Articles, Blog

How This Couple Managed to Farm in Northern Minnesota

August 25, 2019

(gentle melodic music) – [David] When we first moved here, people thought we were crazy. – [Lise] There’s a reason why there’s not a lot of
farms here in Minnesota; it’s not much soil; the climate is harsh. – [David] We knew the land could produce; we figured we’d figure it out. (melodic orchestral music) – [Narrator] This Great Big Story was made possible by Horizon Organic. – I’m Lise Abazs. This is
my husband, David Abazs, and we are off grid organic
farmers in Finland, Minnesota. – [David] Finland is a small community along the North Shore of Lake Superior. We’ve been farming this land
for the last 30 plus years. People had said you can’t farm in Finland; the soil was both
infertile and challenging. You can’t get a shovel into the ground ’cause it’s full of rocks. – But it didn’t matter;
everything, it just felt right. The soil, industrial farming treats it as a medium to grow crops; you insert the nutrients,
and the crop growers, but organic farming focuses on making that soil its
own living organism. You have healthy soil, you
end up with healthy plants; and so we focused on making sure we were feeding the soil,
not just the plants. – [David] This is all good soil; it starts to get a little denser here. Through time, through compost,
through cover crops and care, we’re able to see results,
and now the fertility is so much greater than it’s ever been. (melodic orchestral music) – [Lise] Our growing season
can be as short as 33 days. In the spring we grow lots
of greens, we have lettuce, spinach, kale, we have radishes and beets. – We need water, we need
food, we need energy; we have tried to figure out
how do we do all of those. Everything we run is from
solar and wind power. Our water is pumped from the Earth; we use a compost toilet. – [Lise] And of course, you know, what homestead would be complete without a flock of free range chickens? Most of what we grow is
distributed to customers through a CSA, which is
Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a way for small farmers to get dependable sales of their products. We sell about 50 shares, which can feed a couple of 100 people. – [David] For many years
we’ve been involved in the social fabric in the community, so we installed solar at the fire station and then the community center, so that that was all part
of kind of mainstreaming renewable energy into our community. – [Lise] Sharing what we’ve
learned by living this way will hopefully make the world better. (light melodic music)


  • Reply Pizza Harambe July 24, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Hey guys I'm early

  • Reply FunkHonk July 24, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    First btw

  • Reply ToastyDoasty July 24, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I'm here only 5 views and 3 comments nice

  • Reply wilsonlol July 24, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    This is amazing!!

  • Reply ShadyGames July 24, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    8 likes 5 views youtube is high again

  • Reply Hanh Dunham July 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    ok cool I guess

  • Reply Nairobi Ebi July 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Love your videos

  • Reply INVINCIBLEPLAYER 9999 July 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    125th person

  • Reply Day Light July 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Nice Video but it’s again a type of add…
    Still a nice story✨🌟

  • Reply Oof Gang July 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Wow rlly early even tho no one cares

  • Reply Alvin Wu July 24, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    I didn’t know Finland was a both a city and a country…

  • Reply Alwyn Agbayani July 24, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Patrick: FINLAND!

  • Reply Justin Y. July 24, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Anything is possible when you have enough RESOLVE

  • Reply Ben Rowe July 24, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    new theory: Minnesota is deliberately killing crops because of a conspiracy with the Illuminati

  • Reply Just Some Guy without a Mustache July 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Wow! Farming Simulator 2019 looks extremely realistic.

  • Reply Leslie Dom July 24, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    This is awomse! Same way I hope to be living one day(:

  • Reply Linda Thao July 24, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    HUH. I live in Minnesota. 😲

  • Reply Boh Htoo Say July 24, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    I live in Minnesota people call Minnesota mini soda

  • Reply Avocadoe Kermit July 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    i love their ambition for plants. even if the climate isn’t the best shape there and the soil is infertile, they still manage to live their passion.

  • Reply Ryan Bruns July 24, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Misleading title, ok story
    54 % of Minnesota is farmland.

  • Reply Nadia Hammad July 24, 2019 at 8:14 pm


  • Reply gler Mer July 24, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    yay go mn!

  • Reply vevven ennevvev July 24, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Ok excuse me, but this is ridiculous:

    "There's a reason why there's not a lot of farms here, in Minnesota. It's not much soil, the climate is harsh."

    And then, in your description:

    "The climate is harsh, and the soil is infertile and full of rocks."

    What in the name of god is this absolute nonsense? I grew up in Minnesota. On a farm. Surrounded by other farms. With farms for a hundred miles in every direction. Minnesota is a farming state. This covert advertisement is based on an utterly bizarre premise which is simply wrong lol. Unsubscribed.

  • Reply Niqchu July 24, 2019 at 8:19 pm


  • Reply Oh Hey Mark July 24, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    The beets reminded me of Dwight Schrute from The Office

  • Reply Andro mache July 24, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Uhm this is common second grade level knowledge. If you want plants from earth you feed the earth. For millennia human bodies fed the earth. Decomposition feed the earth. Take that away you cut your own throat.

  • Reply FBI Senpai July 24, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Better story than twillight 🙂

  • Reply RiverOfBlood July 24, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    This is a Great Big Story

  • Reply Hannah Rhea Sajulga July 24, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    um??? I live in MN and we do have a lot of farms

  • Reply Florin Preda July 24, 2019 at 8:28 pm


  • Reply Axel Brito July 24, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Isn't Minessota a farming state?

  • Reply Bobby D July 24, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    'How this couple and THOUSANDS of others farm in Minnesota.'

  • Reply Julian Sanchez July 24, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    ok minnesota is mostly farmland what do you mean “there’s a reason their aren’t a lot of farms in minnesota”

  • Reply Garrett Hanson July 24, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I live in Minnesota, and i just drove for almost 200 miles and say nothing but farms and crops, these people just hella dumb is all

  • Reply samuel prescott July 24, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    I'm from finland

  • Reply Kyle 16408 July 24, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Sugar beats be like

  • Reply Simply Franisse July 24, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Simply amazing….

  • Reply Luis Alberto Pérez Nájera July 24, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    It's crazy you see this as innovation and fancy foods when in fact it is the normal way to produce in Mexico, and corruption has stopped farmers in my country and that's why we haven't been able to take the next step in technology.

  • Reply BolarPear July 24, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    lol a ton of people here are minnesotans. (including me)

  • Reply Paelorian July 24, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    33 day growing season? So this is an annual summer gig. What's their profession the rest of the year?

  • Reply Welmo Moose July 24, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    I hate to be a cynic, but the jank with the title, content, and wider context are in my opinion related to Horizon Organic putting its name behind this off-the-grid farmer couple, via great big story. I, too, live in Minnesota, and I can confirm that much of the land in the state (which used to be prairie) is now farmland… we are a large corn-and-soybean agricultural state.

  • Reply WatchDota2 July 24, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    The entirety of the Korean peninsula is basically "infertile and full of rocks" and people farm on it just fine. Doesn't seem that unique of an accomplishment.

  • Reply Albertica Gaming July 24, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    But I thought there were a bunch of farms in Minnesota

  • Reply Wesley Ramberg July 24, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    I live in minnesota and we are one of the largest agriculture states wtf these people are a little stupid. And i mean by a little is alot.

  • Reply Hunter Smith July 24, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Pretty sure their have been farmers in Minnesota for a while.

  • Reply Caden July 24, 2019 at 9:57 pm


  • Reply Caden July 24, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    What many people are having trouble with in this video is that most of Minnesota is farmland but but Finland Minnesota used to be a coal mining town but the mine closed because it was too dangerous to mine anymore. Farmer Dave and his wife are all natural when it comes to farming and use farming techniques I’ve never seen before or since I worked with him.

  • Reply Sara Yang July 24, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Where my Hmong people at!??? LOL

  • Reply TeeThePenguin! July 24, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    By the comments of this video, this video is misleading.

  • Reply Thomas Bailey July 24, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    We need these people on Mars

  • Reply RanochVTX July 24, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Amazing 🙂

  • Reply Kristopher Bruns July 24, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Native Minnesotan here. Your making sound like there is no farming in minnesota, that couldnt be farther from the truth. The southern 2/3rds of Minneaota is almost entirely farmland. Ita some of most fertile land in the country as 10,000 years ago during the last ice age a continental glacier pushed a lot top soil from up north down into the southeren part of minnesota. And while farms are less common in the northern third they are still quite common. Otganic farms are very popular too. There are fewer farms neer Lake Superior, but they aarent rare.

  • Reply theogbigfella 1450 July 24, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    We literally have a town in MM named Farmington MN. MN is huge into farming, saying there isn't alot of farmers in MN is like saying there isn't alot of tall people in the NBA! What's next for GBS how a 7'6 ball player defied all the odds and became a star NBA player? I mean come on…

  • Reply Oc Boi July 24, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    This couple: managed to build a farm in Minnesota

    Half of the region of Minnesota that already become farmland: first time?

  • Reply Snowflake3981 July 24, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Um… there are farms everywhere in Minnesota…

  • Reply Andrew Nau July 24, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    This video was written and produced by people who have never stepped foot in Minnesota. It’s literally over 2/3 farmland… -MN resident

  • Reply Will pv July 24, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Go mn

  • Reply Hailey Jarman July 24, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    wow obviously they haven’t been outside of their “farm” much, south minnesota has tons of farms

  • Reply Billy Boudin July 24, 2019 at 11:41 pm


  • Reply Ryan Hanson July 24, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Ayee MN 🤙🏼

  • Reply sEan A July 24, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    This is why the whole…."we are losing all our top soil"….and we are gonna starve scare is BS. Look at these people they are farming where in theory you cant.I bet some places are depleted by stupid industrial farming practices. But you can come to and area with just rock even and farm it…if you bring in compost, woodchips, Leaf mold. Might take a few years to jump start…but bacteria returns, fungal hyphy returns, worms return.

    I've turned broken parking lots into a farm by just adding compost and heavy woodchips and basically making my own top soil in a few years what it takes mother nature a hundred years to do. Dont believe Al Gore….the polar bears didnt die….believe these people.

  • Reply Joshua Larson July 25, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Yeah, nobody farms in Minnesota. 🤔 I sort of think these people got a little scammed by some millennial video editing to make them sound edgy and, what, disruptive? Is that the correct jargon?

  • Reply Meno Passini July 25, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Wonderful couple with a Great story. Important take away, feed the soil and your garden will be Bountiful. I learned this from my parents who grew up on farms before chemical fertilizers were the norm.

  • Reply • Lily • July 25, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Okay, I’m gonna let my Minnesotan passive aggressiveness loose “The climate is harsh, and the soil is infertile. There’s a reason there’s not a lot of farmers in Minnesota” soil is great, and farming is a huge industry here. And as for the harsh climate, hi welcome to Minnesotan winter (news flash you’re not supposed to grow crops in winter) I’m honestly confused where they got this information

  • Reply See Korea July 25, 2019 at 1:25 am

    He and she look so friendly. When I get older, I want to live like that. ^^

  • Reply GamerPimPim♡ July 25, 2019 at 1:47 am

    I have nothing to say just wow

  • Reply Ayla S. July 25, 2019 at 2:03 am

    What a peaceful way to live. I'd love to live like this someday

  • Reply The Generalissimo July 25, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Minnesota =/= North Shore
    Jesus GBS.

  • Reply JickyjaxGaming July 25, 2019 at 3:20 am

    In northern Minnesota there isn’t too many farms but in the southern end (near the cities) its mostly farmland

  • Reply munu numu July 25, 2019 at 3:24 am

    Isn't Minnesota a part of the Mid-West farmland/corn-wheat basket of the US? A bit confusing here. Still, an inspiring content 

  • Reply Sophia Thorsen July 25, 2019 at 4:00 am

    it's a nice video…
    Although I am in Minnesota & we a tons of farms, our state supplies the largest amount of corn, soy, honey & sugar beats of any state.

  • Reply Tracy Sohl July 25, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Just watched the first 26 seconds and thought "wait, isn't Green Giant produce in Minnesota?"

  • Reply J H July 25, 2019 at 4:44 am

    I live in Minnesota. It's mostly farmland. There are dozens of CSAs available in my town. This title, your premise, and your editing are highly inaccurate. You should do some basic research and pull this video down for re-editing to remove your inaccuracies. These people were only talking about a very small patch of land, their land in their town of Finland. Rocky land is to be expected where they live as it was in the path of the glaciers' retreat. Most of MN farmland was cultivated (rocks removed) in previous centuries when the rest of the state began its long tradition of farming. Shoddy work Great Big Story.

  • Reply Tyler Schafer July 25, 2019 at 5:10 am

    This is a load of shit. I live in mn and it some of the most fertile soil there is.

  • Reply Megan Rivera July 25, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Wholesome heartwarming story! ♥

  • Reply Jodinn July 25, 2019 at 6:51 am

    They probably just meant in Finland

  • Reply piraat9 Pirate9 July 25, 2019 at 7:07 am


  • Reply Hannah Durturte July 25, 2019 at 8:32 am


  • Reply Jakaima July 25, 2019 at 11:54 am


  • Reply Dum July 25, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    There be farms everywhere in Minnesota, but they’re talking specifically about the Finland area, not Minnesota as a whole.

  • Reply Dracula Tod July 25, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Minnesota is the fourth largest agricultural producer in America and it’s literally our largest export

  • Reply Benjamin Fisher July 25, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    It was hard to farm cause there were rocks, but we did it anyway…ok

  • Reply Sa July 25, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Ok people. Relax. There r a lot of farms in Minnesota.

  • Reply Buffalo Me July 25, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    They mean Northern Minnesota.

  • Reply Brendas Anderson July 25, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I love this

  • Reply MJ P July 25, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Ok story but completely dramatized for the sake of a story. But media at work, nothing new here…

  • Reply ieva July 25, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Wonderful! ❤

  • Reply David Halls July 25, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    There is way more organic fertilizer in this story than was ever needed to raise a bountiful crop in the most barren of soil. Most of Minnesota is farmland, including quite a bit of organic farming. 33-day growing season . . . pfttttt . . . average growing season for Finland, MN is 126 days according to the Farmer's Alamanac and 130 days according to the National Weather Service. My wife grows big garden full of tomatoes, peppers, squash, greens, onions, herbs, etc. all organically with very little, all-natural soil amendment. Been up in lakes country in the summer and fall, the roads are lined with stands selling everything from home grown greens and peas in early summer to organic beets, onions, corn and pumpkins in the fall. Farmer's markets are thriving throughout the state, one of them less than 200 yards from my front door. There are more than 600 registered organic farms in MN and thousands more that practice safer, more natural farming but are not organic certified. Add in still thousands more of the large scale gardeners and hobby farmers and you'll see that Minnesota is far from some barren wasteland where a few hardy souls struggle to eek a living out of rocky dead dirt. Yeah, we have big corporate farms too, but that's everywhere.

  • Reply Sleepre July 26, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Seriously? Lol almost all of Minnesota is farm.

  • Reply pandaland1 July 26, 2019 at 5:49 am

    Cold like Minnesota

  • Reply Blazedogman July 28, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    What are they talking about? Where I live in Minnesota there are corn farms everywhere.

  • Reply Duy Anh Lưu July 29, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Damn it, even me, not an American, know there are a hell lot of farms in MN. These sponsored videos are getting worse and worse.

  • Reply Chris Pontius July 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Because of this bullshit story I highly doubt the rest of this channel.

  • Reply sara Andrade July 30, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Wonderful! Thank you for you kindness!

  • Reply mohamad rifqi July 30, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    U mean pizza with broccoli ?

  • Reply Riley Kouf July 30, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Battlestar Galactica

  • Reply ChildOfThe Ivy July 31, 2019 at 1:37 am

    The north shore is rocky.

  • Reply Karwin Chau July 31, 2019 at 7:48 am

    I am very inspired but how do you keep those bugs away from the stuff y’all grow

  • Reply Ae Norist July 31, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    This way of farming is literally the only way a sentient creature could honestly call sustainable.
    If you are not building soil, you can´t be called a farmer, just an imbecil that should not own a square centimeter.

  • Reply voiceless glottal fricative August 7, 2019 at 4:58 am

    lmao isnt Minnesota an agrarian state

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