NRECA features Basin’s Backyard Garden

National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association featured Basin’s Backyard Garden in their weekly newsletter. Here is a short excerpt with a link to the full article, Co-op Volunteers Are Making Friends and Easing Hunger With Community Garden.

Lindsey Chumley, Bill Baer, Chris Gessele, Tammy Langerud, Lori Goetzfridt and Tracey Krusi are among the volunteers who worked on Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s community garden program in 2018.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative employees are tapping into North Dakota’s rich agricultural heritage as part of their commitment to help fight hunger in communities around Bismarck.

A community garden on the generation and transmission cooperative’s headquarters campus is managed entirely by co-op volunteers and produces hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for area food pantries each year.

“We plant the garden right around Memorial Day. I start working with our facilities staff to determine needs for the year in April,” said Tracie Bettenhausen, a senior staff writer/editor in Basin Electric’s communications department.

Bettenhausen holds an organizational meeting in the spring as soil temperatures edge toward planting range. Keep reading…

Magazine uses Basin’s Backyard Garden to shoot their video promo

Inspired Woman Magazine

Marci Narum and Jody Kerzman, editors of Inspired Woman Magazine, shoot the promo for their current issue at the garden.

Our garden made a beautiful backdrop for the video promo done for the August 2017 issue of Inspired Woman Magazine.

Then, they shot a second video with coordinator Tracie Bettenhausen. Thanks to Marci Narum and Jody Kerzman for the attention!

Read the story about Basin’s Backyard Garden in Inspired Woman Magazine: Cooperation grows abundantly

Basin’s Backyard Garden planting gets media attention

On May 24, Basin’s Backyard Garden volunteers picked up the shovels, seed packets, and plants, and put a summer’s worth of goodness into the soil for the garden’s fourth year.

The produce grown in the garden is donated to local food pantries. To date, about 2,000 pounds of fresh vegetables have been donated.

Both KXMB CBS 12 and KFYR-TV visited the garden during planting, and ran stories on the nightly news. Click on the images below to watch.

Stick with us all summer to watch the garden grow!

Wrapping up Basin’s Backyard Garden 2016


Today Basin’s Backyard Garden volunteers cleaned up the display they placed at the front of Headquarters almost exactly a month ago.

The crew used corn stalks, one sunflower, and all the pumpkins from the garden. They got the fun gourds from BisMan Community Food Co-op.

The total pounds of food donated in 2016: 964.7 pounds
Total pounds over three years: 2004 pounds
Value overall: priceless

Because of the work done in Basin’s Backyard Garden, people who may not have a garden for any number of reasons got to have the taste of fresh, sweet garden lettuce or a homegrown tomato or a first-ever kohlrabi, and you really can’t put a number on that.




A handful of the helpers: Judy Hojian, Debra Honeyman, Tracie Bettenhausen, Erin Huntimer, Della Mastel, and Lindsey DeKrey.

A handful of the helpers: Judy Hojian, Debra Honeyman, Tracie Bettenhausen, Erin Huntimer, Della Mastel, and Lindsey DeKrey.

Corn sprouts competition

Corn sprouts

Andrea Diehl and Della Mastel grew corn in cups (Andrea’s on the left; Della’s on the right) like the Highland Acres kids.

When Della Mastel, Andrea Diehl, Mary Miller and Grace Baker saw they had extra cups, soil and seeds after helping the Highland Acres first and second graders plant seeds in cups, Della and Andrea took a green thumb gamble.

They each planted a few seeds of their own and set them on their office windowsills. Andrea remembered to water her corn before the long Memorial Day weekend; Della did not.

When they came back in on Tuesday, Della’s corn was beating Andrea’s corn by a long pale neck of green.

A week later, Della reports back that her corn is nine inches tall. She’s had some office mates tell her they don’t think that looks like corn.