100,000 Fan Giveaway

#meetmeinLR

Yahoo! We’re rolling up on 100,000 fans on my Facebook page! As a way to say thank you I’m going to select one of you to visit my hometown Little Rock, Arkansas, tour Moss Mountain Farm and tape a segment with me for my show!

To throw your hat in the ring all you need to do is post a video my Facebook wall (www.Facebook.com/GardenHomeRetreat) describing what project or recipe you’d like to share and what you’d like to see while you are in Little Rock.. The person with the winning video will be flown to Little Rock for a weekend stay and opportunity to co-host a segment with me for my half hour show.

Here are the deets:

  • Post a short (90 secs or less) video on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/GardenHomeRetreat) describing what project or recipe you’d like to share and what you’d like to see while you are in Little Rock.
  • You can post your video anytime between July 25, 2014 and 11:59 a.m. CST August 29, 2014.
  • The giveaway prize includes airfare (one ticket) for the winner to come to Little Rock and two tickets to an open house tour at Moss Mountain Farm. Accommodations for two at an area hotel, a $250 gift card for meals and admission to select Little Rock attractions.

OFFICIAL RULES

By entering and participating in the “100,000 Fans Giveaway”, you agree to the Official Rules of the contest and the posting etiquette guidelines. You also understand that your entry, image and all personal information provided by you may be shared with the sponsor(s) of this contest.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

CONTEST SCHEDULE
Contest Submission Period:
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:00 a.m. CST Site Open
Friday, August 29, 2014, 11:59 a.m. CST Site Closed
Friday, September 05, 2014, 10:30 a.m. CST Winner Announced

How to Enter: Beginning 8:00 a.m., Central Standard Time (“CST”) on Friday, July 25, 2014 until 11:59 a.m. CST on Friday, August 29, 2014 (“Contest Submission Period”), you may submit a video to Allen’s Facebook wall (http://www.facebook.com/gardenhomeretreat) for a chance to win a trip to Little Rock to see the sights, tour the farm and tape a segment with Allen. Video must include a project or recipe idea and why you want to visit Little Rock. Please no obscene or offensive content. Submissions must be an original work product of the Entrant. All entries must meet contest criteria and will be approved before posting to the contest website.

Eligibility: This contest is open to legal U.S. (void in Puerto Rico) 18 years of age or older by August 29, 2014. Employees, officers and contractors (including immediate family members and members of the same household) of the Sponsors, their affiliated companies, subsidiaries, distributors, dealers, retailers, vendors, advertising and promotion agencies, and any and all other companies associated with this contest are not eligible to participate. Contest void where restricted or prohibited by law.

By participating in this contest you hereby agree that you have been granted permission to use the image and likeness of the garden or outdoor space you are submitting. Furthermore you agree that photos not copyrighted and they have not been previously published.

Date of award & Prize package:
The winner of the “100,000 Fan Giveaway” will be announced on Friday, September 05, 2014. The trip to Little Rock, Arkansas will be scheduled for fall 2014 at the discretion of the Sponsors

Prize package includes:
Airfare (one ticket) for the winner to come to Little Rock and provide two tickets to an open house tour at Moss Mountain Farm. Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (LRCVB) will pay for accommodations for two at an LRCVB selected hotel, as well as provide the winner with a $250 gift card for meals and provide admission to select Little Rock attractions.

Notification: Winners will be selected by merit of entry. The winner will be notified by Facebook message.

Potential Winners will be required to sign a Release of Liability and, unless prohibited by law, a Contest Participant Release Form and return same, fully-executed, within ten (10) days of date of issuance of prize notification. If Sponsor is unable to contact the potential Winner, if the potential Winner fails to return all forms fully-executed by the specified date or if potential Winner fails to comply with these Official Rules, or if any prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such potential Winner will be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate Winner shall be selected. By accepting the prize, Winner consents to the use by Sponsor and its designees of his/her name, screen name, city and state of residence, in any and all media now or hereafter known, including online announcements, throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification or permission, except where prohibited by law.

Conditions: Illegible/incomplete entries will be discarded. Entries void if defective, altered, forged, or if submitted/obtained outside authorized channels. This contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, municipal, and local laws and regulations. This offer is void where prohibited and/or restricted by law. Entries that are out of focus, blurred, unclear or unreadable images or postings that are illegible, late, miss-posted or corrupt will not be posted and considered void. All rulings by the judges are final.

Sponsors:
Hortus Ltd.
P. O. Box 164870
Little Rock, AR 72216
www.PAllenSmith.com

Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
101 S. Spring Street
Little Rock, AR 72203
www.littlerock.com

Destination Northwest Arkansas

I know I know… You’re headed up to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. And you’re going to love it because it’s one of the most amazing places in Arkansas. But did you know the whole northwest portion of the state is filled with exciting things to do as well as some of the best food the region has to offer? In fact four Bentonville restaurant chefs where invited to cook at the James Beard Foundation in New York because, well, they’re just that good!

Boston Mountains in Northwest Arkansas

To help you get the most out of the trip I’ve created a Northwest Arkansas itinerary for you, which includes art, gardens, and of course food!

  1. Pig Trail Scenic Byway – If it’s on your route be sure to take the short cut between Ozark and Fayetteville lovingly referred to as the Pig Trail. This winding two-lane highway through the Ozark Mountains offers spectacular views, especially in spring and fall. Jump on Highway 23 just past Ozark and enjoy 19 miles of beautiful scenery. To get to Fayetteville take a left on Highway 16 at Brashears.
  2. Coffee Break – The first stop on your way to Crystal Bridges is Fayetteville. It’s a university town with lots of charm. I always like to take a coffee break on my road trips so I can stretch my legs. At Mama Carmen’s Café I can do some good while I’m at it. Mama Carmen’s was born out of a partnership with the namesake who runs an orphanage in Guatemala City. The café purchases the beans grown on Mama Carmen’s farm as well as donating 10% of the profits to the orphanage. And the coffee is good to boot. www.mamacarmen.com
  3. Garden Tour – While in Fayetteville be sure to visit the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. There are 12 gardens to discover plus a butterfly house. www.bgozarks.org
  4. Lunch – The next town you’ll pass through on your way to Bentonville is Rogers. The historic downtown area is delightful with brick roads and classic storefronts. There are a number of wonderful restaurants, but I suggest Heirloom Food + Wine. Everything is made from scratch using only fresh, local ingredients – they even make the bread and condiments! Every day they create a soup, salad and sandwich based on what’s in season. www.heirloomfoodandwine.com
  5. Garden Tour and Crystal Bridges – From Rogers it’s just a 15 minute drive to Bentonville home of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Either before or after visiting the museum take a stroll along the woodland trail at Compton Gardens. This public park is open from dawn to dusk and is a wonderful place to pick up ideas for using native plants. www.peelcompton.org  crystalbridges.org
  6. Dinner – At this point you’re probably looking to sit back, relax with a good meal. Petit Bistro is a French Mediterranean restaurant that is sure to please. Delicious 5 star recipes that is the perfect way to end a great day in northwest Arkansas. petitbistro.biz

Whew, that’s one very big day. If you decide to make it a weekend trip, I suggest the 21c Museum Hotel. It’s within walking distance of the museum and located right on the town square. Remember, there are so many more things to do here and all over Arkansas. The best way to find them is to visit Arkansas.com.

Lakeside Leisure Hands-Free Tote Giveaway

Win a Hands-Free Tote!

As a child, one of my favorite summer treats was heading to the lake. My mom would announce that we could go, that she’d drive us out for a day, and it would send us kids into a tizzy of excitement. We’d crowd into the car, sometimes with a neighborhood friend who was allowed to come along, and piled between us, on top of us and crammed into every space available, we’d have all our stuff— a cooler filled with ice, snacks, towels, folding chairs and toys. My siblings and I would swim, run around and nap on the lake’s beach. At twilight, we’d wedge all our gear back in the car and climb back in, sandy and sweaty, dozing off on the ride home. I’m so grateful for those times.

Going to the lake is still something I inherently associate with the heat of deep summer—with fireworks, food and friendship and grilling, sunburn and sand. One thing that can be said of the south is that it’s peppered with swimming holes, rivers, creeks, “secret” fishing spots and plenty of lakes, warm enough to swim in. We’ve no shortage of water here, and I try to make it out to the lake at least once every summer.
United Solutions Hands-Free Tote
Now as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found I have no fewer things to tote for a day at the lake. I’m still bringing the towels, the chairs and the food. When I was younger, we’d stack our towels in big baskets and drag them out to the beach or carry all the items separately. These days I’m using a hands-free tote from United Solutions. It’s pretty handy while being lightweight yet sturdy and I’ve found it tremendously helpful! I don’t have to drag it along the ground to get the shore line.

I like it so much that I’ve partnered with United Solutions after testing it out and we’re giving away one hands-free tote each month until the end of the year. If you’d like to enter to win one, tell me what you’ll tote this summer in the comments section! Happy lake days to all of you!

Laguna Pond Makeover Revealed

Who doesn’t want that perfect sanctuary or getaway? And what if you could get it for free? That’s how we ended up in Bakersfield, California in Kelly Ashe’s backyard. Kelly entered our Laguna Ponds water garden giveaway last May.

P. Allen Smith and Laguna Ponds designed a water garden for Kelly Ashe.

It only took five hours for the Laguna team to install the pond in Kelly’s backyard. Then I stepped in with help from Monji garden center and to surround the water featured with beautiful plants.

Watch the transformation.

Create your own water feature with a terra cotta pot.

Materials:
20-inch terra cotta pot
4-inch terra cotta pot
Plumber’s epoxy
small pump with fountain attachment
water

Step 1: Plug the hole in the bottom of the of the container with plumber’s putty. Apply the putty on both the inside and the outside of the container.

Step 2: Place the 4-inch terra cotta pot upside down in the container. This will give the water pump height.

Step 3: Place the pump on the 4-inch terra cotta pot.

Step 4: Fill the container with water until the water line reaches just below the top of the fountain head.

Step 5: Add water plants if you are so inclined.

How to make a water fountain with a terra cotta pot.

Proven Winners® WaterWise™ Watering Kit

The thing that I love most about gardening is getting my hands in the soil, well almost. Actually I do love abundant beauty that flowers produce, but you know it’s that in between stuff that often gets in the way for a lot of us. Watering for instance. Keeping the soil consistently moist in containers is the key to success, which is why a use a drip irrigation kit. The one I like to use is from Proven Winners and it is so easy to assemble. It takes the work out of watering. With a single kit I can water up to ten potted plants.

Here is how easy it is to set up the Proven Winners WaterWise Container Irrigation Kit.

Attach the backflow prevent valve to your outdoor water faucet. Screw the faucet adapter onto the end of the valve.

Proven Winners WaterWise Watering Kit Fauce Adpater and Nozzle

Push the end of the ¼-inch tubing onto the nozzle of the faucet adapter. This will go on easier if you wet the nozzle first.

Proven Winners WaterWise Watering Kit Tubing Attached to the Backflow Valve and Nozzle

Run the tubing from the spigot to the base of your first container.

Cut the tubing and insert a barbed-tee, which is a little t-shaped piece. Insert the tubing onto the branch of the barbed-tee the points upward. Run the tubing up into the middle of the container and cut to size. Cap off the end of the tubing with a dripper.

Proven Winners WaterWise Watering Kit Dripper Plugs into the End of Tubing

Next insert the tubing onto the horizontal branch of the barbed-tee and extend it over to your next container. Repeat the process until you have all of your containers outfitted with drippers.

Proven Winners WaterWise Watering Kit Barded-Tee Splits the Line So You Can Water Multiple Pots

10 – 12-inch container = 1 dripper
14 – 20-inch container = 2 drippers
24-inch containers and larger = 3 drippers

The tubing is a neutral tan color that disappears among the plants, but you can further camouflage it by inserting it through the drain hole of an empty container before adding soil.

You Can Insert the Tubing Through the Drainage Hole

Depending on the weather and the size of the container you will probably water for one hour each day. Is it is really hot and dry or the container is extra larger you will need to increase the amount of time you water.

You can take all the work out of watering by purchasing a battery-operated water timer to add to the faucet. Now you won’t even have to think about watering.

Purchase a water timer to take all the work out of watering.

Click here to Purchase a Proven Winners WaterWise Container Watering Kit

Each Proven Winners WaterWise kit contains:

  • A 30-foot coil of high-quality tan-colored vinyl tubing
  • Ten 1/2 GPH pressure compensating drippers
  • Ten Barbed Tees (for use in attaching and extending vinyl tubing)
  • Three Barbed Crosses (for use in attaching and extending vinyl tubing)
  • Ten Nail Clamps (for positioning and holding vinyl tubing in place on wood decks or other wooden applications)
  • One Faucet Adapter
  • One Back Flow Prevention Valve
  • Ten Support Stakes (to attach and hold drippers or to train the tubing in place in landscape beds)

Pet Chickens? You bet.

About this time last year I sent my friend Mary Beth home with 2 dozen hatching eggs and one of the roosters from the group made into Cooking Light’s Fun issue and not as an entrée! And if you are considering a backyard flock, but haven’t taken the plunge yet pick up a copy of this Cooking Light and read Mary Beth’s article. You can get a sneak peek here.

The top dog at Moss Mountain Farm is not a dog at all but a rooster named Amos. Amos is a Buff Orpington you’ll find strutting around the front lawn with his entourage. I like to think of them as the welcoming committee.

Amos is one of my favorite characters at the farm. I would even go so far as to say he’s a pet, which will not come as a surprise to those who have raised chickens. Their plucky personalities can be very endearing. In fact, some folks treat their poultry with as much love and devotion as the family dog.

Thanks to products like chicken diapers birds can live indoors and special leashes allow Foghorn Leghorn to join his person on a stroll around the neighborhood. I even hear tell of chickens wearing sweaters and scarves to protect them from the cold.

Now, I adore the poultry at the farm, but I think we are all better off not being roommates. And Amos probably prefers life in the buff to wearing anything that would cover his beautiful feathers.

What about you? How do you pamper your chickens?

A Treat Toy for Chickens

The girls love this treat ball from Manna Pro.

How do you pamper your pet chickens? The Chicken Chat community weighs in.

I asked members of the Chicken Chat community to share pictures of their beloved roos and hens. Click on an image to enlarge and read about the chickens.

Faux Mercury Glass Challenge

I love DIY projects especially when you can upcycle something that’s an ordinary household object like a jelly jar. Just recently my friend and modern pioneer, Georgia Pellegrini, challenged me to add my own twist to a DIY project from her latest book Modern Pioneering.

When I saw her painted mason jars I thought, “What can I do to give these a little Moss Mountain Farm style?” And I came up with just the pioneer ordered, a stylish mercury glass look. You see in the mid-1800s in America mercury glass was used as an affordable alternative to silver. My version of Georgia’s project is an inexpensive and easy way to recreate this 19th century life hack.

Materials for Making Faux Mercury Glass
Clean mason jars
Water
White Vinegar
Spray bottle
Paper towels
Looking Glass® spray paint

Directions for Making Faux Mercury Glass:
To begin fill the spray bottle with 1 part water and 1 water vinegar and shake.

Set the nozzle of the spray bottle to a fine mist setting.

Gently spray a fine mist of the water vinegar mixture on the outside of the mason jar. The objective is to create small droplets of water that bead up and do not run.

Immediately follow up with an even coat of the Looking Glass® spray. Allow the paint to dry for just a minute and then apply a second round of the water vinegar solution. Wait about two minutes then gently blot the beads of water vinegar solution with a paper towel. Don’t rub the surface very hard or the paint will streak. A gentle pressure is good enough to achieve a realistic mercury glass look. Repeat the process three to four times rotating the jar from resting on its base to the top so you can get full coverage.

The paint needs about three hours to dry completely before you use the jars.

So now that I’ve completed my challenge I’m kicking the ball back over to Georgia and asking her to recreate a project from one of my books. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see what she does and post pictures of your own DIY projects for a chance to win Georgia’s book Modern Pioneering and my cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. When you post your picture tag @pallensmith and @georgiapellegrini and use the hashtag #modernpioneering.