The barn my brothers built at Sweet Ridge Farm is a beautiful sight. In the morning, the rising sun flashes off the silver roof set against the deep blue sky.
That barn just looks ready for a dance, doesn’t it? Of course, there were many things that had to happen before it could be danced in. My mother wrote them down on long lists every morning, laying the lists out on the big oak table and doling out chores to sons and daughters and guests alike. This was the one of the many lists the morning of the barn dance.
Much sweeping and mopping ensued. Nicole, the blushing recent bride, was drafted to pick the tops of the gallons of strawberries my father brought home from his Amish friend. Our strawberries patches had become pretty ragged over the years, and this year my Dad ploughed them up. He took a case of asparagus over to his Amish friend though, and worked out a trade. Nicole may or may not have dressed to match the gallons of strawberries.
Nicole’s family, visiting from Oklahoma, were pulled into the strawberry production line as well.
Mary slipped away from the hordes of helpers and into the garden to work on flowers for the dance.
Mary is not only a gifted gardener, but an amazing floral arranger. This conveniently allows her to disappear from the frantic groups of sweeping, mopping, arguing, hauling masses of people working on events and spend time alone with a pair of scissors in the quiet haven of the garden.
Her floral work is really creative and beautiful.
We had an old milk can on hand which made for a pretty stunning display at the barn door.
Granted it leaked a bit, but a cheerful rug fixed that.
The leaky milk can also inspired us to mop the sawdust off the barn floor. There is only so much you can do with a glamorous plywood floor, but we did it- and it looked great.
As I was mopping, I was struck by the realization that my parents really should seriously consider going into the wedding and event business. I worked with a lot of farmers in North Carolina to do business planning around farm tourism, and as a harpist I see tons of event centers and play for wedding receptions and fancy events all over the place. My parent’s are uniquely poised to make this work. They have a beautiful location, the church parking lots are right next to the farm, the barn is gorgeous, and the views are amazing. Here is the deck of the barn overlooking the valley.
The deck really adds a lot of space and a great design element to the upper floor. We set up the food on the lower level, where the kitchen will be built in the future.
There is also a great view from the garden full of flowers- and Mary on hand to do lots of value added floral arrangements to add to the event package.
My father’s fields are also beautiful, lush, and full of asparagus, grapes, garlic, berries, and a profusion of seasonal delicacies. They are already planning on putting a certified kitchen in the bottom of the barn, so it would be possible to offer catering or allow caterers to come in and work events.
It is an exciting and, in my opinion, totally realistic plan for the future. What do you think? Do you know anyone who is interested in a wedding reception, barn dance, birthday party, or elegant celebration of any kind in 2012? Would you like to rent the Sweet Ridge Farm Barn? Let us know! Tomorrow, we’ll post pictures of the dance, so you can see what a celebration looks like in full swing.
More pictures of the barn dance here: Petticoat Junction
For Rob and Nicole’s love story see here: Our Red Dirt Royal Wedding and here: Letter to My Brother Rob
For the story of the wedding start here: Prepping for the Pilgramage and join along on the whole wild adventure.
Red Dirt Wedding Part One
Red Dirt Wedding Part Two
Red Dirt Wedding Part Three
Red Dirt Wedding Part Four