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Flowers Between the Frosts:  How to Grow Great Gardens in Short Seasons by Dorothy Collins

Price:  $14.95  *Electronic Order Form*

Dorothy I. (Castonia) Collins, a longtime Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN, journalist and editor, wrote some 2,800 gardening articles and columns during a span of more than a half century.  Her sweeping practical knowledge of gardening in America's Upper Midwest ranged from vegetable patches to flower show schools, from birding to gourds, from roses to rudbeckia.

Collins specifically addressed the peculiar challenges of gardeners facing the short hot summers and cold windy winters of the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota.  Journalists around the country write about gardening, she observed, but not very many address the specific needs of folks in the extreme Upper Midwest.  Collins set out to change that with a weekly garden column that ran from 1956 until 2008.  It first appeared in the Moorhead (Minn.) Daily News.  The column and its writer moved after a few weeks to the Fargo (ND) Forum when the Daily News closed.

Collins was born in Grandin, ND on June 29, 1916, to a farm family.  She was the oldest of four, the daughter of immigrants from French-speaking Quebec on her father's side and Norwegian-speaking Lillehammer on her mother's side.  She graduated from Wheaton (Minn) High School in 1934 and received a degree in journalism from the University of Washington in 1954.  That same year she returned to Fargo-Moorhead to give birth to a son, Ross.  Dorothy Collins died August 2, 2008, in Moorhead at the age of 92.

This book's chapters comprise 93 articles, gathered by season.  Wording of original headlines is preserved.

Introduction - Dorothy Collins:  Why we need to garden

In a Christmas reflection early in her gardening career, Collins observed that modern Americans seemed to have lost touch with the power of nature through contact with the earth.  Gardening, she believed, could reintroduce people to the spirit and tranquility of God and the natural world.  It was, as she noted, more than just a hobby.

Try this garden quiz while you're relaxing

It's mid-July and only half the summer left.  It's time to sit back, enjoy this great season, and take a little true-or-false quiz.
1.  Pink tomatoes have less acid than red tomatoes.
2.  If an apple tree hasn't started to bear fruit, driving nails into the trunk will make it bear.
3.  Red potatoes are more nutritious than white potatoes.
4.  If you must take in green tomatoes before frost, place them in a sunny window, where they will ripen best.
5.  All purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is harmful to the environment and should not be planted.
6.  The beans from scarlet runner beans are not edible.
7.  Instead of ordering tulips and daffodils now, it is best to wait until closer to planting time in September.
8.  When you prune off the limb of a tree, you should make the cut flush to the trunk.
9.  You can keep the leaves of your house plants clean and shiny if you use leaf shine or baby oil on them.
10. Roundup is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill everything on which it is applied.

Answers:
1.  False.  All tomatoes have the same amount of acidity, no matter what the color, but pink tomatoes have more sugar in them, which masks the acidity.
2.  False.  An apple tree doesn't need iron to bear and besides, it can't absorb iron from nails.
3.  False.  Both provide the same amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.
4.  False.  They ripen best when individually wrapped in newspaper and kept in the dark at a temperature of about 60 degrees.
5.  True.  Purple loosestrife, or lythrum, will quickly choke out streams and lakes, killing beneficial plants, nor will wild critters eat it.  Hybrid lythrum,  its relatives, should not be planted in gradens either; research has proven it will cross with wild lythrum, spreading this noxious weed.  Both North Dakota and Minnesota prohibit planting lythrum in gardens or anywhere else.
6.  False.  They are edible.  Use them as you do pole beans.
7.  False.  If you are ordering by mail, it is best to order now and your order will be on hand when you decide to plant.  Of course, if you are going to order from local nurseries, you can wait until later, but don't wait too long as nurseries may run out of the varieties that you want.
8.  False.  This is the old method.  It has been found that this injures the "collar" of the branch and allows insects and disease to enter.  When you prune, you should leave a collar rather than cutting off the limb flush to the branch or trunk.
9.  False.  Oils clog up the plant's pores.  The best way to have clean leaves is to wash them with a mild soap such as Ivory.
10. True.  You can use it near ornamentals if you protect the ornamental by holding a square of cardboard in front of it to avoid any drops of Roundup from touching it.  Or drip the Roundup on the weed, being careful not to touch other plants.

How did you do?  If you had all 10 right, you either know your gardening well or you are a good guesser.  You should have had at least seven right.  Fourth to six isn't too bad.  Less than four, you either are a beginner who hasn't read much on the subject, or it's a hot day.
--July 18, 1999

From the Banat to North Dakota:  A History of the German-Hungarian Pioneers in Western North Dakota:  David Dreyer and Josette S. Hatter

Price:  $19.95 * Electronic Order Form

In the spring of 1889 a young family of German colonists struck out on a solo journey to America from their home in the Banat region of Austria-Hungary. Within days of their arrival at the Port of New York, Johann Braun filed a homestead claim in Stark County, North Dakota, establishing with his wife, Anna, and their two small daughters, the first German-Hungarian homestead in North Dakota.  What forces led them to leave their colonial home in the Banat?  Why, within a few years, did other families sell their farms and follow the Brauns to southwestern North Dakota?

About the Authors

David Dreyer received a BS degree in chemistry in 1954 and a PhD in organic chemistry in 1960, both from the University of Washington.  Upon retirement, after a thirty year career as a research chemist, he has devoted himself to the study of ethnic Germans from the former Hungarian province of the Banat.  He is the recipient of a Ehrenbrief from the Landsmannschaft der Banater Schwaben for his work on various aspects of Banat history.  The originator and primary author of the Banat Family History Series, his research has also been published in German-American Genealogy, The Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies Journal and is freely available via the internet.

A descendant of the first German-Hungarian family to settle in North Dakota, Josette Steiner Hatter grew up in southwestern North Dakota.  Her research in family history led to her collaboration with David Dreyer on this work.  She graduated from North Dakota State University with a BS in psychology and received an MA in psychology from Wake Forest University.  Employed as a counselor at the University of California, Irvine, she is also a free-lance writer.  Her previous works have been published in North American Review and Riviera Magazine and German-American Genealogy.  She lives with her husband in Dana Point, California.

Greetings from North Dakota; Address and Date Book

Price: $13.95 * Electronic Order Form

Two postcard collections are featured in this spiral bound address and date book - those collected and saved by Lawrence Aasen and his mother Clara Brenden Aasen, and a collection of North Dakota town postcards collected by retired Fargo physician Ronald Olin. Together they provide an amazing glimpse of the many small towns that dotted the North Dakota countryside in the early 20th century. The featured postcards date from the early 1900s to the 1930s. They represent some of the best examples produced during the "golden age" of postcards from circa 1907 to World War I. Many today could be considered works of art, particularly those printed in color.

 

Sample Postcards

The first classes for the children of LaMoure began in 1883 only a year after the town's founding. A wood-frame school was built in 1885, and this brick school, costing $50,000, was built in 1905. It served the community's educational needs more than 60 years until 1969 when it was torn down and replaced by a new school complex

The North Dakota Agricultural College, now North Dakota State University, was founded in 1890. It also is the home of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and the NDSU Extension Service. Students were enrolled not only in agriculture but also engineering, home economics, pharmacy, chemistry and the arts and sciences. This 1936 collage features the most prominent buildings on the campus, all of which are still standing. They surround a view of the campus entrance with wrought-iron gates designed by the campus blacksmith. The gates lead to Old Main, the oldest campus building.

Joseph C. Henvis, whose homestead encompassed the town site, named it Fairmount in 1884. Henvis agreed to give up his property only if he could have naming rights. He chose the name Fairmount, after Fairmount Park located in his home city of Philadelphia, Penn. It is claimed that Fairmount was the only place in North Dakota that was serviced by four different railroads: the Fairmount & Veblen, Milwaukee Road, the Great Northern and the Soo Line. This view shows the north side of Main Street on one of its busier days.

Handbook of North Dakota Plants

Price: $11.95 * Electronic Order Form

Excerpt from the Introduction

This book is intended to present general information on the wild plants of the State in a way that will be useful to the largest number of people. It probably will be most useful to teachers or others who have considerable knowledge of plant life. The descriptions are brief and are intended to give the most evident features which would help persons not familiar with botanical descriptions to recognize the plants. Comments on weeds, poisonous plants and those useful as ornamentals are included. Some cultivated or economic plants are mentioned for general information.

Complicated botanical terminology has been avoided as much as possible.

The common names best known or considered most suitable have been given, with addition of others which are often used.

All plants known to occur in the State in wild condition, that is, native or introduced from other countries, are included.

Contents:
Introduction
Plant Collections in North Dakota
Early Plant Collectors
Recent Plant Collectors
Names of Plants
Scientific Names
Physiography of North Dakota
General Topography
Soils
Vegetation Types
Distribution of Species Within the State
General Distribution
Introduced Plants
Plant Characters
How to Use the Keys
Short Key to Principal Families
General Key to Families
Descriptions of Species
Summary of Families
Definitions of Terms
Index

History of North Dakota

Price: $25.00 * Electronic Order Form
Elwyn Robinson's sweeping History of North Dakota has become a classic in American state histories. One of the state's great professors and historians takes into account not only politics, but sociology, economics, ethnology, theology, nature studies and geography to describe North Dakota to the world and to itself.

Geography, in particular, formed the basis of Professor Robinson's historical interpretation. His "too-much mistake," the belief that North Dakota built too much, too fast, in an isolated area buffed by a difficult climate, has become the guiding principle for a quarter century of historical debate on Dakota plains history.

Long out of print, Professor Robinson's 1966 work has now been reissued by the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University, Fargo.


An Excerpt from History of North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt in Medora,
early 1880s

The "Heroes of Dakota" started Robinson's quest for an understanding of North Dakota's past. In 1958 as part of the University of North Dakota's 75th anniversary celebration, he shared the results of almost ten years of research with the public. In an address entitled "The Themes of North Dakota History" he laid out the context for his study of the state. He explained that "as thoughtful people we are always seeking to understand the world around us. One way is the observation of patterns, of the recurrence of somewhat similar events. Recurrence may reveal relationships or truths.... Historical themes are patterns of many events." He continued, "That is what I am attempting to do, to relate the events of North Dakota history to a handful of themes." Robinson enunciated six themes: remoteness, dependence, radicalism, a position of economic disadvantage, the Too-Much Mistake, and adjustment.

He held that all six themes sprang from geographic facts: the state's location in the continental center, the cool and subhumid climate, and the differences in climate between the state's eastern and western regions. "The influence of these facts," Robinson maintained, "is seen in every aspect of North Dakota history."

About the Author
Elwyn Burns Robinson retired from the University of North Dakota in 1974 with the school's highest rank - University Professor. That distinction reflected the excellence of his scholarship, his skill in the classroomn, and his dedicatd service in many capacities within the university, the state, and the profession. Until his death in 1988 he continued to reflect upon and write about the Great Plains experience.

Home River

Price: $4.85 * Electronic Order Form

Although Home River is a work of fiction, readers should not underestimate the great amount of historicity therein. Rodney Nelson has captured in carefully honed language the distinctive lilt of Norwegian-American dialect and the political and social atmosphere of the Red River Valley of the North in the middle 1940s. By imagining one small episode from that era, he achieves an authenticity of voice and color which might not have been possible in a strict recounting or memoir. Rodney Nelson has studied the valley for most of his life; his novels, stories and books of poems reflect his clear-eyed, unsentimental love for their rich land and difficult climate, and for the equally complex people who chose to settle the area, his grandparents among them. Home River is first of all a work of fiction whose intent is simply to please - but one of the many other things the book does is to help us preserve our knowledge of the immigrant pioneering spirit as manifested in the settlers of the Red River Valley and their children.

About the Author
Rodney Nelson was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and raised there and in Richland County. He moved to California as a young man, returning to Fargo in 1978. "I enjoy the tedium of daily life in North Dakota," he says. "It is a place for thinking and working. If I wanted excitement, I'd go to San Francisco - or Beirut." Nelson has written several other books and was editor of Dakota Arts Quarterly.

I'm Thinking It Over: Spectator Columns from The Forum: Jim Baccus

Price: $8.95 * Electronic Order Form

A great listener and connoisseur of anecdotes, Jim Baccus has chosen 80 of his favorite Forum Spectator columns for I'm Thinking It Over.

Here is the story of a locomotive engineer who drove trains for every President from Teddy Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, the inside story of how South Dakotans stole the remains of Sitting Bull from North Dakota, the character of a ma and pa hamburger joint, barn dances in the Dirty Thirties, John Philip Sousa conducting the North Dakota Agricultural College Gold Star Band, and how Lawrence Welk missed his chance to play with "Tiny Little and His Toe Teasers."

About the Author
Jim Baccus knew this region and its people well. He attended school in Jamestown and graduated from North Dakota State University. In 1937 Jim left home to work as a newsman and freelance writer in Los Angeles. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942-46. After a number of professional writing jobs in Fargo, Jim joined the staff of The Forum in 1973. His writing assignments included agricultural news, personal profiles and a daily column, "The Spectator." Jim passed away in 2006.

The Last Buffalo

Price: $11.95  * Electronic Order Form
The Last Buffalo is my effort to record what has happened to this changing prairie and its effects on my extended family and me. The title, The Last Buffalo, is meant as a metaphor for what I see is a rapidly changing and apparently disappearing way of life. We, the descendants of the prairie settlers, are perhaps like the wild buffalo, unknowing and/or puzzled about the forces that are shaping and changing our environment from the familiar past to an uncertain future.

The wild buffalo are gone. We in the central part of South Dakota who are engaged with the land are becoming fewer. The Last Buffalo is a tribute to the people who settled this wonderful and, in many ways beautiful, land that, while having given us bounty, has also extracted a human toll for being settled.

I have attempted to write prose, but what I do write seems more strongly to resemble poetry. Most of the poems that I write I consider to be little stories, some based on actual occurrences and others being composites produced from a lot of little stories that I have combined into a single poem that is meant to be a generalization. The book does, I feel, have a beginning that moves toward an end.

I have often referred to The Last Buffalo as a book of themed poetry, and I would like to think that someone in the future will be able to say to themselves after reading it, "Oh, so THAT'S how things were then."
Bruce Roseland, author

About the Author

Bruce Roseland was born on a cold November morning in 1951 in central South Dakota where he has spent his entire life except for attending college. After 2 1/2 years at South Dakota State University, he transferred to the University of North Dakota, earning both bachelor's and master's degrees, finishing in 1980. About that time, however, he made the decision to return to the family farm and become the fourth generation operator of it. He and his wife Barbara (Logan) from Devils Lake, ND, have spent their lives and raised their two sons, Aaron and Adam, on the home place.

The Last Buffalo is the result of pondering the whats and whys of making the decision to become possibly the last generation to husband the family homestead.


 


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Published by North Dakota State University

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:20:18 PM