Hello! We are John and Caroline; and we are realizing our dream of creating an organic permaculture orchard + berry farm in Northern Minnesota. Our dream of having a ‘place in the country’ started over 20 years ago and has changed much over the years as we learned about ourselves and about farming. Earlier, we dreamed of running a cattle ranch in Montana. Viewing God’s majesty in those mountains on a daily basis was quite a draw! However, as we journeyed, we found a lush place in Northern Minnesota, reminding us of God’s infinite beauty and creativity, and put down our roots.
Two years ago, The Boreal Farm was born. Boreal (bôr′ē-əl) relates to northern climates characterized by a north wind, short humid summers with long snowy winters, and forests dominated by coniferous trees. And on special, clear nights, we can view the Aurora Borealis.
We are on 10 acres of a 100+ year-old farmstead and the third family to farm here. It had been 30+ years since it was last farmed and the acreage had grown quite wild. We feel like pioneers as we hack through the lush growth to clear the land. Another thing the 30 years of neglect did was to completely destroy all three out-buildings. We cleaned up the ruins, along with approximately 30,000 lbs of trash and car parts. Yes, that number is correct! Removed, not buried, in order to maintain the beautiful topsoil and truly clean the land. This land and permaculture farm is a legacy and, the Lord willing, productive well beyond our stewardship.
We want to share our journey of moving from being city dwellers to successful organic farmers. We will share how we choose crops, clear the land, manage un-needed plants (aka weeds), apply organic methods, and other topics as they arise.
What makes our blog different is sharing how we balance our full-time careers and be farmers. We look forward to your joining us on this incredible journey.
John and Caroline