An Ode to My Grandmother and Her Farm

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Farmstead Ed Anderson 1982.JPG
Eddie Anderson Farm, Big Stone County- circa 1982 (when I googled "beautiful small farmstead photo" this picture came onto my screen from Big Stone County)

It was brought to my attention that I may not have painted a full picture of my Grandmother's farm with my last entry. I'd like to correct that.

My grandma's and grandpa's farm was set on 80 acres in SE Minnesota. It was a picture perfect view of farming in the early to mid 20th century on the prairie. The small, neat farmstead always seemed freshly whitewashed and in excellent repair. It was a diversified farm with milk cows, pigs, chickens, duck, a huge strawberry patch, asparagus patch, garden, pasture, row crops, smokehouse (that was put up and taken down as needed). I learned how to drive a tractor on that farm- an Allis-Chalmers-- keeping what seemed like a big, green yard mowed. There were white wooden grain bins and even an orderly pile of miscellaneous parts and pulleys where I could spend endless hours "inventing."

My grandmother inherited this farm from her father, John Kording, who was, from all accounts, an outstanding prairie populist who helped out his neighbors and had a hand in organizing farmers into what is today Minnesota's Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) party. He left his land equally to his sons and his daughters 100 years ago, which says something.

Grandma learned Latin in a country school house and had read all the classics in Latin by the time she was 20. She taught in a country school until she married and became a full time mother and farmer. Grandma was well versed in politics and her cork board always had a recent article up that highlighted some aspect of the news.

Grandma's house was filled with heavy home made quilts, brewing coffee, frying bacon, a daily newspaper, and WCCO radio. It was a good, solid place to be. I was privileged to sew my silk wedding dress with my grandma, mom and aunt in grandma's dining room just 17 years ago.

My grandmother worked hard on her farm. I wrote an earlier post called Suffer No Illusions about how on a prairie farm, there were no illusions about women being "weak." It referred to my grandma and her basketball career. So, if during the peak of summer, after an evening of milking cows there were flies in the kitchen over a meal that came 100% from your own farm and effort, then I see that as a badge of honor.

My desire to farm came from what I saw and experienced on my grandmother's farm. Simply a good life of hard and handi-work, family, church, and active mind.

43 Comments

Hey; Just a short "Thank You" for the tribute to the family farm of years ago. This,in my mind,could be the biggest loss we see in our life time,-the loss of the independant family farm!! Think of the things that were learned (and lived) on just such a Farm.
All to often the woman's contribution was over shadowed by what went on in the yard. I know in your Grandma's case that she was just as able to work outside as she was inside the house!
The more time I spend in the garden here, the more I realize what my Mom did for all of us. Kudos to you guys on returning to this! ES

Sorry to say that I'm having trouble with the comment section. Some folks are being caught by my aggressive spam filter as I'm getting about 1000 spam comments per day. I'm going to check into getting this fixed as I very much appreciate every one of your comments. If you post a comment to this blog and it does not show up, please send me an e-mail to let me know.

Thank you!!!

Kathy

After you had set the mood in your story, your Grandma's orderly pile of parts and pulleys sent me back to my childhood over 50 years ago. My grandfather had an old hand crank tool grinder in his shop. I loved to crank that thing up as fast as it would go and then "sharpen" his screwdrivers and watch the sparks.

Papaw loved me, but he hated my addiction to his grinder and what it did to his screwdrivers. He is gone now, but I still have the hand crank grinder.

These thoughts brought tears to my eyes as I remembered. They were happy/sad tears. Thank you for taking me to your Grandma's farm and Papaw's workshop.

I am so glad to see a better food chart coming out. I think it still needs improvement, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

It's a beautiful farm with lots of animals and a breath of fresh air. Wow! I really like it. I wonder how your grandmother manage to take care of those animals. She's great, where is she by now?

Your grandmother and grandfather has well set of farm.In old age mostly people likes to live in a calm and quite greenery place away from crowd.

thanks,
samuel
beef recipes

I like the farm. We should think about to buy more food directly from a farm and not only buying the cheapest products.

I agree, that is the life, I would really like to get back to that simpler calmer way with my own family, teaching them what work is really worth

Sometimes I wish I wouldn't have gone the businessman route in life and stayed back and farmed. It was hard work but life seemed much simpler then and this is so beautiful. Thanks.

Tu abuela y el abuelo tiene bien establecido de la edad antigua farm.In sobre todo la gente le gusta vivir en un lugar tranquilo y verde muy lejos de la multitud.

gracias, gracias

You really have a good family Kathryn, nice post

Beautiful farm full of greenery and clean. I like your story old people loves such types of work as they fell good.

Great family and loved the presentation above....It's a beautiful farm with lots of animals and a breath of fresh air. Wow! I really like it.

This view is amazing. Your family is great. I really do appreciate that you created this post

What a beautiful picture..thats a great farm. So nice to read you talking about your family! Thank you for sharing!!

Beautiful farm and wonderful story. So nice to read.

Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

You can tell with all the barns this is a working farm. People leaves God's glory land places as these to go to the hustle and bustle of the big life only to find themselves sitting behind desks and never breathing fresh air, learning to love the land or enjoying peach of mind and heart. From the parts to the pulleys, I have enjoyed reading this.

You can tell with all the barns this is a working farm. People leaves these glory land places as these to go to the hustle and bustle of the big life only to find themselves sitting behind desks and never breathing fresh air, learning to love the land or enjoying peach of mind and heart. From the parts to the pulleys, I have enjoyed reading this.

Hate the urban. Looks good living in the farm. Oh, how time flies..

This is a great tribute to an ear that has long been forgotten. I am a firm espouse in the virtues of good clean living and hard honest work. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

very nice farm...a nice view and seems like a very interesting place to spend life

I would love to live in a gorgeous farm like this but it seems impossible for me now. Thank you for sharing such a great post.

very good photos. I want to have a wide and beautiful as that
Grosir Sandal SANCU

Wow amazing image really i am very glad to see it thanks for share with us

These thoughts brought tears to my eyes as I remembered. They were happy/sad tears. Thank you for taking me to your Grandma's farm and Papaw's workshop.

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awesome pict :) i'm very like the farm

A really quality content on this site.
Thank you

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I would love to live in a gorgeous farm like this but it seems impossible for me now.

A really quality content on this site.

Yes, That is life. I also want to enjoy a simple life and live out site of town. enjoying gardening and farming. I love this amazing story. Thank you for your sharing.

Thanks for the blog; it is really interesting to read something that is original. The content was spot on and backed up with first-class evidence.

I just wanna say thank you for your article because this article was very useful and helped me to learn.

Farm life is a great way to live, especially when you have such a great landscape company in north atlanta

excellent website and blog.

i love farming too, that's peace at it's best

farming comes natural to some, whereas other's would go insane without technology.

Good, We are so interested on this topic. following time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to learn

Nice blog.Your grandmother house and farm are so beautiful.Thanks for sharing.I like it.

Thank for your share,

Nice post. very nice topic about your grandma house and farm.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on September 1, 2011 7:05 AM.

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