Friday, October 9, 2009

Fun Times, Part 2

I bought an Individual + Guest membership to the Minnesota Historical Society a few months back. After we finished up at the pumpkin farm Jenova and I hit a few a garage sales and headed over to the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River, MN.

This is the farm house itself, built back in the 1860's.

We arrived for the Prairie Sugar Weekend. Everyone was making sorghum molasses.

"During the Civil War, sugar supplies became scarce in the North and sorghum, previously used primarily for animal feed, became a sugar substitute."

Here Am and one of the farmers are stripping the leaves from a sorghum cane.

Next the kids got to chop the flowery heads off the canes. I think they'd make the molasses bitter or something if they didn't.

There was a horse-powered press there. The kids would feed the cleaned canes in and the juice was pressed out. There was always a farmer there to make sure little fingers stayed safe.

Last they'd take the pressed juice and cook it over a fire until it turned into a syrup. I actually got to see and taste the final product. It was a weird shade of green but tasted pretty similar to the bottled molasses I have here at home.

As usual we spent some time wandering around the farm. They had a lot of visitors so the chickens were penned. Usually we see them off running around the woods instead.

I've never mentioned this here but... I love cows. I took the time to pet this one.

The sheep were trying to find a bit of shade that day.

We went into the house too. Jenova had never been here before. She figured it might be haunted. I do have to agree that this room with the doll always gave me a creepy vibe.

There was a storage area built onto the house. They had some herbs hanging I guess.

I think this one was in the barn. If you look closely at the bottom you can see one of their many cats lounging on the cloth.

Am didn't want to leave but all good things must come to an end. She shouldn't worry too much though. We'll definitely be coming back for more.

I love this place! ^^

(Note: You can click any of the pics for a better view.)


  1. What an interesting visit. The sorghum molasses making process must have been a great experience too. THank you for sharing this post.

  2. Yeah, it's always fun. It's especially nice because it's only a 20 minute drive or so and we all get in for free with my membership. I might be heading out for a Fort Snelling trip next, never been there yet.

  3. What a wonderfu place! My midwestern grandma recently told us that her farmer dad learned how to make sorghum from his dad's cousin.

    : )

    Julie M.

  4. Yeah, it's pretty nice there. We're lucky to be so close though they're closed for the winter right now.