Q&A: Khann Chov, manager at CAC Beardsley Community Farm and organizer of its Snow Day fund-raiser

As farm manager at CAC Beardsley Community Farm, Khann Chov is lead organizer of its Snow Day fund-raiser Friday, Jan. 25 at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria, starting at 7 p.m.

This is the fifth Snow Day, how have things changed?

The third annual beard pageant is a somewhat new addition to the event, and last year Barley's remodeled upstairs so the floor was really nice. It feels great and is really warm—all the things associated with you want to feel in winter: beards, friends, soup, and fun auction items. There's a little bit of everything for everyone. It starts early, 7 p.m., with the soup, which ends at 10. And the whole thing ends late-—1 a.m. Our music lineup is awesome this year, and the music goes on throughout.

Did Coolato Gelato win the Soup-Off last year?

They've won three years in a row, but they're not in it this year, so we'll have a new winner. I'm really excited about this year's contestants: Just Ripe, the Bistro, the Plaid Apron, and the Tootsie Truck, as well as the Knox County Schools nutrition department and Organicism Farms and Foods.

Do you have a favorite soup from Snow Days past?

I really liked Just Ripe's curried winter squash and red lentil soup last year, but the thing is, they're all really good.

Will the soups have local produce like Beardsley?

Definitely. All the soups are going to be vegetarian or vegan and we've always encouraged regional ingredients. Each soup must have at least one local ingredient, which can be pretty much anything.

Any intriguing auction items?

There is a CSA share from Colvin Family Farm, a household membership to the YMCA. We've gotten bikes in the past and this year we'll have two bikes from Greenlee's Bicycle, and also the Kickstand, which was formerly the Knoxville Bike Collective. If anyone wants to send us a last-minute donation, they should go directly to our website or Facebook page to arrange it.

What happens with the money?

It's our biggest fund-raiser of the year, and it goes directly towards providing nearly 20 percent of our operating budget. We would have a hard time without it. Some goes towards seeds, taking care of the chickens, or when we have to buy straw or crafty type supplies—like for our interactive activities for children. We buy lumber to repair the old raised beds, and sometimes we buy paint, and it helps with the cost of gas we use to pick up compost. This year our truck is out of commission so we'll have to purchase a new one.

Has it ever snowed on Snow Day?

We have had the threat of snow... it hardly ever sticks in Knoxville.

About this beard contest...

There is a homegrown and a homemade category. And we have prizes for the top three versions in each categories. For homegrown, we'll be looking at length and presentation.

You sound so serious.

It is serious. We'll also be looking at character. For the homemade, we'll consider creative use of materials and also presentation.

Are some of the beards, ah, unusual?

Definitely. Some beards are knitted, one was made out of moss with a bird's nest and a little fake bird.

Do any women participate?

Yes! Last year one of our volunteers came in a beard made out of kale. It was awesome. I think she came in second place and she said a few people had taken bites out of her beard before she got up on stage. It's funny because her beard could have been homegrown or homemade.

For more info: beardsleyfarm.org