Sunday I met Donna Frantz “at the farm” in Waconia, MN (about 45 minutes from Minneapolis). She makes her own jams and preserves. She grows her own organic food (including organic popcorn, some of which I purchased for my brother). She spoke to me about buying food locally and knowing where your food comes from, the benefits of cane sugar over beet sugar (which was loaded with pesticides) and proudly announced, when I picked up her business card, “I’ve had a website for 10 years!”
My friend Linda and I went outside to select some pumpkins. Suddenly I heard a bit of cackling that seemed to be right at my feet. Two gorgeous chickens (a rooster and a hen) stepped out from under a pumpkin shelf. They pecked about in the cement and gravel drive for a bit, wandering amongst the pumpkins—strutting in that important and deliberate way that seems to me reminiscent of runway models.
Then four men in an SUV drove up and boisterously disembarked, causing the rooster to rush across the driveway, towards the wooden slatted fence (i.e., open) and 6-foot wide ditch that was all that stood between us and the highway. I tried to head him off, but he would have none of it and detoured around me. (My days of chicken wrangling are long over.) I rushed inside, “Donna, your rooster is about to cross the road.” Donna and the four men all laughed (how many times in life do you get to say a punchline straight?). “Naw, he wouldn’t do that, he’s too smart. He’ll stay in the ditch.”
Right: The Rooster who wouldn't cross the road. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Sure enough, he didn’t try to cross the road. Later I found out the chickens were Golden Links. “They are ambiance chickens,” announced Donna. “You have to have stuff on the farm for people to see. There has to be stuff.”
Left: Lovely chicken working her way through the pumpkin display. Click on an image to view an enlargement.
Well, if you need apples, organic vegetables, pumpkins, and preserves I suggest you take a drive (through lovely countryside) to visit Donna, At the Farm, 8880 Highway 5 East, Waconia, MN 55387. You can reach her at her website or 952-442-4816.