state fb women’s chairman Jane May Advisory directors Buddy Mitchell, Jamie Weaver Chief administrative officer Joe Pearson treasurer Wayne Harris Comptroller Tim Dodd
Managing Editor Jessy Yancey Copy Editor Jill Wyatt
A Decade of Home & Farm With this winter issue, it’s been 10 years since Tennessee Home & Farm was first delivered to the mailboxes of Tennessee Farm Bureau members. Back then, Tennessee Home & Farm Illustrated featured country ham on the cover and our photo contest winners. Sound familiar? Still, this magazine has evolved quite a bit since 2001. Our print audience has grown by 125,000, and you can now enjoy Home & Farm more than just four times a year. We have a website, e-newsletter and online library with bonus Web-only magazines such as our Thanksgiving Cookbook (tnhomeandfarm.com/thanksgiving). You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and through giveaways. More than 300 of you entered to win a shirt from Ivene Webb, and more than 1,700 photos were entered into our annual contest. In addition to the photos on page 16, you can go online to view galleries of our honorable mentions, readers’ choice winners and a bonus section of photos that made us smile. Thanks for reading Home & Farm – and here’s to another decade.
Content coordinator Blair Thomas
Jessy Yancey, managing editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Writers Lori Boyd, Melissa Burniston, Kim Green, Susan Hamilton, Nancy Henderson, Tiffany Howard, Anthony Kimbrough, Darryal W. Ray Creative Director Keith Harris Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Media Technology Director Christina Carden Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier
At a Glance/A sampling of destinations in this issue
Senior Graphic Designers Laura Gallagher, Vikki Williams Graphic Designer Taylor Nunley
Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf
Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan Web Content Manager John Hood Web Designer Richard Stevens Media Technology Analysts Becca Ary, Chandra Bradshaw, Lance Conzett Color imaging technician Alison Hunter Integrated Media Manager Robin Robertson Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen Sr. V.P./SALES Todd Potter, Carla Thurman 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
3/Henderson 1/Grand Junction
1/ Get down-home country cooking at Big Al’s in Grand Junction page 42 2 / Enjoy barbecue that’s worth the drive at Ridgewood Barbecue in Bluff City page 41 3 / Chow down on one of the state’s best burgers at Bell’s Drive-In in Henderson page 40 4 / Order your Christmas dinner centerpiece from The Hamery in Murfreesboro page 8
controller Chris Dudley Distribution DIRECTOR Gary Smith office manager Shelly Grissom
5 / Find the perfect present from Good Fortune Soap in Cleveland page 6
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
2 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
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 email@example.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.
Table of Contents
Features 8 / A Country Cure
The Hamery and 4-H’ers preserve tradition with salt and time
12 / A Touch of Glass
Signal Mountain artist decorates Tennessee tree at the nation’s Capitol
16 / Natural Talent
Photo contest grows as readers share images of flora, fauna and farm life
24 / Cooking for a Crowd
Enliven festive parties and potlucks with these holiday eats
Departments 5 / Read All About It
Christmas at Mop Ma’s house
6 / Short Rows
Happy 10th birthday to us!
29 / Country Classics
“Berry” Delightful Cornmeal Cake
Shrubbery throughout the year
33 / Farmside Chat
Lake Elliott helps preserve farmland
35 / To Good Health
Puppy problems can’t be solved without an old-fashioned chat
37/ Member Benefits Savings for the season
38 / Travel
Taste Tennessee’s Trails & Byways
4 4 / Events & Festivals
Things to do, places to see
48 / View From the Back Porch Steaming mugs warm your winter
On the Cover Photo by Jeffrey S. Otto Savannah Sandlin holds her Grand Champion ham on the midway of the Tennessee State Fair. tnhomeandfarm.com
Home & Garden
From Our Readers Play It Again Can you sent me information about purchase [of a Gallagher Guitar, “Behind the Music,” Fall 2011]? Thanks! Ricky Wood, via tnhomeandfarm.com Editor’s note: Contact the Gallaghers online at www.gallagherguitar.com or by phone at (931) 389-6455.
Weaving Her Webb
In Your Honor After you flip to page 16 to check out this year’s winners, don’t forget to go online to view all of the honorable mentions for each category, as well as our readers’ choice picks and bonus funny photos. Find links to all of our galleries at tnhomeandfarm.com/photos2011.
Online Library Read past issues and new online-only magazines Home & Farm Tenne sse e
tnhomeandfarm.com Winter 2011
DECKING THE HALLS
Home & Farm Tenne sse e
tnhomeandfarm.com Summer 2010
Tennessee fairs provide an irresistible combination of education and fun
Tennessee is a haven for holly plants
PHOTO CONTEST See the prize-winning photos inside and online
A DAY IN THE (FARM) LIFE Kids learn firsthand about the agricultural way of living
SEE TENNESSEE Win a trip to the Grand Ole Opry!
Growing popularity of log homes builds on beauty and benefits tnfarmbureau.org
Published for the 656,268 family members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau
Published for the 652,374 family members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau
Connect with us online! Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/tnhomeandfarm Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tnhomeandfarm Visit us on YouTube at youtube.com/tnhomeandfarm Share with us on Flickr at flickr.com/groups/scenictn Sign up for the email newsletter at tnhomeandfarm.com/newsletter
4 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
I am an owner of several of Cricket’s beautiful shirts [“Designing Woman,” Fall 2011], but I would still love to win one to add to my collection. She is a great artist and truly gifted. The best thing I can say about Cricket is that she is just as beautiful a person as the paintings she creates. She is so deserving of such a great article. I do love the magazine. You stay informed about your own state and find so many great things to do in your own area. Linda Smith, via tnhomeandfarm.com Thank you for the article about the couple who bought Lake Nowhere [“Martin’s Mule Metropolis,” Fall 2011]. Looks like these folks have put in a lot of work and should be very proud of themselves. Also enjoyed the article about wearable art! Pat Capps, Martin Love your Tennessee Home & Farm magazine. This issue is better than my Southern Living mag. Keep up the good work. Love the shirts that Ms. Ivene is painting. Thanks for sharing her talent. Such beautiful work. Yvette Baggett, via tnhomeandfarm.com Editor’s note: We’re blushing after all the compliments on the last issue, and we bet Ms. Ivene is too. An impressive 279 people entered the giveaway for her shirt, and we’d like to congratulate Donna C. on winning the apparel. Let us know what you think of this issue’s articles at tnhomeandfarm.com. Questions, comments and story ideas can be sent to: Jessy Yancey, 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. tnfarmbureau.org
Read All About It
Christmas at Mop Ma’s House reminisce about holidays and traditions of yesteryear
his issue of Tennessee Home & Farm marks the tenth anniversary of our publication being a part of your mailbox experience. Because of that, I wanted this anniversary column to be something special, so I pulled out my favorite holiday column to share with you for this issue. I hope it brings back some memories at this wonderful time of the year. Growing up in rural Middle Tennessee, Christmas was a very special time to a youngster like me. I’ll never forget the excitement of Santa, the sounds and smells of Christmas, and all the wonderment a boy could have at that time of his life. However, Christmas was different back then. Trees were not put up until about a week or so before the special day that Santa would come to visit, and just about all the Christmas trees were Tennessee cedars. Lights were large, and when one burned out, they all went out. I guess I received my love for this time of the year from my grandmother, Jesse Harrison Gordon. She saw this time of the year as something of a magical time for the young and the old. She would adorn the mantles of the fireplaces with real greenery from the farm. The Christmas tree was decorated with ornaments passed down from generation to generation. The whole world seemed to revolve around that white house in Versailles that special day of the year. Of course, meals were dictated around “milking-time” for most of us. Since three of the four families involved were from dairy farms, it became important that the cows were taken care of first before we celebrated any holiday. We would all gather around the fireplace, and my grandfather would throw in a large bucket of coal to bring the room temperature up to shirtsleeve weather. Then the presents would be passed out. Our tradition for opening all those gifts was somewhat different from most folks. We started by taking turns opening our gifts with the
youngest going first and working our way up to my grandfather and grandmother. Each gift was opened one at a time so everyone there could share in the excitement of something new. It would take a couple of hours to open those gifts, but it was well worth the wait. After gifts were opened, the Christmas dinner was something to see. There was country ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, peas, hot bread, and Mop Ma’s coconut cake and homemade boiled custard. The children and ladies ate in the big kitchen and the menfolk ate in the dining room. I’ll never forget the time I graduated to the dining room. Everyone would stay till milking time in the evening and start departing around dark. This is the time I can remember best. I would stay at my grandmother’s while Daddy went to milk. After milking, he would return for “leftovers supper,” and then we would all go back to the large living room that only hours before was full of people and excitement. Now quiet, only the lights of the Christmas tree lit the room. Sliding up in one of the big living room chairs, I would gaze into the colored lights of that cedar tree. There were bubble lights placed there by my grandmother, and as they bubbled they made a soft whooshing sound. They caused this little farm boy to get a deep peace that is hard to explain. I had no worries, no cares, and a feeling of complete safety and love. Mop Ma really knew how to enjoy Christmas. I wish at this time of the year the entire world could have my grandmother’s bubble lights. If people around the world could relax and listen to the whooshing sound I heard on those Christmases years ago and receive that feeling of love just as I did, I am sure this would be a better world. I hope that your holidays and New Year begins and ends with the whooshing sound of many bubble lights. Peace and joy to everyone this holiday season.
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 This is one of the columns Read has collected into a book titled Read All About It. Part of the proceeds of the book sales go to Tennessee 4-H and Tennessee FFA programs. Buy a copy online at tnhomeandfarm.com/ store.
1/ Happy Birthday to Us!
2 / ’Tis the Seasons
3 / What Good Fortune!
We’re celebrating 10 years of sharing food, farm and rural lifestyle content to Farm Bureau members across the state. “Tennessee Home & Farm came about from a request made by our Farm Bureau farmer leadership to do something special for our non-farmer members,” recalls Pettus L. Read, TFBF director of communications. “They suggested a ‘nice’ magazine that would promote rural hospitality to all Farm Bureau members and a publication that would make all of us proud of Tennessee agriculture. I think we have accomplished those wishes and look forward to even greater things for Tennessee Home & Farm in the future.” We’re not having a party to celebrate, but if you really want a piece of cake, check out the recipe on page 29.
The Doug Jeffords Co. knows a thing or two about celebrating the holiday season. Actually, it knows quite a lot about seasonings in general. The company, celebrating 50 years in business this year, makes all kinds of seasonings and spices – from salts, rubs, ham cures and breadings to European, Middle-Eastern and Asian seasonings. Doug Jeffords’ sausage seasonings first earned a reputation in the early 1960s – and the Franklin-based company has been growing ever since. The spices are processed by hand, and ingredients are both domestically grown and purchased from around the world. For more information about ordering Doug Jeffords seasonings, call (615) 373-0044 or visit www.dougjeffords.com.
While working full-time as a graphic designer, Jennifer Jack taught herself how to make soap by studying the trade, natural ingredients and the natural products industry. Since her first bar of Good Fortune Soap sold in December 2006, Jack’s business has taken off. This certified soap maker worked with her mother to renovate her grandfather’s dairy barn in Cleveland, Tenn., to house her growing operation. Now, she makes hundreds of bars of soap a day in the same room where her grandfather used to milk cows. Her soaps, lotions, candles, lip and other bath and body products are available throughout Tennessee and in more than 20 other states. Call (423) 473-6727 to learn how to
6 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
TN FARM FRESH
buy Good Fortune soap, or learn more about the business at tnhomeand farm.com/good-fortune-soap.
4 / Get the Dirt on Dirt Ready your garden for spring by learning what’s in your soil. The University of Tennessee Extension offers an affordable basic test so gardeners can learn the proper amount of lime and fertilizer needed for lawns and gardens. First, get a soil sample box from your county’s UT Extension agent, or use a sandwich bag with a zip seal. Fill the box or bag with at least one cup of soil collected from several areas of the yard or garden. Dig down six inches for your sample. Enclose a check for $7 made out to the University of Tennessee, and send the package or deliver it to the Soil, Plant and Pest Center, 5201 Marchant Drive, Nashville, Tenn., 37211. Your soil will go through a nine-step process in the lab and will be checked for potassium, phosphorus and other elements. Your report should arrive in a week or so by email or mail. The report will make recommendations for amending the soil to give you a proper balance for a productive crop. Learn more online at soilplantandpest.utk.edu.
TN FARM FRESH
Saving a Taste of Summer Even as the weather turns cold and the leaves fall from the trees, you can still enjoy products you love fresh from the farm. During the summer months, Viola Valley Berry Farm in Warren County offers a variety of fruits and vegetables at its roadside stand on Manchester Highway, as well as a pick-your-own option for customers who want to get into the field. The farm’s strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, muscadines, tomatoes and more are very popular in the summer. However, this fruit farm is unique in that these products are still available throughout the winter – albeit in a much different setting. Owner Randall Walker has a way of preserving the flavors of the season into jams, jellies, preserves, ciders, salsas and more. With these tasty options, you are sure to get your Tennessee Farm Fresh fix all year round. These locally made items also make great gifts for the holidays. After all, who wouldn’t want to receive muscadine cider, triple fruit salsa, grape jelly, strawberry preserves or seedless raspberry jam this time of year? Walker makes these and a number of other great items using local fruit, including a couple of no-sugar-added options. To see a list of products, visit www.rwfarms.com. You can also contact them at (931) 635-9535. – Tiffany Howard
5/ All Aglow Chickasaw State Park is illuminated in December for the Lighting of the Park in Henderson. Thousands of lights, hand-lit luminaries and decorations adorn the state park with holiday cheer Dec. 9-11, 2011. The driving tour is free, but donations are welcomed. Situated on some of the highest land in West Tennessee, the 14,382-acre Chickasaw State Park is located in Chester and Hardeman counties, 18 miles south of Jackson on Hwy. 100. To learn more, call (731) 989-5141 or visit www.tn.gov/environment/parks/ Chickasaw. tnhomeandfarm.com
See More online
Find other Tennessee Farm Fresh members who offer locally grown products at www. tnfarmfresh.com, and enjoy a taste of Tennessee any time of the year.
A Country Cure The Hamery teaches 4 -H’ers salt and time cures all hams
Story by Darryal W. Ray Photography by jeffrey s. otto
ot much has changed in the two centuries since Bob Woods’ ancestors loaded up the wagon and headed for Tennessee. “I was thinking about that the other day,” Woods was saying recently. “When they came over from North Carolina, they had a few hogs trailing behind them and probably had some country hams hanging in that wagon to help them survive their trip. And when they got to Rutherford County, they probably killed those hogs and salted the hams to survive.” Today, Woods carries on the family tradition from The Hamery in Murfreesboro, where he cures and sells about 1,500 hams a year using the same main ingredients his ancestors used more than 200 years ago – salt and time. No matter how you slice it, Woods says, you can’t have a good country ham without both. That’s a philosophy his family has handed down for generations, and is now being passed on to Rutherford County 4-H’ers as part of the Heritage Skills Country Ham Project. “Each generation has a responsibility to the next generation to pass on their knowledge and
8 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
sense of tradition,” says Woods. “Along the way, when we cure these hams, we’re telling these kids about how our forefathers survived in this country without electricity, without refrigeration, by curing hams and pork. So it’s a very educational process that goes with curing the ham. We try to pass that on.” “The project helps the kids understand the science of preserving meat, using salt and sugar techniques,” says Bob Ary, a University of Tennessee Extension agent who chairs the country ham show at the Tennessee State Fair. “It’s one of those skills we don’t use much anymore, but it might spur an interest in food science.” The Hamery’s curing process itself was handed down from Woods’ grandfather to his uncle, Sam “Little Doc” Woods, and a partner, Col. Tom Givan. Before opening The Hamery in 1969, the two had complained, “Those store-bought hams are being cured so fast they don’t even have time for the squeal to leave.” After inheriting The Hamery in 1981, Bob Woods also recognized the value of time in the curing process. Today, he follows the same basic “recipe” to teach the 4-H kids tnfarmbureau.org
The Hamery’s Bob Woods passes down his method for curing country ham to 4 -H’ers Scott Ayers, Paige Rowlett and Holden Ayers.
as they go through the yearlong process. The lessons begin in early January when 1,500 “green,” or uncured, hams arrive. From that shipment, the students choose two hams each – one as part of their project and one to be auctioned off in a 4-H fundraiser. Within the first 10 days of their arrival, the hams will be lightly rubbed with a dry mixture of salt and sugar (saltpeter is no longer used due to health concerns) on three separate occasions and placed back into refrigeration after each rubbing. The hams are kept refrigerated until midFebruary when the outside temperature falls to 55 degrees. They are then removed from storage, lightly pressure-washed and hung in stockinettes to dry. After two weeks of drying, the hams are ready to smoke. Sticks and limbs from his friend’s apple orchard and hickory wood are heaped in metal troughs and set afire with circulating fans sending the smoky air wafting around the room over four or five days. The hams then hang there throughout the dog days of summer, shrinking by as much as 30 to 40 percent but growing tastier each passing day. tnhomeandfarm.com
“Then, right before September, the 4-H kids come back and get the ham out of the aging room,” Woods says. “It’s quite an experience to see those youngsters’ eyes bulge when they see that pretty ham they put up is now covered with mold. They can’t believe that’s their ham, but it doesn’t hurt anything. They just take it out, wash it and get it ready for the Tennessee State Fair and Spring Hill Country Ham Festival.” Not surprisingly, the 4-H students fare well in the contests in which the hams are judged on appearance, smell and fat content. In fact, Savannah Sandlin’s ham from The Hamery won the Grand Champion award at the 2011 state fair, besting adult entrants. Still, Scott Ayers, a Christiana seventh-grader who took Best of Show at last year’s Spring Hill Country Ham Festival, modestly says his victory was nothing but “luck.” However, his older brother Holden says there’s more to it than that. “Showing cattle in 4-H is a lot of work (but) the ham project is a whole lot of waiting,” he says. “It takes patience for both of them. It’s amazing how long it takes to cure a ham.”
Ham for the Holidays The Hamery is open year-round WednesdaySaturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 411 W. Lytle St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130. For more information, call (615) 893-9712 or visit www.thehamery.com.
10 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Coca-Cola Country Ham In December 2001, very first issue of Tennessee Home & Farm published a recipe for Coca-Cola Country Ham. Ten years later, we are still getting requests for the recipe, so we decided to reprint it. You’re going to need: • • • • • • • • • • •
A year-old country ham with the hock cut off A 5-gallon pot A 24-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola (or any cola will do) A large cardboard box, big enough to fit the 5-gallon pot Newspaper A stack of magazines A large quilt or blanket, big enough to cover that large cardboard box Whole cloves A roasting pan A box or bag of brown sugar A bottle of spicy mustard
Keep in mind, this process is going to take some time, so give yourself a few days. Remember, opinions, tastes and terminology vary from region to region and house to house. First, clean up your ham. Take any excess salt off the surface and any mold – mold is okay, just scrub it off – and trim off any hard, dark spots. Let the ham soak in cold water in a large bucket or sink for 24 hours. The next day, pour off the water and transfer the ham to a large, heavy-duty cooking pot – Woods recommends using a turkey fryer. Fill the pot with new water and add the cola. Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Expect this to take 45 minutes to an hour. The goal is to cook the meat to 160 degrees. Most experts say once you get it to boiling, one minute per pound will suffice – typically about 15 to 20 minutes. More boiling will ensure against undercooking and remove more salt, but it also may make the meat a little crumbly when you slice it. If that happens, it makes excellent ham salad. Line the bottom of the cardboard box about 2 inches deep with magazines to insulate against cold floors. For this next part, you’re going to need a set of strong arms. A 5-gallon pot of ham and boiling water is going to weigh more than 50 pounds. Get extra help and be very careful during this step. Place the pot on the magazines in the box. Place the lid on the pot and stuff wadded-up newspapers around the sides of the pot and on top of the pot. Close the top of the box and slide it out of the way. Cover the box with a quilt or a blanket to insulate the pot so the meat will slow-cook overnight. After 24 hours, remove the blankets, open the box and remove the lid. You can dip some of the water off the top of the ham to make the pot easier to lift if you need to. (Don’t pour this water down the sink because it contains fat, salt and other materials that aren’t good for the pipes.) Place the ham in a sink or pan and trim away excess fat, leaving about a quarter of an inch. Transfer into a roasting pan. Score the ham in a diamond pattern at 1- to 2-inch intervals. Place whole cloves like thumbtacks where the scores cross. Stir up a glaze. You can use your own recipe or try ours. Our glaze is a box of brown sugar mixed with enough spicy mustard to make it ooze down the sides of the ham. Pour the glaze thickly on the ham and spread it around to even it out. Spread a little on both ends as well as the top and sides. Place the roasting pan in a moderate oven (250 to 300 degrees). Roast just long enough to melt the glaze, so keep an eye on it so you don’t scorch the ham. When it looks done, it’s done.
See More online
Visit tnhomeandfarm.com/hams for additional info on The Hamery and links related to this story.
12 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
A Touch of Signal Mountain artist decorates Tennessee tree at the nation’s Capitol
Story by Nancy Henderson Photography by jeff adkins
ast December, an awestruck Susan Parry watched from her seat on the Ellipse park near the White House as the National Christmas Tree lit up, along with 56 smaller ones representing the American states and territories. Knowing that 25 of her blownglass ornaments were glistening on the Tennessee tree, with 100,000 spectators looking on, was a thrilling experience for the award-winning Signal Mountain artist and Hamilton County Farm Bureau member. “All the people were jumping up and down and cheering,” she recalls. “It was just so exciting.” Just as magical was her discovery at the White House Visitor Center, where another of her creations hung on the holiday spruce. “Until I went over there I didn’t know which of my ornaments they had chosen. And this is the honor,” she says, pointing to a photograph of her “Tennessee Landscape” adorning the tree. “Mine was hung at the top.” The vivacious, fast-talking redhead, who moved from New York to Chattanooga at age 13, began blowing glass nine years ago after dabbling in painting, candle-making and other art forms. During a glass-working course at a lapidary school, she showed tnhomeandfarm.com
a knack for small sculptures, such as dragonflies and snowmen, instead of the beads the other students were making. “I couldn’t help it,” she says. “They weren’t the best, but they were starting points.” These days, Parry is best known for her “wearable art”: delicate vessels, glass hearts and whimsical faces with wiry beaded hair. Using a blend of propane and oxygen gases, she melts thin, colored glass rods and, carefully twirling the red-hot glass in all directions, crafts her signature penguins, mermaids and other fun pieces. “It is thrilling to the core of my being,” she says, “when I see something come to life before my eyes.” In 2010, a year after Parry applied for the coveted post as the Volunteer State’s sole artisan representative at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, she learned she’d been chosen by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and Tennessee State Parks. “At first I thought we were just talking about an ornament, singular,” she says. “And the next thing I know I get an email asking for 15. Then it goes to 26. They hadn’t had anybody do glasswork before.” At the request of then-Governor Phil Bredesen, Parry asked for ideas from tnhomeandfarm.com
seventh-graders at Signal Mountain Middle/ High School. The kids came up with lots of suggestions, from cookies and snowflakes to Santa Claus strumming a guitar. Parry ultimately decided on two designs: “Tennessee Flag,” a fused-glass takeoff on the state banner, and “Tennessee Landscape,” a torch-formed interpretation of the state’s green, rolling hills. The landscapes were tricky to make, fashioned via “lampworking,” an ancient process originally done over oil lamps with assistants fanning the bellows. “The turquoise river would turn gray if I didn’t put enough oxygen into it, just as the [blue] sky was turning black,” she says. “It’s harder to do than people realize. I had to think about the colors I was using … and keep the piece from breaking.” After attaching each finished ornament inside a “wreath” – a thick slice of green glass from a recycled bottle – she let the students assemble them in plastic globes to protect them from harsh weather. Parry, who donated her time in the middle of her busy holiday season, admits the project was time-consuming and the deadline was tight. But it was worth it. “I felt so honored,” she says. “It was just an amazing experience.”
Hot Holiday Gifts Susan Parry’s glasswork can be found at www. susanparrydesigns.com, Gallery 202 in Franklin, Tenn., and art shows throughout the country. Each collectible comes with a poem or bit of trivia or folklore. Replicas of her National Christmas Tree ornaments are available for $75 each, and Parry includes a certificate describing the process. “I give them the whole package just like it was in Washington – the same silk, the same ribbons,” she says. For special requests, email the artist at email@example.com.
TFBFâ€™s Annual Photo Contest
Grand Prize Meredith Bustillo Hermitage Davidson County Farm Bureau
16 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Natural Talent Photo contest grows as readers share images of flora, fauna and farm life Story by Blair Thomas
eredith Bustillo’s mother didn’t want her first mammoth sunflowers to wilt without capturing them on camera, so she sent her daughter into her Pulaski, Tenn., garden to get a few shots. Bustillo had no clue she’d return with the 16th annual Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Photo Contest winner. “My mother has always had a very big green thumb, and I’ve always loved photography,” says Bustillo, a Davidson County Farm Bureau member. “This was Mom’s first year growing sunflowers, and I was eager to capture them.” As she made her way through her mom’s garden with her new Nikon D3100 – a birthday gift from her husband – all of the sunflowers had fully bloomed except one. “All the flowers were full and bright yellow, but the color of this one caught my attention,” she says. “It was just starting to fully open up, and it was so beautiful. It’s not every day you catch a flower opening up like that.” Photography is a hobby Bustillo enjoys in her free time, when she’s not teaching Spanish at a preschool in Franklin or spending time with her husband in their home in Hermitage. “I really like taking pictures, especially of landscapes and things in nature,” she says. Bustillo knows her mom will be overjoyed. “This means so much more to me knowing it was a picture of her garden that won,” she says. She was in good company this year with more than 1,700 photos submitted. Winners were chosen in three categories by judges from Journal Communications, the publisher of this magazine. The following photos were selected as winners, along with many pictures worthy of honorable mention, which you can view at tnhomeandfarm.com. And keep those cameras out! You’ll find an entry form for the 2012 photo contest in our spring issue.
TFBFâ€™s Annual Photo Contest/Agriculture Is Life
First Place Bill Jones Nashville Davidson County Farm Bureau
Second Place Ashlee Haggard Waynesboro Wayne County Farm Bureau
18 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Third Place Martin Dickey Luttrell Union County Farm Bureau tnfarmbureau.org
TFBFâ€™s Annual Photo Contest/The Animal Kingdom
First Place Chad King Springfield Robertson County Farm Bureau
Third Place Patricia Musgrave Petersburg Marshall County Farm Bureau
Second Place Darren Shelton Erwin Unicoi County Farm Bureau tnhomeandfarm.com
TFBFâ€™s Annual Photo Contest/Tennessee Gardens
First Place Donna Mullins Ooltewah Hamilton County Farm Bureau
20 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Second Place Bonnie Garland Winchester Franklin County Farm Bureau
Third Place Dana Knight Spring City Rhea County Farm Bureau
PinPoint Plus security (877) 636-2681
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*Offers subject to change without notice. **HughesNet is available anywhere in the contiguous US with a clear view of the southern sky. Service and hardware sold separately. 24-month commitment required. Early termination fees apply. Visit legal. HughesNet.com for details. Minimum term required. Monthly service and termination fees apply. Usage is subject to a Fair Access Policy. Actual speeds may vary. Speed and uninterrupted use of service are not guaranteed. Visit www.legal.HughesNet.com for details.***Wireless router available to customers after 30 days of active service.
already a HughesNet customer, but have questions about your service? Call 866-347-3299 ©2011 Hughes Network Systems, LLC. HughesNet is a registered trademark of Hughes Network Systems, LLC.
are subject to change without notice. To qualify for Farm Bureau Bank’s lowest loan annual percentage rates, members must have excellent credit and sign up for automatic payments. Additional discounts also apply when purchasing one or more vehicle protection plans. National average for 60-month new auto loans is 6.92% APR as quoted by Bankrate.com. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank, FSB. Farm Bureau Bank, FSB is a service to member institution that provides banking services to Farm Bureau members. Services are not available in AL, IL, MI, MO, MS, OH or WY and may not be available in some counties or parishes. Farm Bureau, FB and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation and are used under license by FB BanCorp and its subsidiaries, including Farm Bureau Bank FSB. FB BanCorp is an independent entity and the AFBF does not own, is not owned by, and is not under common ownership with FB BanCorp or its affiliated entities.
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Your Tennessee Farm Bureau membership offers you exclusive savings with these preferred partners because of their proven service, savings and integrity. Visit us online to learn more about the benefits of being a TN Farm Bureau Member: www.tnfarmbureau.org/memberbenefits or find us on Facebook – TN Farm Bureau Member Benefits.
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• If you have been a victim of ID theft, call (877) 329-3911 **You must be an active member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau for a minimum of 60 days to be eligible. Membership eligibility and offer subject to change without notice.
*36-month monitoring agreement required at $31.99 per month ($1,151.64). $99 customer installation charge. Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may apply. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new customers only. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. PowerLink, LLC TN. Cert. #C-0332.
Simply present your membership card at a participating pharmacy to receive your discount (information on back of card). Don’t have your membership card? Visit our website, www.tnfarmbureau.org/ memberbenefits to reprint your card or to check for participating pharmacies and drug pricing. *This card is not an insurance benefit and will not offer additional savings on pharmacy discounts offered through insurance plans.
24 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Cooking for a Crowd Enliven festive parties and potlucks with these holiday eats
Photography by Jeffrey S. Otto food styling by kristen winston catering
rom pondering what to prepare for a potluck to hosting a huge holiday party, cooking for a crowd during the Christmas season can be stressful and repetitive for anyone who ordinarily loves to spend time in the kitchen. As much as we love sausage balls and cheese logs, sometimes it’s good to think out of the box and supplement your menu with new ideas. These recipes offer just that – a fresh perspective on holiday eats. Just about anything tastes better with bacon, so why not wrap it around healthy fruit such as dates, which are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium, as well as a good source of fiber. Storing dates is easy – they don’t require refrigeration and have a long shelf life. The sweetness of these nutrientrich fruits combines with the saltiness of the bacon for a simple crowd-pleasing appetizer. Next on the party platter are stuffed mushroom caps. Mushrooms alone are naturally low in calories and sodium, as well as fat free and cholesterol free. The cheesy mixture may not be 100 percent healthy, but tnhomeandfarm.com
with this savory starter, you’ll also get the mushrooms’ nutrients, including riboflavin (vitamin B12), as well as calcium and vitamin D from the cheese. Our sweet potato casserole goes the opposite direction of the typical requisites of marshmallows and brown sugar. Instead, this savory side dish gets its flavor from bacon, rosemary, shallots (a variety of onion) and Gruyère cheese. Though our version calls for them to be piped into ramekins for a pretty presentation, a single baking dish can be used; just increase the baking time at the end. No holiday dinner party would be complete without something sweet. Our decadent take on classic gingersnap cookies calls for them to be drizzled with sweet white chocolate to finish the night on a high note. Whether you want to spice up a fancy dinner party menu or just find a new dish to bring to Granny’s Christmas dinner, we hope these company-ready recipes inspire you. After all, there’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than sharing culinary traditions with your loved ones.
Hungry for More? Go to tnhomeandfarm. com/holiday-party-eats for additional recipes, such as these Chocolate Pots de Crème.
12 slices applewood smoked bacon
1 cup chopped green onions
12 dried dates, pits removed and cut in half
¾ pound (1 ½ cups) mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay bacon out flat on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked but not yet crisp. The bacon needs to be flexible enough to wrap around the date. Cut each piece of bacon in half. Wrap a half a piece of bacon around one the half pieces of date, overlapping just a little bit. Secure the bacon by inserting a toothpick. Bake the bacon-wrapped dates at 350 degrees until the bacon is crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
1 tablespoon butter ¼ cup dry sherry wine ½ cup Swiss cheese, shredded ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup seasoned or herbed breadcrumbs / cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt ¹⁄ 8 teaspoon ground pepper ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, toasted (for topping) ½ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (for topping) 30 medium mushrooms, stems removed Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and oil in large skillet. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, raise heat and cook until until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooking wine and boil until almost dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, breadcrumbs, heavy cream, salt and pepper to the mushroom mixture, and mix well. Adjust seasonings if necessary. In a separate bowl, mix the topping ingredients. Stuff the mushroom caps with the mushroom-cheese mixture. Sprinkle each mushroom with breadcrumbcheese topping mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
26 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole 3 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds), scrubbed well
Gingersnap Cookies With White Chocolate Drizzle
4 ounces smoked bacon (about 5 slices)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 small shallots, finely minced
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup sugar, plus additional sugar for coating dough
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¾ cup canola oil
2 ounces Gruyère cheese (about ½ cup), finely grated
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pierce each several times with a fork. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and fit with a wire rack. Arrange bacon strips on rack, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook until well glazed and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, roughly chop and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rosemary, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cut cooled potatoes in half and scoop sweet potato flesh into bowl. Add remaining butter, shallot mixture, egg, cream and cheese. Mix until very smooth. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag. Pipe mixture into ramekins. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and garnish with Gruyère and bacon.
¼ cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk first five ingredients in a large bowl. Beat sugar and canola oil in another large bowl until pale in color, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Roll two tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball, then roll in sugar to coat. Repeat, forming about 6 dough balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet (cookies will spread). Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges and cracked on top, about 12 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on sheet; transfer cookies to rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until melted. Dip fork into chocolate and drizzle over cookies. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 10 minutes. Home&Farm 27
28 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Berry Delightful Cornmeal cake wins awards for 4-H’er
She traded in the Dutch oven for a skillet so the cornbread would cook faster in the gas oven. She also had her ingredients already mixed and measured out before the contest started. “We were allowed to have our ingredients ready to go, which was good because it takes a while to get the almond paste just right.” Brown’s hard work and preparations paid off when she held that trophy – a golden skillet and a $500 cash prize – in her hand. “It was really exciting,” she says. “I was glad everyone liked my recipe.” Brown will continue to cook because she loves it, and she’ll balance that with her desired future career as a fashion designer. “I really like baking, I’m really good at sweets like Rice Krispies Treats, cookies and brownies,” Brown says, “but I’ll probably try more stuff now.” – Blair Thomas
“Berry” Delightful Cornmeal Cake 1½ cups cornmeal mix
More than 200 contestants, the timer set for one hour, classic Southern fare on the menu. Eleven-year-old Marissa Brown didn’t even bat an eyelash. “I’ve always loved baking and I’ve been doing it since I was about 5,” Brown laughs, “so I wasn’t really nervous.” The fifth-grader won the 4-H Cook-off at the National Cornbread Festival earlier this year in South Pittsburg with her recipe for “Berry” Delightful Cornmeal Cake. Brown’s mom gave her the recipe for this sweet, cake-like cornbread with berries, and she spent three weeks perfecting it before the contest. “We tried a bunch of different ways to get it just right and to practice making it before the contest,” Brown says. And it’s a good thing she did. When Brown arrived at the festival, she realized she was going to be cooking in a gas oven – she was used to her electric oven at home. The contestants had just one hour to cook the cornbread, and Brown worried her cornmeal cake wouldn’t be finished in that time in the different oven. “It takes exactly one hour to cook when we were doing it in the Dutch oven at home, so I knew I needed to make some changes.” tnhomeandfarm.com
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.
½ cup flour 1½ cups sugar 8 ounces almond paste 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 6 large eggs 2 tablespoons vanilla 2 cups fresh cranberries (or substitute your favorite fresh berries)
Powdered sugar for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a large cast iron skillet. Mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, almond paste, butter, eggs and vanilla until well-combined (this may take a while, particularly with the almond paste). Fold in cranberries or fruit of your choice, and pour the mixture into the cast iron skillet. Bake for 1 hour uncovered, or until the edges are golden brown. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in the skillet and serve from there (or turn out onto cake plate after cooling). Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Home&Farm 29
30 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Hedge Fun Shrubbery throughout the year brings beautiful bushes to every season
hether valued for their foliage or their flowers, used in foundation planting or as screens, shrubs are an integral component in any landscape. They are woody plants that persist in the garden year after year and help form the backbone of the landscape around which annuals and perennials are adorned. Although planting season for most shrubs begins in November, you may add them to your landscape as late as March as long as the ground is not frozen.
Winter Firepower Nandina: A compact evergreen that is valued for its vibrant red and orange winter foliage, this plant thrives in full sun and grows 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. For high impact, use in groups of three and five. Nandina is good for planting along your homeâ€™s foundation or in a mixed border. Winterberry Holly: Attract birds with this deciduous holly valued for its showy red berries from fall through late winter. It has a suckering habit (sending out shoots of secondary growth from its roots) and grows from 3 to 12 feet tall and wide. This variety also grows in well-drained soil and requires full sun to partial shade. Plant both male and female plants to ensure berries.
Spring Hybrid Fothergilla: White, bottlebrush-like flowers cover this shrub in spring, and the foliage turns vibrant yellow-orange in fall. It grows 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide with an upright, open-vase habit. The bush thrives in full sun to partial shade and moist to well-drained soils. tnhomeandfarm.com
Chinese Snowball Viburnum: Valued for its softball-sized, hydrangea-like flowers, this white-blooming semi-evergreen shrub blooms in spring and often again in the fall. Maturing to 12 feet or more, this plant needs plenty of room in a sunny to partial-shade location.
Summer Flowering Abelia: Valued for its glossy, semi-evergreen leaves and summer-long flowers, its bell-shaped blossoms are fragrant, white to pale pink in color and great for attracting butterflies. This shrub thrives in full sun to partial shade and a well-drained soil. Chastetree: This showy shrub is valued for the loads of spiky, lavender-colored blooms it produces all summer. This vase-shaped shrub grows up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. It needs full sun and a well-drained soil. Chastetree is also great for attracting butterflies.
Fall American Beauty Berry (pictured): The foliage of this shrub turns bright yellow before dropping in fall and exposing brilliant violetpurple fruit clusters that cover its arching branches. It grows 3 to 8 feet tall and wide and thrives in full sun to partial shade in a moist but well-drained soil. Virginia Sweetspire: The fall foliage of this shrub outshines its fragrant spring blooms. The foliage turns a beautiful red-orange to crimson color and retains its leaves well into November. The suckering growth habit make this plant great for mass plantings, and itâ€™s tolerant of sun or shade and damp to well-drained soils.
About the Author Dr. Sue Hamilton is director of the UT Gardens and an associate professor on the faculty of the University of Tennessee Department of Plant Sciences. The Gardens are a project of the UT Institute of Agriculture, with locations in Knoxville and Jackson: http://utgardens. tennessee.edu See More online
Read more about these shrubs and other varieties at tnhomeandfarm. com/shrubbery.
32 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Meet Lake Elliott Young farmer helps preserve farmland, educate others about ag
id you know that the average age of a farmer today is 57? That makes you wonder where our food, fiber and other products will come from in the future. Luckily, young farmers such as Lake Elliott are ready and willing to be part of this generation’s agricultural leaders. “To me, agriculture is a way of life,” says Elliott, 32. “Being the seventh generation to farm my family’s land, it’s a part of my history; that’s something I take a lot of pride in. I pay a lot of attention to the current state of agriculture as well, because I hope it’s my future too, not just my history.” Elliott works with his father and uncle on the family farm, Robert Elliott and Sons, where they raise cattle, dark-fired tobacco and hay near Adams.
I needed to go off on my own and learn what or what not to do on an operation. I did a two-year stint [at another farm] where I was the show and sale cattle manager. After two years, I felt the need to go on my own and take my own risks, so I returned to our farm. But it was a really good experience in a lot of different perspectives. I learned a lot of things to do, as well as some things I didn’t want to do in my own operation.
See More online
Find additional Q&As in the Meet a Farmer section of tnhomeandfarm. com.
Is being involved in leadership groups important to you and the future of agriculture? I think it’s extremely important. The way I look at it, those organizations made me who I am today. I was involved in 4-H, showing cows. I was in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity in college, as well as Block and Bridle and the Student Cattlemen’s Association. I serve on my county Farm Bureau board, as the Montgomery County Young Farmer chair, on the board of directors for the Tennessee Angus Association and as an adviser to the Tennessee Junior Angus Association. These groups were always a big help to me and will be a big help down the line. You meet people that have your same concerns and look at them in a different way, and it may help you on your operation. And when you get a group of people together with like minds and a single goal, you can make a difference. – Melissa Burniston
What are some challenges you face? The biggest challenge with agriculture now is public perception. We have to be in a position to educate those not involved in agriculture as to why we do what we do. The other big challenge is preservation of land in agriculture. Where I live, between Fort Campbell [Ky.] and Nashville, finding land to farm at a reasonable price – when developers can come in and beat my price – is becoming more and more difficult. We own around 500 acres and rent another 125 acres, but to grow beyond that and keep the rented ground we own is difficult.
What made you decide to continue your family’s agricultural tradition? I was greatly blessed to be raised on a farm – learning the values of hard work and responsibility, being able to watch my labor grow into something. After I graduated from the University of Tennessee, my dad told me tnhomeandfarm.com
How do you care for your animals? It’s very important for people to understand why I want my animals to be protected and do well for me. Number one, it’s not in my blood to mistreat an animal. But number two, a lot of people don’t realize if an animal is stressed, production goes down. The better you treat an animal, the more production goes up.
To Good Health
Dogged Resolve Puppy problems can’t be solved without old-fashioned chat This column is rated PG-13 (for disgusting content). t was nearing midnight and I could not believe this was really happening. Instead of being asleep, we four Kimbroughs were wide awake, thanks to two scrawny puppies that now belong to my daughters since I gave in at a weak moment and said yes to Christmas dogs. (But that’s another story.) This story began when I wandered into the family room and noticed Lala (miniature Schnauzer/Shih Tzu) and Faye (Shih Tzu) finishing off a plate of fried onion strings. I yelled to remind the family that someone had left a plate where it should not have been, and that the puppies had done what puppies do. My displeasure expressed, I headed for bed. Those plans were interrupted when my oldest daughter – armed only with a cell phone and its Internet capability – quickly did some research and pronounced that onions could be fatal to her Faye. Having never heard such about onions and dogs, I still intended to go to bed. But with a call to a veterinarian by my more caring wife, thoughts of slumber ended as I saw the fearful eyes of my daughters. So here we were: Two grown adults in the living room, trying to use a syringe to get hydrogen peroxide into the tummies of two puppies so they would (no good way to say this) throw up. I practically gag at the sight of vomit under any circumstance, regardless of the source, and here I was actually trying to make it happen! I mean, we were practically cheerleading: Go, Lala, go, V-O-M-I-T, go! And she did, and we got excited. That onion stuff won’t get in her bloodstream now, we said, turning our attention to Faye. But she was not so easy. That little pup
fended us off for an hour, making it impossible to squirt peroxide down her little mouth. Our success rate was poor and desperation set in. Finally, the youngest of the Kimbroughs – who actually aspires to be a veterinarian – stepped in, syringe in hand, and apparently saved the day. A few moments later, more whoops erupted as Faye succumbed and ‘gave it up.’ Now that you are disgustedly disturbed by this whole story, maybe we can draw at least one important lesson from it. I’ve already applied some lessons within our household, beginning with plates being left in wrong places. But I think we can draw one connection a bit more important, one that deals not with the health of our animals, but our own health, especially that of our seniors. Recall how quickly my daughter retrieved information about the onions and her dog? Yet even armed with that information, it took a call to a friendly veterinarian for us to fully understand and know what to do. Nothing replaces a simple, old-fashioned chat. This time of year, many of our senior citizens are facing information overload about their health coverage. It’s good they receive this information, but sometimes they probably would just like to sit down and talk with someone about it. Fortunately, you can find TRH Health Plans at any of your friendly Farm Bureau offices, and someone there can talk with you about Medicare plans and your options. We would love to do that, so come see us, or check us out on the Internet at www.trh.com, or call us at (877) 874-8323. And we promise, we’ll keep the stories cleaner than the one above and make certain to leave the plates in the kitchen.
About the Author Anthony Kimbrough is vice president of marketing and government relations for TRH Health Plans. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about TRH Health Plans, call (877) 874-8323 or visit www.trh.com.
I care beca use I wou ldnâ€™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.
36 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Savings for the Season Farm Bureau member benefits offer incredible return on investment
hen you see the golden arches, you know there’s a McDonald’s close by. My boys would say those arches mean that old Dad is about to feed the Wright family one more time off the dollar menu. (My boys say I’m cheap, but I prefer the term “conservative.”). How many folks in our part of the world immediately recognize that certain shade of green as being associated with John Deere? Both McDonald’s and John Deere have built their brand recognition on value and quality. How about that red rectangle that simply has the words “Farm Bureau Tennessee” inside? Most Tennesseans recognize the Farm Bureau logo as a symbol of value, and, without a doubt, the value offered to members today is better than ever before. A few years back we
started a member benefits program in Tennessee specifically designed to increase value of Farm Bureau membership by offering discounts on products and services for members. As a member, you can save more than enough money each year to pay for your $25 membership. Since I’m “conservative,” I decided to figure up how much money I saved last year by using just two benefits associated with membership. Last year I spent five nights in Choice Hotels and saved on average $18 per night, for a total savings of $90. When you add just that one figure to the identity theft consultation and restoration services automatically included with membership valued at a minimum of $10 per month ($120 annually), the savings add up quickly, and it’s easy to see that membership in Farm Bureau didn’t cost me a dime. In fact, my $25 membership paid me back $185. I don’t know about you, but I sure do wish my 401(k) had a return on investment like that! If you’re “conservative” like me, and you like to save a few dollars from time to time, take a look at the products and services available to you as a member at www.tnfarmbureau.org/ memberbenefits. You can also check out our ad on pages 22 and 23 of this magazine. P.S. If Santa happens to be reading this, he can save $500 on a new Ford F150 for me for Christmas.
About the Author Bryan Wright is the associate director of organization/member benefits for TFBF. His email is bwright@ tfbf.com. To learn more about member benefits, visit www.tnfarmbureau.org/ memberbenefits or call the member benefits hotline toll free at 1-877-363-9100.
38 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Taste theTrails Savor Memorable Meals on Tennessee’s Trails & Byways Story by Kim Green
ur state legislature may have officially dubbed the 200-mile stretch of I-40 between Nashville and Memphis, “Music Highway.” But everybody knows that to hear the real music, you’ve got to get off the interstate and slow down to find the juke joints and honky-tonks along Tennessee’s lesserknown thoroughfares. The same goes for sampling our state’s best traditional fare. You usually won’t find the perfect pulled pork joint on some interstate exit – it’ll be miles away from those choked ribbons of blacktop. Look for a crumbling brick smokehouse that’s been stoked by the same ancient man for decades in some remote town that time and the interstate ignored, and you’ll know you’ve found just the place. A leisurely journey along the featured trails on Discover Tennessee’s Trails & Byways offers explorers an ideal way to enjoy the scenery along the road less traveled and to try some of the best eateries the state has to offer, from burgers to barbecue to down-home cooking. Here are a few of our favorites, from the Mississippi to the Smokies. We predict they’ll be music to your taste buds.
Trail Mix Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways are self-guided driving tours designated by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. New trails are still being unveiled and will ultimately include three statewide and 16 regional trails. To learn more about the trails, visit www.tntrails andbyways.com. Find an interactive map of the restaurants listed above at tnhomeandfarm.com/ tntrails-restaurants.
Take a drive down one of Tennessee’s Trails & Byways to find good eats off the beaten path, such as the fried chicken at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House in Lynchburg or the burgers at Bell’s Drive-In in Henderson. tnhomeandfarm.com
Above: Simultaneously satisfy your ears and your taste buds at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant locations in Leiper’s Fork, downtown Nashville or Franklin (pictured). Right: Step back in time at Soda Pop Junction in Lynnville, where you can wash down your burger with a milkshake.
Best Byway Burgers
Reeves Drug Store (Jack Trail): 125 N. First St., Pulaski, (931) 363-2561, www.reevesdrug store.com Rockabilly Café (Walking Tall Trail): 103 S. Front St., Selmer, (731) 645-6070
Bell’s Drive-In (Walking Tall Trail): West Tennesseans seeking the guilty pleasures of pan-fried burgers and thick milkshakes converge on this beloved diner in Henderson, situated along the Walking Tall Trail, which circles south of I-40 between Memphis and Shiloh National Military Park. 204 S. Church Ave., Henderson, (731) 989-2816 (cash only) Puckett’s Grocery (Old Tennessee Trail): The Old Tennessee Trail’s rolling farm country and antebellum plantation homes south of Nashville evoke a bygone South, while Puckett’s Grocery proves that some of that past lives on, deliciously. This traditional country grocery serves up traditional Southern cooking and, of late, the region’s other most sought-after art form – live music. Try Puckett’s famous burger, in all its elegant simplicity, or go all out and add pimiento cheese and bacon to it. 4142 Old Hillsboro Road, Leiper’s Fork, (615) 794-1308 (original location) 120 Fourth Ave. S., Franklin, (615) 794-5527 500 Church St. #100, Nashville, (615) 770-2772
40 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Soda Pop Junction (Jack Trail): Stop in tiny Lynnville, a historic whistle stop just north of Pulaski, and slide into a booth amidst the charming chaos of old 45s, license plates, Elvis portraits, and even a bike or two hanging on the brick and paneled walls. The big vent hood behind the counter sports a prideful sign that touts itself as “Big Johnny’s Grill, Home of Tennessee’s Number 1 Hamburger.” You be the judge. 141 Mill Street, Lynnville, (931) 527-0007 (cash only); they also have a Facebook page. Tinsley Bible Drug Company (Sunnyside Trail): Take a break from the winding Sunnyside Trail in the northeast Tennessee mountains to stroll the stately Federal and Greek Revival inns of historic Dandridge. Climb onto a barstool at Tinsley Bible Drugs, an early 20th century pharmacy and soda fountain. Enjoy the museum-like display of old pill bottles as you await your famous Bible Burger and an old-fashioned malt. 1224 Gay St., Dandridge, (865) 397-3444 (closed weekends), www.tinsleybibledrugs.com tnfarmbureau.org
Travel Backcountry BBQ The Hickory Pit (Walking Tall Trail): A slow infusion of hickory smoke flavors the BBQ chicken and the pork shoulders, hams, and ribs at the Hickory Pit in downtown Savannah. Although barbecue’s their specialty, don’t neglect the specials – Southern favorites like chicken and dumplings, fried okra, and lemon ice-box pie. Try the neon cheese fries. 555 Main St., Savannah, (731) 925-2268, www.hickorypit.net Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Jack Trail): “Here’s what we know,” says Martin’s website, a witty electronic homage to Southern culture: “Glitz ain’t got no flavor, so we don’t waste much time with it.” Pat Martin’s not afraid of a little self-effacing humor, as evidenced by
the title of one of his signature dishes – the redneck taco, a hoecake piled high with pulled pork, sauce and slaw. 7238 Nolensville Road, Nolensville, (615) 776-1856, www.martinsbbqjoint.com Ridgewood Barbecue (Sunnyside Trail): Hold tight to the wheel as you brave the twisty road to Bluff City, in the Tri-Cities area. Ridgewood Barbecue may seem remote, but to BBQ lovers, it’s legendary. The massive, sliced-pork sandwiches are made from hams, not shoulders, and the Proffitt family hands down the smoky-red-sauce recipe by oral tradition only. Hand-cut French fries and crocks of molasses-y BBQ beans are more than mere sidemen to the pork. 900 Elizabethton Hwy., Bluff City, (423) 538-7543
Also try: Jack’s Creek BBQ (Walking Tall Trail): Hwy. 45 S., Selmer, (731) 989-4140 Larry’s Bar-B-Que At the Wagon (Jack Trail): 1941 Decherd Blvd., Decherd, (931) 967-9163 Jack’s Bar-B-Que (Jack Trail): 334 West Trinity Lane, Nashville, (615) 228-9888, www.jacksbarbque.com (Another location downtown) Heavy’s Barbecue Off the River (White Lightning Trail): 1501 N. Broad St., Tazewell, (423) 526-5550
This by no means covers all of the barbecue territory in Tennessee, but it’s a good place to start. Top: Order up at Ridgewood Barbecue in Bluff City. Above right: Piled-high smoked pork at The Hickory Pit in Savannah. Left: The Redneck Taco at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville.
Jones Orchard Market & Kitchen (Walking Tall Trail): 7170 Hwy. 51 N., Millington, (901) 873-3150, www.jonesorchard.com Square Market & Café (Old Tennessee Trail): 36 Public Square, Columbia, (931) 8403636, www.square marketcafe.com Clinch Mountain Lookout Restaurant (White Lightning Trail): 190 Lookout Mountain Road, Thorn Hill, (865) 767-2511, www.clinchmountainlook out.com/restaurant.htm
Big Al’s On the Square (Walking Tall Trail): In tiny Grand Junction, once a rail hub fiercely defended by Union soldiers, owner Susan Tice is still whipping up the recipes her grandmother taught her – from-scratch cakes and pies, butter beans, and fried green tomatoes, to name a few. She might even add your family’s favorite dish to the menu, too. “People love it when I make one of their handed-down recipes,” she says. “They feel at home here.” 133 Madison Ave., Grand Junction, (731) 764-2711; they also have a Facebook page. Country Boy Restaurant (Old Tennessee Trail): Soak up the flavor of rural Tennessee’s past at Country Boy Restaurant in arty Leiper’s Fork, a scenic 40 minutes south of Nashville. Hanging quilts, patrons in overalls and a tableful of Southern delicacies will carry you back to a bygone era. Try the homemade
42 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
Elvis fried pie – that’s peanut butter, banana and honey, thank you very much. 4141 Old Hillsboro Road, Leiper’s Fork, (615) 591-4245, www.thecountryboy restaurant.com Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Restaurant (Jack Trail): A dinner bell urges patrons to be seated, family-style, at one of several lengthy tables in this elegant former boarding house. Room hostesses from Lynchburg recount local history and lore as diners pass around heaping plates of Southern favorites, such as macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, okra, and chess pie. 295 Main St., Lynchburg, (931) 759-7394 Bush’s Family Café (Sunnyside Trail): Stop in for an inexpensive casual Southern breakfast or lunch after immersing yourself in Bush Bean history and general bean lore at the plant museum. Try the signature pinto bean pie. 3901 Hwy. 411, Dandridge, (865) 509-3485, www.bushbeans.com tnfarmbureau.org
From left: Get your fix of down-home cooking during a family-style meal at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House in Lynchburg; browse the Bush Beans Visitor Center before dining in Bush’s Family Cafe; enjoy made-from-scratch meals at Big Al’s Country Kitchen in Grand Junction; or try the Country Boy Breakfast in Leiper’s Fork.
The 18th Annual Christmas Toy Train Show chugs into Nashville on Dec. 10 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Photo by Antony Boshier
Tennessee Events & Festivals This listing includes a selection of events of statewide interest scheduled in November, December, January and February as provided to Tennessee Home & Farm by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. To include your local events in our listing, please contact them at (615) 741-7994 or email@example.com. Due to space constraints, we are unable to include all of the events provided, but additional information and events can be found online through the department’s Web site, www.tnvacation.com. Events are subject to date change or cancellation; please call the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend.
November Smoky Mountain Winterfest – Nov. 7- Feb. 28, Gatlinburg
The gateway towns to the Smokies turn into a winter wonderland with over two million light displays and special events. CONTACT: 800-568-4748, gatlinburg.com
Speedway In Lights –
Nov. 18-Jan. 8, Bristol
Millions of holiday lights and hundreds of displays line the route, and you even get to drive on the legendary “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”CONTACT: 423-989-6900, bristolmotorspeedway.com
Deck The Falls –
Nov. 18-Dec. 31, Chattanooga
44 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
The holiday season is a special time at Ruby Falls. Enjoy a special holiday light show at the waterfalls, holiday music in the cave and beautifully decorated lobby and grounds that includes old St Nick. CONTACT: 800-755-7105, rubyfalls.com
December Fayette County Tree Lighting –
Dec. 1, Somerville
Fayette County Courthouse official lighting of the tree at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy Christmas music, poinsettia memorials, and free refreshments. CONTACT: 901-465-7301, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas In Old Appalachia –
Dec. 1-24, Museum of
A winter wonderland awaits within split-rail fences. Christmas in turn-of-century structures including a dirt-floored pioneer cabin, the gaily decorated Homestead House, and an old log school house. CONTACT: 865-494-7680, museumofappalachia.org
Athenaeum Christmas Tour – Dec. 2-3, Columbia
Local historic homes decorated for the season with tours. Other seasonal activities included in the area. CONTACT: 931-381-4822, maurychristmas.com
A Classic Christmas – Dec. 2-3, Cleveland
Lighting of the community Christmas tree on the Courthouse Square with Santa Claus. CONTACT: 423-472-6587, mainstreetcleveland.com
Christmas Bazaar –
Dec. 3, Somerville
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Vendors with crafts, food and gifts open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy shopping at its best. CONTACT: 901-465-7301, email@example.com
Merry Tuba Christmas Concert –
Dec. 3, Harriman
Tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather to pay grateful tribute to composers who have embraced these noble instruments with solo and ensemble compositions. CONTACT: roanetourism.com tnfarmbureau.org
Events & Festivals Old Fashioned Christmas – Dec. 3, Bell Buckle
Enjoy lights, old fashioned decorations, carolers, music and Santa and his sleigh. CONTACT: 931-389-9663
Free Pictures with Santa – Dec. 3, Somerville
Have you children’s picture taken with a real-bearded, licensed Santa Clause at the FAIR Theatre at 2 p.m. Make sure to bring you Christmas list. CONTACT: 901-465-7301, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday Home Tour and Wagon Ride – Dec. 3, Somerville
Dickens Of A Christmas –
Dec. 10-11, Franklin
A Victorian-themed Christmas with more than 200 costumed characters reenacting the work of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol.” CONTACT: 615-591-8500, historicfranklin.com
31tn Annual “Earth Treasures” Gem, Jewelry, Mineral, Fossil Show & Sale – Dec. 10-11, Franklin
Mid-Tennessee Gem & Mineral Society sponsors a two-day indoor show with over 30 dealers featuring handmade silver and stone jewelry, crystals and geodes, fossils and
mineral specimens, supplies, tools, silver smithing and lapidary demonstrations, exhibits, with a silent auction and door prizes every hour. CONTACT: John Stanley, 615-579-1386, mtgms.org
Springfield Christmas Tour of Homes – Dec. 11, Springfield
Purchase tickets at the museum on Sixth Avenue in Springfield to tour various homes in the community. CONTACT: 615-382-7173
Annual Sewanee Christmas Bazzar – Dec. 12-16, Sewanee
Tour beautifully decorated historic homes and churches by horse drawn wagon ride. Enjoy fine dining at Main Street Eatery, 4 to 9 p.m. CONTACT: 901-465-7301, email@example.com
Christmas Parade – Dec. 3, Somerville
Bands, floats, cars and more starting at 1 p.m. CONTACT: 901-465-7301, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adopt a Tree at Warriors’ Path State Park – Dec. 3, Kingsport
Come help plant our future woodlands. For every tree you plant in the park, you get to take one home to plant on your own. CONTACT: 423-239-6786, state.tn.us/ environment/parks/WarriorsPath
Oaklands Home School Holiday Tour – Dec. 8, Oaklands Historic House Museum, Murfreesboro
This Victorian holiday Christmas tour includes a tour of the mansion decorated for the holidays and customs from the 1800s. Due to limited spacing, reservations are required. CONTACT: 615-893-0022, oaklandsmuseum.org
Christmas In The Park –
Dec. 9-10, Pickwick Landing wState Park, Pickwick Dam
Features a vendors market, light displays, carriage rides and Santa. CONTACT: 731-925-2363
Victorian Holiday Home Tour –
Dec. 10, Rugby
Tour 10 private Victorian homes decorated for the holidays. CONTACT: 888-214-3400, historicrugby.org
18th Annual Christmas Toy Train Show – Dec. 10, Nashville
Trains available for children to play with and experience! View operating layouts of all gauges in action, find train parts, train related objects, train sets to operate, train manuals, and train clothing for adults and kids. CONTACT: 615-758-6003 tnhomeandfarm.com
18th Annual Christmas Toy Train Show SPONSORED BY: MUSIC CITY CHAPTER TRAIN COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION
WHERE: TENNESSEE STATE FAIRGROUNDS AGRICULTURAL BUILDING, Nashville, TN. (Wedgewood exit on I-65 S.)
Our student/soldiers complete online courses in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever they are around the world.
Apply previous college credit to flexible degree programs for working adults!
The show is open to the general public. Opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. ADMISSION: $7.00 per person — children 12 and under are FREE! SPECIAL DRAWING OF LIONEL TRAIN SETS — FOR CHILDREN ONLY! Trains will be available for children to play with and experience! View operating layouts of all gauges in action!
You’ve come to a place where students with jobs, family and full-time responsibilities are the rule, not the exception. Every day, ETSU’s professional advisors and faculty in Cross-Disciplinary Studies successfully serve the needs of busy adult students just like you. Start building your future today by finishing your degree!
East Tennessee State University Cross-Disciplinary Studies
Bachelor of General Studies • Bachelor of Applied Science Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies – all online! Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies – all online!
Call or e-mail: Jordan Swingle (423) 439-4223 email@example.com
MORE CONVENIENT THAN EVER BEFORE! EVENING, OFF-CAMPUS AND 400+ INTERNET CLASSES!
46 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
WHEN: SAT. DECEMBER 10, 2011
COME AND FIND: Train parts, trainrelated objects, train sets to operate, train manuals, train clothing for adults and kids.
Hand-crafted items, baked goods, canned goods and a new cookbook will be available for purchase. Lunch is served at noon for those who would like to stay. The Bazaar hours are 9:30 to 2:00 Monday through Friday. CONTACT: 931-598-0771
Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Show – Dec. 31, Gatlinburg
For the 24th straight year, the Space Needle area at traffic light no. 8 comes alive at the stroke of midnight with a fabulous fireworks show. Features free party favors and live entertainment. CONTACT: 800-568-4748, eventsgatlinburg.com
New Year’s Eve on Beale –
Dec. 31, Memphis
Join the celebration as we welcome in the New Year on Beale Street. CONTACT: 901-543-5310
January Bald Eagle Tours – January-March,
Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville
Join us for a two-hour naturalist guided bus tour to view Bald Eagles in their natural environment. CONTACT: 800-250-8617, tnstateparks.com/reelfoot
Elvis Presley’s Birthday Celebration – Jan. 5-8, Memphis
Imagine a birthday party fit for a King and that is exactly what you will find at Graceland. Join thousands of fans for live entertainment at Graceland Plaza, a gospel celebration, a symphonic performance by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Elvis Presley’s famous tunes. CONTACT: 800-238-2000, elvis.com
World Of Wheels –
Jan. 6-8, Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga
Custom auto show. CONTACT: 205-655-4950, worldofwheels.info
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration – Jan. 17, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Special programs to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. CONTACT: 901-521-9699
International Blues Challenge –
extraordinary talents. CONTACT: 901-525-3000, www.orpheum-theater.com
The show is the largest house and garden show in Tennessee for the gardening enthusiast. It’s a unique marketplace to shop, compare and save on a total selection of home and garden related products and services. CONTACT: 865-637-4561, dogwoodarts.com
A celebration of the human history, natural beauty, and cultural traditions. Activities include illustrated talks, tours, demonstrations, history hikes, music and dance, museum exhibits, walks in the national park and a Cades Cove reunion. CONTACT: 800-525-6834, smokymountainfestivals.org
Antique Appraisal Fair & Show –
Feb. 18, Greeneville
24th Annual Automotive Swap Meet – Feb. 4, Tennessee
The Antique Appraisal Fair offers local and regional antique dealers showcasing and selling treasures and six certified appraisers assessing the value of antiques brought in by the public. CONTACT: 423-638-4111, visitgreenevilletn.com
State Fairgrounds, Nashville
The Stones River Region AACA is sponsoring its annual automobile swap meet from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CONTACT: Elmer Leiter, 615-896-9530, firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil War 150th Event –
Feb. 19, Clarksville
The CW150 Commission, Fort Defiance Interpretive Center and Clarksville/ Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Clarksville’s surrender to the U.S. Navy. The event will feature a special appearance by wellknown Ulysses S. Grant re-enactor Dr. E.C. Fields. CONTACT: clarksvillecivilwar.com
Antiques And Garden Show Of Nashville – Feb. 10-12, Nashville
Celebrating its 22nd year, the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville has become the annual event that draws attendees from all over the country and abroad to view spectacular gardens, hear extraordinary lectures, and see and purchase rare and beautiful antiques. Show offers over 150 antique and horticultural booths and landscaped gardens. CONTACT: 800-891-8075, antiquesandgardenshow.com
Antiques On The Mountain – Feb. 24-26, Crossville
A distinctive array of fine painted and primitive antique furniture, exquisite furnishings, unique accessories and outstanding collectibles. Features a large selection of rare antiques dating from before 1930. CONTACT: 931-456-5035, antiquesonthemountain.com
Million Dollar Quartet –
Feb. 14-19, Memphis
Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement and thrilling sounds when four of popular music’s most United States Postal Service
13. Publication Title
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The world’s premier blues music competition will host blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes and industry recognition. CONTACT: 901-527-2583, blues.org
Dogwood Arts Festival House & Garden Show – Feb. 17-19, Knoxville
Winter Heritage Festival In The Smokies – Feb. 3-6, Townsend
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View From the Back Porch
A Steaming Mug Warm your winter with cozy reminders of family and tradition About the Author Lori Boyd is a freelance writer and enjoys working part time as a registered nurse at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. She lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Sam, and their three children. She can enjoy a steaming mug of coffee any time of the year and finds warmth daily in her love for family and home.
Winter may be the coldest time of the year but beneath the frost-tipped landscape, hidden behind the gray ethereal curtain, whispering in the chill of the north wind, is a warmth that penetrates to the very heart of the season. While the falling temperatures give rise to icicles and snow flurries, they also make way for the wearing of a favorite flannel shirt, the stoking of a crackling fire, and the sharing of a comfy blanket by a twinkling pine. Even more, the moments spent in shivery winter air hold the promise of warmhearted reunions with family and friends. Winter is the coziest of seasons, despite the sting of a frozen nose or the tingling of red-tipped ears. It’s a time for fleece socks, a good read, and, of course, a steaming mug of something pleasantly hot to drink. When the last bite of sweet potato casserole has been eaten and Fringle Dancer (our beloved shelf elf) has officially returned, one of many Boyd traditions will take place: the search for the perfect Christmas tree. We have two “forever” trees but love a fragrant pine in the kitchen trimmed with priceless handmade ornaments. We bundle up, pile into the family sleigh and head out to a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. We sing carols the whole way and miss the turn every time. The excitement is high as we unload in the parking lot and discuss what size tree is needed, which is immediately followed by the traditional fight over who gets to hold the measuring stick. We run, talk, laugh, argue, hold hands and take a thousand pictures. When our mission is complete and the Boyd tree has been chosen, we celebrate with a cup of sweet and foamy hot
48 Home&Farm |Winter 2011-12
chocolate. As I sip from that steaming mug, I’m filled with warmth that comes from the immeasurable joy of family. The winter months bring more opportunities for family get-togethers – times we truly treasure. A gathering with my family around the holidays always includes a color theme, certain dishes that are considered staples (it was a dark day the year someone forgot the green bean casserole), and a craft, game or skit. These times are loud and hectic, funny and reminiscent, full of hugs and stories. Mom might use the Royal Dalton dishes or she might hand out paper plates, but one thing you can always count on is her Crock-Pot of hot spiced cider. As I sip from that steaming mug, I’m filled with the warmth that comes from the enduring comfort of home. Quiet moments are few and far between in the Boyd house these days. Some winter mornings though, while the kids are still dreaming, Sam and I sneak downstairs, start up the coffee and sit in the living room by the glow of the fire. We have just a few moments to ourselves before the day officially begins. We talk about our plans, worries, goals and how richly blessed we’ve been. As I sip from that steaming mug, I’m filled with the warmth that comes from faithful and unconditional love. As the weeks of winter pass, and you find yourself disheartened by dreary days and bitter cold, remember to wrap your hands around something pleasantly hot to drink. A steaming mug might be just what you need to bring a measure of warmth to the season. Happy holidays! tnfarmbureau.org
Published on Nov 7, 2011
Tennessee Home and Farm magazine highlights restaurants, events, farms, people and places that make Tennessee special and features travel id...