Sunday, July 21st – Monday, July 22nd, 2013
I-90 East took us through a town called Welcome, MN, before we took Route 15 North to Route 60 East to Lake Crystal, MN where we’d be visiting our friends Mark and Laura that we had met in Key West a year ago.
They gave us a tour around their farm where they had a lot of pigs, a few chickens, five cows, and a cat which just gave birth to a kitten which was so young, it was still getting used to its eye sight.
Trevor hung out with Mark as I went to the Co-op with Laura in Saint Peter, MN to grab a few things. She informed me that Saint Peter was originally planned to be the state capital of Minnesota, but after conflicted opinions, it ended up being in Saint Paul.
We ate really good pit beef sandwiches potato salad, cucumber-tomato salad, and local cheeses for lunch, and then they put us to work. Mark and Trevor worked on building houses for the pigs while I helped Laura fence the tomato plants after finding some scrap fencing in the attic of the barn.
After we were done in the garden, Laura prepped dinner while I was kept entertained watching the pigs running around in their pens, and played with the cats.
A few of their friends came over and we ate an assortment of gourmet popcorn, grilled shrimp skewers, beef and mushrooms on a salt block, potato salad, and watermelon with jalapeños (an unusual, but tasty combination). We enjoyed a fire pit at night and watched the fireflies. Trevor grew up next to a farm, so he was feeling nostalgic. We fell asleep in the van listening to the trains in the distance.
We woke up very well rested for a change, and Laura made us Huevos Rancheros and coffee for breakfast. We set up a pig pen, then threw hay in the back of Mark’s truck with the help of his 6-year old nephew to prepare for the Mangalitsa piglets we were about to pick up. The farm we got them from seemed to have every farm animal imaginable!
We loaded up the cute, but frightened piglets in the covered truck bed, made a short stop at the grocery store to visit Mark’s nephew’s grandfather, then returned to the farm to get the piglets set up in their new pen. We gave them alfalfa, water, a nice mud puddle to roll around in, and a shelter so they could hide as they adjusted to their new surroundings.
After they got comfortable, we fed the rest of the animals. We couldn’t help but to laugh as Mark watered down the pigs. It’s funny to watch then run around after getting sprayed by the hose!
A couple of their friends came by for a cookout, and we ate venison, shrimp, cucumber salad, beets, and coleslaw. Mark and Laura were phenomenal hosts! The animals kept things humorous. The cows were on top of a mound of dirt licking one another, the dogs were eating poo, the pigs were running around frantically, the kitten was startled by everything, and the hens were running loose.
The moon was shining bright and the lightning bugs were glowing out in the fields. I can understand why they moved out here. It was peaceful.
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