Joe Barnes & Lynn Wimer
First and foremost, Joe and Lynn are part of a huge family. Joe’s mother and Lynn’s father are siblings from a family of 10 children. So Joe and Lynn are 2 of over 50 cousins. Growing up in such a huge family meant family was the focus. Food has always been a large part of their heritage. Both Joe and Lynn grew up loving to cook, garden and entertain . . . . . just like so many in their family.
"Because there is SOOO many of us, you tend to gravitate towards some and Joe has certainly been one of those cousins that I always loved seeing at family gatherings," says Lynn.
"Holding Lynn as a baby sealed the deal for me; she’s always been special to me," says Joe.
As life would have it, Lynn’s parents settled in the Bay Area, and Joe’s parents stayed in the Fresno area. They both married, had children, and got busy raising their own separate families. Joe in the valley and Lynn in the Bay Area. Joe would explore many different business opportunities and was very successful. Lynn had a very successful career in optical.
"We lost touch for awhile, just due to being busy and working. But after awhile, we reconnected, and started texting about growing tomatoes. Joe can grow the most amazing tomatoes and then turn around and create the most amazing food," says Lynn, ”I have always loved to cook and entertain, while learning about beautiful gardens from my grandma Anne, who had a huge influence on me. Everything she did seemed elegant and refined. I loved her so much, and I know she would just love The Elegant Farmer."
As you can tell, both Joe and Lynn share a love of family, food, gardening, and friends!
How would they bring that all together?
They took an idea Lynn had been dreaming about for years and created The Elegant Farmer in a gorgeous place called Lake Almanor, California. Joe and Lynn have combined their talents and the things they love, to bring you a place to relax with family, food, and friends. In fact, it’s a great place to just sit quietly by yourself and read a book with a glass of wine. However you want to enjoy the garden, they will be there to make sure you enjoy your time.
"We want you to feel like your family as soon as you step foot here. It’s a place to laugh, chat, & chill. We’ve only just begun to bring fun and exciting things to The Elegant Farmer. Please stop by and say hi
to cousin Joe and I, we can't wait to meet you," says Lynn.
Grandma Martha is the epitome of The Elegant Farmer, she was the elegant farmer, and with each generation her love of gardening was passed on.
The memory of her surrounds The Elegant Farmer, so the question is…
Who was Grandma Martha?
Her story began in 1900 in Nashville, Tennessee. By the age of 16 years old she was married to her husband, “Papa” (what their grandchildren call him). In 1939, Grandma Martha and Papa moved from Texas to California. They had 13 children, however, sadly they lost one child at birth, a boy they named Clarence Ellis. They raised 6 sons and 6 daughters. One of their daughters, named Violet, later became Lynn and Joe’s grandma.
For Grandma Martha and Papa, life at that time was hard, especially with 12 children to take care of. They lived a very simple life, but Grandma Martha was very resourceful when it came to taking care of her family. She had a garden in which she grew vegetables that later were used in her cooking. And one thing for sure, she always had tomato plants growing. She had a love for cooking, and was always cooking something up from scratch. For her it wasn’t about following a recipe or cooking something fancy. She cooked by feel and taste, and the results were always a delicious plate of food.
When it came to gardening Grandma Martha had a natural green thumb. She loved an English garden, and her favorite flowers were Chrysanthemums. The care she put in her garden was evident by the beauty that was produced. She made sure she put in the time and effort to nurture every plant. Some of her flowers grew so high you could only just see the top of her head peeking out.
In 1971, at the age of 71 years old Grandma Martha sadly passed away. It was a difficult passing for her family, and still to this day, family tear up when talking about her. Martha still has one living daughter, named Gladys, who turned 91 years old this year. Grandma Matha is remembered as someone who exudes kindness, love, and humility. She is also remembered for her rose scented perfume that she always wore. As well as always wearing the color pink.
She was loved so dearly by her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She never turned them away but took delight in each and every one of them. Her love for gardening was passed on to each generation, and today the garden you see at The Elegant Farmer is an extension of Grandma Martha.
She is the heart of this place because her passion became our passion.