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WELCOME

Welcome.  Some Christmas gifts for gardeners can be ordered onlineor the idea simply taken to a local retailer.  Family harvests have long since been taken into root cellars or stored via canning, freezing, or dehydration. Stove-wood has been laid aside for the certain snowy, northern nights now upon us. Gardeners radiate a sense of energy, still seeking refreshing periods in the brisk December air.

Questions or comments are always welcome.  We'll try to get back to you right away.  Email us, Cathie Draine and Brad Morgan at gardeners@blackhillsgarden.com

I was standing in the garden in my shirtsleeves, a watering hose in my hand the last of November and early December. “What in the world is going on?” I asked myself as I aimed the hose at a large patch of blooming violas. Temperatures that rocket around from 20 to 70 degrees in a 24-hour period suggest that we are experiencing a changing climate. It seems obvious to me even if all the causes are in dispute.

             Surely, I thought, I could find some information on the Web that would address gardens that are still growing in still warm soil in still warm air in what should be winter.  Alas, a dedicated and lengthy search of millions of terabytes of information on the Web could offer no explanation for our specific situation.  So I had a serious discussion with the garden. more


Family makes a living with gardening. Growing healthy turkeys the old-fashioned way (that is, organically) is just part of this small-scale homestead-style farming operation north of Sturgis, according to a front-page Thanksgiving article by the Rapid City Journal.  “Everything we feed them is certified organic, grains and vegetables and no corn,” she [Michelle Grosek] said, adding that the organic grain is purchased from a farmer in Pierre. “That’s a big deal to people, that they are local and have a good quality of life.”  More on Bear Butte Gardens

In mere hours most of America will be seated to enjoy an anticipated and traditional Thanksgiving meal. Another tradition is offering heartfelt thanks for the abundance of food as well as for our families, friends, and intangibles like happiness, good health and peace.  more


As garden articles speak of winter care for tools, I want to stress the importance of timely maintenance and appropriate care of the gardener...As I garden now, I remind myself I was born in the last century, or put more gently, am over the age of 21.  I have become the target of anxious glances as the cautionary words “…a person of your age…” come my way. more
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We who enjoy our gardens know there is a season for all things. We anticipate and then lament the natural rhythm of the gardening year as spring with its catalogs and warming seed beds gives way to productive plants and the harvest and then, as days cool, to making a new compost pile and spreading the old one.  And then we read.  more

This abandoned root cellar in Philip, South Dakota, was once a hub of family food preparation and storage activity.  Today the families are returning again, thanks to the historical preservation of this Prairie Homestead site.  more


Why leave the large, upturned clods of soil in vegetable and annual beds that are replanted every spring, rather than breaking them up? more

 Preserve the Harvest  When fall approaches, that could mean only one thing—harvest! If you’re like us, you have more than you can eat in a week. So we’ve been thinking about all the ways we can preserve our harvest to enjoy in the months to come.  more


Recently I picked up a copy of  “Boomers” magazine, Volume 1 issue 1, and found to my delight a timely discussion of how we can help save pollinators written by Master Gardener, Louise Hespen Engelstad.   more

Let's face it, we all like happy endings...most gardeners I know who love and grow the heirlooms are passionate about the history these plants carry, their toughness, their value to the horticultural industry and their place in history. Promoting the Sylvestris tulip brings me no closer to Thomas Jefferson who grew these tulips at Monticello, but it does give me membership in the generations of growers who have loved this little plant since the 1500s.  Plant some history this fall. Be thrilled in the spring.  more

No-Till Gardening -- If You Love Your Soil, Ditch the Tiller. Tillers seem to be that go-to tool we’ve always used for what it was made 

to do - break up the earth. We till 

to clear a plot to start a garden, 

turn weeds under, or just mix up the soil.  more

 

High Mountain Gardening. To escape stress-filled days of work in Rapid City, my husband and I endure a daily 50-mile round-trip commute to our home on a mile-high mountaintop near Seth Bullock Peak in the central Black Hills. We value our peace and privacy. Neighbors include chipmunks, deer, elk, coyotes, Ponderosa pines and sky. We call our acreage "Southern Exposure." The sun shines here when it shines nowhere else. And the wind blows, sometimes as a gentle Chinook, sometimes as a blizzard whirlwind.  more

Gardening in Spearfish means small farms and produce outlets now using online technology to promote community awareness, including Lookout Gardens, Moonrise Mountain Ranch, and Good Earth Natural Foods.    more
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Black Hills Guide to Landscaping with Deer Resistant Plants.  As gardeners, we all know what it’s like to feel protective of our plants. For that matter, we all share a desire for keeping animals out of the garden bed. In the Black Hills region of western South Dakota, there’s a handful of native wildlife to be found throughout the region, occasionally rummaging through the contents of your garden. Although coyotes, rabbits, mountain goats, and mountain lions all report regular sightings throughout the season, the biggest threat to your garden is mostly likely the whitetail and mule deer.  More

 

"We had a big garden when the children were young and we were young and strong. We raised virtually everything we ate. We had poultry and two milk cows, and we fattened two meat hogs every year, and a calf, and grew the big garden. It’s extremely gratifying to sit down to a meal you’ve grown every bit of."  more

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December gardening tips.  One tip is to “Check belts and spark plugs, change the oil, sharpen the blades and clean off dirt so equipment will be ready to go when you need it next spring.more
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Winter has always been a busy time for farm families.. Chores involved taking care of livestock, but also inspecting equipment for overdue and preventative maintenance. The same with gardeners.   Visitors from afar enjoyed food prepared from harvested vegetables and fruits.  

News

Miss Gardening? Grow Green Beans Indoors This Winter

 

Read now

 

For gardeners who just can’t stand to keep their hands out of the soil for any length of time, growing food indoors in containers can be a great pastime during the winter months.

 

Green beans are a relatively quick-growing vegetable that can be grown inside your home and also look quite beautiful, as well.

 

Plants that you are growing indoors can be started any time of the year, but you still need to remember that they have certain environmental requirements. Green beans need plenty of light, so you will need to place them in a part of your home where they can get a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. Alternatively, grow lights can work if you do not have a window that gets enough sun.