Camping with the Barefoot Farmer
Having a deadline of sorts on our time in Nashville has made me much more spontaneous.
For instance, when our friends Candace & Joah asked us if we wanted to go camping on a farm in Red Boiling Springs, TN one night, we said, ‘Sure! Why not!’
No need for excuses. Sure, we had 30 minutes to run home and pack for the night, but if we wanted to do this, we had to do it. And do it now! We have 3 months left here before we spend a year in another country on the other side of the globe.
So off to Long Hungry Creek Farm we went! Home of Jeff Poppen (aka-the Barefoot Farmer. For real–he does everything barefoot!) Candace & Joah are members of his CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
It was dark by the time we arrived. We joined a collection of people inside Jeff’s cabin for a potluck of sorts. There had been a workshop earlier in the day on fermented foods (think kimchee, kombucha, etc.) and many of the attendees stuck around for the after party.
Once the hour became late and the smoke in the air proved a bit too much for us to handle, we followed one of the farm interns to a cave on the property where we pitched our tent. Since the temperature in the cave stayed around 50 degrees, it was warmer in there than it was outside!
We had quite an interesting night (being awoken once by a rather drunk farmer from Illinois rolling off his sleeping pallet and onto our tent), but nothing compared to seeing the sun peek over the horizon and into the mouth of the cave the next morning.
We were even invited to breakfast at the cabin the next morning. Jeff cooked up some pancakes, topped with homemade apple butter.
It was lovely being a guest in someone’s home without feeling like you were inconveniencing your host in any way at all. Everything about our stay at Jeff’s seemed completely normal. Never mind that we hadn’t met the man before that night. The spirit of hospitality and community on his farm saturated everything he did. We were welcome there.