Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Plot Thickens

Yeah, so here it is, my thick plot.

In a night of inspiration, we drank wine and Kirk drew up the plans on the chalkboard. As previously mentioned, it's about 30'x75' and here's the truth: I don't even know what that means.

But I will know every inch of dirt soon enough. 

The little square is the plot size that I am currently accustomed.

Each of the eight sections is about 15'x18' and I'll grow things like Black Dakota Popcorn, Howden-Dakota Strain Pumpkin, Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Squash, eggplant, chilies, lettuce, spinach, garlic, Amish Paste Tomatoes, Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, Dakota Sport Tomato, Fargo Yellow Pear Tomato, Wisconsin 55 Tomato, Crimson Sprinter Tomato, radishes and Dakota Winter Onions. I've got a few different aspects of seed selection going:

  • What do I want to eat?
  • What will transport easier?
  • What has a longer shelf life?
  • What is currently not being over-grown in folks' backyards?
  • What is a proven success in that region?
  • What has a cute name? 

The land is located on the exact frickin' border of Gardening (Hardiness) Zones 3a and 3b, indicating that the average annual winter extremes are -35 and -30 degrees. Brrrrrr! (Remember, this is not the average temperature, it's the average EXTREME temperature.) 

I've learned that either global warming or more sophisticated technologies - depending on who is talking - have resulted in more of North Dakota landing in Zone 4, meaning a longer growing season but more vulnerability to Japanese beetles and earwigs. Yeesh.


I can only sit back and marvel at all that I have to get done before the potential moving day of June 2. Just for the sake of sheer terror, let's make a list:

Finish buying seeds: I have most of what I need from the nice folks at Prairie Road Organic Seeds but still need to grab the easier, feed myself stuff - spinach, tomatoes, herbs. 

Dan and Theresa Podoll of Prairie Road Organic Seeds outside Jamestown, ND - they made me tea and popped me some yummy Dakota Black Popcorn, one of my featured crops.
Secure Housing: Brent found 27-foot camper-trailer for sale in a nearby town, being sold by an elderly couple that he, of course, knows. He called for more info but it had been sold. Another friend's friend has something similar for sale too but it's in another state and I don't have time to fetch. Back to Square One - Craigslist and the power of the Universe. 

Truck Alignment: It's time.

Stock Funky Food Staples: raw almonds, natural peanut butter, tahini, Clif Bars and my biggest indulgement, fuzzy water.

Don't judge.
Empty Storage Space: Thankfully, it's not too big (8'x10') but I cannot WAIT to cease paying this most modern and ridiculous bill every month. The Quonset hut will be my new storage locker, saving me money and a small bit of pride. 

Change Banks: Because I am self-employed, my deposits must be done in person at either an ATM or a branch, no direct deposit. My current bank, Chase, has never even heard of NoDak so I need a nation-wide bank with a Grand Forks branch - the nearest bigger (American) town near me, about an hour's drive straight (what else?) south. This leads to the dreaded switching of all online payments over to the new account. Such details are the necessary evils of going off-grid in 2012.

Stuff Sift: Go through all my belongings and pack them. I think we can all agree that this is a certain kind of physical and emotional pain that comes from relocation. There will be lots of boxing and bending and wondering why I own so much.

Mail: For now, I'll switch to the local address of a friend and get a PO box set up in one of three nearby towns - Walhalla, Neche or Cavalier - haven't decided which one yet.

One of the co-founders of Green Heron, not sure which.

Buy Tools: There are quite a few hand tools already at the farm but Green Heron offers tools specifically designed for women. I met the company founders, Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger, at the MOSES conference. They got into the biz after searching for ergonomically designed tools for women and only finding mens' tools helpfully available in pink. Oh, brother! Anyhoo, I am dying for the HERS shovel. My 46-year-old body (the one that helpfully carries around my whacked brain) is going to need all the protection it can get.

There are a dozen other things nagging at me but my eyes are droopy it's all I can stomach for now. The List is a living, breathing thing - it will constantly evolve.


Brandy Moe said...

This is so great Heather!!! Yay!! How can I follow you? I don't understand blogs. Probably because I grew up sheltered in North Dakota.

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