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January 18, 2022

Planning the Buckhorn Inn Vegetable Garden 2022

As I write this, I am engaged in one of

Even a small vegetable garden can grow a wide variety of crops.

Careful planning helps to ensure a successful vegetable harvest.

my favorite activities—planning next season’s vegetable garden!  The brightly colored seed catalogs have begun arriving, tempting me to order old favorites and experiment with new varieties.

My first step in deciding what to grow is to consult with the Buckhorn Inn chefs.  Chef Frank provides key input on herbs that compliment his dishes and on vegetables he can showcase in soups and side dishes.  Chef Bob is a gardener himself, and so we coordinate our efforts.  Bob is well-known for the luscious heirloom tomato varieties he grows—in fact my mouth is watering just thinking about his lovely summer omelets!  We try to grow herbs and veggies that have the biggest impact in the Buckhorn kitchen.  We don’t want to repeat the mistake I made when Jack and I married and planted our first vegetable garden together.  I was perusing the seed catalog and asked Jack if he thought we should grow parsnips.  Thinking I must like them, Jack replied in the affirmative.  Thinking he must like them, I ordered the seeds.  We have never to this day grown anything that produced as well as those parsnips.  We harvested a bushel basket from our small garden.  As it turned out, neither of us cared for parsnips!  Our friends and neighbors were the recipients of our garden’s parsnips bounty.

Potential New Finds for the Vegetable Garden

As I leaf through the new Burpee catalog, here are some finds that are most intriguing.  http://Www.burpee.com. `
Mocha Swirl Hybrid Sweet Pepper—they ripen from green and white to a rich chocolate-red.  The compact plants would be perfect for our raised bed garden.  The Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash promises succulent flavor from the golden-yellow zucchini.  `Everleaf Thai Towers basil is container-friendly and grows up to 3 feet tall.  Kentucky Blue Pole Beans always do well for us.  Last year we also grew asparagus beans.  The 18” long pods have a delicious nutty flavor.  Kale is popular at the Inn for garden greens omelets, soups, and vegetable sautées.  We likely will grow a variety again this year.  Perhaps Dazzling Blue, Red Russian, and Tuscan kale.  We are saving space for some lettuce, so you can pick a few leaves as you go by to feed Bubble and Squeak!  Of course we will grow okra.  It is an ornamental plant, and we love Chef Frank’s fried okra as an accompaniment to a southern fish with remoulade sauce dish!  We had best success with Go Big, which produces flavorful dark-green 7” long pods.

In our veranda her pots we typically grow basil, chives, cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary, and sage.  This year we may also grow borage for their edible flowers and lemon verbena to flavor fish dishes.

Decisions, decisions!  When you visit, please let us know what you are planning to grow in your garden!

January 10, 2022

Snow at Buckhorn Inn? Yes!!!

Have you seen Buckhorn Inn in the snow?  It is a magical sight.  Just imagine walking the nature trail as snow crunches under your boots. The quiet beauty is overwhelming.  Then you return to your cottage, warm yourself in front of the fire, and venture out again for dinner at the Inn.  

The Best Time to See Snow

Our elevation (about 1,280) can get as much as nine inches of snow a year.  While it is very rare, we occasionally have gotten snow in late October and in early April.  According to the National Park Service, snow is most likely in January and in February.  While the weather may warm and it may melt rapidly in town, you will still be able to see the fluffy white stuff in the higher elevations.  In fact, Newfound Gap (at 5,049 in elevation) can get as much as 69 inches of snowfall each year.  Nearly every trail will feature beautiful winter views, but some of the best are in the higher elevations, like Chimney Tops and Alum Cave trail.  The Gatlinburg CVB provides information on all things fun and snowy!  http://Www.gatlinburg.com

Be Prepared

Please be aware that our curving mountain roads can become slick and hazardous during and after snowstorms.  If it is a heavy snowfall, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park may close its entrances.  However, the entrances are usually closed to car traffic only.  We are close enough for you to walk to the Greenbrier entrance and enjoy a snowy hike.  All local businesses are concerned for the safety of their employees.  If employees are unable to safely drive to work, service may be slower than usual or some businesses may be closed.  Our area thanks you for your patience!

Winter is a lovely time to enjoy the Buckhorn Inn and our surrounding area.  And if you are lucky, you will enjoy a bit of snow!

When East Tennessee gets snow, the scene is magical.

Guest Kristin Shultz captured the beauty of a winter day at Buckhorn Inn.