Minnesota Farm Visit
Minnesota Farm Visit
by Palmer & Ginger Berglund of Grand Marais, MN
Sorry we haven’t written before to tell you how much we appreciate the SFJ. We look forward to each new issue. We have learned so much. Especially about horse equipment, plow adjustments, eveners, manuals, equipment ads like Miller Tire, Pioneer Equipment, etc. For instance, if you will notice in the picture of the JD sulky plow, it has been converted to an Oliver Pioneer plow bottom – your readers might be interested in the fact that it can be done. We don’t have a blacksmith to sharpen the conventional plow share that doesn’t last very long in our rocky soil. Now with the new throwaway share I’ve plowed about twelve acres, in rock, and it works just as good now as it did new – for about $8.00 I can get a new one. This plow works just excellent.
Enclosed are some pictures we thought you might be interested in.
We most enjoy working with horses, but have 200 acres and run from 45 to 100 beef cows, so we must use a lot of modern equipment also. We personally admire the way the Amish farm. We also are sorry to see the small getting smaller and the big getting bigger. The country will be paying for this some day. Thanks to the big agriculture department. If something doesn’t change we’re going to end up with one big government-controlled farm. When we were young there were small farms all over our county, which is the largest county in our state. After government regulations in the 1950’s we have dwindled to three working farms in the whole county. We have gone from logging, fishing and farming to tourism.
The BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) takes up most of our land in this county – we are living in what is called the red zone (biodiversity). If the politically correct environmentalists have their way, our farm will be no more, becoming a part of the wilderness experience (BWCA).
We just have to let off steam about how we feel about articles in big ag magazines about no-till, computer, and artificial fertilizer chemical farming. Of course if you follow the money I think we will understand why these big companies are pushing it so.
Thank you again for your magazine and all you folks are doing – keep up the good work. If any of you are ever in the vicinity, stop in – we have extra room and we would love to meet you.
Christmas card picture is of a farm set Palmer made in early Winter 1997. Windmills designed after the aerometer w/ tension type blades, 3 to 1 gear ratio. Has 1/2″ eccentric that lifts the pump rod up & down. Total height about 1-1/2′. Selfgoverning w/tail shutting off & on. There is a water pump w/ cylinder & 2 check valves – actually pumps water.
Barn has hay trolley w/all self-locking devices copied after the Lauden hay trolley. Pulley goes up & locks into trolley & unlocks the trolley so it can go in. Gaffle forks that trip. Barn cleaner w/rachet lever that moves the chain. Barn has 2 sliding doors on one side – big door on the back w/spring counter balance like a garage door – lifts up & in. Hayloft door is balanced w/counter weights. Eight cow stalls in lean-to. Horse team stall w/feed & tack room. A little brass weathervane on the ventilator. Two bobsleds – one about 9″ long w/horses pulling. One 3″ child’s play sled. Both made like the real ones. The wheelbarrows wheel spokes are made w/common pins. Palmer watched a real barrel-maker make a real barrel, so he made a mini the same way – staves bent together w/turn-twist (very difficult & will hold water), the barrel is on the house porch.
The house is a replica of the house I grew up in. One room downstairs w/fireplace & stairs going to the one room upstairs for the beds. Palmer made a dining room pedestal table that splits for one leaf. He put in sliding glass doors which were not original. This house was one of the first homes built in our community (Maple Hill) in the 1800’s. Was built at the bottom of the field in this picture, to the far right. Was disassembled, moved & reassembled 3 times before it finally fell down about 1 mile from the original site in the 1970’s. Lake Superior is in the background.