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The First Fall Farm Fest

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

Our first ever Fall Farm Fest was a success for The Mountain Staff and local community at large. Some drove all the way from Asheville and beyond to join in the celebration of this harvest season and the gifts that have come with this year and from our collective lands.

Apples were harvested from around the local community from old, untended orchards and made into chips and treats to share with attendees. Many took turns processing and pressing the apples to make cider and vinegar for the coming season.

The weather forecast was dreary at times, but we gave thanks that the rains and clouds held out, which was great for the more than 75 people who spaciously gathered to stroll The Mountain's gardens, apiary, meadow, lake, labyrinth, trails, and lookout tower.

For some, this was their first exposure to The Mountain. It was a joy to see tiger face-painted children roaming the food forest as they searched for scavenger hunt clues and picking wild edibles of clover and plantain to feed to the bunnies and ducklings. Representatives from The Highlands Biological Station and The Highlands Cashiers Land Trust shared their organizations' missions in elevating awareness around our land relations and conservation for the public and future generations.

Kyle from the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust also came out to demonstrate how to use fire to shape and mold metals to create hand tools. In turn, these tools are used to shape the land, plant seeds, and coax food from the healthy microorganisms in the soil.

Folks gathered around the beehives to learn from Joey about the interconnectedness and inner workings of the farm. Children caught and identified other insects in the nearby meadow to learn about how they joyfully pollinated the squashes we served. This type of outreach, connection, and organization feels like a powerful way to grow local community and to honor the interconnectedness of life.

Thank you to all who came to support and grow with us.

We hope the seeds we planted at this inaugural event are just the beginning of what The Mountain can provide the community. Let’s continue to celebrate nature and form harmonious connections. See you at next year’s gathering – and hopefully sooner.

It was a real pleasure to be able to attend the Mountain’s Fall Farm Fest on September 19th. And indeed it was a feast for all the senses. Music to delight the ears, the scent of Lemon Balm, and the delicious food - I hope you did not miss out on the sweet potato pie! Best of all…there were many new friends learning more about The Mountain’s programs, history and community outreach. And for me, it was extra special to visit with old friends like Lee Knight (41 years making music at the Mountain and guiding folks down the Nantahala River) as well as seeing Mark and Bonnie Gramlich, good neighbors from Scaly Mountain and long-time stewards of The Mountain.
I appreciate all the effort put out by our staff from every department to make this first-time event feel very welcoming and inspiring for each and every guest. The Many Hands Peace Farm has grown thoughtfully and organically in just a decade into one of our greatest assets for fulfilling our Vision of being an exemplary retreat, camp and learning center that celebrates Unitarian Universalist principles, inspires people of all ages, transforms lives, and builds a more compassionate world.
I hope we can do this again next Fall!

- Lee Reading

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