Wayzata is close to opening! Permitting, design, product creation and build build build. We are excited to share this evening with the existing and new ModernRoots customers. We will be serving our delicious Chai Chaga tea and will have free product giveaways, a gift basket valued at $200 to draw for, makeup consultations and more! Make your calendars for September 8th from 5-9pm and bring a friend :)
I am so excited to announce the COMING SOON of ModernRoots Wayzata! Located at 1131B Wayzata Blvd. Wayzata, MN (off of 101 and Wayzata Blvd). We have been working on this gem for six months now with an estimated opening date of early to mid August. Much of the time was spent in negotiations followed by design, permitting, and buildout. It is finally coming together and can't wait for those in and close to the cities to have a ModernRoots Natural Soaps & Body Care so close to home!!
Stay tuned here and on Facebook as we unfold the buildout and development of this super cute space.
As everything in my life, it is a work in progress. I have been designing and working on my garden to be darn near maintenance free for several years. When I was a teenager, my mother concreted her garden pathways with raised beds in order to keep the weed control down. As I have been developing my own garden, I realize how brilliant this is. So much work to pour concrete, yes, but lots of work on the front end equals less work for long term, my motto I have adapted this year. I cannot tell you the times I am asked, how do you do it all. First, I don't feel like I do it all. I feel like life is a journey and my interests lead me. The farming and gardening I do is enjoyable. But then again, I do enjoy a bit of physical labor. But in the meantime I am trying to set my farm and gardening up for ease of daily work. The garden for example, concrete pavering in between aisles allows my feet and shoes not to get so muddy and messy. It also eliminates weeds between beds. Yep, eliminates. All the extra farm and gardening "work" enhancements, is to help my homestead to be time efficient, while also being very enjoyable. Therefore, the Potager Garden is perfect for me. Plus it is gorgeous. Double score. Phase One of my Potager Garden consisted of putting raised beds in. The first year we lived in our home, we tilled the ground for a garden without any raised beds. My garden did very well. But I wanted a more structured way to garden. So then I had Mr. Hunky build me raised beds, Phase Two. He and my dad built me 10- 4x10 raised beds one afternoon. That year, I planted in them and loved it. I taught myself a no till way to garden and how to harbor worms to do it for me! One small scoop in my beds now is full of worms. Best soil ever. However, my muddy feet and weeds were out of control. Yes, especially my feet. I wanted...needed a way to control this without spending hours each week weeding. Some people like to lay straw in the aisles, some grass, plastic etc. But I wanted another pretty and more permanent asset to my garden. I started researching Potager gardens and the only ones I could find were really designed and developed in France. So I took to reading about why and how Potager gardens worked. Ideally, they are directly off the house easily accessible to the house kitchen. When I first started my garden, so many people would tell me to put it in the back yard. I would always question why? And the response was always because it is an eye sore in the front. On the contrary! I need it to be close to me, plus gardens are beautiful! Or at least a well kept garden is beautiful :) I am so glad I went with this philosophy. We made our garden about 20 feet from our house, 25ft X 45ft. Phase Three was the following year which consisted of leveling the aisles, weeding of course and laying pebble rock about 1/-4inch to 1/2 inch in size. This makes a good base for laying concrete pavers. I planted the garden that year with full expectations of laying the concrete soon after, Phase Four. Life got busy and it wasn't until fall when I had a chance to start Phase Four, lay concrete pavers. And by lay I mean, buy a form that looks like old world pavers, buy 80 lb bags of concrete hand lifted into a mixer, add some colorant and water, scoop concrete into the form and do it over and over and over and over.....again. This is strenuous hard work. Phase Four was nearly impossible to do by myself, trust me I tried. I did 8 bags by myself and was whipped. The overall amount of concrete was 185 - 80 lb bags. You will need a few people to help you accomplish this if your are going to paver a large area. I had my husband help with most of it and they other part my parents helped me. I am so thankful for the help! After pavering, I needed to fill the cracks with sand, Phase Five. I really didn't think this needed a "Phase" number but after sweeping 30 bags of heavy sand into cracks, I decided it most certainly needed a phase number! It took me 12 hours constant (with a lunch break and store run to get more bags) to finish it. I learned from my mother that not just any old sand will not do, I needed to get the no weed sand that sets up gently with water so the weeds don't grow through. When my mom made her garden, There wasn't a sand that set up like we have today so she continually gets weeds through the cracks of her pavers. I will chose to learn from her in this case. After sweeping all the sand into the cracks and off the pavers, I sprayed all of it with water two separate times, morning and evening to 'set' the sand. Done! Now I can enjoy weed free aisles and the beauty of old-world charm. Now that Phase 5 is completed I will be expanding the garden to twice it's current size and starting over with the Phases to complete the expansion. I currently have the garden fenced 7 feet for deer and another 3 feet up with chicken wire for pesky rabbits, but when the expansion is completed, we will be wrought iron or black steel fencing the garden to make a wonderfully beautiful complete Potager! This way I can grow super cool apple trees espaliered around the new fencing. I think the expansion will start this fall or next year because I currently cuss at every paver I now see ;) Check out the pics below!
When we bought our place, it had nothing set up to farm. No chicken house, no barns, just woods and lots of grass. We have built everything thus far ourselves. I have taught myself everything I know from old world farming books, experts in organic (and beyond) agriculture and by lots of mistakes. But I can confidently say, this is the life for me. I do with very little to enhance my natural farming. I let the heritage breeds I have live with nature and allowing them to make their own wallows in the summers and straw beds in the winter. Heritage animals are very intelligent. You just have to give them the room and insulation in order to be so. In the summer, I grow an extra garden plot for my animals so they too have healthy greens. I naturally raise most of my animals in the open and in huts, shielded from the elements. They have all thrived even in the harshest of winters. While I love being in the open and won't change much about that, it would be so beneficial for my artificial insemination and other future farming exploration, to have an indoor place that I can bring the animals for A.I.ing, if they are hurt and need repair, or better shelter for my goats. I also have been dreaming of a place to store my farming and essential oil extracting equipment. I am sensing, and by sensing, I mean been told several times, my stuff is 'outstaying' it's welcome in Mr. Hunky's shop. Therefore, this year, after adding the 5 prime tillable acres this past fall, we are building a barn. Let me say that again... WE ARE BUILDING A BARN! One that has a milking room, farrowing stalls for in the winter, and to have a cozy place for my goats and other farm chaos. I can confidently say we are building a barn for my animals. I have a major problem with thinking about things for LOOONG periods of time before making decisions. Processing really. It's all about processing and the time it takes me to do so. But I am now comfortable saying, we are in the process of building a barn! I am writing and designing plans that I can pasture rotate groups of similar animals bi-weekly on the acreage around the barn. I want to show how to develop land to it's fullest like it was done hundreds of years ago. I can't tell you how amazing it is for me to see my expanding farm dreams grow and I encourage anyone contemplating starting their own purposeful natural farm over and over again. It is hard, wonderful work. In order to build the barn, it needs a driveway to access it. I needed to get a permit to put in a separate driveway since the acreage would be very difficult to access from our current driveway. Well, Try to explain that to the county. This was NO easy feat. In fact, this entire process has been tiresome and at times I see myself throwing my hands up. But no, I find the energy to push on. The saying "where there's a will there's a way," is so true for me. In a nutshell in 1980 my county passed a 'general' rule that all accesses were 1 per 80 acres unless the acreage bought was in someone else's name. All the accesses thus far that were put in previous to this were grandfathered in. But apparently because the acreage we bought is in my husband and I's name, the same as our house, that doesn't count. BUT if I put it in Joe Schmoe's name, I could have a driveway. I promptly told them this was ridiculous. Then they expressed to me that on Google Earth (oh Google, google knows all) it showed that I could technically access the acreage by driving through our shop and around the back side of our house down the field onto the new part. Ahem, yea, really accessible. Again, I pointed out how ridiculous this was. Then they wanted me to ask my neighbor (the guy I bothered for 3 years to sell me 5 acres, awkward) if I could have HIS access. meaning taking his access out (yea he farms) and move it to my land. His access is about 2000 feet down the road. On what planet does this make sense?! Regardless, because I just KNEW anyone in their right mind isn't going to get rid of one of their grandfathered accesses, I asked him anyway. He laughed. I laughed. And I asked him to let the county know what he thought of that. He did. So, after going round and round with them about having an access for that property, they finally granted it to me. And I am so thankful. As a side note, I do understand, for road safety, you can not have roadways and accesses where ever you want. The driveway is important for it's own access to the barn. It needs to be easily accessible so a semi can deliver feed and have enough area to turn around. I need feed delivery to supplement my animals with NON GMO feeds and hay in the winter and delivery is so much better than unloading literally a ton at a time of 50 lb feed bags. I do have some nice pipes though ;) After the driveway gets put in the barn can get started. who knew there was so much to building a driveway! Culverts, clay, gravel, compacting, road restrictions. Uff duh. But soon it should be done and the beginning phase of my barn building can begin. This picture is the driveway getting started.... not much to see but now that you know the details of how difficult it was to proceed, it is a beautiful site. More to come on the barn building!
Excited to announce that ModernRoots Stillwater is looking for part time employment! Ideal candidate will: have retail/sales experience, like natural body care (who doesn't?), show up for work on time, and enjoy a fun work environment! Employment also comes with a FANTASTIC view of the St. Croix River and bridge :) Interested? Let's talk, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-723-9266 Meg
** I have hired all part time people currently needed. I would like to thank all that applied, I am in awe of how many people want to work here! :)
Just got done artificial inseminating three of my four mother worthy pigs: one sow and two guilts. Every time I complete A.I'ing I just hope that it all goes as planned and they have spring piglets. Last year I had many piglets so I know I get it to work but things can go wrong and it's all up to science and the capability of reading the guilts/sows correctly. It's easy to be wrong: not the exact ovulation period, off by a couple hours, etc. And at -15 degrees without windchill, it's easy to make an error. I A.I. in December/January and I do it outside. The pigs are calmer and in their own environment which makes it easier for me to work on them, observe them and feed them. So why AI? Mostly because I have three little kids and boars can be aggressive. I don't let my children play with the pigs anyhow but boars can be too aggressive to work with at times, one day they are great the next, bunch of jerks. Also, I AI because I can chose from thousands of proven boars, bloodlines and qualities I want to select from. It's a SCHMORGASBOARD of fun! Observation is the most important part of artificial insemination. Making sure they are in heat is obviously the most critical part of success. When they are in heat, getting semen from the exact boar you want can also be a trick. If it falls on the weekend, which it seems to do every time for me, Saturday delivery is not cheap. I've had a talk with my girls, "Monday's ladies, Monday's are when you can go into heat." It makes it much easier for shipping. From the time I get the semen, I have 7 days to catch them in their heat cycle (every 18-21 days). Ideally I like to catch them just coming into heat so I have the most viable semen at day 2-3. Knowing when they are in heat- swollen behind, VERY affectionate (as in scary affectionate), holds still when leaned on, is how I decipher who is ready or not. The only way I know this is bys spending time with them. Knowing their personalities and how their heat cycle changes them. The only information I could find on this (accurately telling if a sow is in heat (without a boar) was thesis papers for masters programs on artificial insemination. I read and read to teach myself and since teaching myself, it has paid off with spring piglets. It is so exciting and rewarding to accomplish each year. So far this year I have AI'd with: Babe Registered Tamworth Guilt: Tamworth Berkshire Cross Olivia Registered Berkshire Guilt: Berkshire Purebred (maybe Berkshire Tamworth) - depends on which one she took to - this one is an experiment with days the semen is good for. Should be exciting to see if she takes and to which breed. Big MaMa Purebred Manglistsa Sow: Mangalitsa Purebred I want to AI one more: my Tamworth sow with a Blonde Mangalitsa boar. This has been a struggle to find semen for. I may have to import but that really decreases my times for viable semen. I will keep searching... But wouldn't it be super cute to see wooly poofy little piggies?! The long body of the Tamworth and the healthy omegas from the Mangalitsa breed, would make them a great specialty breed. I'll keep you posted when I externally test for amniotic fluid to see who is pregnant and/or not- aren't you excited?!
Mark your calendars! Get Fermented Classes (Buffalo MN location) $15 PER PERSON plus cost of culture Jan 26th Kombucha- culture $7 Feb 2nd Water Kefir- culture $9 Feb 9th Sauerkraut and other fermented veggies Classes are Tuesdays and start at 630pm and end at 8pm. *ModernRoots store open to attendees. Come to store to sign up for classes 205 5th St NE Buffalo, MN Suite #4- or call store during store hours.
The Stillwater, MN ModernRoots is now open! A huge thank you to all that helped, contracted, and worked endless hours on this. it's absolutely perfect. I hope you think so too! Stop by soon~ 126 North Main St Stillwater, MN Meg
After much renovating, ModernRoots Stillwater is going to be ready for her grand opening Wednesday, DECEMBER 9th from 4-9 pm! Purchases made that evening will qualify to enter a large basket giveaway! Ribbon cutting will take place at 4 pm. Hope you, your family and friends can make it! 126 North Main Street, Stillwater MN
Stillwater. The first city settled in Minnesota on March 4, 1854. Historic, beautiful and located on the St.Croix river. The river separates Wisconsin and Minnesota- Hudson and Stillwater. The city is also located near the twin cities/St.Paul side but has a much more local, hometown, small community feel. Hence, why it is perfect for ModernRoots. I am NOT moving the Buffalo store. The Buffalo store is my Flagship. Where the product is made and grown. The building is in need of an updo, re-do, do-over or whatever you want to call it. For the past 3 months I have been negotiating and meeting with the real estate people/owner and contractors to see what the damage is to make this building pretty (ahem, compliant) once again. The Stillwater store location is centered right on main street in the middle of all the fantastic stores, restaurants and water front. Since I have so many customers that mail order from that area, it will be a great way for them to be able to go to a physical store to sniff...that is until I invent scratch and sniff internet. The area is so quaint, old yet modern. Just like ModernRoots. There will be lots of new products that really encompass the essence of Stillwater including the St. Croix River. I am so excited to be apart of the Stillwater history! Here are some pictures of the store/location. Here she is 126 North Main Street, Stillwater MN.