Casey is a gentleman, through and through. He often sports a wool vest and has a full beard with a twirled mustache that he keeps meticulously trimmed and waxed. A typical day sees him up at 4:30am to hit the gym at 5:00am, and from there, work at 8:00am. The gym is how Casey found his way to Castle Farms. The owner, Chris, is a former employee of Castle Farms, and when we needed an extra hand to run the holiday train display near Christmas 2014, he recommended the job to Casey. A social guy who loves kids, he was the perfect fit. Casey didn’t just show up, he showed up in style, complete with a conductor’s hat and suspenders. He talked the whole weekend to a lovely couple named Richard and Linda, not knowing that they owned the Castle. At the end of the weekend, Richard told him that he should be working at the Castle, and so it came to be.
Casey loves all things rustic, from chainsaw carving to rustic furniture, but garden design is his passion. Casey inherited his love of the outdoors from his dad. Every Sunday he was forced to cut wood, a detested task. Now he loves the woods and doing projects at his dad’s camp called Ponderosa. When not out riding his Fat Bike for fun, he’s often looking for driftwood or stones to incorporate into his own projects.
At home, he likes to create water features, and is building a frog pond with a twist- a rustic spout pours water down 6 stair steps to the pond below. He also has an old sink that he’s filled with White Knight, a small white flowering plant, and put dishes in the soil on their sides so it looks like the sink is full of bubbles.
His big project right now is enhancing the Enchanted Forest, a job that he has excelled at. Whimsical tunnels, mirrors, and gnome homes now inhabit the Forest, and he’s not done yet. He has big plans for the center of the Forest where the paths come together- a giant 18 foot domed ceiling, “like a big woven basket”, complete with an old train lantern hanging from the peak. He also has plans to include Bob the Bear, the resident bear statue, and a large red door. He’s also working on a gnome post office, with clues for treasure hunts planned for the future.
Also in the near future, Casey plans to wed longtime girlfriend Jessica. The pair met in Petoskey 5 years ago and reconnected a year later. Jessica is very musically inclined and plays the guitar, piano, and even sings. Casey is learning to play the pedal guitar in the hopes that the two can play together. They both love bluegrass and Waylan Jennings. They are also both history buffs. Jessica is an archivist for the LTBB of Odawa Indians, and Casey is a “huge boat nerd.” He especially loves the history and stories about the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Carl D. Bradley, so much so that he named his miniature dachshund Edmund Fitzgerald.
In addition to gardening, now Casey is interested in trains and just bought his own HO scale set and is setting it up on his garden at home. He can thank Walter, our Chief Engineer, for that new interest. Want to see what Casey is going to create next? Visit the Castle today to see his newest project.