Archive for eco-friendly

The Ultimate Goal Of Farming

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops,

but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

― Masanobu FukuokaThe One-Straw Revolution

Planning, organizing, geometry and trigonometry

Lay out the tree field carefully  prior to planting

 

Precision equipment, exactitude and care

Planting Trees 6

 

Prepared soil accepting seedlings

Planting Trees 4

 

Anticipation of a future forest

On My Walk Around The farm Today 023

 

From sapling to tannenbaum

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Through shearing and care

Trees spruce 2013

 

Through drought and monsoon

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The farmer’s  job isn’t complete, and vacations are rare

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Until a decade into the future, when with humankind we may share

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The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

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Zip Line Canopy Tour Opens June 14, 2013

Attention thrill seekers:

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Beginning June 14, 2013, you can enjoy the thrill of a two and a half hour long tour, complete with high-speed zip lines, a 170-foot suspension bridge, spiral staircases to treetop platforms, breathless views of the Minnesota River Valley and loads of environmental knowledge from trained guides at  Kerfoot Canopy Tours in Henderson, MN.

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Kerfoot Canopy Tour’s, Minnesota River Valley zip line course is owned by Lee Kerfoot, who grew up on the Gunflint Trail learning how to appreciate the woods-life from his grandma, Justine Kerfoot, a Northwoods pioneer. He watched as she utilized her passion, smarts, strength and determination living on the border of the Boundary Waters operating the Gunflint Lodge. Justine’s appreciation of the Minnesota’s woods and waters has inspired Lee all his life, and his new canopy tour is a true homage to his passion for being outdoors in beautiful Minnesota.

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For more information and reservations visit http://www.kerfootcanopytour.com/ or follow Kerfoot Canopy Tours on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kerfootcanopytour.

 

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From Tree, to Timbers, to Fine Furniture

Have a seat and I’ll tell you a story.

Have A Seat

Have A Seat Walnut Bench By Greg Wood

A customer of mine had a tree which needed to be removed from their yard.  It was a Walnut tree, approximately 24 inches in diameter.  The tree was cut down, sawed in to 2.5 inch thick timber slabs, and then air-dried for three years until the moisture level was below ten percent.

Walnut Lumber Slabs

Walnut Lumber Slabs

The customer called me, with ideas of some furniture they would like to have built from their lumber.  They wanted a bench, two end tables, a desk and a head-board.

Bench design

Bench design

I drew up design plans to represent the client’s personal tastes and desires while simultaneously planning how to best utilize the slabs .  After the plans were finalized, I use chalk to layout the lumber with respect to the grain figure.

Slabs with chalked layout

Slabs with chalked layout

Timber slab plan for bench back

Timber slab plan for bench back

Time to execute the plan.

The very beginning

The very beginning

The beginning stages of the bench and the tables.

Boards glued up for table tops

Boards glued up for table tops

Boards cut in to shape

Boards cut in to shape

All clamped up

All clamped up

And viola, two end tables built from a tree in the yard,

and a bench with contour shaped back.

Walnut bench with contour shaping on the back

Walnut bench with contour shaping on the back

Now on to the desk and head-board.  From tree to timbers to fine furniture.

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The Groundhog Was So Wrong

Spring officially arrived this week, just as Minnesotans were bundling up in their winter coats to brave the near-zero temperatures once again.  This has been the coldest start to spring since 1965.

It was 1971 since the last time that Minnesota had this much snow on the ground so late in the winter.

White Spruce covered with snow

White Spruce covered with snow

I can barely remember what lies just beneath this same snow ~

Echinacea 'Now Cheesier'

Echinacea ‘Now Cheesier’

Perennials; our reward for patience.

Echinacea 'Tomato Soup'

Echinacea ‘Tomato Soup’

“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.” ~ George Savile

Gaillardia 'Blanket Flower'

Gaillardia ‘Blanket Flower’

Welcome spring 2013!  You are so worth the wait!

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Planning A Labyrinth Vegetable Garden

Labyrinths

Labyrinths have been used by cultures throughout history, but modern labyrinths are built to help people relieve stress by creating a space to meditate. A labyrinth is not a maze even though the two terms are often used interchangeably.  A maze has multiple paths, entrances, exits, and dead ends. In contrast, a labyrinth has one entrance and exit, and a single path that leads to the center.

Labyrinth at Wychwood

Labyrinth at Wychwood (Photo credit: brewbooks)

The goal of the labyrinth is that you lose yourself in the moment and enjoy the journey of the path, relieving stress and enjoying the space.

We have chosen a circular labyrinth shape. A round garden can be a visually pleasing alternative to the traditional rectangular garden. A circular garden can be pleasing to the eye, and also functional and easy to maintain. A circular garden plot doesn’t necessarily use less land, but it can make it easier to reach the  vegetables to tend to them.  Create walkways that are two feet wide to give you room to move and work, and dig vegetable beds no wider than four feet to assure that you will be able to tend the garden as necessary.

Triple spiral labyrinth

Triple spiral labyrinth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Planning

There are endless possibilities for designing your garden.  We chose a spiral design.  The spiral garden creates a labyrinth where vegetable beds encircle the garden paths so as you walk, there are vegetables on either side of you. Planting knee-high vegetables within the spiral allow you to see the spiral shape from a standing position which adds to the beauty of the garden.

Our garden is 25′ X 20′ plot.  We use the herbs and vegetables for our Bed and Breakfast/Guest House meals as well as for our personal cooking.  Since we run a Guest House, we want our garden to be a place that is inviting to our guests, and  a comfortable place for them to enter and pleasing to look at from a distance.

Labyrinth Vegetable Garden Plan

Labyrinth Vegetable Garden Plan

Plants

We have chosen six different plants, based upon what we typically use for cooking.  We cook with tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce and basil.  We will also plant one vine type plant, a pole bean plant, to be placed in the middle of the circle as a focal point.  The vine will be supported by a trellis or obelisk.

We’re excited and can’t wait to start planting!  We just need to melt this 23″ of snow first…

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Bed and Breakfast on the Farm

A double garage with a space above was a likely spot for a Guest House.

Dutch Lake Guest House Bed and Breakfast

The front (lake side) of the guest house.

The guest house is licensed as a Bed and Breakfast.

Front picture windows at the guest house.

Front picture windows at the guest house with shade sail sun protection.

Guests park behind the garage and stroll a wood plank path, past espaliered apple trees and a perennial garden, to the entrance stairs.

Wood plank walkway entrance.

Wood plank walkway entrance.

The guest house offers a private entrance,

The private entrance.

The private entrance.

living room,

Living room

Living room

dinette,

Dinette

Dinette

kitchenette,

Kitchenette

Kitchenette with a stocked refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.

and then on the way to a queen size bedroom.

Bedroom entrance

Bedroom entrance

Queen size bedroom

Queen size bedroom

and a full bathroom.

Full bathroom

Full bathroom

The guest house views overlook the lake.

View from the guest house

View from the guest house

And breakfast is served in the screen porch overlooking the lake.

Breakfast served on the screened porch

Breakfast served on the screened porch

We’d love to host your stay at the Dutch Lake Guest House Bed and Breakfast!

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Planting Christmas Trees on the Farm

One of our favorite times of the year at the Dutch Lake Farm is Christmas season.  Every year on Thanksgiving weekend we open the farm to families in search of a Christmas tree, to cut their own tree.  We  offer free hay wagon rides out to the tree fields to select and cut their fresh tree, then enjoy a free cup of cocoa with all the fixings at the cocoa bar!

For every tree that is harvested we replant five.  This year we’re planting 500 Balsam Fir.

The small seedlings were first planted in to 2 gallon pots  two years ago.  We keep the young trees in pots for two years so they are easier to weed and water.

Seedlings are started in 2 gallon pots.

Seedlings are started in 2 gallon pots.

The most import step in planting is to layout the planting grid.  We carefully measure the field, marking each spot where a tree will be planted.   We use a 100′ rope, marked every 10′ indicating the spacing.

Rope used to layout tree spacing.

Rope used to layout tree spacing.

We use spray paint at every 10′ marking so the post hole digger will be easily placed in the correct location.  I’m sure there is some way more sophisticated, techy way the larger tree farms do this, probably using GPS or some such technology, but ‘the rope’ has served us well over the last ten years.

Spray paint indicating the 10' spacing.

Spray paint indicating the 10′ spacing.

Once the field is marked we use a John Deere 3010 tractor with a 3 point hitch, power takeoff post hole digger with a 12″ auger to drill the holes as indicated on the grid.  Be careful!

There’s only one thing that feels better than planting a tree; and that’s planting five hundred!

Newly planted two year old Balsam Fir

Newly planted two-year old Balsam Fir

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