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Art and agriculture is a natural fit at Tranquility Farm

By Amy-Lynn Albertson
N.C. Cooperative Extension

Tranquility Farm is a second career to first-generation farmers David and Crystal Allen. As a former chief of police, it’s natural for David Allen to be a part of his community. The muscadine vineyard and farm stand store has become a part of Western Rowan County and the Cleveland community. The Allens grow muscadine grapes, blackberries and blueberries. 

Muscadines grapes (Vitis rotundifolia, or alternatively, Muscadiniana rotundifolia) are often referred to as scuppernongs. Muscadine is native to the southeastern United States and has been cultured for more than 400 years. Native Americans preserved muscadines as dried fruit long before the Europeans inhabited this continent. The first recognized muscadine cultivar was a bronze selection, found before 1760 by Isaac Alexander in Tyrrell County. It was first known as the “Big White Grape” and was later named “Scuppernong” after its found area.

The muscadine grape is a nutritional powerhouse. Like many intensely colored fruits, vegetables and berries, the muscadine grape is a rich source of polyphenols. A polyphenol is a plant compound that reduces inflammation. The skins and seeds of muscadine grapes are particularly rich in the polyphenolic compound resveratrol, which has been studied for its anti-oxidant benefits in numerous diseases, including cancer and heart disease. 

Tranquility Farm store offers value-added products like muscadine cider, slushies, jam and jellies. Tranquility works with other neighboring farms and sells Hopeful Acres Charolais beef, flowers and other farm products. The Allens enjoy hosting community events at the farm store like yard sales, Halloween events, bow-making classes and more. It’s a beautiful venue for weddings or reunions as well. Next Saturday, June 5, the Rowan County Arts and Ag Farm Tour will be happening, and Tranquility Farm is one of six sites on the self-guided tour. Shelia Greene is the artist whose art is for sale in the farm store at Tranquility Farm. She began as a painter, and during a difficult time in her life, she discovered a technique to make art pieces from resin and glass. This technique allows the glass to pick up light which changes the color as the light changes. 

Sue Smith is a stained glass artist and a mosaic artist. Her primary interest is doing commissioned artwork like transom window panels and window hangings. Sue McHugh will also be at Tranquility Farm for the tour. Sue works in alcohol ink and other paint mediums. You might find her painting a fence mural in someone’s back yard or a sunset on a pool sidewall. You can find all the tour sites on the Rowan Arts and Ag Farm Tour Facebook Page, the Visit NC Farms Today app, and the website on www.artsandagtour.com

Come check it out Saturday, June 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It’s free!

Amy-Lynn Albertson is the Rowan County Extension director.

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