Culinary & Farm
Life on the Farm (available seasonally)
Explore the happenings around the farm, rolling up your sleeves to participate or just observing. Spend time with our Farmstead artisans from all around property, including time in the garden and kitchen.
January through March 15th we offer winter rates for activities and reservations. Please call to find out more.
Artisan Cooking Demonstration
Enjoy a true farm-to-table experience with a member of the farm who knows the ingredients at their essence. Join a Farmstead Artisan in an unforgettably delicious and informative cooking and wine activity. Whether it’s with the Butcher, Gardener or Preservationist, you will be sure to bring home the skills to gather and prepare a meal from freshest produce and meats. Add traditionally made cheeses, preserves and pickles, and the three course lunch becomes a visceral link to our proud agricultural traditions.
Gardening without the crutch of chemicals can be one of the most rewarding of life’s pursuits, but is not without challenges. Join Garden Manager Mike Washburn to learn useful knowledge for organics that can be applied to any garden. From building healthy soil with composting, choosing appropriate plant varieties and employing chemical-free insect management, Mike uses his education in Sustainable Agriculture to provide our kitchens with spectacular produce. Whether your interest is in just tomatoes, or in a plethora of edible plants, during your time in the garden with Mike, you will gain the ability to have similar success in your own garden.
Eating Between the Rows
Blackberry Farm’s Field School Manager Jeff Ross often says, “good gardeners cook and good cooks garden.” He understands the too-frequent disconnect between the planted fields and a talented kitchen, and seeks to erase that distance. With an education in American history, more than two decades of professional experience with plants and a profound passion for food, he has found, at Blackberry Farm, a place to combine his talents. He has studied the cultural history and foodways of peoples around the world to help create a garden that appeals beyond a strict American palate. He is forever in search of ways of growing, preparing and eating parts of plants we don’t normally use. During your time spent with him, we trust you will discover different uses of familiar wild and cultivated plants (and even weeds) to create a uniquely toothsome and nutritious menu.
Nearly every bite of food we eat is a direct result of the tireless toil of bees. Don the veil to spend hands-on time with Beekeeper and Preservationist Shannon Walker, and learn about his holistic approach to keeping healthy honeybees. You will get inside the hives to discover the colonies of an amazing creature – how they live, what they eat, how the environment affects their lives and best of all, taste honey straight from the comb! During this experience, you will take home valuable information about starting a colony of your own, or simply to see the bees’ wonderfully complex system of life.
In this experience, you will spend time with Field School Manager Jeff Ross walking and “grazing” the garden rows while discovering the wonderful benefits of naturally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs. From antioxidants to phytonutrients, see which plants are the most packed with healthful vitality. Learn how eating certain plants that can unlock hidden nutrients in other plants, and how our ancestors survived and thrived with what they grew and the anecdotal knowledge passed through generations. No matter your dietary preferences, we’re confident you will leave with some tools to build a healthful menu from the garden’s bounty.
Farmstead Tasting Tour
Get an up close look at what puts the “farm” in Blackberry Farm. Join a Farmstead guide in a comprehensive tour of the working areas of the heirloom gardens, heritage livestock pastures and the Larder, which houses our cheesemaking and food preservation efforts. Also, a visit to the kennels and our famous Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, as well as the truffle orchard. The tour will culminate in a tasting of Farmstead cheeses, meats, preserves in our beautiful Barn wine cellar.
No working farm is complete without animals roaming the pastures and forest. Join a member of the Farmstead for an interpretive walk to visit the chickens, ducks, quail turkeys and sheep on our farm. Feed the animals, collect eggs for the kitchens and learn methods for keeping animals healthy through methods like pasture rotation and multi-species grazing. You will also see the mobile chicken coops that help fertilize and maintain the vitality of the grass that is essential to the animals. If you wish to raise chickens for their healthful eggs, you will take home the knowledge to do it yourself.
Without the aid of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, we gardeners need all the help we can get to cultivate healthy vegetables. The method known as companion planting is a major weapon in defending the garden from damaging insects. Join Field School Manager Jeff Ross in our organic gardens for an interactive tour to discover plants that promote the growth of others, and plants that repel bad bugs and attract beneficial ones. Jeff has many years of experience in employing the companion planting method of natural gardening. He works from a vast palate of vegetables, herbs and flowers, many of which are just as edible as the plants they protect! From the experience, you will take home practical knowledge that will translate to your own gardens.
Saving Our Heirloom Seeds
Join Master Gardener John Coykendall, our resident seed saving expert, in a hands-on experience with heirloom seeds. Discover the history and heritage of our ever-growing collection of old-time vegetable, flower and herb seeds. Take home the ability to collect your own seeds and properly dry or preserve them, so they will return in your garden each year. The seeds we grow have stood the test of time (like John himself!) and deserve a place in every garden. Saving seeds is John’s life work, so let him share his vast knowledge of the lore and growing of each storied variety.
A Walk Through History
Join Master Gardener John Coykendall in an interactive walking tour of our heirloom vegetable, flower and herb gardens. Set in a fertile cove wedged between the Chilhowee and Smoky mountain ranges, our gardens are a wonderful source of naturally grown produce that is woven through each meal’s menu. During this hour long experience, you will discover fun and interesting facts and tall tales about all the historic varieties we grow. Take home a bit of farm wisdom that John has spent a lifetime collecting.
Truffle TimeAvailable seasonally in December – February
With our own Lagatto truffle dogs and a planted orchard, join your host and dog trainer as you discover this 500-year-old breed and the coveted truffles they find. Allow one hour for this group activity.
Cooking DemonstrationAllow 2-3 hours for this group activity
Join one of our chefs in preparation of a three-course midday meal centered around produce that you yourself will gather in our gardens prior to arriving at the demonstration kitchen for the demonstration and lunch which will be accompanied by a glass of wine. Offering is seasonal.
Day in the Life of a Chef
Spend the day with one of our chefs as they guide you through their daily culinary routine.
The core of American whiskey production surrounds us in the south and our collection is comprised of both American and international whiskies. Take the opportunity to bask in the amber glow that emanates from within our bars and educate your mind and palate during a whiskey tasting with one of our beverage experts.
Private Wine TastingsContact your concierge for availability.
Group wine tastings are also available please. Contact your concierge for available dates and times.
With 160,000 bottles to choose from, Blackberry Farm's wine cellar is deep with opportunities to learn more about wine. During your stay, you can schedule an opportunity to spend time with a member of our sommelier team for in-depth tasting and explore regions, varieties, producers and vintages.