Grampa’s Farm is open for one more weekend
Grampa’s Farm, located at N2613 Norwegian Rd., north of Merrill, will be open for its final weekend of the 2021 season Oct. 9 and 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $12 which includes all activities and a free pumpkin. Children age 2 and under and Veterans are Free.
Grampa’s Farm was started in 2009 by Jim Severt (1951-2014) of Merrill, still known to many as “Grampa.” Many years ago, most kids had a relative with a farm where they could visit, interact with animals, and learn where their food comes from. However, those small family farms were becoming fewer and fewer. When Jim’s first grandchild was born in 2001, he knew that he wanted all children to be able to experience what life was like in the past and on the farm. The idea of Grampa’s Farm began.
When Jim passed away in 2014, his family and friends continued to believe in his dream and wanted the legacy to continue. More recently, his son, Jered Severt had been managing the farm. When Jered tragically passed away in April 2021, the family again had a decision to make. Even with the loss of their loved ones, they knew Grampa’s Farm should continue. It has been healing to see guests smiling, having fun, making memories, and grateful – exactly what “Grampa” and Jered both enjoyed seeing so much.
For a few weekends each fall, the dream continues to come true. Now in its 12th year, Grampa’s Farm is a place where children can dress up in bonnets, dresses, or bibs to wear while they play in the one-room schoolhouse or do laundry “the old fashioned way” using a washboard and wringer. The children get to shell a cob of corn and use fabric to turn it into a corncob doll just like Laura Ingalls did long ago. Other old-time experiences include milking a cow by hand, stamping their initials into a piece of wood to take home, as well as seeing how apple cider, ice cream, and butter are made and tasting all three.
Lessons in history aren’t the only activities happening on Grampa’s Farm. Families take a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch where each person chooses a pumpkin to take home. Children also are able to play in sandboxes full of corn, climb a giant haystack, and take a walk through the soybean maze (new this year).
In the petting zoo, children can pet the goats, a calf, and a cow. Holding the bunnies and chicks is a favorite of many.
“Grampa” knew that money can be tight while raising a family, so there are no additional charges once people enter. He didn’t want parents to have to say “no” to any activity that their child would like to experience. Once families are in the gate, the only extra cost would be to purchase food or snacks, such as treats available from the Red Shed. All proceeds from the caramel apples, cotton candy, popcorn, and pie being sold go to the group running it that day. For instance, one weekend this fall it was run by some of Jered’s wrestling family, and the proceeds from the Red Shed sales that day will go toward a wrestling scholarship being established in Jered’s memory.
The Broken Spoke Café also offers fresh cooked food at a reasonable cost. Visitors to the farm are also welcome to carry in a picnic lunch if they prefer.