West Side New Home | Residential Construction | Northfield, MN

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:44pm

We have started to install the roof trusses on the new home we are constructing on Northfield’s West side. We completed the floor system, exterior walls and sheathing and most of the interior walls. All the walls have been braced and the carpenters are now setting the roof trusses. This house has a hip roof—-all sides […]

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Laura Baker Services | Commercial Construction Project

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:44am

With the roof watertight on Cottage #1 we are moving on to interior framing. The interior framing for these two new buildings is light gauge steel. Steel framing is strong and perfectly straight, resulting in excellent wall surfaces. Our workers have completed most of the interior wall framing at this point. We have our trade […]

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Beautiful White Barked Birch Trees

Oasis Paper Birch in the Fall

White barked birch trees are easily among the most beautiful of landscape trees for use in Minnesota and most northern tier states.  There are a number of good varieties now available, including Renaissance Oasis Paper Birch, Renaissance Reflections Paper Birch, Dakota Pinnacle Birch, Parkland Pillar Birch and Whitespire Birch.

Many people shy away from these birch trees because they believe them to be short-lived.  This is due primarily to the attacks on white barked birch trees by the bronze birch borer insects which tunnel around under the bark and slowly kill the tree.  stressed trees are most vulnerable to attack, but happily there is a quick and easy way to protect these trees by applying a one minute, once a year dose of the systemic insecticide imidacloprid.

Imidacloprid is very easy to apply.  Simply mix a few ounces with 1 1/2-2 gallons of water, and slowly pour on the soil immediately next to the tree trunk.  You are done for a year.  Repeat this easy one minute treatment a year later.  The stunning beauty of your white barked birch will endure for years with the quick and easy bit of maintenance.

Be sure to treat white barked birch trees even if literature you see claims resistance to birch borer for a certain variety.  In our experience, only River Birch trees are truly resistant to birch borer, but unfortunately they do not develop the beautiful white bark.

We only recommend the use of imidacloprid for plant materials that are not pollinated by bees.  Avoid the use of imidacloprid on all flowering plants to reduce negative impact on pollinating insects such as honey bees and many of our native bees.

At our nursery we have several formulations available to help protect the white barked birches and other plants not pollinated by bees.  If you want a really beautiful landscape tree, you may want to try Oasis Paper Birch or Dakota Pinnacle Birch or one of the other varieties that quickly turn the bark color from green to brown to white as they grow vigorously.

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Air Root Pruning Nursery Containers

On Monday, July 14th, Knecht’s Nurseries hosted a group of nursery industry business owners, growers, consultants and suppliers to discuss methods for improving the quality of root systems of container grown trees.

Specially designed and constructed air root pruning pots have been used by growers more and more to produce proper root structure and reduce the formation of circling roots that could compromise or even kill the tree.  Knecht’s Nurseries has been actively working for over ten years on perfecting the use of air root pruning pots, and customers are seeing the results in trees that grow vigorously right from planting day and for decades to come.

We invited a select group of nursery professionals to meet with Tom Spring, the President of Nursery Source to discuss the use of air root pruning containers, and design features that growers would like to see built into the next generation of larger air root pruning pots.  Lots of ideas were shared and with some good brainstorming on the fine points of design for larger air root pruning pots to make larger high quality trees available to the public in handy, easy to plant and affordable containers.

Using the feedback received from our gathering and meetings with other nurserymen, Nursery Source will complete the design for and build the mold to produce a 15 gallon size air prune pot by the end of July or early August.  It’s great to know that by spring we will be able to use these improved #15 air root pruning pots to produce even better trees that will establish faster and grow better for our customers.

Attending the meeting were Terry Mulligan, Jerry Skluzacek  Ryan, and Dave Maloney from Bridgewater Tree Farms,  Aaron Smith from Hoffman-McNamara, Bert Swanson from Swanson Nursery Consulting and past president of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association,  Rock Kelly from Bachman’s Wholesale, and Kendall Klaus from Klaus Nurseries.

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Richard and Nancy Wright Estate Sale & Auction, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 25, 26, & 27

Kuhlman Auctions - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 1:15pm

Richard and Nancy Wright have sold their home in Northfield and will be selling many very nice items in immaculate condition. They will be selling them in the following way.  On Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26, we will be conducting an estate sale at their home on 809 Quie Lane, starting at 8:00AM.  On Sunday, July 27, we will have an auction starting at 12:00 noon to sell any of the items that did not sell at the estate sale. 

 These items include: red leather couch, upholstered chairs, artwork, Oriental vase, two large Oriental style rugs, red upholstered love seat, floor lamp, oak open front stand, pink checked upholstered chair and matching footstool, kitchen chairs, white office desk, drafting table, self-propelled lawn mower, garden tools, ladder, houseware,  dishes, décor items, antique wooden arm chair, carved chest, large decorative mirror, several wooden chests, white drop front desk, wicker chair, large armoire and many more items.  See more pictures in our photo gallery

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Audrey Ceran Estate Sale, Hastings, MN – Friday and Saturday, July 18 & 19

Kuhlman Auctions - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:00am

Audrey Ceran is moving and will be selling the following items at a sale at her home at 1478 Pringle Court in Hastings, MN on Friday and Saturday, July 18 & 19 , starting at 9:00AM both days.  Audrey has many lovely items, both new and antique.  Everything is in excellent condition.  Items include: dining room table & chairs, kitchen hutch, floral couch, loveseat, daybed, wicker porch seat w/matching glass top coffe tables, dishes, decor, pictures, miniature guitars, vases, lamps, occasional tables, coffee table, upholstered chairs, numerous antiques including two nice large trunks, buggy seat bench, ice skates, cheese box, child’s school desk, and much more.  See pictures in our auction gallery


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New Contented Cow Website Now Live! July 2014

Contented Cow - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 3:16pm

Check our new website at!

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Cherry Trees and More

Fruit trees and the installation of home orchards have become extremely popular these last few years.  Larger home lots in town can easily support several fruit trees and even smaller lots can have apple trees with the introduction of the Triple Play apple tree. and two new columnar apple tree varieties.   Larger lots and country acreages can easily have more fruit trees and with a variety of trees.

This week, we harvested enough cherries off of one of the young cherry trees to make our first homemade cherry pie!  What a treat!  Most cherry tree varieties are self-fertile so you only need to have one tree!  We carry a selection of cherry trees including Evans Bali Cherry, Meteor, Mesabi and North Star.

On our Plant Page we have our listing of all the fruit trees, small fruits and two different information sheets showing bloom time, ripening and what each variety offers as far as flavor, uses such as fresh eating, pies, jams, etc.  These are quite helpful in guiding you through the variety that provides you with what you want for your particular needs.

Here is the recipe I found for our first Cherry Pie!

Cherry Pie

4 cups fresh tart cherries (pitted) – 1 to 1 ½ c.  granulated sugar – 4  T. cornstarch - 1/8 T. almond extract

Your favorite pie crust (2 crust pie)

1 ½ T. butter - 1 T. sugar- to sprinkle

Place cherries in a saucepan and place over heat.  Cover.  After the cherries have lost considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat.  In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch.  Pour this mixture over the hot cherries and mix well.  Add the almond extract, if desired, and stir.  Return the pan to the stove over low heat and cook until thickened, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and let cool.  f mixture is too thick, add a little water.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare your favorite pie crust, and using a 8 – 9 inch pie pan,  pour cherry mixture over the bottom crust, dot with butter and place the second crust over the top, fluting the sides of the crust.  Cut 2-3 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape, and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes and remove to a rack to cool.


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Successful Summer Planting

Contrary to what many people think, planting in mid-summer is an excellent time to get new landscape plants to establish themselves very quickly and very happily. All they need is just enough water and never too much, good planting technique, and just enough fertilizer and never too much.

The long days of summer will be a great ally in getting your new plantings established quickly. Here’s how it works. The more photosynthesis the plant can be doing, the more new roots it can grow to become established. The more hours of daylight, the more photosynthesis (growth) takes place in the leaves and stems of new plants, and the more new roots extend out into the surrounding soil of the planting area. Summer is when we have long days and lots of photosynthesis and is consequently a great time to add plants to your landscape.

Many people are afraid they won’t be able to water their new plantings enough in midsummer, and are surprised to discover how quickly you can accomplish a watering that delivers just enough and never too much water. It’s also often a surprise to learn that hand watering is actually the quickest way to water a group of newly installed shrubs, trees and perennials. We provide every customer with detailed easy to follow printed instructions to make planting and watering successful and efficient, and when followed closely will prevent overwatering, which is the most common cause of death in new plantings.

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Changeable style for your flor

Vivus Architecture + Design - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:45am

Flor is a wonderful alternative for your floor (spelled correctly!). Moveable carpet tiles created out of recycled materials allow you to quickly change the look of a room, replace a damaged or stained area, or move the whole carpet to another room.

New carpet style by Flor

This style, called “All Dolled Up,” can add graphic interest to a small area or an otherwise plain room. Known for their hip, modern applications, Flor has captured the hearts of people who are interested in recycled materials and the flexibility that comes with the ability to change your mind or replace only one area of a carpet.

These carpet tiles would be great in kids’ rooms, craft and sewing rooms, or areas that get heavy use from eating and pets. The tiles can be switched out for different colors as your decor changes too.

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Raw Food Made Real Easy!

Just Food Co-op - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 8:34am

Wednesday, July 30 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Come and find out just how delicious and fun raw food can be.  In this class, “Chef Caitlin” will show you how to make super easy, super healthy meals including: Tomato Basil soup, Massaged Kale Ceasar Salad, Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai and Fresh Summer Fruit & Berry Cobbler.  There will be plenty of good food to taste – reserve your spot now!

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SFA Farm Tour – Get on the Bus!

Just Food Co-op - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 8:32am

Reserve your place on the bus for the SFA Farm Tour!  We will leave the Co-op promptly at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 12.

You’ll arrive at Waxwing Farm at 9:20 a.m. spend an hour there, proceed to Sweetland Orchard for about an hour, and then head back to Just Food Co-op.

If you reserve a space on the bus, PLEASE ride the bus!  If you need to cancel your reservation, please do so by Wednesday, July 9.  Let’s go and enjoy a great morning out on the farm.  

Also, after the bus tour, come and support The Key Fundraiser – live music, grill, and silent auction at The Contented Cow on the deck.  It’s going to be a great time.  That event starts at 1 -just in time for lunch!


Categories: Businesses

Hydrangea Time

Incrediball Hydrangea

This is such an incredible time of year as the Hydrangeas are starting to bloom.  They start now and will continue to provide color and excitement to the garden for the next 2-3 months!  Yes – a shrub that will flower for an extended period of time.

Bloomstruck Hydrangea

We have several varieties of Hydrangea in stock – with the white blossoms, white blossoms turning pink or green as they age, blue blossoms of the new Bloomstruck Hydrangea and those that have pink blossoms.

Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea

Hydrangeas like to be planted in part sun part shade, or if planted in full sun, they will need to be well-watered.  Hydrangeas are high water users.

A popular shrub for home landscapes.  Generally, they are trouble free and for the most part, low maintenance.   In the fall, you should prune off the flower heads so the weight of frost, snow and ice during the winter, does not break the branches.  (This is especially true for the hydrangeas in tree form).

Mature heights vary by variety – but you can certainly find a hydrangea that will fit your height requirement.   An added bonus of the hydrangeas is that you can clip the flower stems and bring inside for dried flower arrangements.  A great accent to fall decorating.

Bloomstruck – This re-blooming hydrangea flowers on old and new wood with intense flower color.  3′-4′ in height.  To maintain the rich blue color, you will need a soil acidifier.  It is also best to amend your planting site with peat moss.  With lack of a good acid base, this hydrangea may blossom more in rose/pink shades.

Incrediball – 4′-5′ in height – an improved version of the old standard – Annabelle – Hydrangea.  Incredibly large white blooms and much stronger stems which helps to eliminate the floppiness of the Annabelle.

Invincibelle Spirit – 4′-5′ in height – is a pink version of Annabelle which will bloom from mid-summer to first frost!

We carry the Bobo, Firelight, Polar Bear,  Pinky Winky, Mega Mindy, Limelight, Quickfire, Little Quickfire, Little Lime, Vanilla Strawberry, Strawberry Sundae as well as those pictured above.



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New Chapati Website up and running July 2014!

Contented Cow - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 5:20pm

We are pleased to announce that our revamped website is up and running!

Please visit us at


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The Price and Promise of Independence Day

When we celebrate Independence Day we celebrate our good fortune to enjoy a multitude of freedoms and opportunities of the United States of America at great cost.  Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago some very brave people declared their independence from the British Empire and many gave their lives in order that succeeding generations could determine their own destiny, speak their minds, and prosper from their ingenuity and hard work.

The application of the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence has been a work in progress for 238 years as we have only gradually risen above the tyranny of slavery, landed aristocracy, and the oppression of women, minorities, new immigrants, and native Americans.  As a nation we have had our major blind spots, and fought a terrible civil war that eliminated sanctioned slavery, and began the process of tearing down racism.  This process is continuing today, as the melting pot we call America becomes an even more complex mix as people throughout the globe have become more mobile, and immigrants flee tyranny and their homelands.

While we enjoy so many freedoms here, we would do well to remember that with great freedom comes great responsibility, and sometimes great sacrifice.  Throughout our history soldiers of every description have fought to maintain our great experiment in Democracy, sacrificing life and limb.  Civilians have also fought and sacrificed to help our society evolve a more clear understanding of how our cultural stereotypes, religious intolerance, racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry limit everyone’s’ freedoms.  none of this came easy.  When we fight for freedom by taking up arms, or by speaking up to confront oppression both at home and abroad, we pay the price of freedom.

Today, let us all celebrate the ideals of a free nation, and the sacrifices of soldiers and civilians who fight and bravely speak up to keep us free.

Earlier this week, my wife and grandson took a brief road trip together, and in their travels discovered the beautiful Veterans Memorial in Montevideo, Minnesota.  This is a place of remembrance and honor evolving a deep sense of the precious nature of life, freedom and ultimate sacrifice.

May we never forget that every generation must sacrifice to maintain our freedom, and grow our evolving understanding of cultural and institutional oppression.  We have come a very long way in 238 years, and our journey of growth as a society will continue as the years ahead unfold.

It’s Independence Day.  Enjoy and celebrate the freedoms.  Embrace the promise.

We are closed on the 4th of July.  We will re-open on Saturday, July 5th!

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Creating Space in a Small Bathroom

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 4:00am

One downside to having a smaller bathroom is a lack of space. Bulky features like a large bathtub or cabinets can leave you feeling a little confined. An excessive amount of toiletry items on the counter top due to a lack of storage space can make the bathroom feel cramped. Get rid of that claustrophobic […]

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Choosing the Right Backsplash for Your Kitchen

Northfield Construction Company - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 11:07am

A kitchen backsplash not only functions as a great decorative piece, but can make kitchen messes easier to clean up, protecting your wall from damaging grease splatters and food particles. A backsplash can also give small kitchens an illusion of space, with its reflective surface adding more depth and dimension. Choosing the right backsplash for […]

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Crossing Double Unit | Update | Northfield, MN

Northfield Construction Company - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 10:12am

We are finishing up the last few things at our Crossing Condominium double unit. This is a project where we combined two individual units into one large unit. The architect placed a gas see-through fireplace at the location of the former common unit wall which divides this new space into a dining area and a […]

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‘Acrocona’ Red Cone Norway Spruce

This pyramidal evergreen spruce, provides more than just delightful winter interest, ‘Acrocona’ Red Cone Norway Spruce is a cultivar well known for producing showy, upright raspberry colored cones at the tips of their branches in the spring which mature through the summer.

Drought tolerant and deer resistant, you can plant this tree in average well drained soil.  Slower growing – up to 8″ per year – this is a perfect choice for a specimen plant gracing the edge of a garden.

We just received a limited number in.  Check these wonderful trees out and perhaps it will be the right plant for your!


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Hosta Winter Snow and Tiarella

Tiarella  cordifolia –  aka Foamflower – - an amazing shade perennial.

Perfectly compact and a great companion plant for hosta and heuchera.  My Tiarella has adorned this garden, tucked in close to one of my boulders for several years and has just started to bloom this week with starry white blossoms with just a touch of pink.

Also used as a groundcover, this Zone 3 hardy perennial grows 6″-12″ tall and 12″ wide.  An added bonus is a rich burgundy fall color!


A hosta that will fill up your space!  A giant hosta that has glossy chartreuse leaves with white margins with great color contrast.  A sport of Hosta Sum and Substance, Winter Snow will soon  become a favorite.

We’ve had this hosta in our inventory for the last couple of years and I planted one last summer and am very pleased with just one seasons growth.  It is proving to be a nice vigorous grower.  In this garden I also have shade perennials and hosta that are darker green and those with some blue tones which makes Hosta Winter Snow really show!


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