Revenue beyond the rows: A farm family near Geary, Oklahoma goes back to school on a new use for a sandy pasture

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GEARY, Okla. - The pop quizzes of mornings, the algebra of middle school math, Jennifer Base has usually 'solved for x' long before she gets to this spot off a dirt road near Geary, Oklahoma.

But, that's before she walks into another school, a much quieter one on the family farm.

"This one room school-house is different, because it doesn't have any more junior high or high school kids in it," she said.

It was Jennifer's husband, Aaron, who happened to be riding along another dusty road, now with his daughter, she wasn't born yet, but with his dad.

Anyway, they came upon the old West Mt. Pleasant School tangled with weeks and long since closed.

"I guess I just hit one of the few section lines I'd never been down," Aaron said.

He mentioned his find to Jennifer, and she had an idea.

"I said 'Sold,'" she grins.

Actually, it was a series of ideas that led to this.

Kind of like making a bed, they had to start with the bare mattress of a building, stripped down to the studs.

"And, brought back," Jennifer said.

They thought it might make a nice event center for things like weddings, then, for a while, the headquarters for a winery.

But, by the time they put a nice quilt on top and, a few years had gone by, they knew what they really had.

The old school house's registry with the online service AirBnB sold best, even though Aaron toyed with the idea of making the place a hunting cabin too.

"If I could figure out the logistics of doing that," he laughs.

Aaron and Jennifer both remark on the kind of learning that takes place here still, how people from all over the world learned about the existence of this place and they could book it for a night or two, especially during storm season.

"Out these windows, you get a real show," Jennifer said.

For a wheat farmer who wondered how to make a sandy pasture more profitable, to a teacher who thought of an idea to make school a different experience.

An old building really did 'solve for x', a pretty spot on the prairie they could share with the rest of the world.

The Base Vines and Cattle Company produces winter wheat and grass-fed cattle.

The school-house is available for rent through or through the family's website at

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