Barn Wood Welcome Sign

MS Blog Welcome Sign

Brighten up your outdoor or indoor space with this DIY barn wood welcome sign! It is sure to give a little extra character to any area you display it in.


  • Barn wood approximately 2ft wide x 1ft tall (If you don’t have a piece of barn wood no worries, use wood from a pallet or a wood from a hardware store)
  • Stain (We used Rust-Oleum wood stain cognac oil-based, but any shade or brand will work)
  • Paint- any color (We used a Valspar tester paint purchased at Lowes. They are only $3, come in hundreds of colors, and dry quickly!
  • Old rag to stain the board with
  • Thin paint brush
  • Charcoal stick
  • “Welcome” printable
  • Masking tape
  • Mason Jar
  • Wire
  • Drill
  • Pen
  • Brackets
  • Silk flowers


  1. Cut wood
  2. Attach a bracket to the back of the board to hang it from once completed
  3. Put a coat of stain on the board, let dry fully- you may want to do multiple coat if your board is not very aged to start
  4. Print MS Welcome Printable (Click to Print)
  5. Cut off excess paper above and below “Welcome”
  6. Using a medium amount of pressure, rub the stick of charcoal over the back of the welcome sign
  7. Position welcome where you would like on the board, tape to the board with the charcoal side down
  8. Using a pen, trace around the outside of the letters in “Welcome”
  9. Remove the paper, fill in the letters with paint
  10. Place the mason jar where you would like it on the board, make a mark on each side of the neck
  11. Drill a small hole on each of the dots
  12. Attach the mason jar to the board using wire, fasten wire together in back
  13. Place silk flowers in the jar


Sass Dairy




What was it like growing up on a family-owned dairy farm?  Read below for an interview with Karen Sass, a 21 year-old college senior and proud member of Sass Dairy. 

Sass Dairy is a family owned dairy farm just outside of Chatfield, MN.   It has been in the Sass family for two generations, starting with my grandpa in 1958. We milk over 250 cows and have 1000 acres to grow corn and hay, mostly to feed the livestock.

I loved growing up on the farm.  All of my aunts and uncles, cousins, and my dad’s parents lived in the same location near the farm. My favorite part of it, besides being near my family, was being able to be outside all of the time. We had so much space to play and do just about anything outside. We also had a lot of freedom since all of our neighbors were family.

Growing up on the farm like I did completely shaped my childhood. In middle school, I participated in 4-H. I showed dairy and pigs and took a few non-livestock projects, but I liked showing dairy the most.  I am also extremely close to my family and consider my cousins to be like brothers and sisters. We were all raised similarly and were together a lot – I love going home to see them.


Cinnamon Ridge Dairy Farm

Loads of 3 and 4-year olds swarm around the baby cow.  “What do cows say?” asks the tour guide, followed by resounding “moooooo”s.  To get us ready for National Dairy Month, we are touring the Cinnamon Ridge Dairy farm in Donahue, IA, along with a preschool class.  Owned and operated by Mr. John Maxwell and his family, Cinnamon Ridge is home to a world-famous herd of Jersey cattle (their brown color lends the “cinnamon” to the farm’s name).  Now why are these cows world-famous?  Actually, it has more to do with their farmer.  Cinnamon Ridge got its start in 1997 when, at age 35, Maxwell received the National Outstanding Young Farmer Award.  This, along with his reputation for running a ship-shape farm, brought John Deere, Co., knocking.  Customers who were brought to tour the manufacturer’s operations were also asking for a tour of a farm, and Cinnamon Ridge was the farm John Deere turned to.  Since then, Maxwell has hosted corporate and independent tours and visitors from nearly fifty countries, all hoping to get a glimpse into the life of a dairy farmer.  These days, Cinnamon Ridge is open for parties, corporate retreats, tours, and meetings, often ending in a cooked-on-site meal.  In addition to producing dairy (used for milk and homemade cheese), Cinnamon Ridge also raises beef cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens and grows corn, soybeans, and winter wheat.

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Celebrate Pork Month!

MS-PorkMonth-2014-FBNational Pork Month begins tomorrow, October 1!

Click here to find out what’s on the menu at your local Shed.

Machine Shed’s Famous Meatloaf Recipe

meatloaf.psdOne of the most popular menu items on The Machine Shed menu is none other than our famous meatloaf.  Try out our recipe to impress your friends and family tonight!  Visit our website for more great Machine Shed recipes, or visit us at the restaurant for Midwest American cusine at its finest!  Click on the recipe card, and get cooking!






Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Looking for a delicous drink to accompany your Thanksgiving celebration?  Try spicing up your hot chocolate with pumpkin.Coffee002

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 cups milk
  • whipped cream
  • marshmallows
  • cinnamon

In a small saucepan heat milk and whisk in cocoa powder.  Add in pumpkin, confectioners sugar, and pumpkin spice.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.  Portion into cups and top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Make-Ahead Holiday Tips

On Thanksgiving Day just about every kitchen in America is full of food and family for a full day.  Give yourself more time to spend with family by making as much of your meal ahead of time.  Here are some make-ahead tips

  • Make pie dough and cakes ahead of time, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags.  If you are making them enough ahead of time freeze them, or refrigerate if it is only a couple days ahead.
  • Make your sauce, stocks, or gravy ahead of time and store in air tight jars or containers.
  • Cook items like potatoes ahead of time, freeze them on a baking sheet in a single layer so that they do not stick together.  Once frozen completely transfer to a plastic container of freezer bag.
  • Bread for stuffing can be cut the day before, store it in a paper bag.
  • Have your turkey seasoned and in the pan the night before.  In the morning all you have to do is put it in the oven.
  • Chop all your vegetables the day before and store in plastic containers of plastic bags. 

Share your make-ahead tips with us, we would love to hear what you do to simplify your Thanksgiving meal.

Five Things To Do Before Summer Ends

Labor Day marks the end of summer fun as kids go back to school and the temperature starts to drop.  Here are fun 5 things to do before we head into fall.BASEBALL

1.  See a baseball game.  There are so many stadiums to check out across the country, minor league ballparks are stepping up there game and major league games give you a chance to see your favorite players in action.  Take a road trip or see one in your hometown!

2.  Go for a swim.  Pool season is coming to a close, don’t miss your last chance to get in a swim.  Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

3.  Go camping.  There are plenty of great camping spots to set up your tent.  Don’t want to completely rough it?  Set up a tent in your backyard!

4.  Check out and outdoor concert.  There are plenty of festivals and venues showcasing your favorite bands, as well as local favorites.FARMERS MARKET

5.  Visit your local outdoor famers market.  Get the last of local fresh flavors while they last!  Tip:  buy extra and can or freeze them to use all year long!


Labor Day Pie

coverHow will you celebrate your Labor Day Holiday?  If you are like most Americans, you will be getting together with family and friends for a final summer cookout. If you are are looking for a festive dessert to add to your menu, try our North 40 Berry Pie with Farm Fresh Ice Cream, straight from Machine Shed’s very own cookbook,” Now That’s Cookin’.”  You can get the cookbook at any of our Machine Shed gift shops.





Pancake Cups


Looking for a fun new breakfast idea?  I stumbled across a recipe for Pancake Cups recently on Pinterest and decided I had to try it!  They are easy to make, and definitely a crowd pleaser.  I chose to make a sweet version, but there are so many savory options you can make as well.  Next time I host a brunch I think I will make both varieties.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 6  eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together all of the ingredients and fill greased muffin tins with ¼ cup of batter in each.  Bake the Pancake Cups for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let them rest for a few minutes, and fill with your choice of toppings. 

I filled mine with strawberries I had macerated with sugar and lemon juice.  I topped it off with some powdered sugar, and WOW, were they delicious. 

What will you fill your Pancake Cups with?


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