We call this slice of heaven The Bean Farm. We don’t plant beans.
We’re not horticulturists of any sort.
So, what do you grow then?
We grow memories, relationships, kindness, togetherness, happiness all rooted in love. The harvest is plenty here.
The Bean Farm is for sharing with others through events, retreats, corporate events, graduations, life celebrations or anything where people want to get together. Our latest project is the addition to and renovation of our century old barn. We know it will bring even more memories for our guests that will last a lifetime. You can read our blog for periodic updates. In the mean time, go ahead, roam around our site and see what goes on around here!
The Bean Farm beginning:
Several years ago, our lives took a swift change in course. By change, I mean we did a 180-degree turnaround. Who would have seem it coming?
We were living the American dream. With an upscale new home, great cars and all the latest in technology, we had it made. Our life was comfy and we had enough money that we could go where we wanted and do what pleased us. So how could we feel empty? Something was missing. There was an unexplained emptiness in us.
To fill the emptiness, we bought more stuff. And truth be told, for about a day the new stuff filled the gap. But when the novelty wore off, the emptiness was leftover. Our satisfaction in our material possessions left us unfulfilled. We wanted more. And more “stuff” wasn’t making us feel better, it was pulling us apart as a family.
With our marriage at the breaking point and our kids distanced from us, this American Dream wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
On the outside, we had it made. But behind our four walls, our emotional presence to each other was limited. If we were going to stick together, we knew a change needed to be made.
We felt a call from God to live a simpler life. It wasn’t some sort of mighty calling like the God that called to Moses in The Ten Commandments movie from the fifties. The voice didn’t boom at us, “Doug and Julllliiiaaa….sellll yourrr stuffff!!!”
It was subtle.
It was a nudging with each payment we made to pay for our stuff, a gnawing in the gut when we headed to separate rooms after dinner to entertain ourselves with TVs & gaming systems, it was a tightening of the chest when we had to uncomfortably interact with each other because most of our lives was lived separately.
This calling was to give up our riches and follow Him. Follow Jesus and let Him be Lord over our lives.
It was scary.
I mean, who does that in today’s day and age?
That phrase is thousands of years old, right? But when you think you’ve found “it” in life only to get there and realize that “it” wasn’t what you thought it was, you have to change course. While still hoping the call we heard was intended for someone else, we apprehensively moved forward.
We loved the country. We knew our possessions were one of the wedges between us. We wanted out and away from the life we were living. We began looking for a place that had less home and more land. After an exhaustive search, we found an old retired farm. It whispered of the constant activity from decades ago. Walking the grounds with the realtor we could see how the cows must have grazed in the pasture, chickens scratching for bugs in the yard, the smell of leather tack hanging in the barn. This farm longed to be revived. And that was it. We bought it.
We began downsizing by selling or giving away most of our belongings to fit in the little farmhouse that was built in the early 1900’s. Some thought we had lost our minds. Many thought we had lost our jobs. A few others thought we had lost both. But they didn’t know what we were experiencing in our hearts, how miserable we had been, how we felt like we were losing ourselves amidst the worlds definition of The American Dream.
There was a bit of a learning curve. OK, a bit of a curve is an understatement…it was more of a massive schwoop.
But we learned and while we learned together, we experienced a new tranquility. Mental clarity. Out here there was a peaceful refuge from the working world that we lived in Monday through Friday. We felt fulfilled in a way that had been missing in our lives. Instead of pizza and movies, our weekends were filled with repairs and renovations as we gathered animals like a modern day Noah and Orpha. We learned we had to rely on others so we reached out to help and received help in return. We worked hard, made many mistakes, laughed a lot. Over time, we became less enamored with our prior lives of modern convenience. We creatively dubbed our place The Bean Farm.
Then we got the hang of it:
It wasn’t long before we “former city folk” realized this rugged sanctuary was too good to keep to ourselves. We knew it was made for us and even better, it was made to share. Since our back ground (and passion) is in healthcare, we saw a few ways we could share our joy. We felt strongly that the transformation in us could impact others. You can’t light a candle and put it under a bushel basket! We had to LET IT SHINE!
The “Beanimals” provide therapy for our guests. Guests to the farm are met by a gamut of furry farm residents. Animals have the unconditional love to spread to our guests which consist of veterans with mental illness or physical disabilities, the aged, the lonely, the unloved. This is the place they can find unconditional love and acceptance from our brood. All of the animals are small in size, with gentle temperament.
Serving double duty, the animals provide an abundance of entertainment. That’s where the term “agritainment” comes in. The Bean Farm is available for rental! We enjoy hosting parties, reunions, campouts, campfires or whatever a guest has in mind. We have a large space for pretty much whatever our guests have in mind. Outdoor games, parties, campouts, harvest parties/events, team building activities. See our “Rent the Farm” section on this site for more information.
The best place to be is together.
What’s there to do around here?
- Feed the free-range chickens their favorite treats
- Enjoy a hay ride
- Take a stroll around the farmstead
- Kiss a pig
- Light a Chinese lantern and make a wish
- Make s’mores
- Star gaze (they’re brighter out here)
- Take your picture Grant Wood style (Guest Howse)
- Sit in the tire swing
- Dress up and take pictures in the photo booth
- Meet someone new
- Hold a kitten
- Make memories
- Sing camp fire songs
- Stay a while
- Feed or walk a goat
- Think about life
- Scritch a donkey
- Watch an outdoor movie in the barn or outside on the machine shed
- Chat with your pal while dangling your feet off the hay wagon
We are located about six miles outside of Scotch Grove, Iowa. The town boasts a population of just over 400 but city data shows that the majority of the population is rural. We have a bar, a farm seed company, and a nursery in town. Wait, never mind…I heard the nursery closed this summer. Still, there are three neighboring towns that have at least a gas station and access to shopping. Each town is fifteen minutes away: Monticello, Anamosa and Cascade. When some serious shopping is required, Dubuque is an hour North and Cedar Rapids, an hour South.
the bean farm
7731 148th St
Scotch Grove, IA 52310
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