Today is a big day here at the farm for us. I could tell you why, but instead, I think it’s easier just to show you...
This festival is something we’ve been working on for about a year now and it’s finally come together in ways that honestly, I wouldn’t have dared even imagined. Our team here at the farm has been dreaming about this moment for months, and all of us are so excited to finally share it with everyone. To purchase festival passes or to learn more information, go to TheHomesteadFestival.com.
THE HOMESTEAD FESTIVAL
There is a lot about the festival to be excited about... first off, Mr. Costner.
I’m guessing that a lot of folks probably don’t even know that he has a band and that they have been traveling and playing shows all across the country and world for years. I have always been a big fan of his movies, especially Dances With Wolves and Field of Dreams. And I’ve seen a number of episodes from Yellowstone, the new tv series he’s in and like everyone else, I think he is just getting better with age.
If you haven't seen Yellowstone, here's a trailer for the first season. He'll be in the middle of filming season 5 in early June, but will be making a quick trip to our festival here in Tennessee to share not only their music, but also stories and a 'Q&A' time with him, where he will answer questions about the hit series as part of his Tales From Yellowstone 2 Tour.
The evening before that, on June 3rd, will be special too. The Isaacs, the Brotherly Love project, and Jimmy Fortune will all co-headline Friday night's entertainment and I can tell you from experience, it will be a time that none of us will ever forget. If you're not familiar with their music, I encourage you to look up some of their songs and videos online. You'll be glad you did.
Besides musical headliners in the evenings, the days will be filled with homesteading classes and lectures in multiple tents on the festival grounds, where some of the greatest teachers and speakers in the homesteading world will be sharing their vast experience of learning to be more self-sustaining and living closer to the land, which I think are incredibly important things that aren’t being passed down to future generations the way they used to be, especially with the struggles we are all facing in the world today.
All around the country and world these days, more and more people are interested in learning the skills and information that can help them provide for their families in these challenging times and also add meaning and joy to their lives.
Homesteading lectures and classes at the festival will vary from growing and preserving your own food, to keeping bees or baby chicks, to home birth and home-schooling, just to name a few. Attendees will also be able to explore and shop at the Homestead Marketplace, featuring over 100 vendors, skilled artisans, local food trucks, and a demonstration area showcasing a variety of homesteading arts and crafts like woodworkers, blacksmiths, gardening experts, flower farmers, artists, and much more.
BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
Putting on a festival here at our homestead isn’t completely new for us. For about five years straight, from 2009 until 2013, we held we we called our annual 'Bib & Buckle Fest’ here at the farm where we had music in the afternoon and evening and lots of fun things for people to do while they were here. Most years it was held in our front yard, where we turned our front porch into a make-shift stage where my wife Joey and I, along with a number of other artists and songwriters sang and shared stories for about 1000 people. By the time we did the last one in 2013, it was in the field behind the farmhouse and we had a couple of thousand people sitting on lawn chairs listening to the music that was performed on a flat-bed trailer as the sun set behind the trees.
The last year we did it, in 2013, it rained like a monsoon and for awhile it looked like our event was over almost as soon as it started. But just before sunset, the rain lifted and a rainbow appeared and we started back up right where we'd left off - this time inside a big tent, where even more fun was had than we were having before the skies let loose.
It’s been almost ten years since the last time we had music in our back field and honestly, up until now it’s not been something that I’ve been interested in doing. But when we came upon the idea of making it a weekend filled with music and meaning, of combining ‘learning skills that can make our lives and homes richer,’ along with great music… I knew it was something that I wanted to be part of making happen. And it has been such a joy to work with family and friends to help bring this dream to reality.
FIELD OF DREAMS
Over the last twenty-something years since we bought this farm, our place has grown from what was only a half-dozen to a hundred acres of some of the most fertile soil, at least I believe, in America. Yes, we grow a big garden, full of tomatoes and corn and peppers, along with cows and pigs and chickens, that find their way to our freezers and shelves, but that’s not really what we grow best here. From early on it was clear that what this ground is most fertile for growing is dreams.
It started in 1999 with the seed of hope that someday I could be part of a beautiful love story, and in time I was. Actually, I still am. And then a few years later seeds that became an incredible music career for Joey and took root, and then a unique family restaurant, and in time, a concert hall and in recent years, a one-room schoolhouse. And on and on and on.
Often the seeds we would plant wouldn't take root right away. Many times, we would have nearly forgotten about them, when out of nowhere, a dream will begin to blossom into reality right in front of our eyes.
And today is one of those days. From the seeds of a field filled with music that my wife and I planted all those years ago, to the reality of a weekend full of teaching people about seeds and music as we're going to be doing in June. What a beautiful thing to be part of.
I hope you’ll consider making the trip to Tennessee, to our ‘field of dreams’ to spend this special life-changing weekend with us this coming June 3rd and 4th.