|A successful days hunt. From left to right Rich, Lee Rick and myself|
with dogs Angel and Coco
|Here we are discussing how winter wheat makes great nesting cover for pheasants. |
Or maybe we are discussing the next place we are going to hunt.
|Making Yogurt from skim milk|
|Prickly Ash abatement crew chief.|
|The goats push and walk up the prickly ash to bend it over so they can eat the bark.|
|Prickly Ash after the goats have eaten the bark|
|The grey pipe serves as the gate|
|Silage is made in a bag instead of a silo|
|Typical water tank with float valve at Mid-Minn Dairy|
The electric netting for chickens is placed in an arch to prevent
the chickens from crowding into a corner and suffocating themselves.
|Owners Ron and Nan. Ron is explaining the wine and vinegar making process.|
|some of the multitude of different vinegar's that they produce.|
|Vinegar is being made in the blue containers.|
|Nan's herb garden|
After leaving Leatherwood we headed to Snowy Pines Farm owned by Greg Nolan and Marcia Rapatz
This place is solar powered. The house is totally off-grid with a 1-kW solar panel and battery bank and the milling operation is 2-kW of grid tied solar. The YouTube video referenced below gives a good explanation of their efforts in managing their forest. It also shows some of the cool building they have constructed on their property. greg mentioned that last year their net energy bill was something like $3.00
In addition to the Video MN Energy Stories has a nice article about solar power at Snowy Pines which can be found at the following link:
Greg and Marcia have been walking the walk, living on this property, pretty much off-grid, making a living and raising a family for 33-yrs. Rather than just wholesaling out the lumber, they add value to it by milling it into boards and flooring. Greg adds additional values by installing the flooring and well as other carpentry work. In addition to the forestry work with Greg, Marcia, grows a large market garden of vegetables and fruits and berries. She primarily sells to local farmers markets and has some customers that pick up at the farm. She has created an additional nitch market product by grinding her own flour to bake bread which she also sells at the farmers market. Needless to say with 33-yrs of experience they provided the class with a lot of useful insights on what works, what doesn't and what they see as potential un-tapped markets.
|Garden and new high tunnel on left. The building on the right|
is the building they use to start their plants from seeds in the spring.
|Garden with blueberry bushes back right.|
|Inside the solar powered drying kilm.|
|Two solar arrays that power the milling business|
|The bakery building. The black tank on the ground and two on the roof are|
the solar hot water heating system they invented.