Amanda Mohney of Libacious, provided specialty cocktails. Alan and I enjoyed one called, appropriately, October Sky. It was described as “an effervescent highball with gin, hibiscus, ginger and rosemary.” It was delicious.
This past Sunday, supporters of Nourish Knoxville, the non-profit organization that produces the local farmers’ markets, among other things, held a sweet celebration at the fabulous Strong Stock Farm on Rutledge Pike.
Called “Friends & Farmers,” there wasn’t really an agenda for the event, but simply music, food, drinks, pony and wagon rides, corn hole, a cake walk and just hanging out. The planned hot air balloon rides did have to be canceled, though, due to winds being a little too high.
The lucky invitees were those who supported Nourish Knoxville at the Steward Level ($150 or more), those who volunteered 10 hours or more, farmers’ market vendors or various event sponsors.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect, as you will see from these photos. Although, once you get there, Strong Stock Farm seems like it is very far away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Knoxville, it’s really only 11 miles! It was enough to make this committed city girl really appreciate how many options we in Knox County are lucky enough to enjoy.
A good sign.
Strong Stock Farm, which comprises 1,000 acres along the Holston River, raises grass-fed black Angus cattle for livestock and retail markets. The farm’s cattle are raised on an all-natural, grain free, grass only diet. The farm’s pastures are chemical free and the farm’s cattle are not given any growth hormones. Their meat is on the menu of some of the best restaurants in East Tennessee and beyond.
There’s also a unicorn on Strong Stock Farm! His name is Benny and he was a big hit on Sunday.
Wagon rides were popular, too.
John Schwartz helped his grandson William King, mount a horse for a short ride.
Allyn Purvis Schwartz with Riley Giles.
Some folks opted for the less strenuous pastime of sitting on a swing.
Another swing option.
Here’s the party barn.
Social distancing on the farm!
Next to the party barn was the entertainment barn — where Tennessee Sheiks were performing. See a clip of them at the end of this post.
A nice listening area.
Patrick Hollis and Charlotte Tolley getting ready to kick off the cake walk! Patrick is executive director of the Mabry-Hazen House; Charlotte is CEO of Nourish Knoxville.
It’s cake walk time!
Here’s one of the prizes.
From left, Fiona McAnally, Kate and Kim Trent.
Rusty farm equipment turned into yard art!
Some flowers and crops were still growing.
The food offerings — essentially several kinds of hummus with accoutrements — were delicious. Provided by DSB Provisions.
Tables were set up in the party barn for eating.
There’s a nice fire pit outside the party barn.
Corn hole was an option.
Here’s the beautiful farm house.
Pretty fall tableau.
Our hostess, Martha Strong Kern, with Alan Carmichael.
Host John Niceley, right, with Charlie DeBevoise, a new neighbor who recently bought a farm upriver and plans to move here from New Jersey.
Evan Carawan was playing hammer dulcimer on the porch. He’s the son of Guy and Candie Carawan, American folk musicians and civil rights activists.
Downtown dweller Alan Carmichael lets the country boy inside him come out!
More sweet Strong Stock Farm residents.
Here’s that clip of Tennessee Sheiks that I took as soon as we arrived. Believe me, the crowd got bigger!