A rainy update

So, today was supposed to feature the installation of a “rain garden” of fruit and perennial edibles in my front yard. It’s been raining off and on for a week – with snow at the beginning – so event was cancelled due to mud. The plants did not arrive today as I expected, so I will be potting up the bareroot shrubs till I can arrange a better time. The garlic, chives, strawberry and new baby lettuces and radishes are loving it; it would have been better to have dug the depression a couple weeks ago during the day while I was free so I could have harvested some of this water, but oh well. It rather illustrates the point! I’ve heard someone with two 1500-gallon tanks under their deck has already filled up just from this week of surprise drizzles.


  • May 2 – Garden rehab eval for my sister
  • Immediate – Canada thistle control
  • May 3 – re-employed!
  • Week of May 3 – try to dig raingarden myself in stages, as all future weekends have been claimed!
  • May 8 – In Sioux Falls teaching mushroom cultivation for the Glacial Lakes Permaculture PDC
  • May 15 – Wool Picking Party in Harvey, ND, and a wedding in Wilton
  • May 17 – Site Assessment exercise for prospective community garden/demo site, 5:30 pm – handouts to be developed
  • May 20 – Mushroom cultivation for Bismarck State College’s Continuing Education program – sign up here! They need a minimum of 8 to run the course, so if you’re interested everyone else already signed up encourages you to check it out!
  • May 25 – Urban Harvest Book Club, “Independence Days” by Sharon Astyk – glorious book! There is so much information here. She covers not just how to put up food, but how to ensure you get it eaten as well – my biggest problem.
  • Early June – plant warm weather garden crops
  • TBD June – Sheet Mulch Installation Demo in Mandan, focusing on strange fruits
  • July 15 – Speaking on composting/vermicompost for Urban Harvest Wellness Hour
  • TBD June or July – tour of Craig Stange’s raingardens and no-till gardens
  • Late August – ND State Horticulture Society Annual Conference in Devil’s Lake
  • Late September – hopefully I can make it out to the North Country Fiber Fair in Watertown, SD again. I’ve missed a lot of the recent fiber fairs due to schedule conflicts.

And of course:

  • Aug 2012 – NAFEX Annual Conference in Saskatchewan!
  • Aug 2012 – NDSHS Annual Conference in Bismarck!

I LOVE having a lot of time to plan.

2 thoughts on “A rainy update

  1. Andy Long says:

    I am applying for membership in the North Dakota transitions group, and saw your profile. I was pleased to see that you’re doing rain gardens up there. I’m getting ready to have one installed in my yard.

    My question to you is this: I’m looking into the prospects of moving to North Dakota, and I’m looking at a property in Sheridan county (around Goodrich, North Dakota).

    I’m looking for an independent assessment of the question “Where are the best places in North Dakota for someone of the transition movement mindset? And, in particular, how is Good rich , North Dakota….

    Can you help? Either give me an answer, or point to someone who might be able to help/


    I’m new to the transitions movement, but would trust someone

    • I am not familiar with Goodrich (I actually had to look it up!) You’d be less than two hours from Bismarck/Mandan, where most of the permaculture interest I know of is centered and where I am – I would certainly welcome more people in my area! Transition movement activity in North Dakota is basically nonexistant under that name. There is a growing statewide Local Foods Movement – I’d advise you to check out goinglocalnd.ning.com to see if there are more local people there; and also the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, npsas.org – they have members from ND, SD, MN and MT including the more rural areas and would be a good bet. Other than those groups I only know of a few isolated people in Kulm, Bottineau, Beach and Grand Forks… There’s an awesome fiber lady in Harvey doing a lot of work with local fleeces and wool processing but that’s a pretty small subset of the whole transition ideal… Good luck with the property and do let me know if you come up, the permaculture group would certainly welcome another person to chat with!

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