Basin’s Backyard Garden volunteers donate to food pantry

Basin's Backyard Garden donation

(from left): Garden volunteers Lori Leier, tax analyst I; Jean Schafer, government relations coordinator; and Chris Gessele, staff writer, filled several bags of veggies to donate to the Burleigh Emergency Food Pantry.

Basin's Backyard Garden donation

Garden volunteers cut kale and herbs to donate.

Several garden volunteers got together at noon today to harvest some lettuce, spinach, kale, beans and herbs to give to the Burleigh Emergency Food Pantry.

This was the third donation made from Basin’s Backyard Garden through the Hunger Free ND Project.

Shirley Fox, Burleigh Emergency Food Pantry co-chairman, says they have been exceptionally busy this year trying to meet everyone’s needs.

“Last week we had 88 people who were in need of some food. And we are running short on everything here – even canned goods,” Fox says. “We always appreciate when we receive fresh food donations like this. It’s not something we get in very often.”

Basin's Backyard Garden donation

“I have to smile big because donations like this make us very happy,” says Shirley Fox, co-chairman of Burleigh Emergency Food Pantry.



Veggies ready for harvest in Basin’s Backyard Garden

Basin's Backyard Garden

The basil is ready to be harvested along with the other herbs.

Basin's Backyard Garden

There’s a lot of kale that could be cut.

Basin's Backyard Garden

Here’s a close-up of a raindrop on a kale leaf.

Basin's Backyard Garden

It’s prime time to pick the beans. See a bean on the left in the foreground and another left of the sign.

Basin's Backyard Garden

This lettuce is perfect for salads. Cut some soon!

Basin's Backyard Garden

Watch the blog to see when the rest of Basin’s Backyard Garden will be ready for harvest!

Basin’s Backyard Garden to be featured on KX News


Tracie Bettenhausen (right), staff writer/editor and garden coordinator.

KX News stopped by Basin’s Backyard Garden late this morning and Tracie Bettenhausen filled them in. Watch for the story soon!

Co-op Coffee at the Garden

Imagine a store-front food cooperative in our community that provided local and organic food… How great would that be? Well, the Bisman Community Food Co-op is making this a reality!

It’s a start-up fresh food cooperative being created by the community for the community and they recently reached their first major milestone of securing 600 invested member owners. Now, they’re actively looking for a location to open a retail store.

Want to learn more about this new cooperative in our community? Interested in getting involved? Employees are invited to stop by Basin’s Backyard Garden Aug. 7 between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. to visit with Heidi Demars, Bisman Community Food Co-op outreach coordinator. She’ll be available to answer questions about the cooperative and also help any interested members get signed up.  Basin Electric will pay $50 of any employee’s $200 dollar membership investment fee.  Demars will also have t-shirts available for sale. If the weather is bad, Demars will be in the boardroom.

When you stop by the garden, enjoy a cup of joe from local coffee company, Mighty Missouri Coffee. The first 50 visitors will also get a muffin from Humble Cottage Farm, a business owned by former Basin Electric employee and BisMan Community Food Co-op board member, Jared Barnhart.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner visits Basin’s Backyard Garden

Tracie Bettenhausen, Basin Electric staff writer/editor, shows Goehring some beans growing in Basin’s Backyard Garden.

Tracie Bettenhausen, Basin Electric staff writer/editor, shows Goehring some beans growing in Basin’s Backyard Garden.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring recently got wind that Basin’s Backyard Garden volunteers were donating produce to the Hunger Free ND Garden Project.

On July 9, he stopped by to visit the garden, talk about the project, and express his appreciation for the volunteers’ work.

Watch the video, Basin’s Backyard Garden demonstrates cooperative roots, to find out what Goehring had to say.

How to harvest and preserve herbs

The herbs in our garden are ready for harvesting. The trick with herbs is that you need to keep harvesting them if you want them to keep producing. Once they go to seed, they’re just not good anymore.

Some of our employees requested tutorials on what to do with herbs. Let us know in the comments if you have other thoughts and suggestions.

This post shows different methods for drying different types of herbs.

Basin’s Backyard Garden makes second donation

A second donation was made from Basin’s Backyard Garden today!

Accounting analyst II and garden volunteer, Lacy Brousseau, delivered some lettuce, kale and beet greens from the garden to Ruth Meiers Hospitality House. Ruth Meiers volunteer, Jeff Schwartzbauer, prepares meals in the kitchen and says they try to make a nice salad every day they get lettuce. He said they are always looking forward to receiving donations of fresh produce.

Would you like  to donate produce to one of the ten Hunger Free ND Garden Project drop off sites in Bismarck and Mandan? Contact Tracie Bettenhausen at

Learn how to donate to the drop off sites and to find out more about the Hunger Free ND Garden Project: Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project drop off sites

second garden donation

Lacy Brousseau (right), accounting analyst II and garden volunteer, dropped off a bag full of lettuce, kale, and beet greens with Jeff Schwartzbauer at Ruth Meiers Hospitality House.

Why I’m a garden volunteer: Bill Baer

For Bill Baer, Basin Electric network security analyst III, gardening and spending time with his family has always gone hand-in-hand.

“Growing up as a kid I would go to my grandpa’s house every Saturday morning and work in the garden for quite a while with him. Then my parents gardened too, so I’ve always grown up with it,” Baer says. “It’s something I look forward to every year with my family.” Today, Baer and his family have a 40 feet wide by 100 feet long garden. “It’s a pretty good size. Some people even laugh when I tell them the size of it, but as long as you enjoy gardening and can still do it, why not?”

Watch the video to find out how Basin’s Backyard Garden is allowing Baer and his daughter, McKenna, to spend some quality time together and providing them the opportunity to give back.