A New Trend

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  We have many of our brides who are opting to add our Vintage China Collection Package to their special day. You can see by the photo how elegant the presentation is – the whole marrying of the rustic barn and  (as shown here) the barn wood tables with the beauty of the old vintage china.  It becomes part of the overall presentation as well as raises the level of your event by letting your guest eat off of real plates – plus the charm of these old vintage patterns are just stunning.
  But – we have seen a new trend which I am enamored by – it is to serve your food “family dining style” instead of  style.  What this entails is setting out your china on the tables and then having your food put into vintage bowls and platters placed at each table. Your guests pass around the food thus the term “family dining style”.
  This eliminates all of the back and forth from the tables to the buffet room.  It also encourages more conversation at the tables.  It becomes a complete package.  We have seen this done several times now and we are now getting more requests for the extended package – which includes my vintage platters of all sizes, vintage bowls, and even having tea cups available for those who wish to have coffee with their desserts. 
   When it comes to desserts – we still see the dessert smorgasbord being a very popular crowd pleaser…in the same way that our brides like choices – so do your guests.  Some of the weddings have the guests find their way to the dessert table that often has not only a variety of cakes and cupcakes – but pies and cake balls, cookies and fudge – even a candy bar. Some of the weddings have the desserts already placed on the vintage dessert plates – and then have servers walk around offering a variety of choices – while their guests are still at their tables.  It is like fine dining at a high end restaurant.
  It is just fun to see the variety of approaches but I will say that I do like this one (family style dining).  It makes it an intimate affair to be seated at the table passing around food – it makes it feel like you are seated with family.  I love to see the ladies admiring my old plates and such….I have quite a fetish with these plates. They have been acquired from a variety of trips from estate sales, to thrift stores, to antique shops, and ebay.  I have many people tell me when they sell me a few pieces that “my mother would be so tickled to know that these plates will be enjoyed by so many at a wedding!”….These patterns are so beautiful that it makes it difficult to pick my favorites. It is a labor intensive Add On but it pleases me to make them available to you and to see the reaction of your guests as they feel like they have been treated to a very special occasion – as they should feel!
  Here is a gallery of my favorites from the platter and bowl collection.

Forgive Me, Father, It Has Been 3 Mos. Since My Last Confession

   This is my first reaction as I sit down to write a new blog entry.  It has been such a long time since the last entry that I feel as though I have dropped the ball a bit.  I have people all the time telling me that they follow my blog – and I am awed and quite grateful.  At some level, the blog is a bit of a confession – maybe a tad of therapy too.  I do hope that you find it informative and yes, just a bit enjoyable too.
   May 6, 2013 was the last blog entry.  May and June were both packed fulled of weddings and ultimately my responsibility lies in doing all we can do to prepare for each wedding that is coming next….so Facebook entries and Blog entries fall lower on my to-do list.  As July rolled around – we take off the month for summer projects and for our vacation.  It was a nice reprieve and food for the soul to be in the North Carolina mountains with all of my family. If I was slow to return phone calls or emails – please forgive…..we actually had no cell or internet service during that week.  They say that it is good for you to set your cell phone aside for a vacation – it is not recommended when you have a aged mother back home, a slew of critters to oversee, and a crew of construction workers finishing up a project….but we survived.

   Speaking of “projects”…..we have completed our summer project: a restroom exclusively for the bridal room.  Up till now – Jill (and family) graciously shared their bathroom with brides for their needs.  One can only imagine how challenging this was to do with having three young children.  So, we have not only added a restroom exclusively to be used by our brides – but we have revamped our Bridal Preparation Room a bit …taking out the Jenny Lind bed, adding some additional seating, and…..I found an awesome Victorian love seat that  is “right at home” beside the cow (look at the pictures before you jump to any conclusions).
   Mirrors, mirrors, and more mirrors – enough for everybody, I think.  The new Powder Room is a beautiful turquoise hue aged to perfection (hopefully).  I found this awesome antique dresser at Sugar Plum Antiques and persuaded my favorite Handy Man (Steve Woodward at Woodward Enterprises) to add the enamelware dishpan as a sink.  He doesn’t even give me the crazy look anymore when I suggest a new project.  I added some color and just the right knobs – and it seems to fit the room just wonderfully.
   I can just imagine what awesome photos some of our expert photographers can do with the bride – and her dress – in this room.  We have accented it with a dash of red to add a bit more pizazz!   Did I need more pizazz?…oh yes….let’s add just a bit!
   I love shopping with my daughter (and partner) Jill.  We are different in some ways – sure – but give us an antique shop or yard sale and we gravitate to the same items almost instantly.  We found this old farmhouse screen door and just knew it would be a good fit for this room.   Make a little privacy curtain out of one of those old vintage tablecloths – well…perfect!
   Finally – a funky shabby chic rag curtain mixing in the turquoise, the red, a bit of vintage patterns, some burlap and lace.  We hope that you love it like we do.  Either way – the toilet is new and works!……so I think you will be quite happy!….and Jill’s kids can pee in their own toilet when they need to – life is good!

   Now that the confession is off of my chest……I can be pondering my next blog.

   Have a blessed day!                        Margie

We Allow Your Creativity to Shine

   One of our hallmark features is that we allow our brides to come here and “make this wedding her own.”  This is incorporated in many different ways, but we feel that though we have set the stage – decorated the barn and the areas around the farm with natural eye candy plus bits of rustic and vintage decor – that we then allow the bride to come in and let her own creativity shine.
   We have many options as far as how the ceremony can be set up and even where.  Choices, choices but we see brides gravitate almost instantly to one place.  Some brides just love the feel of the intimacy of the grove. Some like the grand exit from the barn towards the lawn while some love the mountain backdrop of the open hayfield. But within the choices, we still allow the brides to think outside the box in ways to make this wedding reflect her and her style and her vision for her special day.
   Whether it is renting our pergola and dressing it up with flowers or material or grapevine wreathes, etc. or bringing your own – with some reasonable restrictions – we allow these ceremony additions.
   Sometimes the additions are more subtle like hanging things from the trees. (Please no nailing to our trees or to our barn.)
    As we tout – we have created the stage so that you don’t have to start from a bare-bones barn to transform…..we have the backdrop complete, but you can set the theme and make your table decor and such whatever you want.  It is amazing how just the infusion of certain colors or decorating styles (rustic, vintage, shabby chic, etc.) can change the mood from one wedding to the other.
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Whether a Country/Western Theme

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Shabby Chic

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Vintage theme…..

   Even in and around the barn, there are some allowances (and some rules) for hanging decor from the walls and infusing more of your theme  inside the barn.
   Of course, another biggie is that we allow you to use your own  vendors.  Yes – we have a suggestion page with a list of vendors who have come here – proven themselves as professionals – AND received positive feedback from their brides….BUT…..we allow you to use the vendors that you want……..no demand to use us (we don’t cater) for your everything. This means you can go fancy upscale or BBQ or Jambalaya or a taco bar or bring in specialty vendors like the Good Dog cart vendor or Nana’s Frozen Custard or Blackbird Baking Co. etc.  You pick your own photographer – have a photo booth – hire a decorator or hire us. You can have your church family bring food. You can bring a DJ or let your friend bring his sound system and guitar.  We try as often as possible to say yes to these choices.
  When I think I have seen it all – a bride comes along and surprises me with unique decor or props or themes.  It is really awesome, from our perspective even, that our farm venue – as unique and specific genre as it is – still is able to be transformed into a place that looks different from each wedding to the next.  The little things seem to make a difference and I think that is great.   It seems to please our brides. Let me show off a few of some unique flairs.
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Ashley has always had a “thing” about unicorns and our boy Jack accommodated the costume.

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Kaylin also wanted a door entry but these doors were “manned” by men and opened as she approached the wedding aisle.

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A family member hand-made this cross for the Hannah/Matt wedding this year. It made an awesome presence.

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Brian was a fireman – obviously.

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Katie had a vision – coming through the doors “towards” the ceremony…it did make for a grand entrance though was quite a challenge to arrange.

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Josh wore his respectable suit for the wedding ceremony but quickly changed into his comfy overalls for the reception.

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Alyson and Micah’s wedding was held at another location and the bridal party arrived in style in the Chattanooga Double Decker bus.

   The point is – this is YOUR SPECIAL DAY.  It is great that there are pictures and pinterest to stimulate your ideas and to help you visualize what you like….and there is no harm in copying some of these very creative and neat ideas – from table decor to bouquet ideas, etc. The key is that it is your choosing – your likes – your look – so these each wedding here can reflect our brides – YOU!  And – we love seeing it and being a witness to such an event.

sincerely – Margie

Information For Your Caterer

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   One of our hallmark features here at the farm is choices – whether that is the location of your ceremony or the layout of your reception or what you wear or from which door you come out of or what photographer you use or whether you want additional services or not or what caterer you use.  These various decisions not only helps you stay within your budget but it allows these weddings to reflect you and your look – your theme – your vision of this special day. 
   We do have a great Vendor Suggestion page link where we provide you with great vendors of various kind who have been here – proven themselves as worthy professionals to be included on our list PLUS they have received positive feedback from our brides.  This Vendor Suggestion page is a great first start to your hunt especially when selecting a caterer.  By choosing one of the vendors on our list – lets you know that they not only are qualified but that they understand the challenges of catering an event at an unusual venue like we have.  Outdoor weddings are becoming very commonplace but it does present special challenges.  We want you to be able to choose your caterer but it is very important that you inform them of our location – remember – you have toured our facilities but they have not.
   When we get a call from a new vendor and they ask “what kind of kitchen do you have?” we know right off that the bride has not communicated well with them.  Our venue surely presents challenges to them but we have seen many vendors successfully caterer here – from high end full course catering to simple basic barbecue meals.  It can be done but it is to be determined by the caterer whether they themselves are equipped “and willing” to meet those challenges.  That is where good communication with them is important.
   One more tidbit of information for you to ponder.  Consider the time of year when choosing what your menu is and even what kind of cake (or cake icing) or desserts you pick.  If you are a summer bride – choose items that can travel well, be kept cool easier, and don’t present an extra problem for your caterer.  Picking a butter cream icing for a cake that may sit out for a few hours before consumption just doesn’t make sense.  Your caterer should be a professional and a seasoned veteran and such affairs and his advice should be listened to.  Let him know that this is basically an outdoor venue of sorts and have a conversation about good and better choices.  Embrace the farm and its benefits by wisely choosing your attire – your menu – the time of day your ceremony begins – what you drink – and when you cut the cake.  I did say ‘cut the cake’ as a choice too.  If your cake is delivered at 3-4 p.m. for a 6-7 p.m. wedding – and you don’t “cut the cake” until 8:30 – then you may have a problem with the quality of the cake icing if you wait that long.  These are just considerations that you need to weigh when making your plans.
 


Let me review a few of the topics that would be important for you to convey to your caterer – if  they have not already been to our location.
1.  We are an authentic barn which means we are not air-conditioned nor heated.
2.  We have limited extra electricity so this means that any extra appliances (like coffee pots, warming trays, crock pots, etc.) should be VERY limited, used sparingly, and if they have any question about that – to contact us about it.
3.  Bunsen burners are allowed for the caterers even though we have a no-candle policy for the barn. We understand the need for the caterers to keep their food warm  and count of them to be extra careful with any open flame.
4. Currently, we have one refrigerator/freezer that they have access to. We have two large coolers that are often used to store ice in. Most of our brides use our Ice Vendor (also located on the Vendor Suggestion Page) who delivers the ice – unloads it and sets it where ever you need; typically loads some in the cast iron tub for drinks, maybe some in one of the wash tins, some in the large green coolers, and a few in the freezer….again – these are choices that you make – and decide who brings ice/how much/and where to put it.

5. There is a fire extinguisher located in the buffet room.
6. The Buffet Room has one long shelf reaching almost 24 feet long for food set up. If they prefer to serve the plates for the buffet then they need to talk to you about any available extra tables that they can use and then if they need to bring linens for those tables.
7.  We have 6 garbage cans with bags and they are located in the Tack Room or in the Caterer’s Stall. We have extra bags if need be.    Avoid over-packing plastic garbage bags – for your benefit or ours. If I can’t pick them up – then they are too heavy.  HP Farms will automatically dispose up to 6 bags of garbage complimentary with your contract and any extra bags will be charged at $5 per bag and will be deducted from your security deposit.
8. We do expect your caterer to haul off his own grease and food liquids. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should your caterer dump tea, coffee, juices, food liquids, etc. on our floor or grasses. Any violation of this will ultimately be carried by you – the client.  I mention this only because we have seen the carelessness of some vendors who have poured green bean juice or left-over tea on our lawn – the same lawn where the next breed hopes to be vibrant and green for her walk to the ceremony.  Even large quantities of ice piled on our grasses will freeze then kill the grass so we are obviously very protective of our grasses and lawn. 
9. The caterer is responsible for cleaning up any messes that they have created – specifically the buffet room and the caterer’s room.
10. Unloading/loading of supplies – by you, your caterer, or decorator – is available on the driveway loop or the Farmhouse driveway. We actually now have one parking spot behind the farmhouse just for you…point is that the caterer’s vehicle should not be on the loop when guests begin to arrive!   If your caterer can come early enough to unload – then coming to the barn loop would be more convenient for him….but no unloading  is allowed on the loop within one hour of the ceremony time. Any late arrivals should follow the vendor parking sign which sends you behind the farmhouse.

11. NO VEHICLES SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED ON THE GRASSY AREAS AROUND THE BARN – please!  Once the cars have been unloaded – ask your helpers to then move the cars out of sight so that your venue area stays clear of the clutter of vehicles. By keeping others off the grass, it keeps the lawn nice for all of our brides – your special day and others.
12. We have a sink in the Tack Room for washing your hands but since our water supply comes from a well – we do not allow you to use this water for drinking purposes. Make sure your caterer knows this so they will bring in their own water supply for drinks.  Our limited water and sink area also means that this sink area should not be used by your caterer to wash dishes.
  So happy hunting!  Hopefully this information will be helpful to you.  If you have any questions – feel free to drop us an email or call Jill.

Margie

Vintage China

   Ooooh – La – La!  Don’t you just love the old vintage china.  I do say “China” loosely though for some of my vintage dishes are not china but still old and lovely all the same.  I have found pieces here and there – ebay of course, but at yard sales, estate sales, consignment shops, and little antique shops throughout the southeast. 
   It is an instant attraction for me……either the pattern grabs a hold of my heart or it doesn’t.  I keep the color palette soft and delicate so to blend well with most of our bride color choices.  But I am amazed at  the beauty of them…..love the ones with the rippled edges and actually…it would be a difficult chore to award any one pattern as my favorite.

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   The marrying of the two worlds…the rustic barn and the tables with white linens and adorned with such a beautiful array of dishes – just takes the level of your event to a higher level.  Each table groupings are selected by me as if it were one picture – each complimenting the next. The vintage china just becomes part of the extraordinary decor. You will see all of the ladies walking around the tables oohing and awwing over the treasured pieces….and as shabby chic has taken over the new generation – they too seem to appreciate the vintage look. Add to the look, the vintage silverware – old patterns and a bit of tarnish to boot but it brings the look full circle.

   I am quite protective over my vintage china collection – my treasure. So these are rented out as a whole package which includes 1. the dinner plate, 2. fork/spoon/knife, 3. white or ivory cloth napkin (or a burlap colored linen napkin), and 4. dessert plates.  As stated above, I hand select each tables worth of place settings to coordinate them, set them out for you on the tables with the napkins and silverware. We handle busing these items after the initial reception time. We have dessert dishes stacked by or near the dessert area and bus those as well afterwards.  The price can be obtained by emailing me at highpoingfarms@gmail.com.  It is certainly not the cheap method of providing plates and such….but it certainly creates an impression than your guests will not forget and as I said – it brings your event to a more elegant level.  This package is very time consuming and my dishes are a treasured find.  Storing, selecting, transporting, placing, busing, cleaning, and packing safely for the next event means a lot of work and effort but worth considering for the bride who wants an unforgettable presentation.
   Another option for a budget minded bride is to use limited amounts of the china.  In small doses – which means renting just the dessert dishes – again, stacked near the dessert table. Another option is to have the vintage table setting just for the head table and/or for the parents table.  This still adds a bit of the vintage look but gives that special honor and flair to those most important.
   Then…..to add more attention – there is the vintage and mixed dessert-ware that I have also collected.  I will speak more on that later….but here is a couple of cute pictures to draw your interest.

Spring Is Here

    Spring is here but in so many ways it doesn’t feel like it.  Yet – the grass is neon green, the daffodils are blooming, perennials are peeping up, pear blossoms are debating a bloom event, the garden is filled with lettuces and broccoli plants, and our projects list has been mostly completed.  And – it is wedding time. 
   First, the projects.  We are anxious to show you all our improvements and additions.  As you look at this barn picture – you can see the rainbow over the barn…what an awesome miracle a rainbow it is….it amazes people of all ages.  You can also see the gravel pathway that we have created from the farmhouse (as well as from the new vendor parking area).

     As you approach the farm on Parrish Lane you will notice two sign choices – vendors and guests.  If you are a caterer, DJ, or the bride….you can drive up the driveway towards the old farmhouse.  The new post by the pear tree helps direct you to continue on towards the back of the farmhouse where there is a parking area with signage – one for caterer – one for DJ – one for our bride – and one for “unload only.”  This new approach allows the vendors to be busy with their unloading without clogging up the loop up around the back side of the barn – mainly for your guests.  Also – as you approach the back side of the barn – we have moved the hitching post out just a bit….showcasing it a bit better.  We have extended our gravel sidewalk around out to the drive….please don’t drive on this – this is just to be used as a walk path for you and your guests.
    We got the grass green, flowers planted and displayed all over, added many new flower areas like this old funky watering trough full of flowers, and yes – the red rooster is hiding amongst the daffodils. 
     And of course – the best sign that Spring is here – new baby goats.  Lulu produced triplets 6 days ago (day after St. Patty) with these adorable babies; O’Mally, Patrick, and Clover.
    So – we are ready for the brides and ready for another year of wonderful weddings.  Let’s go!

Margie

Update on More Winter Projects

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   Busy busy Bees we have been this winter. We should’ve been resting up for our busy season but we had so many ideas and improvements that we wanted to make. Our list is getting shorter so I thought I would post a few updates for your anticipated pleasure!
    First up is one of our favorite projects – our funky new lighting in the Buffet Room. These are actually old vintage Olive buckets…yep, Olive Buckets.  We have DIY’d them into hanging lights.  It  gives off a great ambiance to the room – don’t you think?  They are so cool we are trying to figure out how and where to put these also in our houses.

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    Next up we thought there was a need for an additional restroom.  This one is labeled “Family” so that it can serve many purposes. It is an additional restroom for the guys.  It also has a handicapped accessible toilet – raised to the proper level – plus it has bars on either side for better handicapped access.  We also installed a changing station for our mothers with infant children.  We often found them changing diapers on our vintage couch and thought we might want to find an alternative to that!  We have fun as usual decorating it “in theme”…with a few final touches coming later.  This also meant that we had to move the sink into the lounge across from the vintage sofa.  This actually helps so that as your guests enter the lounge – they can see  their choices much clearer now.

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   And…final for now but not my complete list, is a funky old light hung over the Tack Room (Lounge) Door entrance. This old light has been around from the time it hung over an old Well-House by the Farmhouse back in the mid-70’s. We got rid of the Well-House and packed away the light for some future use.  We have pondered its potential use in several locations over the years but now we have found a great home for it at the barn.
  So – till later when we get a few more completed, I will post another update.

sincerely – Margie


Winter Projects

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  Winter months are the only time we have to do projects – upgrades – and improvements.  My husband claims that my mind just doesn’t stop but both me and Jill had a long list of ideas that we wanted to implement this winter.  As we complete them – I will add photos here and maybe facebook for you all to see.  I hope you all will be excited about them as we are.  As each year passes, we envision ways to improve our venue for you – our bride and your guests!   As you can see by the first picture – my husband David has his number one helper (Finn) to oversee every little projects.  We are in good hands!
   First up is the Groom’s Room.  We admit that we had not given much attention to our Grooms.  Give them a corner and they can drop their drawers and change at a moments notice without much fuss.  And – we have certainly spent more effort as we concentrate on our brides and their surroundings.  But – we saw that the guys really needed a place to hang out – to chill – and to just hide at some point.  So…the Groom’s Room (a.k.a. Man Cave) was chiseled out of the Milkhouse for them.  We did put a hunkin’ big air-conditioner in there for them last year and as primitive as it was – we thought with some more time this winter that we would give it a bit of an upgrade.

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Before

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After

A fresh coat of paint, an indoor-outdoor rug, curtains to match (don’t fret guys – they aren’t frilly or girly at all), additional seating, some art on the walls, and some very manly decor here and there.
  Next was to add an outlet (and breaker) placed in the front corner of the dancing area intended mainly for the DJ or Band so they can power up without laying out extension cords.  Great – done.
 

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  One of our main projects that is not completely done but I will start showing you all the progress…..are wings added onto the barn on the west side (the grove side).  We wanted to accomplish several things with this project….1.  Create some additional photo ops on this side of the barn, 2. Add some more space to the Caterer’s Room, 3. Provide back access for the Caterer’s Room, 4. Provide a sheltered area for your sound guy’s equipment when setting up for the ceremony music, and 5. Increase our storage areas and move the haybales to this side area to make it more convenient for the transportation of those haybales back and forth.  So……….it began.  We brought out the west side of the barn even with the Ladies Restroom.

  I found these great funky doors…..6 of them!  What  a find!  So….we needed a bit of paint to spruce up the doors and to camouflage the new rough cut lumber – let it blend a bit.
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Before

  Well….stark difference, huh?  The project is not complete.  The week of torrential rains came and the frigid temps and a bit of snow….so my painting halted.  But…..I weathered the boards pretty good…put a coat of primer on the old doors and will continue with this project.  We will throw some sod down to cover the warn patches and of course I will say that we have a few more surprises in this area to showcase a bit later…but….we are pleased with the progress so far.
  A quick note about a few more projects we are in the midst of…..just some hints and stirring of your curiosity here.  We have added an additional restroom.  It is referred to as the “Family Restroom.”  It is wheelchair accessible, has a changing station, and is meant also to be an overflow to our men’s restroom if need be.  This means we have done some rearranging in the Lounge with some upgrades to introduce to you later.
  A project including “Olive Buckets” (know what those are?) in the Buffet Room – will show pictures and explain later.
  New Signage out on the Highway will come soon.
  A new vendors parking area is being created behind the Farmhouse.  This will keep the vendors from parking up near the Guests Entrance – something that always perturbed me. The vendors will be able to park still close to the barn but out of  your guests way.  We are also taking steps to camouflage this parking too so you won’t be able to see them…but they will be there.  This particular project has stemmed another one – which I will tell you about later too.  Brides will be glad to hear this one!
  And finally – tho I hesitate to say finally…it feels like my list is much longer but no need to tell you all of my secrets and improvements…..but our entry way will have a bit of a facelift as well – as you approach the barn.  We can’t wait to show case that too!
  So – just in case you all thought that we snoozed the winter away…..oh you jest!  We have been busy bees trying to improve our venue for the delight and pleasure of you – our sweet brides – and for your guests.
  Check back soon for more updates and pictures!!!

Margie Gardner

As We Enter Year Three – We  Present Our Logo

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   January 2011….we hit the ground running as we first began this venture of hosting weddings here at the farm.  Our project to-do list was long as we new that priority one was transforming our facility from a traditional farm to a wedding venue.
   Along with the many logistics of mucking out the barn and adding electricity were the Business 101 type issues that any new small business has to deal with.  Creating a name, a website, a facebook page, corporate filings, signage, advertisements, etc. all come at you at break-neck speed.
   Much of what we have done here to start this business has been by our own hands, with our own resources, with our own decor, with our own perennials, with our own sweat, and our own ideas, Fortunately for us, we had wonderful pictures from my daughter Jill’s wedding to help us with those early presentations – early advertisements – an early wedding fair – and our early website layout.
   Each month that has gone by – each wedding that we have hosted – we have learned and even evolved.  We admittedly had simple expectations for this new venture but as the interest grew – we saw the possibilities that could come from some additional improvements.  We have added many improvements since our first wedding on May 1, 2011….a dance floor/foyer addition, a stone patio, a caterer’s room, additional doors, outdoor lighting, a driveway loop, a grooms room, and more. 
   As we enter year three, we have another to do list that we are anxious to complete.  One feature that Jill and I have talked about for quite some time is the desire to create a logo for our business.  A proper logo is the face of your company – the calling card that people will first see when learning about us so it is very important that we select the right one.  The time was right to address this project.
   Like most things, I made the effort to tackle this project myself.  I played with all sorts of options but nothing was quite clicking.  I knew that I would know it   if I saw it but I was struggling with the design.  There are times when you know that seeking out a professional is your best solution and indeed in this situation I conceded that I needed help.  My first choice was one of our photographers that frequents our weddings….Charlie Gann at Blue Vinyl Creative Photography. 
   Charlie’s photography has a very vintage feel to it so I knew that we were in the same mood with our businesses….besides that Charlie is known for his marketing skills with his “day job.”  I contacted him and we began the conversation – the long conversation of trying to define who we are – what we want to portray to our customers and then how best to present that.  Those questions are not that easy to nail down.  Many times as we discussed this one issue, I would have trouble narrowing down the focus.   Our farm – our business – is more of a story than it is a word.  It is more of a collage than it is a picture.  It is more of a mood than it is a category. 
   Somehow we wanted to show the rustic – the weathered authentic side of our venue.  This aspect alone separates us from other venues. We also wanted to make sure we steered away from a Hokie Pokie Cowboy look because though we are a barn – we aren’t a Honkie-Tonk Country Western sort of place. We also wanted to include a bit of style somehow either with a font choice or with some embellishments to demonstrate that we are mixing the two worlds – the rustic with the glamor that comes from any wedding.
   So  the logo is now presented and you will begin to see it in many different places as we move forward this year.  Look for it and as you do…hopefully it will indeed bring an interesting story for you to remember or a collage of images to your mind, or just make you fe lots of different and unique pictures into y our head as you reflect on your experiences with The Barn at High Point Farms.

Huckleberry – Part II  (Part I posted yesterday)

   Huckleberry had grown up into a fine looking goat and had learned to join his two worlds together – his people world and his goat world.  He pastured with the herd, slept with the herd, and fit in quite normally. But if he was ever in ear shot of our voices – whether we were calling for the horses, or yelling “supper” to my husband – he would hear our voice and give his typical “baaaaAAAA!”  It always reminded me of the Bible verses where Jesus says that “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  Once you bottle feed a baby goat, no matter what they are doing – they have one ear listening in essence for you to call them and then they would come a-running from where ever they were – just as if you were their mother, for in essence, you were. This obviously becomes a very endearing experience. A Huckleberry was just this way.
   Now, fast forward to Thanksgiving, 2011. Huckleberry is approaching one year of age. One of Jill’s high school buddies, Dan, was in the film business – doing his own films on the side from time to time. Dan had filmed a short promo film here at the farm years before and knew full well of our farm and our goats. So as Dan’s next project included a snowy Christmas setting and a goat – who else would he go to for such a casting task than us?  His plan was to haul the goat in his van to Minneapolis where his wife’s family lived. As we mulled our choices, we knew that it was be most practical to sell him either Huckleberry or Hombre. 
   Hombre was an older male goat but he was more the size of a Shetland pony.  That just didn’t seem practical since Dan was hauling him to Timbucktoo in his van – which sounded a bit absurd in the first place.  The next thought was Huckleberry.  We grieved at the thought of letting him go but we knew if there was any goat destined to be in a movie – it would be Huckleberry.  We knew that if any goat was to handle the chaos – the people – the needs of a movie, even a small budget movie – it had to be Huckleberry.  So, we made the decision and though we were saddened, we knew it was the best choice.  So – on a dreary rainy day in late November – Dan loaded up Huckleberry and set straight away for the freeway and beyond – for the long trek towards a frozen tundra called Minneapolis.
   Well – Minneapolis had a warm winter that year as we did as well.  In fact, there was very little snow fall at all in Minneapolis and so little in fact that it did not facilitate the making of Dan’s movie.  Fortunately Dan and his wife enjoyed the winter months with her family but as they plotted their trip back south they made the decision to not bring back Huckleberry but instead to find a suitable home for Huckleberry with one of his in-law’s friends – a plumber friend who had a few acres – a little farm of sorts.
   The details of this part of the story have come second hand and again…I hope to one day chat personally with this man to get the full details. So forgive me in this next segment  if it is less than totally accurate for my intent is to be truthful and give this wonderful story its just reward by telling it as it really happened.
    The plumber’s farm was small – more acreage than a farm but it was a wonderful refuge for the man and his family.  They purchased Huckleberry and he immediately fit in and was a pleasure to have around. The plumber has a son who is handicapped and who was not able to get around very easily on the farm. Eventually, the plumber decided to make a cart for Huckleberry.  He made the cart large enough so that his son could be placed in the cart and the goat could be led around the farm.  Huckleberry took to the cart so easily that in no time before the son was able to steer it himself and now the son was able to have access to the whole farm via Huckleberry and the little cart.  The freedom and fun now discovered for this boy who had once been limited was so amazing and had transformed the lives of the whole family that the plumber named his farm “Huckleberry Farm” in honor of his special goat.
   I so hope to contact this man to hear first hand with full detail the entire story for I also think that sharing Huckleberry’s unique beginnings will touch his heart as well.  What started out as a bleak beginning for such a common animal, began a marvelous road of touching the hearts of not only us as we cared and loved him but in the visitors that came to our farm. It continued on with Dan who surely was disappointed at the inability to make his movie after buying a goat, hauling it to Minneapolis, and shacking up with his in-laws all winter – to no avail. But how else was Huckleberry to be at the right place at the right time for the right person?  No ordinary goat would do.  It had to be one as special and as loving as Huckleberry.  It had to be a goat who love to be with people more than with animals. It had to be a goat who was always listening for his master’s voice to call him. It had to be a goat who would instantly run and romp when his name was called. It had to be Huckleberry.

Margie Gardner

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