Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Windmill Farm Decorated A Barn For Holiday Event

We are fairly new to putting on "events" and have opened our eyes to the possibility of expanding it into our farm business.  You have to go where the business threads lead you and try them out.  Farming produce and flowers is not an easy business but you have to enjoy what you do too.  CSA baskets have deadlines that have to be met and so do flower events and weddings.  We are used to those business stresses. "Events" have a whole new set of stresses, but I believe our farm can pick and choose which ones will work for our size farm and our abilities to do them ourselves and do them well enjoy to make our clients happy.
Our daughter, Celli was asked by the owner of three Dutch Bros businesses to decorate a large barn in Loomis, called the Blue Goose.  She was having her Christmas Employee party for around 115 people, full dinner, music, stage, gift giving.  Celli asked me to help her, which I gladly did.
The barn was toured to see how large, where different parts of the party were going to be held, such as the bar, the buffet tables, the music, etc.  Luckily, the Blue Goose is set up beautifully; lots of plugs everyplace; clean; the tables and chairs were going to be arranged early, clean up supplies and they even had a room to store items such as our ladder and boxes until party was over so we could clean up our decorations.
We got together and made our plans for the the budget given.  Since the barn is so large, we had to have large impact areas for color, lighting and festive fun.  I was in charge of making some chandeliers; we each made large paper flowers for a large 8' long and 7' tall photo op wall; Celli arranged for a large tree and made decorations for the tree using Dutch Bros cup and lids.  We also used the Dutch Bros coffee bean burlap bags as part of our decorating them, around the tree, on the entry way counter.  Together we worked on the table decorations to be a natures wonderland-tree branches used for votive candles; pomegranates; pine cones; hydrangeas, greens; rosemary; eucalyptus; carved out wood with candles inside; berries.  Celli and I painted branches from the orchard white ready to be placed in cute galvanized and farming containers.  Why not?  It is a barn!!!
The evening before the event, Frank was so helpful in loading the van.  I didn't think it would all fit and was going to use the truck, but he believed it would work and it did!! Celli went to the barn early and with help from her wonderful friend Ashley, they got all the tables ready and tree almost done before I arrived.

Our good pre-planning really worked well, we understood the basic decorating concepts in our heads and went to work.  After we got the wall panels secured, Ashley went to work placing all the paper flowers on it.  The tables were decorated with the bags and bags of layering pines, eucalyptus, rosemary, berries. 

Celli took a large galvanized bucket and used it as the tree base and put the coffee bags around it as tree skirts.

Then she put out the decorations of the Dutch Bros coffee lids, that she painted gold, and had decorative string to hang the coffee cups.
Up went the chandeliers I made, using hola hoops as a base were hung with the help of Chris, our son-in-law who showed up with the grand kids after school.
 It was so fun because it became a family decorating event!!!

All the fun farm and flower containers I brought were placed on the entryway counter which showcased all the natural elements of this time of year, lighting, color, Dutch Bros products.  Each of us took a section and started placing painted tree branches, pine cones, moss, holiday bulbs, Christmas bags, lighted bark trees.
The party started at 6:00pm, so we set ourselves up with certain time limits to have the projects completed, giving us enough time to do some final tweaking and then clean up of all our messes.
It all worked perfectly I must say, it was so beautiful as we turned down the spot lights and turned on all the holiday lighting.  Poor Celli, she had to stay and meet with the Heather and her hubby, Dutch Bros owners to make sure all was well and then go back after the party was over (after 10:00pm) and clean up everything.  I had 1 1/2 hours to drive home, so I left before the party began.  She said she got home with a car full of stuff after midnight.

The photos don't do it justice, I am never good at taking evening pictures, but the next day we saw photos of the barn filled with happy Dutch Bros employees having a great time, singing karaoke on the stage next to the tree or having their pictures taken in front of our gorgeous photo op wall.
Bring on the future Windmill Farm events-give us a call.

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