HAVING GROWN UP IN FRANCE but living now in the United States, I am always in search of locations that offer the beauty and serenity of the properties I experienced during my youth. That experience was more than captured when I recently visited Blackberry Farm, a property that is absolutely amazing, with breathtaking views and offering a real sense of serenity. Blackberry Farm has it all – over 9,000 acres of forest, wild lands, lawns, ponds and rivers, and meticulously manicured acres are nestled among The Smoky Mountain foothills.
Set on a 4,200 acre estate, this rustic, yet refined group of lodging is just 15 miles from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. It allows one to experience true nature, while providing an ideal setting to think, meditate, feel and get in touch with your inner self.
“A property where honeybees, wild bees, butterflies... would find a safe home.”
MY INTEREST IN VISITING WAS NOT SOLELY ABOUT EXPERIENCING THE TRUE BEAUTY OF OUTDOORS, but as an Earth keeper and beekeeper I wanted to discuss the ongoing efforts to make Blackberry Farm a pollinator-friendly property where honeybees, wild bees, butterflies and other important insects would find a safe home. On this front, too, I was not disappointed.
“This would enhance and beautify the experience of visiting Blackberry Farm.”
Upon arrival I was greeted by Shannon Walker, their beekeeper and preservationist. As we toured this beautiful land, I was overwhelmed with the beauty and serenity and found it to potentially offer an ideal location to expand beyond the existing six beehives and organic farm. The ultimate goal is to certify the full 9,000 acres as a Bee-Safe™ site, specifically focusing on increasing the pollinator population. This would have tremendous impact on the ecosystem (the harvest of fruits & vegetables) and would further enhance and beautify the experience of visiting Blackberry Farm, not to mention the significant ecological benefit. It would also encourage an increased production of honey and mead on the property to be used at the extraordinary award-winning restaurant.