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Jul 12 2012

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A Dairy Off The Beaten Path

We’re really enjoying our time here in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I have a ton to share with you, but not too much time to type! So be ready for a slew of camping posts next week!

On Tuesday we took a day trip that was not on our original itinerary.

When we visit Grand Marais, we always make it a point to worship at Life in Christ Lutheran Church. We always are greeted with a warm welcome, liturgical worship and sound doctrine. Amazingly, these people remembered us from our last visit five years ago! What a great model for all churches in a tourist area to follow. Be true to your roots, and welcome those who visit (And the homemade cinnamon buns were a nice touch.)

After church we happened to be speaking to the very friendly Heidi Berglund. Dakotapastor asked her what she did for a living and she mentioned that she and her husband were dairy farmers. My interest was piqued. This city girl, as you know, has had a curiosity of how her food is produced. Also, driving around the North Shore of Minnesota, you just don’t picture it as a farming community. Heidi invited us out to see the farm, and told us that they also have a self serve (pay on the honor system) milk house that is open to the public.

On Tuesday morning we took a beautiful drive up the Gunflint Trail and found this family farm that has been in business since the 1940s. (If you are in the area, head up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais, turn right on Hwy 60 and take another right on Hwy 56 and drive all the way to the end. There are handy little signs marked “dairy” that will lead the way!) David and Heidi Berglund are the proud farmers who work long days to produce high quality, natural food.

When we arrived, we parked by the milk house and found Heidi washing eggs. Their chickens produce 9-11 dozen eggs a day, depending on the chickens. A quick glance around the farm tells you that these chickens are just about as free range as you get. We found one or two all over the place, but the majority were in their enclosure, feasting on tomatoes.

We walked around the farm, our nephew is even more of a city slicker than us, so it was great to share with him the truths about where our food comes from (hint: not the shelves at the grocery store). We found some pigs as well, and even some young calves. Emily took great pleasure in finding as many steamy piles of manure to step in as she could!

When we got back to the milk house Heidi was separating the cream from a batch of milk. She even took the time to show us how the machine worked. She also happily answered all of my questions. All of the food produced at Lake View Natural Dairy is free of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic hormones and other dangerous chemicals. They have about 80 head of dairy cattle, and at any given time 20 are giving milk. They produce about 90 gallons of milk a day and provide raw milk for not only Cook County, but for visitors from all over!  Find out more about the benefits of raw (real) milk here. I loved seeing that they still milk the “old fashioned way” with surge buckets.

The dairy offers visitors raw whole milk, skim milk, sweet cream buttermilk, cream, yogurt, butter, eggs, beef and pork, and delicious cookies. They also sell “manure tea” for a great natural fertilizer for your garden.

We left after cleaning out the supply of chocolate milk , cookies, a gallon of whole milk, some cream, eggs, and some ground beef (we ate it in our spaghetti back at camp that night).

We had a blast, made some memories, and I love that we not only supported a local farmer, but ate some great, local, natural food as well.

If you are in the area, make sure you check out Lake View Natural Dairy. You can find them on Facebook too!

About the author

Dakotapam

I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including toddler twin girls. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!

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5 comments

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  1. Essie

    I AM SO JEALOUS! Why didn’t we know about this LAST week? So glad you had fun. Now we know what to do next time we go there!
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  2. Annie Carlson

    I LOVE that MN can sell raw milk products legally!! So glad you got to visit.

    1. Dakotapam

      I love that too! And was pleasantly surprised! The other bonus. . .raw milk stays “good” much longer in a camping cooler! Plus, it was the same price per gallon that I’m used to paying for store milk in ND.
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  3. Jenny

    I love visiting dairy farms, really any kind of farm. When I was in the Netherlands, we took a day trip to a dairy farm out in the country. We toured the farm, met the animals, and learned about the business. We also had a farm fresh lunch of eggs, cheese, veggies, bread, and milk. It was excellent. Everything was made either on the farm we were at or a surrounding farm. Off the beaten path travelling is always so much fun. Plus, it can be a much needed reward for your belly. Glad you are enjoying your vacation.

    1. Dakotapam

      Jenny, it was so much fun! I’ve become very aware of where our food comes from, and love fresh, local options!
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