Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#Farm2Home14 inspiration.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown bloggers taking it all in (c)nwafoodie

Hi there, friend. 
Whatcha’ been up to lately? 

I have been running around and slowing down, if that is even possible.

Something inside of me is blossoming, begging me to open up my eyes wider and marvel more.  Sometimes that means doing nothing other than savoring the moment while other times it means exploring.

I have been exploring a lot more lately.  Have you?

We’ve been taking the long way to everywhere.  Determining how long we can go without having to go grocery shopping and just make do with what we have.  Opening up the house more to family gatherings, both planned and impromptu.  The icing on the cake was coming home from a backwoods Sunday drive and meeting up with family who were having a lake swimming party in our backyard.  Yes, our home went and threw a party without us. Love that.

Mostly I want to open my eyes more to what is around me. Around all of us.  I am visiting the farmers markets more frequently and keeping my eyes wide-open to side-of-the-road fruit stands and pick-your-owns in our vast backyard.  Even grocery stores are starting to highlight local produce with signs and banners.  Isn’t that awesome?

Life has limited hours, days, and moments to explore these kind of local gems.  How often do we even know what is actually available to us right outside our homes?  I do my best to share quick finds on twitter and facebook and am constantly keeping my ears open when you share your local finds and resources. 

Neighbors helping neighbors. 
That’s what we do.

Arkansas Grown.

There is a new neighborly resource for finding local grown.
It is called Arkansas Grown.

ArkansasGrown is a website that connects buyers (you and me) with locally grown produce (our neighbors) and products that are available at farmer’s markets, from the farm, and even at grocery stores.

Seriously, you totally have to check it out.

I learned about Arkansas Grown at the #farm2home blogger event at P. AllenSmith’s farm in Roland, Arkansas.  Allen invited a group of Arkansas bloggers, writers, and journalists to learn about the Arkansas Grown program from Butch Calhoun, Arkansas’s Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Calhoun is proud of the program, saying, “We want everybody who wants to be involved, to be involved.”

Taking it all in.

I love Allen’s farm. 

The main purpose of his farm is to “sell ideas,” as he puts it. 
To me, he sells inspiration.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown learning from allen (c)nwafoodie

Allen took us all on a tour of his home, gardens, and poultry farm.  This is my third visit here (#bean2blog2012 and #bean2blog2013) and each time revealed something new and inspirational.  The first time I was in the middle of remodeling my home, so architectural elements jumped out at me.  The second visit inspired me to rethink hardscape in the yard, as we were progressing into remodeling the exterior of our home. 

This time? The event’s theme of embracing local is one I love and heartily embrace.
This time I was there for the marvel of it all.

Farmer inspiration.

In addition to touring the garden home, the main focus was the opportunity to meet and mingle with local Arkansas farmers and producers and listen to small-farm lessons from a panel of Arkansas farmers: Beth Eggers of Wye Mountain Flowers, Mark Morgan of Peach Pickin’ Paradise, Chuck McCool of McCool Farms, and Bob Barnhill of Barnhill Orchards.  You would have loved listening to their stories and honest revelations of hard work and dedication it takes to run a farm.  Here are my favorite quotes that personally inspired me.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown the farmers (c)nwafoodie
Beth Eggers, Wye Mountain Flowers & Berries - Mark Morgan, Peach Pickin' Paradise -
Chuch McCool, McCool Farms - Bob Barnhill, Barnhill Orchards

Beth: “Support your local farmer and get to know them. When our customers and their kids appreciate us, we are encouraged.”  My takeaway:  Talk to each vendor at the farmers market.

Mark: “Pick-your-own farms are more like a tourism thing.” My takeaway: Tour more pick-your-own farms.

Chuck: “It doesn’t take a lot of land to grow a good crop.”  My takeaway: Plant more container gardens.

Bob: “Have high quality products and the best product possible.” My takeaway: Local tastes better.

The great thing about the Arkansas Grown website is that it allows us to browse local producers in our small towns.  It also allows the small-scale farmers to have a marketing presence and alerting us to their websites, newsletters, facebook pages, and other social media platforms that they are using to get the word out.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown farms going social (c)nwafoodie

Whether locally grown or locally made, buying local keeps revenue here in the community. 

I like that.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Loblolly Creamery (c)nwafoodie
Loblolly Creamery - hand crafted ice cream made in Little Rock

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Heirloom Kitchens (c)nwafoodie
Heirloom Kitchens - a brother and sister team that bakes vintage recipes

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Post Winery (c)nwafoodie
Post Winery - the largest winery in Arkansas and the first commercial vineyard to produce here

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Diamond Bear Brewery (c)nwafoodie
Diamond Bear Brewery - made with "great Arkansas water"

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Wicked Mixes (c)nwafoodie
Wicked Mix - manufactured from scratch in Little Rock

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Greenhouse Grille (c)nwafoodie
Greenhouse Grille - local #Northwest Arkansas restaurant that sources 40% of its menu locally

Garden Inspiration.

I leave you today with a little garden inspiration.  No trip to the farm, whether actual or virtual, is complete without a gallery of photos and inspiration.  These six things stirred my soul.

If your yard has a view, frame it.  

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown Arkansas River (c)nwafoodie

Make your porch/front yard/entry inviting.  

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown porch (c)nwafoodie

A simple gate can be an object of beauty. 

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown a simple gate (c)nwafoodie

Rethink your garden space.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown small garden (c)nwafoodie

Trees are magical.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown champion tree (c)nwafoodie

There is always a project in the future… all you have to do is look beyond the fence.

#farm2home14 P.AllenSmith GardenHome ArkansasGrown always a project (c)nwafoodie

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.


Friday, June 20, 2014

I feel good… about supporting local.

#farm2home14 #support local P.Allen Smith Garden Home nwafoodie Dining with Debbie busvlogger

I feel good… about supporting local.

I feel good… about spreading the word about supporting local.

I feel good… knowing that you support local, too.

I feel good… that Arkansas has a great resource for finding local gems called Arkansas Grown.

I feel good… that I got a chance to hear all about it at the Farm2Home event at P. Allen Smith’s farm on Tuesday.

I feel good… about showing you this video where our fabulous local Northwest Arkansas bloggers and other fantabulous Arkansas state bloggers show off their dance moves… because they feel good about local, too.

What happens at Farm2Home, stays at Farm2Home.


#farm2home14 #support local P.Allen Smith Garden Home Amy Our Everyday Dinners nwafoodie

Amy at http://www.oureverydaydinners.com, Fayetteville #local gem

#farm2home14 #supportlocal OneWorldPlate P Allen Smith nwafoodie
Peter at http://oneworldplate.com, Fayetteville, #local gem (boogie-ing with P. Allen Smith, #arkansas gem 

#farm2home14 #supportlocal P Allen Smith Lyndi Fultz nwafoodie
me (Lyndi) at http://nwafoodie.blogspot.com, Bella Vista #local

#farm2home14 #supportlocal P Allen Smith James busvlogger nwafoodie
James at https://www.youtube.com/user/busvlogger, Huntsville #local gem

#farm2home14 #supportlocal P Allen Smith DiningwithDebbie nwafoodie
Debbie at http://diningwithdebbie.net, Beaver Lake #local gem

#farm2home14 #supportlocal P Allen Smith Beth TheFoodAdventuress nwafoodie
Beth at http://thefoodadventuress.com, Rogers #local gem

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Are you an everyday or an authentic foodie?

I never considered myself a foodie until one day an acquaintance of mine made the statement to me, “I never knew you were such a foodie, Lyndi.”  He had been following me on twitter on my old handle, @lakebrittany, where there were an obsessive-compulsive amount of tweets related to dinner making, hungry statements, and lustful retweets of foods that made me talk about dinner making and hungry statements.  A few days before he said that, I attended a mommy blogger conference for work and was stunned at the underground world that was going on around me.  I wanted a blog, too.  Jason’s comments quickly determined that it was going to have the name foodie in it and since it was about explorations around Northwest Arkansas, viola, a blog was born.  I was now a proud foodie with a name that proved it.


Except that there are a lot of conflicting thoughts about the term foodie.  So many folks have tried to make it a gourmand slash snobby term yet it is neither of those.  Those terms are called gourmand and food snobs.  The way I think of it, a foodie is someone who has an above-average interest in foodstuffs.  Yes, that is a bit simplistic I realize.  What can I say?  I’m a simple girl. 

I think this infographic from the HartmanGroup illustrates it quite well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It’s time for a food court reboot.

Pinnacle Promenade food court pavilion (c)nwafoodie

The food court at Pinnacle Promenade in Rogers is my go-to sanctuary at lunchtime during the week when I want to have a quiet space to catch up on email or write a blog post.  It is whispery quiet except for when the one kiddie ride wakes up and does its thing by issuing a pre-recorded sound of children squealing.  Sometimes it completely freaks me out.

The building is shaped in a cylinder design, nested up to the Malco theater.  I think it is in a perfect spot for before/after movie gatherings. Wouldn’t it be great to have a spot to stroll to and enjoy a cup of coffee or light appetizer after an evening showing of a really fascinating and stimulating movie?

Monday, June 2, 2014

A delightful breakfast is waiting for you at Café Amici in Bella Vista.

Cafe Amici Bella Vista Country Club veggie omelet (c)nwafoodie

Poor Bella Vista. It sorely lacks dining establishment choices.  It always makes me scratch my head trying to understand why there aren’t more options. You see, there are over 26,000 residents in the town, yet retail and dining choices can almost be counted on one hand.  Okay, make that several hands.  Dairy Queen, Sonic, China Buffet, Las Fajitas… you get the picture.

Okay, local food lovers, our wait is over. 

If you are the foodie who is constantly searching for a good (read: non-chain) breakfast joint, Bella Vista now as a restaurant that is bound to delight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dear Starbucks, are we breaking up?

dear starbucks are we breaking up new burping lids(c)nwafoodie

I looked the other way when you switched the turkey bacon breakfast sandwich to the new one. It’s okay; I need to get better at making breakfast at home anyways. Besides, that was only an occasional indulgence.

Can we talk about the new lids?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Grilled chicken pesto pizza with a fried egg on top.

Grilled chicken pesto pizza with a fried egg on top (c)nwafoodie

Yep, I am serious.  A fried egg. 

I think it is fun to play around with food and see what combinations work.  For the record, avocado, peanut butter and tomatoes in a smoothie definitely do not work. Yikes.

Last week I shared a recipe for a spring garden inspired grilled pizza over on TasteArkansas, a site bursting with recipes that celebrate the farmer’s bounty (or the aspiring farmer inside of us). That pizza layered on grilled spring sweet onions, sweet peas, and pesto.  Man, it was delish and perfect as a pre-dinner appetizer.  

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