Trixie and The Nooners
It has been suggested a few times (LOL) that we should make Farm Fest a yearly event! What a wonderful idea. But next time lets just make it a celebration.... cuz the barn will be all done.. right???
We had a farm full of activity, friends old and new, great food, fabulous music, and we actually got quite a bit of work done on the barn too!
I made 60lbs of pulled pork, and salad. Ty's Amazing Kitchen came along as well and made gumbo with our cajun sausage! YUMMY! He also helped us roast our corn! Corn was donated by Abie Vegetable People and from Schoolhouse Gardens.
Upstream Brewing Company donated two kegs of their amazing beer and Trader Joe's in Lincoln donated a case of yummy wines! Bands played all day and into the night.
A late night bonfire complete with marshmallows and campers ended our first day and we all woke up ragged and tired but happy and ready to get back to work.
Day 2 was all about the tin. We purchased some second hand tin for the interior of the cheese room but it has to be sanded so it can be repainted. Most of the morning we were roughing up the tin with scouring pads. Looks like fun... right?
We had a lot of fun! I was more exhausted than I thought possible afterwards but what a wonderful weekend!
Andy and I are so thankful to everyone who came out to help and for those who donated. Without you we would not be this far along.
Work party #2 planned for next weekend (Aug 17)! We still have an untapped keg of beer and wine left! Work still to be completed.... join us next weekend. More info to come as I get it. But I am so looking forward to it!
Here we are mid February 2013 and the barn that was supposed to be built in November is still just a slab of concrete. Remember our grand opening celebration that was scheduled on December 8th? Obviously it has not happened.
To add insult to injury we discovered that what little work was done... was sabotaged by the contractor. I wish I had known what footings were when they were pouring that cement pad... because there are NONE there. We kept asking about the lack of floor drains in the cement and the contractor kept saying "Trust Me... I have been in construction for 15 years." He spoke of some magic roto-rooter device that would create floor drains after the building was placed on the slab... little did we know he was full of it. The picture above shows the cement pad and where we have begun to have the concrete cut for footings.
After missing yet another deadline of Christmas for construction completion, another long line of more excuses from Mr. Allen, and with the end of January fast approaching we decided to fire this contractor and requested a refund. We had discovered that the cement pad would require thousands of extra dollars to repair and bring to code. We learned that Mr. Allen had not paid the cement contractor, and the electrics that were done on the house were all wrong. We needed to basically start over.
Since then we have had nothing more than empty promises to refund the money paid Mr. Allen. We contacted the authorities and a Deputy came out to take a report, and things were beginning to feel pretty glum. Then yesterday my phone rang. It was Tonya Ward from Energy Rescue, a local non-profit. She is a dear friend and we had spoken about our situation a week or so ago. Tonya offered to orchestrate a giant fundraising and volunteer effort to raise the barn! Needless to say, I was blown away and brought to tears.
Tonya got right to work! She contacted news stations and Fox 42 was the first to jump at the opportunity to broadcast our story. For those that remember.... this is the same station that aired the story about the tornado that took the barn two years ago. In fact, they sent the same reporter, Curt Casper. I believe the story will air after American Idol tomorrow night (2/13).
Right now, we do know that the barn kit will be here Saturday. We need help with cement work, we need a septic tank, water needs to be run to the barn and electricity, materials for the inside of the barn and general man hours to get everything completed. We have been granted until the end of Feb to get off the Elmwood farm so timing is crucial... there is much to be done and little time.. and no funds left.
Tonya is working hard to secure financial and material donations and volunteers to help us get this creamery completed. Andy and I borrowed $10,000 from a friend last week and this will cover the cost of the new building I ordered. We are operating under the assumption that there will not be a refund in the foreseeable future but if there is we will use all funds to the rest of the project.
It is our sincere hope that his coverage will encourage Mr. Allen to refund Lowell the money he was paid.... nearly all of it since what little work was done is going to require significant expense to correct.
I will share more info as I have it....
Wanted to update everyone and give one place for pictures. Friday night around 9m we think we had a tornado take out the barn right next to the house. Very scary. No warnings at all, not even severe thunderstorm. It just came out of nowhere.
This is what I saw outside my back door. When we ran downstairs to the basement, I could see large items flying through the air but didn't stop to see what it was. It was parts of the barn!
We are so thankful... we were all upstairs and we easily could have lost a kid or all of us had this thing hit the house. Scary.
Rubble in driveway
Here is the driveway next to the house.... crazy.
Standing and looking in what was the barn....
This beam was thrown across the farm, landing in the roof of the milk barn, and extending 6 feet inside the barn!
Check out my car! That is a beam under my car! Rubble all around the car but nothing in the car! All I have are smashed rear view windows, scratches, and dents!
I was shocked to welcome our fist hero helper at 7:30 am! He was a workhorse! Cleared most of the upper driveway and worked on the huge piece of shed in the swingset in an hour or two! Amazing!
Thanks Rebecca for loaning us your husband!
Rex was here early too!
Always the knight in shining armor that one! :-)
All the kids got into the action!
So many people showed up to help! We really were amazed... all day long it seemed like people showed up and other left.. it was constant stream of help. The phone rang and text messages of support came in all weekend. We really are blessed with wonderful friends and customers!
Before dinner.... yard, driveway, and pasture cleared! How incredible is that! When I looked at the mess in the morning.. I figured it would be weeks of work!
Got a phone call Sunday afternoon from Jim... one of our customers and friends. He took some video footage and said they wanted to air it on the 9:00 news... was that OK? Sure... why not. So we wait and watch Fox 42 9:00 news and about died laughing at the video footage aired - about 30 seconds of Alex running around the barn naked as a jaybird playing with one of his friends. Geez.. I thought he stayed dressed all day Saturday! Oh well... so goes life..
Yesterday, another phone call. Fox 42 wants to send a reporter out. Is this OK? Sure... what's another naked butt on TV gonna hurt? Right? It's gonna happen... best not to fight it. I can have those darned boys dressed and ten seconds later they are streaking. But wait... they are all at Cynthia's house playing! Woo Hoo! We can do an interivew without naked people! What a concept... sure come on over!
Turns out they want to come because apparently the weather service says the winds were only 25 miles an hour. Naturally he waits to tell me this till I am on camera and captures my response. Seriously, the reporter was a super nice guy. :-) I would love to kick the editor though. :-) Why is it that they take 30 minutes of footage and choose the most bizzare comments to air. Like me pointing out our junk... that wasn't even part of the interview.. I didnt realize I was being taped. How funny. I watch the news last night and all I could think was how silly we looked.. and how I need to loose a bunch of weight. We did say some great stuff that actually made sense... but that didn't get aired. LOL Oh.. and of course they re-aired the naked boy footage. GREAT.
Here is a link to the news segment.. if you need a good chuckle.. CLICK HERE
I will leave you with a couple interesting shots Andy took... I think they are pretty cool.
Our love to all... and again THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who came out to help, called, emailed, left gifts, expressed concern and generally showed us LOVE.
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..