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It's a Barn that's a House that's a Kitchen

In the first draft of this post, I wrote that we were "excited" about hosting people in our remodeled Barn-House.

But then I got to thinking..."excited" is such an overused word these days; everyone is "excited" about everything on social media. What does it mean that I am "excited" about this next phase of our life on the farm?

Workers finish the siding at dawn

If you are new to this blog, the building is an 1880s, newly renovated barn that is now a house with a beautiful demonstration kitchen, a (small) event space, and a two-bedroom flat upstairs. We call it the "Barn," but it is a cozy, in-floor-heat, insulated barn for people, not for animals or for hay as it was once used. And it is also a place where we will hold classes, the first of which will be on October14th, 2023.

As you might well imagine, "excitement" is only one of the many emotions that come to mind when envisioning the future of this building. It is an amazing space, one that feels inspiring and full of creativity. And I can envision other people in it feeling the same way, enjoying what we have created and spending more time in rural Iowa than they would have without it. I am thrilled to share this region of the world with others, to have them enjoy this place as their new home away from home.

But fear and anxiety also play their part (although luckily a much smaller area of my psyche). What if? What if no one comes to our classes? What if it takes so much energy to create and market classes that we have even less time in our already fully booked days? What if the cleaning and taking care of the space ends up feeling overwhelming?

A view of the woodwork upstairs
A view of the woodwork upstairs

Yes. There is always the bad with the good, the rosy glasses perspective and its counterpart, the one that always notices what could go wrong (what color are those glasses?). The ying and the yang of life.

So here we are, soldiering on, as they say. Fear and anxiety will not rule the day on this farm.

The Writing on the Farm workshop is "exciting" to me because I love to talk and coach about writing, and the idea of being able to provide a window into farming (and give people a reason to spend the day outside) feels like a gift. The Barn-House is a great excuse for people to take the time to do the writing they have wanted to do, and to learn a bit about where their food comes from along the way.

In addition to the class, we will also be setting up a reservation system (likely Airbnb) for people to spend the night at the Barn-House. One of the rooms has a double bed and (someday soon) a loft; the other bedroom will have two twin beds.

queen sized bed in a room
Room with queen sized bed

Additionally, the space can also fit about 30+ people at tables, allowing people to throw small events here on the farm.

This is the truly exciting part because oh, so many things can be done in the space...the world is our oyster! What would you do in this space? Could you host the dinner you always wanted to throw but never had the space or time? Or maybe it is time for a new venue for the family for Thanksgiving or Easter brunch on the farm?

The demonstration kitchen
The demonstration kitchen

Above all, thinking about all of the events, the people, and the foods that will created in this space over its next 100-years of life is exhilarating. If only I could visit in 2323 to see what has become of this place, to visit again with the people here and to witness all that has happened. Even though I will never see that day, that to me is truly "exciting" to think about.


If you'd like to attend the Writing on the Farm event or about your ideas of what you might like to do in our space. You can contact me at or at the farm email at

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sasha stiles
sasha stiles

I am not surprised as I always remember your creative always can do way and your care of us all. Bless your New barn house.


it turned out fabulous-did i expect any less between you and your mother!!!!!!!!!!!


Kristine Martin
Kristine Martin

So amazing!! I am so EXCITED for you all—such an incredible journey.

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