Friday, June 26, 2009

Amish Country Furniture

We recently dropped by the Amish Country Furniture store, just outside Danville. It’s only about a 15 minute drive from the inn, and we ordered all the furniture for our cottages from there. Well, all we can say is that we always thought the furniture was great quality and value before, but now it’s over the top. The store is now under new owner Raymond Weaver. Raymond is justifiably proud of the workmanship and design that goes into all of his pieces. From his nearby workshop his Amish workers make heirloom-quality furniture that is sold and shipped all over the country. We were particularly impressed with one bedroom suite, made out of solid white oak, (no particle board or veneer in any of Raymond’s work) and with a design that is so special there’s a patent pending. The smaller of the two dressers in the set weighs 350 lbs! This is furniture that will last for generations.

I was kicking myself for not remembering to bring my camera along so I could take some pictures to show everyone on here. Next time, I promise.

In addition to furniture, the store also sells beautiful Polish Pottery pieces like the one pictured below.
In the same location as the furniture store is the Gateway To Amish Country travel and tourism information center. Visitors to the area will be able to pick up maps and brochures of many local points of interest.

The store is located right on highway 62, between Danville and Brinkhaven. And before we end up in a “who’s on first?” type routine, and you start asking, “But Yvonne, what’s the name of the Amish Country Furniture store?”, the name really is Amish Country Furniture.

White Oak Inn

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Owl Creek Produce Auction

Gosh we had so much fun this morning. We went off to the Owl Creek Produce Auction. You know you’ve been buying too much when the auctioneer has your bidder’s number memorized within the first 30 minutes. Which makes my husband very grateful that the auction barn is a 45 minute drive from the inn and the auctions take place in the mornings, so usually I’m too busy at the inn to get there very often.

This auction is a way for local farmers and producers to get their fresh produce and plants into the hands of restaurants, stores and the public. It’s located just a few miles off I-71, mid-way between Columbus and Cleveland, so it’s convenient for buyers to pull up, buy what they want and get back on the highway quickly.

The goods on consignment are whatever is in season, and range from large lots grown by bigger farms, right down to one cabbage grown by an Amish family.

The auctioneer usually starts off selling the bigger lots first. There were plenty of yellow squash and zucchinis today. One seller had something called “eight ball zucchini” Perfectly round softball size zucchinis. I thought they’d be interesting for dinners at the inn, perhaps halved and stuffed, but they were being sold in 4 peck lots and I just couldn’t use that many. I was disappointed that local strawberries were more expensive than usual. Flats of 8 quarts were selling for $32. At that price we won’t be making strawberry jam this year. I guess the weather has been too dry to get a good crop.

I did manage to get some bargains though. 5 huge tomato plants for $1 each. I really only wanted 2 but they came in a lot of 5, so I guess I’ll share with a friend or two. 8 herb plants in a flat for 50 cents. Huge bags of broccoli for a quarter. Big bags of looseleaf lettuce for $1 each. The best buy of all was two beautiful 5 foot tall Purple Sand Cherry bushes to plant by the inn gazebo. Just $6 each. I bet I’d have paid at least $40 at the nursery for a plant this size.

The auction takes place May to October, Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Fridays at 9 a.m.. It’s on Waterford Road, near Fredericktown. Great free entertainment if you can resist bidding!

White Oak Inn

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Video-taping the inn

We decided we needed a video of the inn for our website. The problem with still photographs is that you can only see the room from one angle. But with a video we can give people a sense of what they’d experience standing in the room and looking around. The videographer came today. He started the taping by interviewing us, asking questions about the inn, how we came to be here, what fun things there are for guests to do during their stay. All the basic stuff we’ve answered hundreds of times over the years. But just sitting and blabbing to a camera is really disconcerting. We’re going to come off looking like goofs. And our animals will probably steal the show. Bijoux our orange cat saw us sitting outside on the bench and climbed right up between us. We went to film the sheep and Butterfly ran over and tried to eat the camera. All the kittens came tumbling out of the barn to see what the excitement was about and get in the pictures. They’re all much cuter than we are anyway.

And me, I’m glad it’s over and I can get back in comfortable clothes, and sit here and plan menus for the weekend. Local strawberries are in season so you can bet we’ll have plenty of dishes using those over the next couple of weeks.

White Oak Inn

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hello World!

The title of this first post for our website blog was already created in the blog program. How appropriate. We’re ready to say hello and welcome the whole world to our inn. If you’re a former guest, thanks for keeping in touch. If you’ve never visited we hope you’ll find this part of the inn website entertains you and gives some ideas of things you could enjoy during a stay with us.

Buster and Butterfly are our two resident pet sheep. They live in what innkeeper Ian refers to as “the lamb Hilton” in our barn across the road from the inn. They love to eat crackers and be scratched on the cheeks or behind the ears. If you visit them you’ll find they’re quite amenable to posing for photographs so be sure to bring your camera. They also share their home with four barn cats, Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Mo.

The barn itself is an interesting structure. We’ve been told it’s one of the county’s oldest pole barns, although we can’t verify its age. The upright supports are whole tree trunks. Two years ago we had an Amish barn builder straighten the supports and replace the metal roof, so it should be good to go for another 100 years!

If you’re ever in the area, stop in and meet our menagerie and check out the barn. The cookie jar is always full!

White Oak Inn