Hidden in the hills just outside of Knoxville, TN is my home away from home. The place where historic heirloom seeds have been grown, harvested, and preserved through generations and served with love in a world-class restaurant. Blackberry Farm was built by Florida and David Lasier in 1940 and opened in May 1941. In 1952, the Lasiers sold the property to the Jarvis family who subsequently sold it to Ruby Tuesday restaurant founder Sandy Beall and his wife Kreis.
I was given the absolute gift of a lifetime when I was invited by the Lamar Alexander family to come for a stay at the family's estate that neighbors the farm and write songs for Curb Records. My band, American Young, wrote our song “Point of View" sitting at the peaceful creek that separates the two properties. Our producer and co-writer, Lee Brice, pulled the picnic table down into the creek so we could soak our feet in the cool shallows and write songs to our hearts' content. We celebrated another number-one song for Lee with the most spectacular dinner I have ever had in my life. In the wine cellar of Blackberry Farm, a delightful tempo of courses was served with a pairing of world-class wine and farm-to-table food that was a mastered symphony of cuisine for the palate.
My life’s work has been to inspire positive vision through music in as many countries and cultural atmospheres as the spirit has allowed. I have eaten my way through meals that have imprinted the universal language of music and the melodies of flavors, traditions, and tastes that only come through heritage food. Blackberry Farm is Tennessee’s flavor love language. It is the food version of the Grand Ole Opry, served with an intelligence that only farmers and food growers can afford.
One cannot help but fall in love with the slow, soft, gentle tuning fork that is the natural pace of meandering your way around the Farm through the pastures for a barn visit or a horseback ride, or a waterfall-chasing hike to the top of the hills for a breathtaking Tennessee vantage point. Stop in for a treatment at the Wellhouse for a signature facial or a duo scalp and foot massage. Balance your soul with an Appalachian body purification treatment and learn ancient Cherokee secrets for unlocking Galvlati, or ‘heaven’ with a four-handed relaxation massage. Eco-Fin healing heat therapy, CBD treatments, Theragun percussive therapy, and Hydrafacils are offered, as well as feet and nail care, and any hair experiences you may be seeking.
“True harmony of body and soul can only be achieved when we embrace a whole-life approach to wellness, an approach that balances rest, activity, pleasure and nourishment.” The Farm offers strength and fitness classes, cardio, barre, stretch, and release, as well as outdoor fitness stations for timed interval training. Dance instruction, aqua fit, pilates, meditation, and mindfulness with an array of yoga offerings are available, or if you would rather… grab a pole and go fly fishing! Join a Farmstead guide in a comprehensive tour of the working areas of the vegetable gardens and heritage livestock pasture gaining an understanding of the production in the Dairy Barn and Larder, or visit the kennels where the famous Lagotto Romagnolo dogs are raised. At the end of the tour, enjoy a sampling of Farmstead cheeses, meats, preserves, and beer.
I pray you are able to enjoy this slice of heaven that inspires our cultural Tennessee trademarks the way I did. Your life will be enriched, strengthened, and enhanced because of your visit!