Checking Off Our MNHS List: City Kids Visit the Farm

Growing up in north central North Dakota, it was super common to know someone who lived on a farm. My great-grandparents had a farm and 16 kids to help with that farm. I have cousins who are farmers. I had friends who milked cows before school. It was common to go to the Ag Expo, the Midwest’s largest Agriculture Expo at the All Seasons Arena, as a school field trip.  My kids do not have these same experiences. My children have visited petting zoos. My son went on a field trip to a farm in Kindergarten. We have visited the Farm Babies exhibit at the MN Zoo. We frequent farmers markets. That about sums it up.

This summer, we purchased a MN History Pass. I am a lover of History, and I wanted to take my myself family to see all of the Historical places in our state. There are 26 Historical sites in the state of Minnesota. Today, we visited our 3rd place: Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River, MN. We arrived at the farm shortly after their 10:00am opening. We checked in and received our Member stickers. We were given a map and a brief overview of what to do. We started off in the kitchen where the kids learned to make corn bread. While it baked, we crossed the hall and watched a 10 minute video on the history of farming at Oliver Kelley Farm. We returned to the kitchen and the kids got to try the cornbread with cucumber mint jelly (both the corn and cucumber were grown at the farm).


We took a quick lunch break. We typically bring a lunch while we explore to save on costs; you’ll need to bring your own food if you visit Oliver Kelley Farm because they do not sell food there.


After lunch, we made our way to the main house. While in the house, my 7 year old got to clean the butter; a lot different than just buying butter from the local co-op or supermarket. The kids got to try pumping water at a well. We got to visit the farm animals and go through the barn. My son almost got peed on by a pig. They also enjoyed freely playing with sticks and logs in a wooded area. Before we left, the kids gave it a go at trying to build their own windmills.


The three of us all had a great time. It’s worth a drive from the metro to check out. They are open Memorial Day – Labor Day, from 10am to 5pm; however, they are closed on Mondays. I recommend getting a MN History Society Pass because our pass has already paid for itself.


We still have a LOT to Visit:

Split Rock Lighthouse – Duluth
Fort Snelling – St Paul
Oliver Kelley Farm – Elk River
Folsom House – Taylors Falls
For Ridgely – Fort Ridgely State Park
Alexander Ramsey House – St. Paul
Harkin Store – New Ulm
Forest History Center – Grand Rapids
James J. Hill House – St. Paul
Mill City Museum – Minneapolis
Minnehaha Depot – Minneapolis
Minnesota History Center – St. Paul
Minnesota State Capital – St. Paul
Sibley Historic Site – Mendota
Birch Coulee Battlefield – Morton
Charles Lindbergh House and Museum – Little Falls
Comstock House – Moorhead
Historic Forestville – Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Jeffers Petrogylphs – Comfrey
Lac qui Parle Mission – Montevideo
Lower Sioux Agency – Morton
Marine Mill – Marine on St. Croix
Snake River Fur Post – Pine City
Traverse des Sioux – St. Peter
W.W. Mayo House – La Sueur
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post – Onamia