Here on the farm, almost everything (even stuff that most people consider garbage) gets put to use. We take sustainability pretty seriously, so from the buffet food to the buildings, almost everything finds a home (or a mouth).
One thing that is a reality of every event venue is leftover food. We spend a lot of time crafting the best formulas for food preparation, but because not everything can be predicted, we sometimes have food left over from buffets, events, and other activities. We would rather have excess than not enough (we believe you should not leave here hungry!), but all that leftover food just can't go in the trash.
So after an event, we first separate food scraps to feed to the pigs, cats, and other farm animals that are, uhm, less picky about where their plate is set. The remaining food that is not even pig-worthy goes directly to our composting pile, where is breaks down and is later spread in the fields as fertilizer for those delicious berries, good carving pumpkins, and corn for the maze.
We make sure that almost every piece of food that is not eaten by our guests find a purpose, therefore saving on waste and keeping our food items moving through the cycle of re-use!
Even buildings don't go to waste around here. As farms grow older, buildings fall into disrepair or just fall down (from the weight of their own age or by wind, storm, etc). When this happens, every usable piece of scrap wood is saved and stored here on the farm until we have use for them. We have re-purposed old barn wood for the kiddie picnic tables you'll see placed out during fall season, made some wooden spools that have served as decoration at our weddings and events, and re-worked many of these pieces into signage for the fall season and for our events. And of course, the finishes in the barn itself are fully reclaimed as well.
One of the best ways (in our opinion) of reusing these old wood pieces is Bruce Vesperman's new hobby of creating amazing decorative pieces for both the farm and for sale. He's been in his workshop most of the summer carefully cutting, placing, and framing up some of these wonderful items. Some are in our barn now for decoration, but others were sold to customers during fall season (with plans to do this again next year). I know I have a few orders in with Bruce!
Bruce and Kyle have also created some functional pieces for the business, including these great napkin holders and our wine rack!
Kyle takes sustainability even off the farm, rescuing old buildings, shipping containers, and other items that were destined to be torn down, burned, or tossed in a landfill. One of our projects last year was bringing in an old garage that has since been transformed into the backdrop for our outdoor wedding ceremony location, a beautiful little spot that's framed perfectly on the hilltop overlooking the farm. Now dubbed the Schoolhouse because it reminds us of those little one-room schools, this little building will eventually become a bridal room for wedding parties!
As we've expanded our business, we've found we need ample room for storing items like tables, chairs, buffet items, and more. So Kyle found a down-and-out shipping container and re-purposed it as our storage unit. Now we can keep all our things safely out of our way when they need to be, but accessible when we have to set up for that next event.
Next on the docket is this old beauty, which was hauled in from a neighbor's. We're not sure what it'll be yet, but we'll dream of something! After that, there are two more buildings on the project list, but rest assured that each one will find a home at Vesperman Farms!
One thing's for sure: If you have something you don't need, we'll find a use for it out here at the farm!