"The best way to digest sustainability, as innkeeper John Ivanko makes clear on our trip's first morning, is to toss it in dill, douse it in yogurt and berries, or slather it in creamy butter and eat it, still warm. Eleven years ago, John and his partner, Lisa Kivirist, embarked on second careers as "eco-preneurs," setting up their 100 percent off-grid B&B -- the Inn Serendipity, in Browntown -- as far from the corporate world as state borders would allow. Now, they grow so much of their food that their largest annual edible expense is coffee."
"The innkeepers John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist maintain a "carbon negative" business, meaning they take more carbon out of the atmosphere than they put in. The couple's converted, turn-of-the-century farmhouse runs on wind and solar power."
"Visitors to Inn Serendipity go home with more than a sense of peace: They might leave with ideas on how to create artworks or how to install solar panels. And they also leave with recipes."
"Our trip to Inn Serendipity certainly inspired us to make some changes in our lifestyle. We have since installed a passive solar heating system on our house and are currently awaiting a shipment of PV cells within the next week. They should give us 960 Watts of clean energy. Pretty exciting changes. Thanks for being such an inspiration."
"Thank you for allowing us the space and place to hear those elusive notes which lie between the piano keys."
"I have been reminded that happiness is not somewhere you go, it's something you can discover everyday. Thank you for helping me learn a bit more about me."
"As I pored over their guest book during my visit, I came across this quote from Henry David Thoreau, perhaps an inspiration to Kivirist and Ivanko, 'Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.' Inn Serendipity's seed is sprouting."
"Life is like a pinball machine. You are headed in one direction and you come into contact with something that completely changes your direction, sends you off steaming in a new and different way. Inn Serendipity has sent me in a new direction. Thank you!"
"It's only when one sets foot inside the unusual--some might say bizarre--bed and breakfast that one begins to appreciate what its youthful, idealistic owners are trying to accomplish."
"You have inspired us in our sustainable dream and you gave us a concrete example to see it in practice."
"If there were a Mecca of green destinations, this rural B&B near the Illinois border might be it. With its turn-of-the-century farmstead powered by the wind, sun and even a greenhouse heated by biodiesel fuel (made from waste oils from local restaurants), there's almost no corner of the property that isn't touched by the environmental zeal of innkeepers John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist."
"When we consciously put our lives more in the middle, as you have done at Inn Serendipity, we can savor more of the present and be more present to others."
"Thank you for a beautiful glimpse into "what the world could be"...We will take a little piece of the peace and tranquility back with us and we will make it last until we can come back and refuel."
"My belly is full, my brain is bursting with new thoughts, and my soul is content (not necessarily in that order!)."
"I couldn't quote Webster's definition for 'Serendipity.' I now have lived a definition at Inn Serendipity."