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By Dan Reed 

Swamp rat makes Christmas bank

 

December 25, 2020

Carl Lingle

Writer and swamp rat Dan Reed shows small spruce regeneration in a spruce swamp cut about four years ago. The swamp will be ready to cut in two or three years.

Not too many locals can say they make most of their yearly income from Christmas sales. I make mine harvesting and selling spruce tips from the swamps here in Carlton and other surrounding counties. It's hard work, and it's changed over the years, but I love it.

I am - like others who go into the swamps - a "swamp rat."

When I was a kid in the 1950s, there were truckloads of black swamp spruce Christmas trees shipped to the South. My uncle, Ray Koivisto, hired men from the Automba area and 10,000 spruce trees were loaded on a semi truck and hauled to Oklahoma.

Since it was a so-called dry s...



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