There was no school on election day and yet, like all parents, my wife and I still had to work. We decided to divide and conquer. My daughter, Lawson, went with my wife and enjoyed a girl day including lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. My son, Mason, went to Eden Shale with me to indulge in an honest days work.
The below excerpt was written by Mason that evening talking about his day at the farm:
“Today was election day and there was no school. So I went to the farm with my dad. On the way in the truck, he let me pick out which songs that I wanted to listen to. The first thing we did at the farm was get in the gator and check cows.
Next, we got in the tractor and hooked up the gooseneck so that we could haul a sick calf to the barn. After that, we used the tractor to get a big tire for a water tank. We hauled the tire to the shop to cut the top off. Cutting the tire was a three-person job. Then we hauled the tire to the other side of the farm where it will be used to water the cows.
After that we used the tractor to move some equipment to store in a barn. When we were on the gravel farm road, my dad let me drive the tractor. Driving the tractor was fun and exciting. It is the biggest thing I have ever driven!
The last thing we did was my dad and Greg had to sort cows in the barn. I sat in the hay loft and watched them work. I think they were sorting which ones were bred and which ones weren’t. While they were in the barn one of the gates fell down. They had to get tools from the gator to hang it back up.
On the way home we stopped at McDonalds and got ice cream. I’m glad I got to go work with my dad. It was a really fun day.”
If you have ever been there, you will know that the Eden Shale Farm is not easy to get to. It sits unassumingly across 961 acres tucked away in the rugged hillsides of Owen County. But its remote location does not stop hundreds of people from visiting the farm each year.
On an average year Eden Shale will host 25-30 tours/events at the farm. This year was no different as we have conducted 26 tours as of November 1st. Those tours included over 500 total participants, which is the second highest number of annual visitors that we have ever hosted. Eden Shale has had visitors from 32 different states, and we hosted an international group this summer that represented 13 different countries from around the world.
Hosting this number of people each year certainly has its challenges. With each tour there are a lot of logistics to work out, and the most important is, of course, the food! But at Eden Shale the food is not a problem, and that is because we have the best caterer that you will find anywhere in the state of Kentucky!
Ricky and Cindy Wilhoite are the owner/operators of Big Tricky’s Catering. They are locals that live in Owen County and are well known throughout the community. They have catered every event at Eden Shale Farm since 2013, and I could not be more pleased with their food and their service. In nine years they have never told me that they could not provide food for any Eden Shale scheduled event. They are also extremely reliable and always punctual, which is important if you have hungry visitors that are ready for lunch!
If you have had lunch at Eden Shale before you may have noticed Ricky sitting on the back table in the tobacco stripping room telling a big story about a recent fishing trip. Or Cindy faithfully keeping the serving dishes full of food and handing out drinks. Even if you didn’t notice them I bet you do remember their Kitchen Sink Cookies which are as enticing as the tales coming from Ricky’s perch.
You see, Ricky and Cindy are just simple, country people, and they genuinely care about the folks they are feeding. They are good people, they create a quality product, they take pride in their work, and they make sure you enjoy it. What else could you ask of lunch?