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Our Story

Both my husband Al and I are retired from long, rewarding careers with the U.S. Forest Service. He was a wildlife biologist and I started my career as a forest hydrologist. We are also lifelong gardeners and landscapers. I grew up in Minnesota and Al grew up in South Dakota. Even though our careers took us across the country, we remain mid-westerners at heart.


When we retired, we sold our home and most of our stuff and hit the road in our little, 24’ RV along with our dog Teddy, the ever-enthusiastic sheepadoodle.  That first year we traveled nearly 50,000 miles in the RV – from a little Alaskan village above the Arctic Circle, across the western U.S and throughout Mexico.  We drove past Cancun, Mexico and were sitting at the border of Belize when we decided it was time to turn around and go home.  The problem of course is that we didn’t know where home was! 


We had spent the year looking and thinking about all the beautiful places we could call home.  There were so many great places, but nothing had really hit us yet.  We bought a small condo in Duluth overlooking Lake Superior to use as a home base and continued our travels; all the while keeping an eye out for “that place”.  We weren’t in a panic and we always felt that we would know it when we saw it.  In February 2019, we stopped back at the condo between travels and happened to see the ad for what was then Free Hands Farm. It looked interesting but to be truthful, it was a combination of whim and a little free time that took us over to look at it.  As soon as we saw it, we just knew.  We made the decision to try to make it ours even before we got back to Duluth. We had looked all over the country for just that right spot and I think we are as surprised as anybody that it would end up being just one hour from home. But, here was a place where we could live out our passion for working in the dirt while continuing to forward our land and stewardship ethic.  Just like that Shaggy Dog Farm was born.


We look forward to sharing the bounty and beauty of this magical place with you.  Shaggy Dog Farm is a place where memories – both ours and yours – are made.

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