The Party Barn: Are Rustic Weddings Destroying a Way of Life in Rural Orange County? | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Party Barn: Are Rustic Weddings Destroying a Way of Life in Rural Orange County? 

Kara Brewer at the site of her future barn/events space

Photo by Alex Boerner

Kara Brewer at the site of her future barn/events space

Kara Brewer is, quite literally, surrounded by neighbors who want her gone.

She didn't seem especially bothered by this fact the day I drove out to her property in Bingham Township, in southwestern Orange County. Brewer, thirty-seven, was visible from Millikan Road, working inside a small garden encased in deer netting. She wore black leggings and a sporty turquoise tank top. She looked like she was on her way to Whole Foods after a yoga session.

Instead, she was inhabiting a role higher up the agrarian supply chain, tending to some recently planted sunflowers and zinnia, and discussing the eventual honey yield on three beehives that sat twenty yards away. Brewer pointed across the path, at a cluster of saplings wrapped in white cylindrical guards.

"And those are the chestnut trees," she said. "We're starting with forty, and plan to add another forty each spring until we get to three hundred or so. We'll have a processing facility in the barn for them because we're going to be making gluten-free flour from them. The flour comes from the chestnut itself."

Brewer and her husband, Chris, live in a part of Chapel Hill that lies in Chatham County, near Jordan Lake. Through an LLC called Southeast Property Group, they purchased this land—twenty-two acres—in March 2015. At the time, it was completely wooded. They kept in place the trees around the property's exterior but hollowed out its guts.

On the day I visited, a man in a large Boosan excavator was carving out a second road into the property. Deeper inside, where several acres of trees had been felled, branches burned on a pile, part of the clearing process.

"That's where the parking lot will be," Brewer said. "Over there is where the flower beds will be; we'll start with a half-acre of cut-flower production and keep adding until we have one and a half or two acres for production. And then where we're standing right now is where the barn will go."

The barn, built in 1860, is being imported from upstate New York. Brewer says it will serve many purposes: refrigeration for the hand-cut flowers, storage for the chestnuts. It will also host weddings.

"But that's a small part of what we're doing," Brewer told me, a faint strain in her voice. "It's not the whole picture."

Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

t seems the "journalist" who penned this travesty is trying to assume that legal permit holders will not obey the …

by Muhammad Bilal Khan on Conceal-carry permit holders can now bring guns into restaurants and bars. What could go wrong? (News Feature)

Proud of you!! I help share stories of hope after abuse. Check us out: www.bloominthedark.org/free-book

by Paula Mosher Wallace on A Letter to My Rapist: When I Was Fifteen, You Assaulted Me. I’m Still Healing. (News Feature)

Most Recent Comments

t seems the "journalist" who penned this travesty is trying to assume that legal permit holders will not obey the …

by Muhammad Bilal Khan on Conceal-carry permit holders can now bring guns into restaurants and bars. What could go wrong? (News Feature)

Proud of you!! I help share stories of hope after abuse. Check us out: www.bloominthedark.org/free-book

by Paula Mosher Wallace on A Letter to My Rapist: When I Was Fifteen, You Assaulted Me. I’m Still Healing. (News Feature)

You are such a brave, strong, woman. You are beautiful in your vulnerability and honesty. I feel honored to know …

by Shana Wilson Broders on A Letter to My Rapist: When I Was Fifteen, You Assaulted Me. I’m Still Healing. (News Feature)

The piece never indicated that Mr. Little evicted anyone. His informed analysis and that of other knowledgeable folks quoted in …

by chuckde424 on John Little and Other Developers Are Gentrifying Durham’s East End. They’re Not About to Apologize. (News Feature)

This is why we had to move. (Note- we are a Caucasian household, middle class) Housing is getting to be …

by maeveduir on John Little and Other Developers Are Gentrifying Durham’s East End. They’re Not About to Apologize. (News Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation