Fey Farm Near Unadilla Nebraska Featured in the Pawnee Republican (Pawnee City, Nebraska)
It was one hell of a party… and unbeknownst to those of us who participated, who made the deviled eggs, dug and redug the pit in which the pig was roasted, made the cake, showed the kids the pig’s brains, the event made the media big time. It was covered by Laura Turnbull, writing in the Pawnee Republican (Pawnee City, Nebraska), who along with host Lowell Fey, plays in the world famous Southeast Nebraska Community Band, detailed the evening’s activities in a well written article for all of southeastern Nebraska to consider. (1)
And it was, as Turnbull describes it, a birthday party for a house!
But not just any house…it is the home of the Fey farm built 100 years ago in 1902. It is where Lowell and brother Robert grew up. It sits high on a hill with a southern exposure looking over 20 miles (or more) of green rolling hills, virtually all farmland. The farm is about 4 miles north of Unadilla Nebraska, where Lowell and Robert went to elementary school and attended the local Methodist Church in their youth. (2)
In the Fey family ever since, Lowell Fey has owned the house and the farm for about ten years. When the farm came into his possession, there was some discussion as to what to do with the farmhouse itself. It was rundown and in bad condition. Many were those who
argued that the house should be leveled and a new one built in its place. But after poking around a bit, Fey was convinced that the foundation was solid and with a new roof, reworked plumbing, reworked porch and a paint job, the old house could easily last another hundred years. It took several years to finish the repairs, but the finished product is sight to see.
In the meantime, Fey let the land lay fallow for the three years necessary for it to become organically certified. The years since, cattle have grazed upon it, a number of large gardens – large enough to be considered what used to be called `truck farms’ – produced organically certified vegetables. In an area where more and more farms are being turned into condominium project bed room communities for Lincoln and Omaha (both about 35 miles away), the Fey farm is an example of something, if not unique, still increasingly unusual: a farm that actually produces food, and good quality food at that.
I would have made a link to the article, but the Pawnee Republican charges to visit its website..
1. The name `Wherry’ still adorns several buildings in Pawnee City’s downtown area. Native son Kenneth Wherry became a U.S. Senator (1943-1951). He was one of the more stalwart defenders of Joseph McCarthy’s political witchhunt. The collected works of Russ Limbaugh grace a shelf in the home of his descendants where I saw them last summer.
2. Unadilla, Nebraska. In 2010, according to the U.S. census, there were 311 people, 132 households, and 95 families residing in the Wikipedia article referred to as a `village’.