Farms Signs

Custom Farm Sign or Ranch Sign

Farm signs are popular.  Recently, a nice influx of farm signs have come through our shop.  We enjoy doing these signs as it gives us the opportunity to add chickens, horses, cows and tractors to our work.  Such things rarely appear on the other signs that we do.

 

A Little Farm History

I imagine from the beginning of time people have been farmers and ranchers.  Shaking my own family tree a bunch of farmers fall out, with some are still hanging onto this profession.  In early America, most small farmers planted and grew crops for their own survival.  I am told that 90% of the population at that time relied on agriculture for their livelihood.  As America grew so did farming.  Throughout the early days in America, farmers saw good times and not so good times.  When FDR appeared on the scene he thought that true prosperity in the country was directly related to farmers being prosperous.  When he enacted the New Deal, many new programs came into being which helped the American Farmer.

Wellington Farm Sign letters mounted on a stone wall

Ranchers on the Horizon

Early in the 19th century long horn cattle ranches started cropping up in Mexico, the area now known as the state of Texas.  In 1836 when Texas became independent many farmers took to ranching inheriting cattle left behind by the Mexicans.  In the early days there was not much profit or demand for beef.  This did not change until after the Civil War when a northern states created a market for beef.  This change along with the invention of barbed wire fence and windmill water pumping stations caused the industry to grow.

What Do American Farms Look Like Today

The Farm Bureau tells us that 99 percent of the 2.1 million farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships and family corporations.  The average farm or ranch size is 434 acres.  An acre is 43,560 square feet and may be comprised of many shapes.  Most people think a farmer’s or ranchers work is seasonal.  This is a misconception.  There is always something to do on a farm or ranch.  Currently, the United States farmer export more food than we import making a positive trade balance.  Current cattle inventory in the U.S. is approximately 93.5 million head.   According to Cattle Fax Data U.S. beef production in 2016 was 25.2 billion pounds.

 

Who are the Farmers

I often wonder who makes up our farm community in the United States.  Living in rural Alabama where cotton, soy beans, wheat, peanuts and canola are grown I know of a few the families that run farms.  In my opinion, they are just like me, hardworking, every day people.  This point is further cemented in my mind when I read of other farm families throughout the US.  In fact check out this link: http://www.americasfarmers.com/ . I see that men, women, Mom’s, Dad’s and kids make up our farm work force.  Reading stories on the “America’s Farmer’s” website I see the generational legacy of many.  What I read again and again is they love what they do.  Families members working side by side.   One thing that really stuck out in my mind was something the Boyd family said.  “Farming isn’t what they do, it’s what they are.”

 

Facing the Challenges of Today

From my observation only, I think one of the many challenges that farmers face today is the inconsistent weather.  I know that here in North Alabama the drought of last summer left to corn fields decimated with little or no crop to harvest.  Some of the biggest news stories I observe are about strange weather occurrences. Either fields are starved for water or flooded from too much water.

Food Demands Continue to Grow

The world population and demand for food continues to increase.  To meet the demand, current farms and ranches must expand.  But is there available land at affordable prices to expand to?  I am told this is a big challenge for today’s farmer.  Ranchers face the same challenge as range and pasture land sells at a premium price making expansion a challenge.

 

A Strong Breed

Regardless of all the challenges and hard work required today in the agricultural world, farmers and ranchers continue to hold on. Their determination affords us with an abundance of many great food products.  In 1862 when Abraham Lincoln created the U.S. Department of Agriculture 90 out 100 American were farmers.  Today that number has shrunk to 2 out of 100.  What this tells me is you have to be determined to remain a farmer or a rancher.

We feel privileged to provide a service of making custom farm and ranch signs for this business group.  Full Circle Farm Sign witch a Cow and Calf mounted to a stone entryway

 Rutherford Farm Sign

One day we had a local customer stop in from one county over from Florence.  He gave us the challenge to come up with a two foot by ten-foot entry sign for his farm.  I believe it was the largest sign we had done to date.  This sign also gave us the opportunity to be creative during the design process.  Since that time, we have continued in this creative vein leveraging off the Rutherford Farm design.

 

Farm Entry Sign, Custom Farm Sign, Metal Art, Alabama Metal Art

One very unique farm sign we did was for Sorella Farms located in Virginia.   Sorella Farms is a wedding venue based around an 1800’s built Shaker Barn.  Not a farm in the true sense anymore but none the less a farm.  In this instance, we created several layered signs featuring several colors.  The idea was to match the logo they used for their business.

Sorella Farms multi color sign mounted onto the outside wall of a barn

 

Why A Sign for Your Ranch or Farm

I moved to the country after growing up in a small city where there were rows of houses on nicely named streets like Pleasant Street, School Street and Cottage Ave.  Living in rural Alabama there are roads, not streets.  At first when I moved here I could never find my way around.  What I noticed there were names on all the chicken farms.  It was a great way to find my way around.  Since then I have notice that many farms have signs out as well.

We Can “Get-Er” Done for Your Farm or Ranch

We like to think that there are few challenges we cannot meet when it come to a farm or ranch sign.  Although our powder coating oven can only take sign that are 10 feet long we have been able to create signs that can be bolted together.  So, if you have an idea for your farm or ranch, let us take a shot at making the ideal sign for you.  You can reach us Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM CST at 256-246-0001 or drop us an email at info@alabamametalart.com.  Contact us today!

 

 

 

Honey Hive – A Vacation Escape

Have you ever spent hours on the internet looking for a nice vacation escape? With me, I am always looking for somewhere unique, relaxing, but with activities close by.  Recently, we completed a metal art (shown below) piece for  the owners of the Honey Hive Cabins, located in the Wears Valley in Tennessee.  Taking some time to look at the Honey Hive posting, I soon learned this was a great place for a vacation escape.

Metal Business Signs, Honey Hive, Metal Name Art, Cabin Rental Signs
Honey Hive Cabin – Sevierville, TN. ** VRBO #506890 **

 

            The Honey Hive Cabins sit near the entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Smokey Mountains, Vacation Escape

Also, a quick drive to Pigeon Forge and Cades Cove.  This is a perfect spot to relax and escape the daily grind of life.

Whether looking for a week long escape or time away for a long weekend.  Check out the Honey Hive Cabins and the beauty of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Black Bear, Great Smokey Mountains, Wildlife

 

Court Street Market – A Jewel of a Place

Court Street Market Business Letters by Alabama Metal Art, Metal Business Sign, Custom Business Sign

A VISIT TO THE MARKET

Recently we took a break from our busy day and went for a visit to A Jewel of a Place located in downtown, Florence, Alabama – Court Street Market.  We were immediately greeting by the two creative forces of this operation, Carmen and Kai-Uwe Erdman.  Being a beautiful day we were able to sit out at the sidewalk cafe with its newly installed ironwork.  As we sat enjoying the company with a treat from the Woodpecker Cafe we were soon greeted by Nickie Campbell, the owner of  the Renaissance Olive Oil Company which is part if the Court Street Market.  After a few minutes we could see why Court Street Market is such a great place to gather.

Court Street Market – the Beginning

The market place opened in August of 2014.  Carmen Erdman had a vision to create a place where local vendors and artists could display their talents in an welcoming atmosphere.  If you should be lucky enough to find Carmen in the market place during a visit you will find yourself greeted as if you were a long lost friend.  In every corner of this market you will see Southern Hospitality in action.

Woodpecker Cafe

Court-Street-Market-Woodpecker-Cafe-Counter-1-Art, local food

At the Woodpecker Cafe you will find delicious pastries, a substantial list of hot beverages, and many breakfast and lunch items .  Find a seat in the market place or outside at the open air tables. The menu is continually evolving so it is a guarantee you will find something delicious to temp your taste buds.  On our visit we were presented with the opportunity to taste some hand stirred ice-cream. It was fantastic!

 

Many of the employees of the Cafe are culinary students from the University of North Alabama, right here in Florence.  The Cafe has become a great place for them to spread their wings and try new food ideas.  Carmen is the great cheerleader of this group and has many cooking ideas to guide them in as well.

More Jewels

Court-Street-Market-Products-Wine-Olive-Oil-Grass-Fed-Meat

When you visit the Court Street Market you are always in for a delight.  There are so many interesting products to see and select.  If you like a wide variety of wine, you have The Wine Seller.  The Renaissance Olive Oil Company has a large unique collection of Olive Oils and Vinegar’s.  Hidden in the corner are local grass fed meats which are excellent ( I speak that from my recent and past purchases).

IMG_2590

 

For the coffee connoisseur Lyons Coffee Roasters is worth checking out.  I, who am a decaf coffee expert, was blown away by their Decaf Select Origin Columbia Coffee.  It has so much flavor for a decaf!

Rennaissance-Olive-Oil-Court-Street-Market-2    IMG_2577IMG_2583

 

There are many treasures to find at the Court Street Market such as Frios Gourmet Popsicles,  artisan woodcraft, pottery and beautiful rugs from the Flying Carpet. Something new is always on the schedule. Whether gala going on in the rentable Event Room, a meeting of the newly formed Rampant Pigs Swine Club or an evening of fresh made Tapas! The Court Street Market is a fun place to be. When you’re in Florence make a point to stop in and say Hi! You will meet some of the friendliest people around!

A Design Studio Sign

At Alabama Metal Art we enjoy new challenges to create business signs. Our goal is to create exceptional, unique signs for our customers.  Recently we had the pleasure to create A Design Studio Sign for Pillar & Peacock.  Using Pillar & Peacock’s design ideas we worked together to provide a successful solution.

Pillar & Peacock

Pillar and Peacock Interiors, a bi-coastal design studio in Florence, Alabama, and Irvington, Virginia.  Pillar & Peacock collaborate with private homes and businesses working with a variety of design styles.  Some examples in their project portfolio include The Mount Airy Plantation, The Grove Park Inn and the Cardiovascular Institute.  Most of all Brandeis Short, of the Florence office, was a pleasure to work with on this project.

Laser cut metal sign, laser cut letters, Alabama Metal Art

The Process

First of all, the image above shows the Pillar & Peacock design overlay in process.  After the metal comes off the laser, sharp edges must be ground down.     Individual letters are mounted to the backplate.  Spacers are used to give depth to the sign.  A close up of the design is shown below.  The pattern is precise because the laser is controlled by a downloaded computer program.

Pillar & Peacock Interior Business Sign, Alabama Metal Art, Layered Business Sign

Click on the image below for a larger view.  Also, in the close up  you can see the letter supports which are designed to be part of the backplate.  We use this method to ensure the precision of the Design Studio Sign.  This method also increases the overall stability of the piece.

Metal Sign for Pillar & Peacock, Alabama Metal Art, Layered Sign, Powder Coat

Finally, the image below is showing the wall in the Pillar & Peacock office prior to the Design Studio Sign being installed (overlay).  The wall was painted with a gloss white and the overlay is powder coated in a matte white finish. This tone on tone technique adds further dimension to the overall look of this design.

In Process Metal Sign, Wood back drop, Alabama Metal Art
Back drop for Pillar & Peacock

The finished presentation looks great.  Finished size of the overlay is 45.75″ wide by 90.75″ tall.   Pillar & Peacock choose the lettering color to match their existing branding.

Layered business sign, Interior designs, Alabama Metal Art
Pillar & Peacock Office in Florence, Alabama

 

This final image shows all the characteristics of the finished product.  Light shining off the wall highlights the gloss finish. The dimension of the overlay is accented by shadowing.  We recommend Pillar & Peacock for your design project, large or small. This project was a great experience.