When I was seven, I helped my grandma pick vegetables in her massive garden, and it was then that I tried my very first garden-fresh pea pod. When I was 10, I watched a calf being born (or, let’s be honest, I tried to watch). When I was in junior high, I would leave my brothers playing in the haymow and escape to “my” spot, the big swing out by the shed, where I would write stories. It was so peaceful, just me and the sounds of the country.
I realize now that those weekends on my grandparents’ farm helped shape me into who I am today.
My kids won’t have childhood memories of going to the farm. I can read them books, I can tell them stories, but it’s just not the same as seeing first-hand how apples are pressed into cider, or feeling the coarse spot on the top of a cow’s head, or smelling the smells that make a farm a farm (both good and bad).
I’m grateful that there are places like Brooklyn Park’s Eidem Homestead, so that my city kids can have an authentic farm experience.
This Saturday, Oct. 13, from noon to 3 p.m., little ones who typically hear “No! Don’t touch!” will be encouraged to look, listen, taste, smell, and touch at Fall on the Farm.
This event is the best parts of fall rolled into one afternoon: pumpkin carving, hayrides, fresh apple cider, arts and crafts, and colorful leaves painting the landscape. See the cows, sheep, horses, and chickens, participate in hands-on activities, and tour the beautiful Victorian-era home on the property.
Fall on the Farm will happen rain or shine, so dress warm, and be prepared to have fun.
Eidem Homestead: 101st Avenue and Noble Parkway, Brooklyn Park. Admission: $6 for adults; $4 for children ages 3-12.
Some other fall events this weekend:
• Stillwater Harvest Fest (Oct. 13-14): Pumpkin growers from the region bring pumpkins weighing 1500 pounds (!) and up while festival-goers celebrate with pumpkin baking and decorating, a chili cook-off, a microbrew and wine tasting, the Giant Pumpkin Boat Regatta (when people race down the river in real pumpkin boats), tractor pull, haunted caves tours, kids’ activities, and a flea market.
• PunkinMania at Triangle Park in downtown Mahtomedi (Oct.13): A petting zoo, pony rides, large bouncy castles and slides, games of skill for kids, free trick-or-treat bags containing art and school supplies for preschool and elementary school children, brisket sandwiches, pizza, candy and beverages, and pumpkins and gourds. This event is a fundraiser for the Wildwood Lions Club. Free. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• SeptOberfest in Wabasha (Sept. 14-Oct. 28): German music and food, a pumpkin derby, and exhibits including the largest pumpkins, tallest sunflowers, and scarecrows.
• History Fest at McGowan’s Farm in Mankato (Oct. 13): Civil War re-enactments, fire eaters, bellydancers, cannon shooting, and canoe and horseback carriage rides.
• Fitger’s Harvest Moon Festival in Duluth (Oct. 13): 5K runners, walkers, family, and spectators can ride the North Shore Scenic Railroad to the new starting line on the Lakewalk, at 26th and London Road. Boarding starts behind Fitger’s at 8:15 a.m. Rain or shine. Also? Kids’ activities, a scarecrow competition, and a costume parade.