Growing up on Mr. Ed’s Farm

A guest post from Mr. Ed’s son, Matt Nelson

When you grow up on a farm, your childhood is defined in senses, not words. What I remember most is the way a horse’s coat felt in January, when the soft hair was so deep it’d poke up between my fingers. And I’ve never forgotten that exact, precise smell of a quivering lamb just after he’s been born, when he was in my arms and I was trying to get him to nurse, how his life depended on it. And I can still hear the frogs calling at night, while I walked barefooted through the grass.
When each week on the farm wrapped into a month, and each month wrapped into a year, those experiences seemed so indistinct. Chores became chores. When extraordinary moments happen too close to one other, they become indistinguishable from the dull ones. Falling in love with a place is much like falling in love with a person: inevitably, you risk taking them for granted.During the dog days of summer, it was so hot I’d lay in the grass and try to count the stars. I’d always lose track because of the beacon from the airport. It rotated every few seconds. It was so dark I could see it pass through the sky. On Saturday nights, I’d listen to the cars ripping around the Hibbing racetrack, 10 miles away.I miss my home so much sometimes it makes me sick.

But it’s why — for all the reasons I listed above — you should go to Mr. Ed’s Farm this MEA weekend, and during fall weekends through Nov. 2.

It’s five bucks, free for kids 2 and under. And — take it from a kid who lived it — it will be the best five bucks you’ve spent in a while.

My dad isn’t doing this to get rich quick. During the two years he spent getting ready to open the farm, he rallied some wonderful people around him to deliver a world-class experience your family won’t forget. I’ve never seen my dad as driven and as motivated as the day he decided to go for it. I don’t know how he did it, but the chores never became chores for him. If there’s anyone that can make you experience and understand the powerful magic of a farm — it’s him, and the incredible group of volunteers who are working with him.

Get ready to get hands-on with the animals and play in the hay. Explore what my dad calls the old house — a mining-location home filled with vintage kitchen appliances and toys galore. There’s a reason we’ve nicknamed it the ‘Snoop House’ — we want you to open any drawer or cupboard you want!

It’s also the house where I grew up, where I first started to write and logged onto the Internet for the first time. I’ve got a lot of memories there, but they’ve all been replaced by new paint, and the carpets been ripped up. I’m not upset — it was time. It’s an old house ready for new memories — your memories.

Take pictures. Tweet them. Share them on Facebook. If I could be there, I would — but I’ll just have to live vicariously through you, and it will be wonderful to do so.

I grew up on Mr. Ed’s Farm, and then I moved away. But while I didn’t stay, the memories have. They’ll stay with you, too.

Have a great weekend,



 This post was originally published on Sept. 5, 2013 on

Categories: Mr. Ed’s Farm