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43 stories on MP3 – Farming the peat

Coon Creek drains central Anoka County and lies in the Anoka Sand Plain, generalized as a level landscape with high water table and sandy soils pocketed with peatlands.Farming this landscape is difficult without drainage. Ditching occurred here from the 1891-1918. Now, there are about 125 miles of public ditches and 130 miles of private ditches.

Enjoy these stories by Stanley Knoll and his son, Jeff, about ditching and farming the peatlands of central Anoka county. Stanley started farming in the late 1930s at the age of 16; he bought a ditch dragline 10 years later.

Stories are grouped by topic with some chronological order, yet can be listened to randomly. They were recorded in the fall of 2008, used with permission of the Knolls. Thanks go to Stanley’s wife, Dee, for her stories and Jeorgette for her assistance.

Stories by other people living or working in the Coon Creek watershed are forthcoming.