Tag Archives: gardening

Ninja Gardening in the Rough Part of the City

Some friends of mine enjoyed breaking the law with squash in downtown Sioux Falls a while back. But turns out it wasn’t squash at all.

Even if you don’t dream of the unbridled freedom breathed each day in the life of a full fledged guerilla gardener (like I do), you must watch the wisdom in this short video. Then you can see what happens when cucumbers masquerade as summer squash, in this 12seconds video from today.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 21, 2010 in funny, garden, video


Tags: , , ,

Sink in Pieces and Dry ‘Maters


The latest malfunction in our house that is acting much older than it is as of late. No fear though, I was a plumber in another life.

After I finished stuffing envelopes tonight for the Montrose Area Foundation’s big local push (more on this later), I thought I’d show my tomato/pepper garden a little love. Couldn’t believe what I found–bone dry! Guess I got a little too accustomed to rain nearly every day, and forgot I live on a clay/gravel hilltop stripped of any topsoil. At least I could actually use the water in my rain barrels.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 22, 2009 in garden


Tags: , , ,

Community Gardening

The Montrose Community Garden is different than most. No plots you can rent. Just a group of volunteers who plant and nurture veggies out there, and harvest them every early Saturday morning to share with the whole village. Donations are accepted, but not expected.

This past weekend, the bounty was beets, carrots, onions, monster cabbage and zucchini. All wonderful. We were too late to grab some carrots, but Uncle Ray invited me to come down any evening and dig a few up. I think I will, but it’ll be more about digging stuff up with Ray than about wanting carrots.

Because of all the beets, there were a whole lot of greens piling up around the garden market on Main Street. The community gardeners sent all the “waste” home with me to turn into compost. It took two trips, and I found about a dozen beets in the bottom of one container that were missed (I brought them back uptown).

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 14, 2009 in compost, garden


Tags: , , ,

Rock Garden Tour Blows Up

Straw hats off to the dudes of Rock Garden Tour. The best radio show on the prairie just went global. Well, statewide anyway. Flowerman, Oil Can and the RGT Family Band made the leap from small college radio to South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Boom!

What?! You don’t know how to turnip your radio? Rock Garden Tour is this fun little program and podcast celebrating some of creations’ greatest achievements: rock n roll, rural life and gardening. The podcast is great, the live show is better. Now you can catch it on SDPB Radio Sunday nights at 10, or download the podcast.

The Rock Garden Tour interview at Michelle's Coffee

The Rock Garden Tour interview at Michelle's Coffee

Now that’s a big accomplishment for RGT. But there’s something even bigger: Flowerman just wrapped up an exclusive interview with me about my big trip to the sewage treatment plant yesterday. We talked about the guy who operates the Hot Sludge lake boat, and bib overalls. You’ll have to tune into the show to check it out.

Update: Poo Lake made the cut.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 9, 2009 in Celebrations, etc.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Building Rain Barrels

I finally (almost) wrapped up the steel ice cream barrell conversion project on Saturday–with lots of help from Uncle Duane and his tools.

I bought two steel barrels from a neighbor for $7.50 each. They used to be full of soft serve ice cream mix (I got them with just an inch or so of the sugary goo left in the bottom). Hope and I washed them out, and then we were ready to turn them into two more rain barrels to catch water for the gardens all summer. I bought the following parts for a little over $18:

  • two chimney pipe flutes
  • some wire mesh
  • a couple water spickets
  • two fittings for those spickets
  • some hose and clamps.

But, that was about three weeks ago….Despite me leaving my barrels and parts in the way at the farm that whole time, Duane helped me in his usual MacGuyver-with-a-welder kind of way.

Here’s a pictorial step-by-step:

All that’s left is to set these puppies up on some blocks and hook them to the rain spouts (including overflow hoses back into the spouts. And then let my talented wife paint them pretty…

Two steel rain barrels: $33.67 total

You can get some detailed do-it-yourself rain barrel instructions here or here. Or, if DIY is not your thing, you can buy a local, recycled rain barrell ready to hook to your downspout from my friend Jake at Sunny Day Rain Barrels.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 25, 2009 in garden, going green


Tags: , , , ,


Winter really snuck up on me this year. You’d think after 30 South Dakota winters I’d have figured out that I better get my garden and yard ready for the cold stuff by November. Not so much. We had a bonafide-no-shit cold streak a week or two ago, and I’m afraid I lost some new plantings of shrubs. Shrubs that I hadn’t gotten around to mulching yet. In fact, I didn’t even get my gladiola bulbs dug up in time–and now the ground is frozen solid. Silly me.

For about a month now I’ve been meaning to rake up a big pile of leaves in Mom and Dad’s back yard (since I get about 72 total leaves falling on my hilltop yard) to bag for composting and mulching. Mission (finally) accomplished. I did manage to get one flower bed mulched with fresh soybean stalks during the harvest, but that’s all my mulching. Again, in case you’ve missed it, I’m a bonehead this fall. Life goes on…

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 29, 2008 in compost, garden, Kids, Weather


Tags: , , , ,

Alternative Mulch and that Compostable Cup

Hope, Zoey and I were out helping Grandpa Pat on the farm for a little while last night. While Dad was knocking the frame off the big shed door (you can ask him for details), I was gathering up a big pile of soybean straw that Duane emptied out of his combine while fixing something earlier in the day. This was a jackpot for me.

I tried a little mulching experiment last fall that I learned from my friends at the Prairie Arboretum in Freeman, SD. I went out to the bean field where the guys were combining and gathered up the soybean straw that is a byproduct of the combining process. So, this nice big pile right in the middle of the farm yard made it much easier this time. Turns out the stuff works pretty well. My biggest problem, being a windy hill dweller, is keeping my mulch in place instead of down in my neighbors’ yards. I even reused some emptied feed sacks from the silo shed, so it was a green project. Good price (free), recycled packaging, and local and renewable materials. Oh so green goodness…

I also turned the compost in my homemade composter this morning (I dump it out once int he process to stir it all up and put it back in the barrell). This is the compost containing that supposedly compostable cup from Oscar’s Coffee that I put in there on June 22. Well, still looks mostly like a cup to me. The jury’s still out, I guess.


Posted by on October 5, 2008 in compost, garden, going green


Tags: , , , ,