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Distinguished Lecture: P. Allen Smith



P. Allen Smith is an author, television host, entrepreneur, and conservationist, who has a passion for American style. On Wednesday, March 22, Smith will present ‘Naturally: The Love of Gardening’ from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens as part of the Museum’s ongoing Distinguished Lecture series. He has a passion for American style; inspired by the ferme ornée concept for Monticello, Allen created his own Moss Mountain Farm as a demonstration ground for principles of good design, conservation, and stewardship. Take a virtual tour of Moss Mountain over lunch and see how Allen is creating a new chapter in the evolution of the classic American farm.

Smith uses his Arkansas home, Moss Mountain Farm, which The New York Times hails as a “stunning estate,” as an epicenter for promoting the local food movement, organic gardening, and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds. Smith created his farm to serve as a place of inspiration, education, and conservation and provides visitors from around the country locally sourced meals to introduce them to an expression of the regional cuisine.

Moss Mountain Farm is grounded in historic precedent, inspired by regional influences and guided by modern-day innovation—all of which are helping to write a new chapter in the evolution of the classic American farm and a celebration of the cuisine of the South.

In 2009, Smith founded the Heritage Poultry Conservancy, which is dedicated to the preservation and support of threatened breeds and strains of domestic poultry. In addition, he strives to educate future generations through his work with Kids Plant It Earth. The curriculum he developed for the program teaches students about being good stewards of the planet through gardening.

Smith studied garden history and design at the University of Manchester in England, is an honorary member of the Garden Club of America and recipient of their Medal of Honor, is a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, and a former board member of the Royal Oak Society. His work is featured in national publications, highlighted at key events and commemorated in bestselling titles including “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home” and “P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden,” which is a nod to his love for organic, regional cuisine. His media company, Hortus Ltd, produces three national, award-winning television shows: Garden Home (which has enjoyed 15 seasons on PBS, aired in Jacksonville on WJCT), Garden to Table, also on Public Television, and Garden Style, now in its 17th season of syndication (aired in Jacksonville on RLTV).

Smith is the author of “Seasonal Recipes from the Garden,” which showcases the bounty of each season with recipes arranged according to when ingredients are at their garden-fresh best. He features 120 Southern recipes peppered with wit, personal anecdotes, gardening tips, and cooking tricks. He also includes a short how-to guide in the back of the book which includes information about the food he grows in his garden and some simple ideas on how readers can do the same. This book will be available for purchase at the Cummer Shop, and Smith will be available to autograph the purchase prior to his lecture.

Join us for lunch and an engaging conversation with P. Allen Smith on March 22 as part of our Garden Month festivities. The cost for Museum Members is $45 and Non-Members can attend for $55. Registration is required.

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