Travel through the scenic countryside north of Cedar Falls, past prairie and cornfields, and standing proudly at the crest of a hill, there it is – Three Pines Farm.
How fitting Iowa’s best-kept secret is on a heritage farm. Three Pines Farm is a fifth-generation family farm, rich with character, much like the family and friends who have shaped it over the years. Established in 1856 by Norman and Jane Rundles, it is now where Kara Grupp (the great-great granddaughter of Norman and Jane) and her young family reside, and where they are shaping a new direction for this historic farmstead…
The farmstead itself is a charming picture of idyllic Iowa farm life. A big red barn dating to the mid-1800s still stands at the center of it all, with a little brick farmhouse to the north, and a couple of smaller, quaint barns to the south. One of those smaller barns pops out from the rest. With its unique brick walls and French doors, it immediately catches your eye. But it is what you don’t see that is even more special.
It’s what’s inside that counts, they say, and that holds true for this endearing little barn. Walk through the doors and you will find yourself in a serene cultural community hub unlike any other. It’s a studio space where artisans from across the road, or across the world, come to teach, and to share their knowledge and passion for their artistry. It’s a space where people from near and far come to learn, to connect with skills of the past and present, to connect with others, and with a deeper sense of self through the art of slowing down. It’s a place of supporting artisans and a place of building community.
All of this is accomplished through community events, farm-to-table dining experiences, and many hands-on workshops. The workshops at Three Pines Farm are impressively diverse, having ranged from cheesemaking, botanical illustration, soap making, bookbinding, weaving, specialty baking and culinary classes, kintsugi (a 15th-century Japanese ceramic repair technique), apple tree grafting, and silver jewelry-making. The 2017 schedule offers more eclectic offerings with an impressive array of artisan-educators from both near and far.
“It’s a magical thing when you gather people together and experience learning in such a dynamic way. It is such a joyful way to learn new skills and to learn from those so expert in their fields. There really is no substitute for that.”, says Grupp, who directs the educational mission of the studio at Three Pines Farm. “But, what I value the most is seeing the friendships forged through our experiences here at Three Pines. We have had the most wonderful people come through our doors since opening. I have been amazed at the goodness of it all.”
What: Three Pines Farm
Where: 9611 Wagner Rd., Cedar Falls
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (319) 404-2942