This article is part of our "trees for bees" series where we feature trees/shrubs that are excellent pollinator forage We raise honey bees in the sand prairie of Minnesota. It's a harsh landscape and many of the traditional "bee plants" struggle, so we look to native trees and shrubs to provide a lot of our … Continue reading Gray Dogwood – A Native Shrub For Pollinators and Birds
This is the story of how we went from owning 1 cat to 7 in just three months. Sometimes, the most exciting things are surprises.... We'll start at the very beginning - 8 years ago we adopted our first cat. She is a silver/gray siberian forest cat. Big and hairy. Our children were young and … Continue reading Is there such thing as too many cats?
This article is part of our "trees for bees" series where we feature trees/shrubs that are excellent pollinator forage Smooth Sumac and Staghorn Sumac are common "roadside" plants in North America. They are pioneer plants and quickly spread by rhizomes to colonize erosion prone areas. They are unique looking shrubs, grow without maintenance, tolerate drought … Continue reading Staghorn Sumac – A blessing to bees and humans
Black walnuts are native to the United States and grow in almost every climate/soil type. They produce edible nuts that drop in the fall. The exact time is a matter of weather. Last year, they fell in October. This year, the trees started turning yellow in late August, though it was unseasonably cool toward the … Continue reading Black Walnut trees – gathering, cracking and eating!
Most acorns are edible - but some are more useful than others.... We are fortunate to have Northern Red Oak, Burr Oak, and Northern pin oak in our forests. Of these, Northern red oak is our favorite. The pin oak produces acorns that are too small to peel and our burr acorns are snatched up … Continue reading How to eat Acorns
Once upon a time, we actively tore out "invasive" plants. We participated as volunteers with our local soil water conservation district and with our parks department. We thought we were doing a good thing....and maybe we were....sometimes. But after a few years of helping to rid Minnesota of invasive plants, we started to realize that … Continue reading The Truth about Native and Invasive Plants
We grow all sorts of cold hardy grapes at Duffy Meadows, and are currently working with 8 different breeding stocks to create a table quality grape that can survive in zone 4 without winter protection. One of most hardy and productive grapes happens to be the wild riverbank grape. It's a fast grower that is … Continue reading How to eat Wild Grapes