So, it was a while ago, but I thought it was time to talk about it. The Century Farm Appreciation Party—smiley face. My mother, who wrote this summary of it through her eyes, had been posting other posts about the history of the farm previously, like the fact that green tractors have always graced this farm (seriously, when I was little, a blue tractor pulled in the yard and my mom was all like, “Who the heck is that?” …we’ve since become friends with people who prefer red tractors for some unknown reason), telling about Grandma’s diary from her time at the U of M, and the history of the seed business here. She’s a big agriculture advocate, and many of her posts are about the topic.
Anyway, it was a hustle to get everything ready. The nasty weather the Friday before so didn’t help anything, and some things just didn’t get done. My mom poked her head in my room as I was contemplating getting up. “Good morning, honey. Here’s the stuff I picked up for you yesterday. By the way, Pam is here.” I nodded, but I was super confused. Pam lives in the cities. She got here this morning? It was like, seven. What time did she have to get up? So I got up, and there was Pam, already helping out over in the shop (where the party would be). I got dressed, put on my brace, and my brace wouldn’t work. It was weird. This hadn’t happened since last summer. I looked at where it was flashing “error” (on the flashy noisy thing on my…”necklace”)—between the heel sensor and the brace. Hmm. Battery? As much as I’ve had to deal with the crap put out by this thing, I am much better at finding out what’s wrong. But why today? I sent up a plea to the Lord, adding a complaint that this had to happen today. But then I dealt. Dad had to pick up fruit in town, and he had to stop a few other places. At the hardware store, he looked for a battery. Too bad it was a specialty battery that we couldn’t find anywhere. So, mom started calling places to see if they carried the battery. I was ready to make do and compensate all day. I took over the calling when Mom had to do something else. Finally, I called Radio Shack. They had the battery! “I’ve been looking everywhere,” I said in relief that it was actually somewhere in Marshall. “Yeah, we’re the only place that carries them.” (I got that, thank you. I called everyone else already.) So, when Dad had to go back to Marshall for something else, I told them that they had the battery at Radio Shack, and he picked one (more like three) up for me!
People were showing up, and I was helping out where I could, too. I helped to put signs up for the “Ag Olympics” we had in another shed. Events included Bale Stacking (nine square bales), Bale Toss, Tire Flipping (a TRACTOR tire, that’s fun), Feed the Pigs (running two 5-gallon-buckets of pig feed through an obstacle course as quickly as possible), Water the Chickens (bringing water over by sponge only). I wandered over there in the middle of the happenings and watched two farmers, friends of my parents, competing. Who knew that that farmers in their mid-40’s were so competitive? Did I just say something about “their age?” Of course not. In yet a different shed, we filled a kiddie pool with wheat for kids to play in (you bet they did), a petting zoo of farm animals run by Marshall’s FFA (Lakeview’s FFA did the Ag Olympics stuff), and we had a 5-gallon pail filled with soybeans in which 5 tools or things were lost in it to find. Really, it was like a farming experience, all the stuff we had. (And we’re a crop farm—lots of equipment and seed stuff, and therefore a lot of sheds.)
Anyway, back to the before-hand. Dad had gotten our family polos that said “Olson Organics, Cottonwood, Minnesota, 1913-2013” on them. With his impressive Olson Organics logo, of course. We might alter it to say “Olson Organics at Fairview Farm, Cottonwood, Minnesota”. They can’t decide how it should be worded. My friend Marissa came early, because she needed to head out home before any other bad weather hit. I gave her a tour and she helped set up lawn golf kind of. Two of my awesome aunts, Pam and Heidi, made another set of golf balls—you know, the kind where there’s a rope that goes through them, then there’s a golf ball on each end—they did a fabulous job. The power point I had made was set up and playing on a wall, and the party soon began.
The Dinner Club that Mom and Dad are part of took care of the serving food, and soon, everything was taken care of. It was like a well-oiled machine. Mom and Dad were engaged in conversation until I went to bed that night, and I talked to random people, as well. There were seed buyers, seed dealers, equipment-people, people who have done construction on a shed of ours, neighbors, family, people from church, guys from the elevator and the co-op. Basically, Mom and Dad created a list and tried to include everyone who was impacted by our farm, as well as everyone that impacted our farm. Pretty sure she’ll write a blog about that, too. 🙂 Only about a third of those people could make it, but it was hoppin! (Am I allowed to use that term?) I myself drank like, three bottles of water and was super warm. BUT, I talked to a lot of people—some of them I recognized, but seriously needed a hint when it came to their names, others I met for the first time, and yet more I knew pretty well. It was awesome that my grandpa Kenny, his sister Fern, and Shi, part of that generation and married to Bob, could just sit at a table and people came up to talk with them. History is great, and I loved that the three of them could be there for most of it!
We joke that, “Oh, you couldn’t make it to this one? That’s okay, maybe you’ll make it to the next one, in 3013.” But seriously, I love the history of this farm. In doing research and stuff for it, I have learned so much! I’m even on a genealogy kick, and was elated to see on ancestory.com that my mom has traced the Olson side to southern Norway before coming to the U.S. I can’t wait until someday my great-grandchildren may go through the same process as I did. Remember, everyone, LABEL YOUR PHOTOS!
P.S: My mom has a ton of pics on her posts, but they aren’t on my computer, so go ahead an wander over to hers if you want to check out some awesome pics from the day. Also, be sure to check out this post of mine that I wrote about this farm, as well.