It all started with a pot of spaghetti in the early 1980’s. My husband Houston and I were dating and he was making dinner for me in his basement apartment in Athens, Georgia. He showed me how to test the doneness of pasta by throwing a piece at the wall. When it stuck, he said, it was ready to eat. I’d never seen someone do that. My mother has always been a stickler for a pristinely clean home and wouldn’t have ever used that method. Come to think of it, I’m sure Houston’s mother wouldn’t have either.
But I had to admit it was a great visual. Almost 40 years later Houston and I are still throwing pasta at the wall, figuratively speaking. Our farm provides plenty of opportunities for trying new or different things to see what works - whether it’s testing various farming methods, forming partnerships or hosting events.
I wish I could take the credit for trying things we’ve never done, but most of the time it’s Houston’s idea. My husband is always dreaming, always researching. He’s the one with the ideas and I'm the one who asks questions like “How can we physically and financially make this work?”
And you know what? We’re both necessary to the success of what we’re doing on our farm. Maybe you’ve experienced this in your business, or even in your family. We can’t all be dreamers. If we were, no idea would ever come to fruition. And we can’t all be the ones who poke holes in the ideas. Otherwise, we’d never try anything new.
Last week we did a new thing. We hosted a wedding. It was something we had dreamed of doing when we first bought the property six years ago. Our architect designed a gorgeous event venue, but after investing in necessary infrastructure, we knew it would have to wait.
So we tried other things like glamping - and it stuck. It stood the pasta test. The initial cost was low and soon the demand for “glamorous camping” skyrocketed in the state of Texas. It continues to be the financial engine for everything else we’re doing on the farm.
Last week’s wedding was a full circle moment. Sure, it wasn’t inside the structure we’d originally planned. Instead, with donkeys and our sheep Pru grazing nearby, the beautiful bride walked down the grass aisle with her father on one side and her grandfather on the other. She and the groom said their vows under giant oaks, the centerpiece of our property.
This past Saturday night and the weeks leading up to it definitely passed the pasta test. Houston and I learned so much that we’ll take into the next wedding or event. We’ll continue to work toward our dream of building the perfect event venue on our farm, but in the meantime we plan to make the most of every opportunity, providing experiences that allow our guests to connect and celebrate.
This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the June 24, 2023 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.