Recently I was able to take in an evening with my family in Mt. Hope. As is becoming a ritual, when Homestead Furniture hosts its food trucks we come to partake and enjoy the company of our community. As we were about to leave I was asked if I had been to the new showroom yet. I had heard of the custom design line that they were working on, but nothing I heard could have prepared me for what I saw.
In the back of the showroom, through a nondescript metal door, I left behind Amish Country and stepped into another world. So shocking was the change in style and decor it took my mind a couple beats to process what I was seeing. A mirror-finished floor with a golden arched entry hallway leading into a half dozen rooms with furniture so well appointed that my first reaction was to grab the hands of my daughters to keep them from touching anything.
Abner Henry Fine Furniture is a world away from what you’d expect to find in Holmes County. The craftsmanship was astounding. The mixture of wood, metal, glass, leather, and fabric was breath-taking. I was unprepared for the artistry of the pieces and it was evident that my hosts took great joy in our “oohs” and “ahs” as we tried to take it all in. They have a great deal to be proud of and I am proud (and amazed) that it exists in our community.
The very next night I was at yet another event that centered around food (there may be a theme developing). The Holmes County Harvest for Hunger had its second annual meal and charity auction to support the Love Center Food Pantry. This years event was held at Tate Farms.
Tate Farms is located South West of Shreve, on a normal country road. Tate Farms is far from the norm. I have visited more farms than I can count in the past 8 years. I have never been to a farm that was so meticulously maintained. The silos were immaculate and shown silver in the light. The combines and tractors (which dwarfed anyone standing next to them) were pristine and belied none of the hard work they had completed. The facilities were immaculate and radiated with pride for the farming profession and their family heritage.
Tate Farms was celebrating 40 years, and they had invited us in for a night to celebrate with them. As I met Mr. Tate and heard from his family and friends, there was no mistaking the joy they had in carving out the land to create the legacy that is now Tate Farms.
That night we were able to learn about the good the Love Center does for the community, in a place that is dedicated to fostering a multi-generation farming family. In return for the experience, my fellow attendees were able to give back to the Love Center so that it can continue to do its work in our community. The legacy of dedication, hard work, and innovation on display at Tate Farms that evening painted a tangible picture of the harvest of generosity that is prevalent in our community.
I did not expect to encounter the artistry of Abner Henry or the precision of Tate Farms. But that is so much of what Holmes, and its surrounding Counties, has to offer. Behind closed doors and down normal by-ways, our community members are working passionately on perfecting their craft. On one side of the County, they are breaking into rarified air with their designs. On the other side of the County, they are redefining the future of the family farm. It is an honor to live in a community that’s hard work and innovation is creating new ways to experience old trades. The legacies they are creating will go on to better us all.