THREE PINES FARM

Three Pines Farm is a 5th generation family farm that is home to a lovely studio space in grandpa's renovated barn. We provide classes and specialty events centered on the arts, cooking, traditional crafts, sustainable living, and various other pursuits.

 

Copyright 2017.  All rights reserved.

Three Pines Farm is a fifth-generation family farm, rich with history and beauty, nestled in the heart of the Cedar Valley of Iowa.  The establishment of the farm dates back to 1856, when Norman and Jane Rundles, and their children, traveled by covered wagon from New York state to seek a better life farming the rich prairie soil of Iowa.  Norman and Jane are certainly not forgotten at Three Pines Farm, and our big red barn will always be a lasting landmark in their honor.   The barn, which was built by Norman in 1866, is not only considered special for its size, style, and building techniques, but it is also responsible for giving this farm its namesake!  Norman traveled to Wisconsin the winter of 1865, in the daunting effort to log the incredibly large amount of timber needed to build such a massive barn.   This was a heartrending time for the family as three of the young daughters passed away while Norman was logging in the pine forests of Wisconsin, but he was steadfast in spirit.  He completed the logging, and the large timbers were sent down to Iowa on the Mississippi River.  After the logs were shipped from the river to the farm by rail, the barn raising began.  That barn is truly a testament to the resolute determination and hard-working ways that characterized early pioneer life on the prairie, which was certainly not unique to our family, but a necessary trait for survival during those difficult times.  As a memento of Norman’s time in Wisconsin, and in remembrance of the three daughters who passed, along with his infant son several years before, he carefully carried four small pine saplings with him on his long journey from the forests of Wisconsin back to his farm.  The four pines were proudly planted in front of the old farmhouse, although one of the saplings did not survive the following winter.  From that point on, our farm has been lovingly known as Three Pines Farm, always with the memory of family, hardships endured, and the loyal determination which gave this farm its name.

Norman and Jane Rundles with their children. This photo was taken shortly before they left New York by covered wagon for Iowa in 1856.  Norman placed his sister's baby on his lap for the picture, as he wanted a way of visually marking Jane's pregnancy.  Jane was pregnant during their journey by covered wagon and had their first son, named Norman, after his father, soon after they settled on the farm.  Norman Jr. passed away at almost 3 months of age, and one of the pines was planted in his memory.  The other pines were planted for three of the girls, who passed away quite suddenly from an epidemic that swept through the area during the winter of 1865-66.

Norman and Jane Rundles with their children. This photo was taken shortly before they left New York by covered wagon for Iowa in 1856.  Norman placed his sister's baby on his lap for the picture, as he wanted a way of visually marking Jane's pregnancy.  Jane was pregnant during their journey by covered wagon and had their first son, named Norman, after his father, soon after they settled on the farm.  Norman Jr. passed away at almost 3 months of age, and one of the pines was planted in his memory.  The other pines were planted for three of the girls, who passed away quite suddenly from an epidemic that swept through the area during the winter of 1865-66.

The farm in 1893.  Jane Rundles (1st generation) is sitting front and center, James & Ella Rundles (2nd generation) standing behind Jane.  Other family members surround them.  In 1949 this house was replaced by the brick house currently standing, by William and Mary Grupp (3rd generation).

The farm in 1893.  Jane Rundles (1st generation) is sitting front and center, James & Ella Rundles (2nd generation) standing behind Jane.  Other family members surround them.  In 1949 this house was replaced by the brick house currently standing, by William and Mary Grupp (3rd generation).

In the fall of 2013, the stars unexpectedly aligned and Three Pines Farm welcomed my family (my husband, Forrest, and son, Anders, soon to be followed by baby James in 2014) and me (Kara), as it changed hands for the first time in forty-nine years.  Leaving a career in the sciences behind, I was committed to bringing this new vision of a slow living studio at Three Pines Farm to life, and sharing it with others.  This journey of creation was met with heartwarming support from family, friends, and even strangers, and without that steadfast support, this beautiful place would most certainly not exist as it does today.  I am forever thankful to that group of kindhearted folks, whether or not they know the profound impact their encouraging ways had on me.  It is in that spirit of positivity and support that I move forward with bright eyes, encouraged by what the future may hold on our farm in this very special community.   

Three Pines Farm is a special place honoring the values and ways of times past.  With our rustic studio, we wish to build connection, not only with slower ways of life characterized by the domestic arts, agrarian skills, creative crafting, nature appreciation, and mindful, healthful living, but with the community surrounding us as well.  We would be delighted to have you join us at the farm for a class, workshop, or simple visit.  Enrich yourself with the warm memories and newfound skills that come with time shared at Three Pines Farm.

The studio at Three Pines Farm, August 8, 2015.

The studio at Three Pines Farm, August 8, 2015.

OUR MISSION & OPERATIONS

At Three Pines Farm, we always remain true to our mission of supporting artisans, building community, learning with joy, and preserving craft.  We aim to connect people with more mindful, inspired, creative, and slower ways of living.  To connect the community with the artisans surrounding us – the baker, the crafter, the farmer, the chef, the artist – and supporting them in the process.  And, ultimately, connecting people with a more inspired, revitalized, and vibrant version of themselves.  We are fortunate to have the best of the best educators fill our ranks, and that is key part of our mission that we will always uphold.   We believe the expert artisans we bring here, from both near and very far, deserve proper compensation for sharing their time and talents in teaching our very hands-on, intimate workshops.  Class prices are set by the educators, to cover their time and any travel expenses, with the educators receiving the majority of the course fees.  Any course fees paid to Three Pines Farm are used to cover free programming and basic overhead, such as heating, insurance, website fees, etc., no wages or salary expenses on our end.  

 

Find us at 9611 Wagner Rd. in Cedar Falls, Iowa, by phone at (319)404-2942, by email at kara@threepinesfarm.org, and on facebook at www.facebook.com/ThreePinesFarmIA.

Copyright 2017.  All rights reserved.