LOREN SHAUM: Blue Barn Berry Farm Expands | New


SYRACUSE – The Dewart Lake Inn building on the west side of Dewart Lake has had several owners over the years, but the building has been empty since Matt Fry moved to Man Cave Brewing.

Recognizing the opportunity to expand their event offerings and bring their catering in-house, Blue Barn Berry Farm owners Chris and Shanda Sheeren purchased the building in March. Since then, they have been developing a reopening strategy.

FARM KITCHEN AND CATERING

The first step in the new business was to hire a chef. Enter Shawn and Carrie Bianchini. Both are Managing Partners with Shawn as Executive Chef and Carrie as Hospitality Coordinator. She is also a very creative decorator.

Carrie designed two of the interior walls of the farmhouse. One has wooden boards showing various menu items, and the other is a floor-to-ceiling mural of everything Lake Country. Beautifully done!

Shawn created the first Farmhouse menu for their early opening on July 1. Its brunch-focused fare is straightforward and to solve the problems, they only serve three days a week. But they will also be hosting special dinners and hosting Blue Barn Berry Farm events.

There is a menu of non-alcoholic drinks, but you can always get a mimosa. On opening weekend, Shawn said, “We served over 100 lattes”!

They offer five variations of these caffeine-rich concoctions.

The menu includes 12 items, and the cookie and gravy meal was a huge success. They served 44 of their homemade cheddar cookies, topped with a sausage sauce and topped with two eggs. It’s three meals for me.

Another popular item was the farm plate. It’s another monster that includes three eggs, a choice of meat, breakfast potatoes, and toast.

Farmhouse donuts were also a hit. They are mixed with cinnamon sugar and served with maple cream syrup. Yum.

There are some awesome items, like all the bacon. You can order half a pound, if you like. Then there is the “burger brunch”. These are two sausage patties with cheese, bacon and a fried egg served with potatoes on a bagel.

BELOW IN THE FARM

Just down the road is the Blue Barn Berry Farm. This three-acre oasis was once a gravel pit, but the owners have transformed the property into a quaint and sustainable berry and produce farm and event center. Complete with a one-acre pond and event pavilion, the farm hosts a myriad of events for all ages, and they’re about to be sold out for this year.

Although the past year has been difficult for most businesses, Chris and Shanda have grown their “Blue Barn Fresh” business by delivering orders for fresh produce. Order on Monday and wait for delivery on Thursday.

They also added Angus beef from Miller’s Cattle Company in Claypool. But this is another story.

CAMP HEROES

Starting in 2019, the farm began partnering with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department to offer a three-day camp for children ages 8 to 13. Although last year’s event was canceled, last week the farm welcomed more than 30 EMS staff, sheriff’s deputies, local fire departments and law enforcement to teach to children: “Honor, respect, excellence, opportunity,” according to Shane Bucher, Kosciusko County Deputy Chief and member of the Bucher family who founded the Blue Barn Berry farm.

One hundred and eight campers learned many aspects of law enforcement and emergency services. They even asked a few volunteers to wear coveralls and eat the food served in the prison.

The Milford Fire Department taught fire extinguishers. EMS staff taught CPR and tourniquet application and other procedures to stop bleeding.

Shane showed me glasses that make children feel disabled.

The department’s public relations manager, Chris Francis of North Webster, explained: “The goal is to familiarize children with the public service.

The Farmhouse Kitchen and Blue Berry Farm are special places in Lake Country. The blueberries are ready to be picked and the Farm is open for weekend brunch and special events.

Loren shaum is an automation engineering consultant, retired pilot, author, home gardener, and sometimes chef. He and Gayle reside in Syracuse. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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