Friday, February 21, 2014

Check out this amazing place, especially if you're a Christian

The Story
I want to pass along a link to a video project I delivered this week after months of gathering footage and subsequent editing. It is a profile piece for a Christian retreat center located in southeastern Wisconsin in Williams Bay, a few miles west of Lake Geneva.  It offers a great look at an incredible piece of property in today's market-value terms that was long ago dedicated to the advancement of Christianity.

It's a heck of a story and you'll enjoy learning a little bit about the place, and it was an absolute joy to produce the piece for them. This is one of those rare spots in our world that are truly breathtaking to witness.  

Here's the link, enjoy!   Conference Point Center profile 

And Art the Farmer is hanging in there -- I'm going to call him after putting this post up and will pass along any news. 

More later on it all -----

Saturday, February 15, 2014

   Now Developers Want Farms and Barns

The Story
 As so many farm fields continue to  shift from producing crops to providing home sites, a growing trend with developers is to not just save the old barn but, believe it or not, to design the whole sub-division around a working farm that actually produces food and provides for homeowners' needs. 

How cool is that?

Following below is a link via the Michigan Barn Preservation Network that tells one of those stories. 

It feels really good to see things starting to shift as more and more people want to be directly connected to their food sources and are making their voices heard, with developers responding and shifting their paradigm to accommodate a new era while there are still a few real deal old farmsteads left to work with.

Here's the link to the story, check it out!   Developers saving barns?!?




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Update on the fundraising effort

The Story
A few suggestions have been offered on improving the fundraising campaign. If you check out the link at  Art the Farmer fundraiser you'll see some perks offered at much lower levels, $5, $10 and $20. And, there is a different video clip available that shows some old fashioned hay mowing as the sun is setting on a beautiful, hot Summer's day.

Also, the new perks at $5 and $10 are repeated a few times at the site, not sure why and will figure it out, but to get the bit back out there as the clock ticks, I'm going with it as is.

The $20 level gains you an emailed pic of Art's Wintertime barn, which is shown above.   
Thanks to the couple of people who have chipped in so far. And thanks to the people offering inputs that are great ideas and will hopefully ramp things up a bit.

Alright then, more later on it all.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Forgot to make the link live -- it works now   

  Help Save an Old Farmer This Winter

 The Story
Someone suggested that I create an Indiegogo campaign to try and raise some dollars to help Art the Farmer keep going, so I did. And within the first few moments of posting the link on Facebook last evening someone pitched in $100. 

Nice --- thank you, old neighborhood friend from the southwest side of Chicago.

Here in Wisconsin this Winter is our worst in 30 years, and on top of Arthur's usual challenges it takes things to a higher, ultimate level for him. 

His kitchen sink is froze-up top and bottom, so he struggles with bringing water over from the bathroom faucets to the kitchen to work with and cobble a meal together. And it's never very much. 

And the list goes on.

In the meantime there are cows out in the barn to tend to and at this point Arthur says his end is in sight. And while he has been saying that every Winter for a few years now, things just seem enough more critical this year that he might finally be right about it.

Plus, he's all alone since his wife Carole died back in 1999, the year before I met him through the "American Barn Stories" series.

So if anyone wants to help him out with a few dollars, here's the link to the campaign:

Arthur is a smart man and a good farmer and it's shame he doesn't have the help he needs to get his farm back on its feet. Having no children or family nearby to help out, he's been treading water for quite a while now as he wages the battle for survival, but anyone can do that for only so long. The rock he's been pushing uphill in recent years only grows larger as his strengths to keep pushing it grow weaker.

I'll pass word along on how things go for him. We talked last night and he did sound much better than our last conversation on Friday night, which  featured a full blown meltdown from him. That phone call inspired me to do a bit of outreach on his behalf, so here you go.

And I guess I have to admit that a certain amount of this is self-centered as I really enjoy running up the thirty two miles to his place to help him bale hay in the Summer and I don't want to see that go away just yet -- I guess it's the 'city boy in the country' thing for me. Remember, I'm an undertaker's boy from the southwest side of Chicago. 

Art has some good years left in him but some things are going to have to change for him to keep going and, like any of us, that's the hard part for him to accept. I've started that conversation with him, but it will take quite a while for anything to happen.

In the meantime, first things first, let's try to help him get through this Winter.

Thanks for any help with it -- more later -- Tom.