By Starrla Cray
WRIGHT COUNTY, MN Clip-clopping hooves, chirping bird songs, and a gentle breeze are the melodies of Windward Farm near Delano.
Owners Jerome and Mahlon Bauman encounter this natural splendor on a daily basis, but July 27, they had the opportunity to share their home on live television.
“It was really an interesting day,” said Mahlon, whose farm offers specialized boarding, Pony Kamp for beginner riders, and a full-service tack and apparel consignment store.
Mahlon heard about the opportunity to be on KARE 11 through a weather forecast e-mail she receives daily.
Each Wednesday this summer, meteorologists Belinda Jensen, Sven Sundgaard, and Jerrid Sebesta have been taking turns broadcasting at 5 and 6 p.m. from different backyards in the area.
Mahlon thought it sounded like fun, so she uploaded an aerial photo of her own backyard to the KARE 11 Facebook page a few months ago.
“I didn’t think anything of it when I didn’t get a call right away,” she said. “There are lots of beautiful photos on there.”
About two weeks ago, however, the Baumans received an e-mail from an intern, stating that KARE 11 was interested in coming out to their place.
The Baumans got the details from Belinda Jensen, and the crew came out for a “site check” July 25.
“It was interesting to see the process,” Mahlon said. “They work really hard to get good footage. It makes me wonder what it takes to make a movie.”
July 27, the crew arrived at about 2:45 p.m. A helicopter flew overhead, capturing the farm’s scenic beauty.
“You could really see the river,” Mahlon said. “I was amazed to see the amount of water.”
Jensen arrived at about 4 p.m., and took a tour of the farm with Mahlon and Jerome.
“We talked about different things, and she got introduced to all the horses,” Mahlon said.
The Baumans have 10 horses at the farm, including six that are boarded, and four of their own.
“We have a lot of fun,” Mahlon said, adding that both she and Jerome are lifelong animal lovers. Jerome grew up on a working farm near Delano, and Mahlon’s family had horses near Mound.
Jerome and Mahlon, who have been married for 26 years, have been living at their current home for 15 years. In addition to working at the farm, Jerome is employed at Kemps in downtown Minneapolis, and Mahlon works at the Delano Sports Center.
Both of the Bauman sons also have full schedules.
Cody, 22, is on his second tour in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division, and most likely won’t be back home until April of 2012.
“He’s a very good soldier,” Mahlon said.
Tanner, 19, is a college student who enjoys being involved with the family farm. In Tulsa, OK, he showed horses that received two world titles and six reserve titles.
Jensen drew attention to the prestigious awards during the July 27 broadcast, with the first live filming at 5 p.m.
Mahlon said she and her family weren’t too nervous, because Jensen made them feel at ease.
“She’s very personable,” Mahlon said.
During the interview, Jensen asked about the hops the Baumans grow on trellises in their vegetable garden. They produce five varieties which vary by acidity level and sell them dried and fresh.
“We’ve been doing hops four years,” Mahlon said. “They grow really fast, and they don’t take up much space.”
The 6 p.m. filming featured riders from K & K Pony Kamp, which takes place each Wednesday evening in the summer at Windward Farm.
The camp, which is booked through Delano Community Education, gives children an opportunity to groom, saddle, and ride their “own” pony.
“It’s a good way to safely introduce children to horses and encourage future riders,” Mahlon said.
One of the participants July 27 was Jensen’s son, who is also named Tanner.
“He’s a nice little boy. I think it was about 7 o’clock before Belinda got him pried off the pony,” Mahlon laughed.
To watch the Windward Farm segment on KARE 11, click here.