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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 of my concern and he laughed and said, “They’re just doing a controlled burn, that’s real common down here.” He didn’t really explain it much further but he assured me I didn’t need to worry about it.

It wasn’t until a few years later when my son got a summer job across the road that I even knew the name of this business. He worked there for 3 summers and I got a vague idea of what they did but it wasn’t until I started working at PRI did I fully start to understand why you install/burn/mow/spray a prairie. I’m still learning every day. I’m so fortunate to have patient, educated co-workers that are always willing to explain and inform. I’m also learning every day how in-demand our services are here and how the general public is getting more knowledgeable and ecologically savvy.

Final thought: We should all be proud to be in a position where we have a platform to spread knowledge to the public about importance of installing and maintaining Minnesota native prairie.

Sue Roers
Administrative Assistant
Prairie Creek Farm
Randolph, MN