Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 3, 2012.

Photo-main

Please help me build a health department-approved kitchen for on-farm cooking/cheesemaking workshops and other events!

Please help me build a health department-approved kitchen for on-farm cooking/cheesemaking workshops and more!

Who I Am:

My name is Suzanne McMinn.  I live on a farm.  I'm a writer, teacher, photographer, and milk maid.  I write a website called Chickens in the Road, and through my website, I share my ideas, crafts, recipes, and lessons learned in my adventures in self-sustainable living.  A few years ago, I started bringing my readers to the farm for parties and demonstrations. 

Last year, I launched the Chickens in the Road Retreat, hosting two days of old-fashioned cooking and craft workshops at a nearby 4-H facility.

The retreat is now an annual event with the second retreat coming in September 2012.  But one retreat a year isn't enough.  I want to reach a wider audience all through the year and bring people to the farm, not just for parties and demonstrations, but for full-scale workshops and more.  To hold these workshops, activities, and events at the farm, I must have a health department-approved kitchen. 

This is required by law in order to offer cooking classes and to serve meals.

Project Goals:

I need your help to renovate the 500 square foot separate studio building on my farm into a health department-approved kitchen.  Sassafras Farm, the home of Chickens in the Road, is conveniently located only 8 miles from Interstate 79 in Roane County, West Virginia, and approximately 20 minutes from the state capital, Charleston.  The farm is ideally located for "agritourism" opportunities.  Agritourism is "a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch, or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates income for the owner."  It encompasses many things, but specifically in relation to my goals, it includes on-farm cooking/baking and cheesemaking workshops, fresh farm suppers, farmhand days, educational day camps for kids, nature hikes, photography walks, gardening classes, and events such as meetings, parties, and weddings. 

I already have a section set up on my website to schedule and promote these events.   See the Chickens in the Road Events page.

Sassafras Farm:

Sassafras Farm is a 100-acre farm snuggled into the Appalachian foothills.


Here, I raise dairy goats, miniature donkeys, sheep, chickens, and dairy cows.

The farm includes an 1890s big red barn, a vintage farmhouse, pastures, woodland trails, creeks, and the studio building.  Its picturesque setting makes it look like it fell off the pages of a children's storybook, but it's also a real working farm--and I want to share it through educational workshops and activities as well as farm-sponsored entertainment events and renting the studio for meetings, parties, and weddings.  For all of those things, I need a health department-approved kitchen.

Workshop topics planned for the coming year include cheesemaking, breadbaking, sweets and treats, preserving, art, writing, as well as a variety of crafts such as soapmaking and candlemaking.  Classes will be offered for adults, teens, and younger children, along with educational activities including farmhand days and nature experiences for the entire family.  I'm especially eager to hold summer "farm camps" for kids from the nearby city and towns where they can milk a cow, collect eggs, touch real wool on a sheep, bake bread, make cheese, learn about bees, and other basic animal husbandry and old-fashioned know-how that is nearly lost today.

The Studio:

The 500 square foot studio is a separate building behind the farmhouse.  It includes an existing small kitchen, a bathroom, and a sitting area with sliding glass windows all around looking out onto beautiful pasture views.

Right now, the studio looks like this inside:

It was used by previous owners of the farm as an apartment.  I've been using it for storage and a crash pad for my college-aged son.  But the studio and I, we have a big dream!

The Studio at Sassafras Farm will be a health department-approved kitchen with two gas ranges, two refrigerators, two sinks, and stainless steel prep/work tables and shelves.  It is a total gut job to make the "surfaces" (walls and floors) meet health department standards.  The carpet will be replaced with black and white tile, and the walls will be sheetrocked and painted.  The beadboard ceiling will remain, but will be sealed and painted per code.  The studio will include both a large working kitchen as well as seating/dining/meeting space.  There is also an existing multi-level deck for entertaining, gathering, and lots of room for outdoor dining.

I already have the two ranges, two refrigerators, and two sinks, so the appliances are in hand.  The work is planned in four stages.

Stage 1:  The public water line.  The farm is on a well, but for health department purposes, public water is preferred.  It's difficult and costly to get well water approved.  The public water line was already at the farm, so the first step is to bring the public water line into the studio and set a separate water heater as well as update the old plumbing lines.

Stage 2:  Demolition of the studio interior to make way for the new, approved materials.

Stage 3:  Installing, finishing, and painting new drywall and sealing/painting the existing beadboard ceiling.

Stage 4: Floor tile and molding.

Working layout of the renovated studio:

All four stages of the work can be competed within 2 months.  The total project cost includes all the labor and materials for all four stages as well as all the stainless steel prep/work tables and other items (stainless steel pots, pans, etc)  to supply the kitchen and dining tables/chairs for seating.  If this project is funded, I will be ready to roll!

Where the Project Is Right Now:

I've started on a shoestring and a dream.  After a meeting on-site in the studio with the county health inspector and the construction team to go over plans, work began on January 30 to dig the new public water line to the studio.

"Hi, I'm Dave.  (And I'm Matt!)  Help us keep working on the studio!"

Please help me keep my construction super duo working on this project!

You can see more photos of the farm at the Sassafras Farm Gallery page.

Life on the farm is a lot of fun.  I want to share it with you!

Thank you so much for your consideration!  Every dollar counts.  Please help me make the Studio at Sassafras Farm happen!

Love, Suzanne

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
407
Backers
$17,016
pledged of $14,500 goal
0
seconds to go
Missing_medium

See full bio

  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    19 backers

    My undying gratitude! Every dollar counts! Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    89 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS your choice of one cute farm photo print in 4 x 6 lustre. You may choose any photo from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    105 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS your choice of three cute farm photo prints in 4 x 6 lustre. You may choose any photos from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    34 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS your choice of one cute farm photo print in 8 x 12 lustre. You may choose any photo from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    16 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS your choice of one cute farm photo print in 11 x 14 lustre. You may choose any photos from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS your choice of one cute farm photo print in 11 x 14 lustre AND entry for TWO to a workshop of your choice at the Studio at Sassafras Farm in baking, cheesemaking, candlemaking, or soapmaking in 2012, along with a farm supper and farm tour. Workshop date to be arranged. Travel and accommodations are not included. If you can't travel to the farm, you may substitute the workshop portion of the reward for an additional 11 x 14 print in lustre. For the photo rewards, you may choose any photos from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS an 8 x 10 rolled canvas print ready for framing AND entry for TWO to a workshop of your choice at the Studio at Sassafras Farm in baking, cheesemaking, candlemaking, or soapmaking in 2012, along with a farm supper and farm tour. Workshop date to be arranged. Travel and accommodations are not included. If you can't travel to the farm, you may substitute the workshop portion of the reward for an additional 8 x 10 rolled canvas print ready for framing. For the photo rewards, you may choose any photos from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website. Your name will be in flying colors!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $750 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    My undying gratitude PLUS entry for TWO to a private workshop of your choice at the Studio at Sassafras Farm in baking, cheesemaking, candlemaking, or soapmaking in 2012 as well as a private farm supper and farm tour AND a 10 x 15 rolled canvas print ready for framing. Workshop date to be arranged. Travel and accommodations are not included. If you can't travel to the farm, you may substitute the workshop portion of the reward for an additional 10 x 15 rolled canvas print ready for framing. For the photo rewards, you may choose any photos from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website. Your name will be in flying colors and bigger!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Take a haycation! Bring the whole family. You will receive my undying gratitude PLUS entry for up to FIVE to a private workshop of your choice at the Studio at Sassafras Farm in baking, cheesemaking, candlemaking, or soapmaking in 2012 as well as a private farm supper, farm tour, and farmhand activities for your group AND a 12 x 18 rolled canvas print ready for framing. Workshop date to be arranged. Travel and accommodations are not included. If you can't travel to the farm, you may substitute the workshop portion of the reward for a set of ten 4 x 6 postcards PLUS an additional 12 x 18 rolled canvas print ready for hanging. For the photo rewards, you may choose any photos from the Chickens in the Road photo shop at Smugmug. http://chickensintheroad.smugmug.com/ Your name will be listed on the wall of honor in the studio and also on the wall of honor page on my website. Your name will be in flying colors and will be the biggest!

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)