I grew up on a small dairy farm in rural Minnesota, where my dad kept chickens and bees and my mom grew vegetables and canned food in the summers, beans and pickles and strawberry jam. I moved to St. Paul for college and married a south Minneapolis boy, but always thought we might move back to the country some day. In the meantime, we settled in to our St. Paul neighborhood, had three children and fell in love with our ramshackle Victorian house. We planted a garden, raised some chickens, tapped our maple tree, and looked around to find there was a growing movement of urban homesteaders in cities across the country.
I have an undergraduate degree in history from Hamline University, and a Masters of Agriculture in Horticulture degree at the University of Minnesota, with a focus on garden center management and organic and sustainable growing methods. I am also a Minnesota Landscape and Nursery Association Certified Professional.
In 2007 I founded the Mighty Midway 4-H Club, whose first big project was to raise chicks for the Student Organic Farm at the University of Minnesota, and we still have one of those first chickens in our flock. Goldilocks (pictured) has survived three raccoon attacks and once laid an egg in front of an entire Backyard Chickens class.
I grew up on a family farm near Lake Mills, Wisconsin, where I learned to put up fences, chop wood, and butcher deer as well as garden and can with my mom and grandma. I've worked on an organic farm near Washington D.C. growing veggies for a large Farmers Market and CSA. Most recently I spent several years with A Backyard Farm, installing and maintaining urban vegetable gardens all over the Twin Cities.
I have a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin Stout, and have worked as a free-lance photographer for years. I love taking photos of the cute baby chicks at Egg|Plant, driving the big red work truck, and getting my hands dirty. I garden at home and in community gardens in Minneapolis, and enjoy cooking, canning, and preserving delicious food, preferably accompanied by a good local beer.
I was raised in south Minneapolis and moved to St. Paul when we decided to buy a home and raise our family. We have lived in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood since 1993, a few blocks from Hamline University, where I met Audrey and received a degree in English and German.
I am not half the gardener that Audrey is, but I am a builder and a tinkerer and enjoy the work of gardening almost as much as the fruits of the labor. In addition to helping Audrey run the store, I am a technical writer, IT-guy for the business, husband, and father to our three children. I teach our Backyard Chicken Basics class at the store and around town and have appeared at city council meetings to advocate in favor of backyard chicken-keeping.
You might also see me around town playing the bagpipes with the Macalester Pipe Band. I'm the tall one.