The Zemans’ farmhouse and yard, this view looking toward the driveway.
SIBLINGS KATHY AND NICK ZEMAN farm the old-fashioned way.
Visitors park along the county road by Simple Harvest Organic Farm on 155th Street East, rural Nerstand, for the recent Eat Local Farm Tour.
Their 20-acre rural Nerstrand acreage is home to an assortment of animals typical of farms of yesteryear. Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigs, goats, cows and rabbits along with two dogs and bees comprise the collection of critters I spotted on a recent visit.
Livestock graze in pastures and are fed a vegetarian diet. These animals see sunlight and sky on this organic farm.
Simple Harvest Organic Farm was among sites featured on the recent 2016 Eat Local Farm Tour. As I hiked up the driveway toward the farm yard, I noticed the absence of a barn. I didn’t ask Kathy about that. I was distracted by the goats and then the chickens peering from behind chicken wire in the weathered chicken house.
Then it was on to the rabbits and the sweet bunnies and a single milk goat that preferred chomping on dry leaves over fresh leaves.
As I circled the property, I noticed plenty of weeds and droppings from wandering geese. This isn’t a pristine picture perfect farm. But it’s lovely in the sort of way that this is a way of life for Kathy and her brother. Not only do they raise food for themselves, but also for others through their Community Supported Agriculture business.
This weathered building houses the chickens, who roam inside and out.
This pair peered through chicken wire in a chicken coop window opening.
The farm store is located in a an enclosed corner room of the pole shed which also houses pigs and fowl.
On the second Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the Zemans open their farm store—housed in a room in a pole shed—to CSA and other customers who stop by to pick up frozen whole chickens, eggs and more. The farm is also open by appointment.
As I chatted with Kathy, whom I met 30-plus years ago when I was a newspaper reporter and she the Steele County dairy princess, she paused to greet new arrivals. “The neighbors are here,” she enthused. And they really were her neighbors, their bikes leaning against a fence near the end of the farm driveway.
Simple Harvest raw honey available for purchase at the farm.
Friendliness and old-fashioned neighborliness prevail here on Simple Harvest Organic Farm.
On the day I visited, these items were available for purchase from Simple Harvest.
I photographed this sunflower by the chicken coop.
Customers could also purchase Wildflower Honey from Schoolhouse Apiary, Northfield, during the farm tour.
FYI: Check back as I take you several miles away to Shepherd’s Way Farms, also on the 2016 Eat Local Farm Tour.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling