While the old Handeen round barn has disappeared back into the earth, some of what remains is the strong conservation ethic grounded here by Richard's ancestors. In 1872, Richard's great-grandparents, Johan and Johanna (Karlsdatter) Handeen, emigrated from Sweden and settled in Sparta Township in western Chippewa County. A century later, we began stewarding this original family farmstead.
Among the goals that serve as our guide to decision making is that we will take a lesson from the great prairies that preceded European immigration to western Minnesota. Our 240 acres now support continuous living cover in the form of grazing and hay acres, 40 planted acres of 42 woody species, woods and water. We are students and teachers of holistic management, permaculture design, and sustainable community. We are slowly and continually learning what is required of us to live well in this place, while leaving it in even better condition than when we arrived.