Published by

Eric Bergeson

Until selling the business to his brother and sister-in-law in January 2014, Eric Bergeson was the third-generation owner of Bergeson Nursery in Fertile, Minn., a business started by his grandfather in 1937. He wrote a weekly column for several newspapers in northwestern Minnesota for 15 years. He has published six books, including "Pirates on the Prairie," which the Minneapolis Tribune called "a Minnesota cultural and historical treasure," and his most recent "A Treasury of Old Souls," a collection of engaging stories about Eric's lifetime spent among a small town's aging population. Eric, who sought the DFL nomination for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 1-B in Northwestern Minnesota in 2014, graduated from Fertile-Beltrami (Minn.) High School in 1982. He attended Northwestern College in Roseville, Minn., and received his bachelor's degree in history from the University of North Dakota in 1986. After completing a bachelor of science in social studies at Moorhead State University in 1988, he returned to UND, where he earned a master's degree in history. During college, Eric studied at Cambridge University in England, student taught in Wellington, New Zealand and studied in Warsaw, Poland. Over the years, Eric has been a frequent speaker and performer in northwestern Minnesota. When needed, Eric has taught American history courses at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Eric recently finished a served five years as chairman of the board of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. He is acting chairman of the Fertile-Beltrami Community Fund. In 2011, Eric was awarded a prestigious two-year Bush Fellowship to study eldercare. He lives in Fertile with his partner, Lance Thorn.

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — ‘Pollinators’

Photographer Eric Bergeson knows a bit about flowers and pollination.

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Bergeson Gardens

If you’ve never been to Bergeson Nursery during the summer, it’s probably something you should add to your bucket list. Located southeast of Fertile, Minn., the gardens are always open during daylight hours in the summer. They are the most beautiful from late July through early September, and during that time, printed garden guides are available then that allow you to take a self-guided tour. The nursery will be holding its annual open house Saturday (Aug. 11). There will be guided garden tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., live music by the Bergeson family at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., with free cookies, coffee and donuts. (Food and ice cream will also be for sale.) If you can’t make it, enjoy these images from photographer Eric Bergeson.

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — High Plains And Mountain Majesty

A rare cloudy day in Arizona is a treat, “the mountains get moody and dramatic,” according to Eric Bergeson, who recently took a trip southeast of Tucson through some ranch country and then over the Santa Rita Mountain range.

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — ‘Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening’

Thursday was the first day of winter — and the shortest day of the year. Eric Bergeson, The Country Scribe, salutes our new season with Robert Frost’s “Stopping By The Woods On Snowy Evening.”

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Chicken Of The Woods

Here is the first chicken-of-the woods mushroom (above) that I have found all year. Big thrill. Once sauteed, or grilled, chickens are meaty and delicious. I am hoping those little ones off to the side grow into big ones.

Chickens need to be harvested while still damp and cool to the touch. Once they dry out, they are past their prime. However, even if you find one that is shot, mark the spot — they grow in the same spot year after year, provided there is moisture.

Around here, the chickens grow on or near oak. A lot of people kick them off the tree while mowing — don’t! They are highly desired by gourmet restaurants, as well as Asian groceries. Cook them up to see why.

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Bergeson Gardens

Bergeson Gardens, located southeast of Fertile, Minn., at Bergeson Nursery, is in full bloom and will be through early September. There will be an open house at the nursery Saturday, which will feature free coffee and donuts, food and ice cream for sale, music (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) and garden tours (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). All plants will be 20 percent off Saturday and Sunday only.

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — ‘A Treasury Of Old Souls’

Eric discusses his book “A Treasury of Old Souls,” a collection of stories about the older people he knew growing up in a rural setting, and how they shaped his view of life, death and what really matters.

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Prairie Cemetery Tips

The Country Scribe, Eric Bergeson, knows a bit about caring for flowers, trees and shrubs in the Northland, being the third-generation owner of Bergeson Nursery in Fertile, Minn., a business started by his grandfather in 1937.

Here, Eric offers some tips about caring for plants that you may have at your family cemetery plot, which is particularly pertinent on this Memorial Day weekend.

ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — Successful Gardening

Finally, a gardening book for our area!

“Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie” is on its way from the printer, and features 326 pages of information specifically for us.

  • Learn how our soils are different from most of the rest of the country’s and what you can do about it.
  • Learn about the only two fertilizers (very cheap) you will ever need.
  • Learn how to choose the right tree for your location and help it live a lifetime.
  • Learn how to prepare the prairie soil for trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and vegetables.

Save money this spring, and make your garden flourish!

“Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie” is available online exclusively at

Reserve your copy today, and it will be mailed as soon as the books arrive!

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Desert In Bloom

Photographer Eric Bergeson recently made an 800-mile trip from Tucson, Ariz., west into California, with the intent of seeing the “superbloom” of the desert. A superbloom is a colloquial term used to define an explosion of wildflowers that exceeds typical spring blooms. Winter storms brought double the average rainfall to the area, including the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southeastern California. The park, usually bare of flowers, has come alive with vibrant greenery, poppies, primroses and lilies because wildflower seeds that have been lying on the desert floor for years have germinated. Eric says the phenomenon is a bit overhyped, possibly due to the proximity of a major media center (Los Angeles) and about 28 million people. “It is worth doing once in a lifetime. But Minnesota residents should note that our road ditches in July have color that is more intense — we’re just so used to color by that time that we don’t notice.”