It has been my life's goal to live simply, sustainably, and off the grid.. I have been troubled by our impact on the environment since watching documentaries in Mr. Knapke's fifth grade social studies classroom. Escalated by the reversal of environmental protections by our current government, it is time to take action. We are installing a solar array this spring to power Canyon Run Ranch in it's entirety.
Gary is an outdoorsman, I am a tree-hugger. We have different motivations, but the same goal.
We want Canyon Run Ranch to be a safe, friendly and welcoming space for Ohio wildlife, plantlife and humans.
I was impressed that the farm had a well that provided an endless supply of clean water, (We installed a state-of-the-art UV water purification system this past summer) There is a boiler system powered by the dead trees that cover the 82 acres of woods. All we needed was to produce our own electrical power, and with 153 acres, all options were available, wind, water, solar.
My research led me to abandon my first choice, hydro-power. The technology isn't practical just yet. I contact OGW in Tipp City, met with Ray Davis, and wrote the check to get the system started. Solar power isn't off grid, but it is sustainable and a happy life involves compromise.
We plan to be powered by the sun in time for our first wedding of the 2020 season!
I purchased a tiny, egg-shaped fiberglass trailer last year to be used as a fun and funky photo booth, It is in the body shop right now getting a coat of olive paint with red accents. It is going to be called "olive you photo camper" and it is going to so darn cute, no one will be able to resist it's charm.
I need to run over there and snap a photo of the work in progress, but for now, here are some before photos.
Christmas comes with marriage proposals and my inbox is filling up with inquiries. Happily, we have some dates available, and may be able to add more. We have a pending decision on our current wedding permit, that could open up many exciting opportunities for us. I will keep you posted. . .
My scheduling is filling up with tours. I just wish the sun would shine and the rain would stop. Couples need to wear their rose-colored glasses to see the potential the property holds once spring comes around again to green everything up. The transition amazes me each spring.
Gary and I are always looking for creative solutions to any problems that we foresee. One problem is that it is easy to miss the entrance to the Woods from Rangeline Road, causing wedding guests to turn around in the neighbor's driveway. We like our neighbors and we want our guests to easily find that gravel lane that leads to the parking area right outside of the woods.
My solution is a bigger sign, but we are allowed to put up a bigger sign. Gary's solution is to build a sculpture that no one can miss. Much better idea, don't you agree?
And for those who don't know my husband Gary, let me just say that he only knows to "go big. . ." : )
The sculpture is finished, and should be installed next week for all to see. In the meantime, here is a photo of Tyrell (our right-hand man) welding on the sculpture last month.
Keep an eye out for the finished product!
When I first visited the beautiful acreage of Canyon Run Ranch in the winter of 2010, I could see the realization of my dream, to build an off-grid home on a south-facing hillside above a waterway. What I didn’t imagine was that this property would become a destination for couples seeking a naturally beautiful space to host their rustic weddings.
As it turns out, I’ve found my niche in life. There is great joy in witnessing the love and celebrations of hundreds of couples that wed here. Both Gary and myself could not have imagined what Canyon Run Ranch has become, and we are both delighted. We have met so many wonderfully interesting people and take pride in helping them to experience a day of romance and laughter in a place of natural beauty.
The weddings have funded improvements to the property. Here are a few things that we have done to limit our footprint and improve the environmental health of the land:
All our building projects keep to the nature of the barn and the surrounding property by using native materials:
We have no desire to be preachy, nor or we requiring that you comply with any “green” rules. We are simply reaching out to all of our wedding participants and asking them to consider their choices of single-use plastic bottles, cutlery, dinnerware and straws.
Craft Event Bar is on board and has eliminated the use of plastic straws. They have invested in more glassware and a machine to clean them. They are offering this service at a price that will make it an easy, and responsible choice.
One item that we don’t have a good alternate for is bottled water. Craft Event Bar has invested in a water filtration system to offer purified Canyon Run spring water, but it isn’t as mobile as a plastic bottle. I am open to suggestions, if you have them.
If you don’t wish to use china, we understand, but there are greener options to plastic plates. For our daughter’s weddings, we chose compostable paper and palm leaf plates and inexpensive metal cutlery. I’ve seen cutlery made of sustainable wood too.
So, back to the idea of being off-grid, it is still on the table and we are gradually moving in that direction. In the meantime, we have a more solvable problem, and that has to do with reducing the environmental footprint that we leave here. Our guests have been very responsible, have shown great respect to the property, and we recognize that everyone values it. With a little thought and planning, we can make a tangible difference.
We have gotten great advice and suggestions from couples and guests that have celebrated out here, and are always open to any ideas and suggestions. We’ve come a long way, but know that we could do more.
Thank you for reading and for your consideration.
Loves going for a long walks along the creek accompanied by our goats, Sweet Pea and Pop.