Michelle and Ken Workowski are dedicated to a full circle process in land management: they look top to bottom, seeing the soft story of ground vegetation as well as the trees. And they foster diversity with prairie, woods and edge over their 50 acres. Their passion for prairie has them restoring two prairies, and they also burn the woods to encourage the return of prairie remnants. They say that like with forests, prairies demand patience and a long view.
To remove an ironwood stand, the Workowskis stripped the bark off the trees and let them dry standing for two years. This summer they used the ironwood to build a cordwood sugar shack for their maple processing.
Michelle and Ken are self-employed in their own 33-year-old business called The Nature of Things. They make furniture and furnishings with unique and beautiful forms from nature, including birch bark and poplar bark baskets, lampshades and mirror frames, willow furniture, and ironwood lamps.

Michelle Workowski