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Guests Love Staying In This Grain Bin B&B
“Why do people like coming out to the middle of nowhere?” Donna Thieme admits she hasn’t quite figured it out, but a couple of articles and word-of-mouth advertising keeps her busy at her bed and breakfast located 17 miles from the little town of Trenton, Mo. The attraction is obvious to her guests, who seek the peace of being “in the middle of nowhere” and the adventure of sleeping in a grain bin.

    Thieme and her husband, Jack, opened Granny’s Country Cottage Bed and Breakfast 15 years ago in the farmhouse Donna grew up in. It was something to do in their retirement. A few years ago, she was inspired by other grain bin homes she’d seen to turn the bin on her property into another B&B. Jack, a retired contractor, drew up the plans, and their son, Lin, did most of the construction with the help of other talented family members, Thieme says.

    Insulated for winter use and with 2 stories, there were 2 main challenges in transforming the 18-ft. dia. bin into a living space. Sheetrock had to be gently bent to cover the curved walls without breaking, and the staircase kept Jack thinking for 3 days before coming up with a space saving design that wraps around the inside of the bin’s east side.

    The “Round House” opened in 2012, and is often booked before the cottage. Guests are equally mixed from the city and the country.

    “Farmers come to stay to see what it would be like to sleep in a bin instead of scooping corn,” Thieme says. “A while ago, a couple got married in a barn in Iowa and came to spend their honeymoon in the grain bin. What a story for their kids.”

    Other regular guests include quilters who come to shop at a popular quilting business about an hour away as well as folks visiting the Jamesport Amish community 45 min. from the Thieme farm. In the fall, hunters book the units.

    Guests appreciate details like the cream separator used for a trash can and the washtub transformed into an island for preparing meals. The hearty breakfasts complete with biscuits and gravy, homemade sweet rolls and meaty breakfast casseroles are popular too. For good measure, guests are welcomed by homemade peach pie baked by Thieme.

    “That seems to draw their attention. I enjoy entertaining my guests,” Thieme says.

    Running a B&B continues to be a blessing for her, after Jack died unexpectedly in the spring of 2015. The 75-year-old says repeat customers and new customers keep her busy. She plans to continue to run her business year-round as long as she is able.

    The bin is easy to heat and cool, has a modern kitchen and bathroom upstairs next to the bedroom. A remodeled outdoor storm cellar provides protection during tornado season. An unused, but serviceable, outhouse also adds to the B&Bs uniqueness.

    “People ask me what there is to do and I tell them ‘absolutely nothing.’ They say that’s what they are looking for,” Thieme laughs.

    But they seem to find plenty to do – at the farm’s fishing pond, taking walks down the country road, and watching the neighbor’s Angus cattle graze.

    It’s a view Thieme has appreciated all her life and one she’s happy to share with others.

    “This has just been the best thing for us in retirement,” she says.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Donna Thieme, 12473 Atom Dr., Humphreys, Mo. 64646 (ph 660 286-3981; www.grannyscountrycottage.info

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1