First harvest of 2015 goes to senior adults program

radishes

Radishes!

We just made our first harvest of 2015. It’s a pretty exhilarating feeling. You completely fill one bag, then another. Then another. It’s hard to believe how many leafy greens can grow in one space.

Casey Jacobson, Basin Electric senior staff counsel, Della Mastel, Basin Electric accounting analyst III, and Sheila Renner, Basin Electric administrative assistant II, all pitched in over their lunch hour today.

Casey harvested spinach, cilantro, parsley and lettuce. Della and Sheila worked on thinning beets and harvesting and thinning radishes. All told, we weighed 28.5 pounds of veggie goodness for donation!

First harvest of 2015

Casey, Della and Sheila with the overflowing bags.

The goods went to Burleigh County Senior Adults Program. Since it was over the lunch break, lots of people were right there in the area where they place the Hunger Free ND Garden Project donations.

One woman said, “Oh, it’s been years since I’ve had radishes.”

What a good deal that Basin’s Backyard Garden could give her a taste of the good old days.

First harvest of 2015

Sheila Renner and Casey Jacobson drop off donations with Renee Kipp at Burleigh County Senior Adults Program.

First harvest of 2015

Casey Jacobson, harvesting leafy greens.

First harvest of 2015

Della Mastel, taking on beets and radishes.

First harvest of 2015

Sheila Renner, racking up radishes.

Sowing Three Sisters formation in Basin’s Backyard Garden

During the crop planning meeting Basin’s Backyard Garden volunteers held in April, “gardening with the three sisters” came up.

Deb Levchak, Basin Electric retiree and former senior counsel, wanted to give the three sisters formation a try.

As found on the NDSU Extension Service website and elsewhere online, according to Iroquois legend, the Three Sisters are believed to be the gift from the sun god, who created corn, beans and squash to keep the first people of the earth healthy. The Three Sisters were planted together in a circular mound garden, reflecting the never-ending cycle of nature. Each mound was 3 feet in diameter and had 4 to 6 corn plants in the middle. The beans provided nitrogen for the soil. The corn provided a stalk the bean plants could climb. The pumpkins’ leaves shaded the ground to keep weeds from sprouting.

Three Sisters Formation gardening

Lori Frisk-Thompson, Basin Electric regional transmission organization market specialist II, planting the beans and squash for the Three Sisters formation.

So, following the three sisters formation (detailed on the Penn State Extension website), corn was planted back in May when the rest of the garden was planted.

When the corn grows to about four inches tall, you can plant the beans and squash.

In Basin’s Backyard Garden, the corn is a little taller than that by now, but garden volunteers went ahead with the plan.

Last night, volunteers did a bunch of weeding, and finished out the three sisters formation. Because the formation requires making a bunch of holes for seeds, rather than dragging a rake down a line and dropping in seeds, planting took longer than expected. But we’re excited to see how this turns out!

Three Sisters gardening

Grace Baker, Basin Electric media distribution coordinator, tackling weeds.

Storm aftermath in Basin’s Backyard Garden

Oh, the humanity.

Oh, the humanity.

Happy to report Basin’s Backyard Garden didn’t suffer too much as a result of this weekend’s storms. The tomato buckets were thrown around, but didn’t cause damage.

As for the crops, things are doing well. The only crop that didn’t come up was the celery (other than the celery plants). Strange, but not a big setback.

Below, some quick videos done by Tracie Bettenhausen this morning, and pictures as well.

Potatoes on pace for plentiful harvest.

Potatoes on pace for plentiful harvest.

Lettuce and spinach is a couple days away from a first harvest.

Lettuce and spinach is a couple days away from a first harvest.

Cucumbers seems to be coming up fine.

Cucumbers seems to be coming up fine.

The beets and radishes are in need of thinning.

The beets and radishes are in need of thinning.

Bush beans growing.

Bush beans growing.