Saturday, September 20, 2008

historic kelley farm

one of my favorite things that we did this summer was going to the historic kelley farm in elk river, minnesota.

when i was a little girl, maybe about ten years old, my mom brought me and my brother there. we had made the drive all the way from north dakota, where we were living at the time, to come out and see gramma and grampa who were living in nearby anoka. and my mom, a history freak and avid outdoorswoman, thought it would be fun if we went to this period farm, where all the people are dressed in costumes and are farming using the same techniques that were used in the mid-19th century.

and you know what? she was right. it WAS fun. because even 20 years later, i still remember that outing and how great it was!

(it must have inspired me to some degree, too, because shortly after college, adam and i volunteered for a year on an organic farm, and it was by far one of the best years of my life so far!)

so when my mom suggested that we take gracie there, i thought it was a fabulous idea! passing on a tradition to my daughter seemed like a good idea, and i loooove the kelley farm, so off we went!

the weather was great -- slightly hot, sunny, and still. not like when i was there twenty years ago and it rained and all i got to really see was the inside of the farm house. so even i got to see new things this time!

there were a few summer camp groups there, and it was funny to see the kids running around trying to catch the chickens or the piglets who were running around free. a lot of them emptied their water bottles to fill them up with the water that they could pump directly from the well, and then when they actually drank it they were all, "eeeew! nasty!" cuz it was well water and they were all these city slicker kids from minneapolis. ha! some of them were really into it, though, and enjoyed petting the sheep and eating the beet greens that the farm ladies were washing in the kitchen.

we saw pretty much the entire farm, but we definitely lingered a bit longer at some of the sites because gracie was having a good time. she liked watching the piggies run around, and if one ran past her and out of her line of sight, she would fuss until we moved her so that she could see where the piggy went! cute! and we saw a baby calf who loved licking gracie's foot so much that at one point he had her entire foot inside his mouth, all the way up to her shin! um... that kinda freaked me out. i know cows are vegetarians, but i kept having visions of an amputated leg on my baby girlio! aaah! so we stopped that game pretty fast, even though gracie cried when we left (cuz it tickled so much and she was having such a good time being eaten up!).

perhaps her most favorite thing ever, though, were the chickens! there was this one chicken inside a coop, and she was talk talk talk talking really loudly as she checked all of her eggs. gracie thought it was so cool, that she kept hitting the chicken wire window, trying to get inside to see that neat chicken! and LAUGHING the whole time! like, no one was making any weird sounds or goofy faces, and no one was tickling her... she just REALLY liked that chicken! then a rooster crowed and she swung her head around to see what it was, and looked at me like, "oh my goodness, isn't this just the coolest EVER?!" AH! too cute! here's a video of that experience.

as it was approaching her naptime, my mom and i walked out to the mississippi river and watched the turtles sunning themselves on the rocks. gracie was exhausted already from all the fresh air and excitement, so she slept in her stroller while we wandered along a dirt road admiring the clouds and the wildflowers.

and then we went to dairy queen! and i had a girl scout cookie blizzard! yum!

it was a great day, and i look forward to bringing gracie back to this farm again. we can make it a tradition, where every time we go back to minnesota to visit her mema, we will go to the farm and see the chickens and the piggies! doesn't that sound like fun?!

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