Nestled into the curves of the Vermillion River, Bellwether Farm is a camp, retreat, and education center dedicated to exposing the wider community to the creation that sustains all of life. As a working farm, its life focuses on four primary activities.
Facilities & Grounds
Bellwether Farm is a unique and affordable option for your next gathering. The center offers brand new facilities featuring a green technology, renewable energy, and water reclamation systems.
The camp and retreat center project team faced a dilemma: How do we create a space large enough to hold a large group for worship in the summer that is also flexible enough to host other types of events? Plus, it needs to fit the rural character of the landscape without overwhelming the other buildings at the center. Fortunately, the design team from GO Logic and Ann Kearsley Design found a creative approach: recycling an historic barn. After some research, Tim Lock, the project architect, discovered a beautiful bank barn, built in 1863 in Galion, Ohio, and recently acquired by Ohio Valley Barn Salvage. The company, owned and operated by Randy Smith in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, dismantles old barns and reclaims the materials for use by contractors and homeowners across the country. This particular barn has an atypical frame that has a pair of double stack center tie beam systems that eliminate the need for central posts. This serves the Diocese’s purposes well because it has a wide interior expanse to accommodate large groups of people. The salvage crew will dismantle the timber framing immediately above the main floor to the roof and reassemble it on the Wakeman Township site at some point later this year. A general contractor will build a slab floor and add new siding and a roof, so that groups can use the space in inclement weather. However, the interior will retain the hand-hewn character of the timberframe. The design team is currently working with a structural engineer to determine the soundness of the building for our purposes at the new center.
Bellwether Farm is a model of green technology featuring passive buildings, renewable energy, and more. It is a vehicle through which we can teach the wider community about fidelity to the environment, nutrition, physical and spiritual wellness, local food sourcing, food justice, and sustainable living.
Volunteer around Bellwether Farm. Opportunities are posted as they become available.