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Minnesota Farm Visit
Minnesota Farm Visit
Farm wagon before painting.

Minnesota Farm Visit

by Palmer & Ginger Berglund of Grand Marais, MN

Dear SFJ,

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.

Minnesota Farm Visit
Ginger Berglund driving Muffy and Amy on a buckboard. Manufacturers name plate says Deere and Weber Mfg Mpls., Minnesota. The hat I am wearing is made by Palmer out of oat straw – the braid is 75″ long.

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.

Minnesota Farm Visit
Our east field over-looking Lake Superior. Notice the ice in patches.

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).

Minnesota Farm Visit
Palmer made all three sleds – all having cross chains and independent knees on the runners. We were grooming our bobsled trail with the help of our little granddaughter Jade and our 3 Australian Shepard dogs, Sarah, Abe and Honey. Can’t tell by the picture but we had about 5′ of snow on the ground at the time.

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.

Minnesota Farm Visit
Palmer made this chute (stock), summer of 1997.
Minnesota Farm Visit
McCormick-Deering #100 Spreader – Palmer added dollies on the front for the horses.
Minnesota Farm Visit
John Deere plow. Palmer put a new plow bottom complete w/moldboard land slide and throw-away shares, from the Pioneer that he saw in the SFJ – it works wonderful. We have very hard rocky soil. Most of the time he doesn’t dare ride on the plow – walks behind.
Minnesota Farm Visit
McCormick-Deering Cultivator.
Minnesota Farm Visit
Seeding oats and grass seed w/JD Van Brunt. (Many loads of rock were picked off first.)
Minnesota Farm Visit
Palmer Berglund’s potato planter. The person riding has to keep a potato in every cleat of the conveyor.
Minnesota Farm Visit
1950 JD Rubber tire 8′ grain binder. Made in Welland, Ont, Canada. The original owner only used it for a couple of years. It’s been in a shed ever since. We purchased it in Thunder Bay, Ont, Canada. About 85 miles from our home. We also have 2, E4 power-take-off grain binders. Am not using tongue truck wheels as it pulls easier with out them w/ 2 horses. Learned that trick from my dad.
Minnesota Farm Visit
9 McCormick-Deering. In 1951 the local dealer told Palmer’s Dad, Alfred Berglund, that the two #9’s that he had in stock were the last that the dealer could get. Palmer wound up w/both. Original color at that time – all red.
Minnesota Farm Visit
Palmer raking hay w/Muffy & Amy.
Minnesota Farm Visit
John Deere Big 4.
Minnesota Farm Visit
One horse New Ideal Deering – 3-1/2′ cut. Works beautifully. We’re fortunate enough to have two of these machines. Wheat in our garden that we use for our own flour and cereal. The one-horse-mower was the only piece of machinery small enough to maneuver in such a spot.
Minnesota Farm Visit

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.

Minnesota Farm Visit
Miniature bobsled Palmer made just like the big ones.

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