Uncle Dutch was actually my Grandfather. Otto “Dutch” was born in 1921 in Nebraska. His parents, Rudolph and Anna, were German immigrants who had settled on a farm in Nebraska. The youngest of many children, Otto was 21 years younger than his oldest sibling, Ed.
Granddad left the farm in 1940 and went out into the world. He married a beautiful woman, Jeanne, and together they had two children, one of whom is my father, Jim. Otto lived a full life and I loved him very much. He passed away in April of this year, and I miss him. Most of his nieces and nephews called him “Uncle Dutch,” and so have I named my farm.
A few years ago, I came across a property listing for acreage in NE WA. I was mostly just “window shopping,” since I was nowhere near being able to buy property at the time, not to mention I lived in Colorado at the time. The property listing was so beautiful that I emailed it to my mother, who also likes to “window shop” properties.
Oddly enough, my parents ended up buying that acreage. Each of my three siblings have come behind the venture and we all want to have our own part in what has now become the new family ranch. In a few years, Mr. Hot Stuff & I will buy 20 of the 120 acres they purchased and we will end up living on that property. One of my dreams is to be able to support our family through sustainable agriculture. The parcel of land we have picked out is beautiful, the soil is rich and dark, and it is perfect for what I had in mind. I may just do market gardening, or we may do a CSA. Mr. Hot Stuff may be involved, or he may work full-time. But one thing I did know, I was going to have a mini-farm.
I decided to name my farm after Granddad not only because I loved him very much but also because the legacy of the original family farm came from him, and while he never went back in to farming, I will never forget the tomatoes he grew in his yard when I was a small child. He was a big impact to my life and I wanted to remember him in my own way. So my little portion of the family farm will be called “Uncle Dutch Farms.”
Of course, more pictures are good, right? Here are some pictures of the original family farm.