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Buckthorn Overspray Season

While most people keep track of the year in seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter) I tend to break the year down into seasons based on the work we are doing at Prairie Restorations. Burn season, integrated plant management season (IPM), buckthorn overspray season, and buckthorn cutting season. We are fast approaching buckthorn overspray season, or as most people call it, fall. Some of our offices may already have started spraying buckthorn or will be starting soon. I’ve been managing the woods at the Target Corporate Campus since I started...

Prairie Restoration for Dummies

I’ve learned a lot over the last 3 years working here, with still so much more to learn, but hopefully I’m not a “prairie dummy” anymore. 2008, our first spring living on our little hobby farm, better known at that time as ‘little dump on the prairie’, I looked south out the window one afternoon and saw black smoke billowing from Carleton hill (near Northfield, MN). I immediately thought there was a wild fire and I should probably call 911. Luckily, my neighbor, a wise old farmer from down the road, stopped in and I told him...

Prescribed Burning – Great for Health and Vigor of Prairie

Rx burn BNEvery year at this time, when the snow is gone and you see brown prairies, wetlands and woodlands, it just makes me want to go burn something. To turn that brown into black so that it turns to green more quickly. Even driving down a road, when I see a parcel of land that would benefit from a prescribed burn, I start crunching the numbers as far as: how many people and what type of...

Wrapping Up End of Year Projects

PluggingIIOur fall “push” is upon us and we are all very busy seeding and planting before the ground freezes and the snow begins to fly. It is always fun to look back on what we as a team here at PRI have accomplished so far this season: • Many pounds of seed have been harvested, processed, mixed and packed for our various customers. • Thousands of plants/shrubs were grown from seed for us to sell and use to enhance our own restoration projects. • Hundreds of...

10 Year Old Prairie Going Strong with Lupine and June Grass

Beckys lupineMy prairie is about 10 years old. I had my 3rd burn this spring and then overseeded with more wildflowers. I have always had an abundance of lupine due to very dry, gravelly soil but this year it is exceptionally beautiful and I can see a lot of other things coming too. The June Grass is very pretty too. Doing a burn made all the difference in cleaning up the built up thatch. I’ve noticed a lot of pheasants in the...

Can’t Fight Mother Nature!

Bruce Margie 9-8Winter is hanging on this year for a bit longer than usual. This week I’ve seen Great Blue Herons & Sand Hill Cranes back from migration & walking on frozen ponds, wishing there were some frogs & fish instead of cold & ice. This is the time of the season that we would like to begin our prairie burning season and dormant mowings, but we still have snow cover and another round of heavy snow coming in the next couple of days. We are however keeping busy with finishing...

Gearing Up on Prescribed Burning

fireI recently attended a wildland firefighting / controlled burning school in central South Dakota presented by the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division. I enjoy attending schools and conferences to increase my knowledge and to meet and hear from other professionals. This is the time of year when it seems like there is a meeting, conference, school or banquet somewhere every few days and I know they are usually well attended by people from Prairie Restorations. We have a diverse spread of knowledge around here and that is...

It’s not too late…….

Frosty PrairieJust because it is cold outside doesn’t mean you have to forget about that native landscape you’ve been thinking about. Now, before the snow really starts to pile up, is a great time to have one of our experienced staff members out to assess your site and prepare a restoration plan for next year. We will meet with you to discuss your vision and goals for your property. We will then create a plan that is tailored to your site’s specific soil types, moisture and sunlight levels, and also...

April Snow BuckthornToday is April 19th; the buckthorn has been cut, slashed, piled and burned or chipped. Maintenance on the equipment is nearly complete. For me, these two things mean the beginning of a new season – our prescribed burn season. Yet, as I sit down to write this, Mother Nature seems to have a different idea as to when burn season should start. We were hoping to be burning our prairies as early as the beginning of April, but as it turns out the groundhog, “Punxsutawney Phil” could...

Prairie Adaptations

It has been an interesting summer to watch the prairies grow.  The weather becomes more extreme and the prairie adapts as it has for tens of thousands of years. At Prairie Creek Farm near Northfield, and around southern Dakota and northern Goodhue counties the rainfall and heat have been off the charts.  During mid-June we received 15 inches of rain in one five day period.  That heavy rainfall buffered this area from the worst effects of heat and mid-summer drought but there have been some noticeable differences in plant appearances. In late...
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