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South Dakota Transplant

 
Posts: 109
Location: Central South Dakota looking around
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Hey all,

Recently moved from the perfect gardening climate to the not-currently-cold-at-all north. Looking for information in the different communities and they when/whys of things. It is hard to find information outside of giant mono ag that dominates still. I have questions and the answers never seem to be simple to find. Like are water wells just not a thing here? I prefer to have control over my drinking water and what is in it, how it's treated, etc. Even the houses I've found with wells use them as irrigation only. Why? Is that a law or just common practice? Is there a statewide list of small farm ventures? I can't find much info on existing small farms. Are they truly that non-existent here?

If any permie has experience in S. Dakota would let me pick their brain I'd be forever grateful. Those around me locally seem to be of the 'traditional' mind and don't understand my questions. Just a lot of 'you can't do that.'

I need reasons.

 
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if you have well at your house might be good to get water tested.
from what you say it sounds like you had no choice in where you are living now and know very little about the place. but from your thingy under your name your from Northern California
welcome maybe there are some folks living in Dakotas that know about the place,
 
Melonie Corder
Posts: 109
Location: Central South Dakota looking around
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Hey Bruce,

I would definitely have any well tested. When I inquired with my real estate agent you'd have thought I asked if we could grow a pineapple...as if it's unheard of to not be plumbed into a giant water control system.

For the moment, choices were limited but we are still looking around at other areas in the state. Hence my needing someone who knows some things, lol. I've reached out on reddit and a couple local groups. Not being in the mass social media sphere limits my "community" these days.


 
pollinator
Posts: 4694
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Melonie, I come from a long line of South Dakota Ranchers and farmers. Yep Big ag dominates but if you get a bit closer to "town" you might find a few more kindred souls. Maybe Rapid City area? You might check out the County extension agents in what ever area you are looking, for answers on wells. I remember my Grandpa's ranch had a well out by the barn that was used for drinking water and a well in the pasture that was a hot spring well, smelled like sulfer.
 
Melonie Corder
Posts: 109
Location: Central South Dakota looking around
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Thanks Miles, that is a start. That is another thing that makes it complicated, the names of all the departments are different than home, organized completely different (not complaining, just a bit harder to navigate). Know anyone wanting to turn an operation over to a young determined family? Kidding, kind of. If you know of anything/one, in a modest price range... I've been looking everywhere for now, watching prices and taking notes waiting on the right spot and time. Learning what I can about where we are and where we want to be.  
 
pollinator
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The following link is for a 2004 publication....there may still be some useful links within.  

https://www.minnehahacounty.org/dept/pl/ruralLiving/RuralLivingRevised_11-15-04.pdf

Note the information regarding wells on pages 26-27.  Also may wish to peruse the SDSU extension service for additional links and information.   Hard to say where to look for more Permie-minded people in that state.   If you are accustomed to finding such minds near college campuses, then a triangle can be formed from Dakota State University in Madison down to the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and back up to South Dakota State University in Brookings.  There may be properties for sale in there that would fit the bill and provide some like-minded neighbors.  SDSU is the ag school and will have more ag-related and rural living publications, although as you noted these will lean towards large ag interests.  Worth checking out regions like the Prairie Coteau in the NE in addition to the more popular Black Hills.  But lots of livable pockets in that state.  Good luck!
 
Melonie Corder
Posts: 109
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Thank you John, what a great resource/guide. I'll print that up.
 
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Hey!  I'm a South Dakotan, born and bred.  In the Sioux Falls area, there is Project Food Forest, a permaculture designer and consultant.  I met an associate (and employee?) of theirs at the public food forest in Luverne, MN at an event they hosted there.  Frankly, you'll find a lot more permaculture-oriented resources in the Minnesota area, but they're welcoming to those of us on the other side of the border.  Gary Wyatt from the UMN Extension works the areas of MN adjoining SE SD and has been involved with the food forest project in Luverne.  His email is wyatt@umn.edu.  
Regarding wells, yes, as rural water has become near-ubiquitous, at least along the I-29 corridor, well testing has become so much less common.  I'm a real estate agent in the Sioux Falls area, and I don't know any other agent of the 900+ of us that has any clue about permaculture; although plenty of the old guard will know about well testing, and all the ag land people can advise and assist with assessing land.  The few times I've had clients interested in using the wells on their properties, I've used Chase Drilling out of Sioux Falls.  He'll handle the mechanics of the whole thing and send the sample in to be tested for you.  I've got a well on the property I recently purchased that needs some service, and I intend to use them.  
I'm no permaculture guru, very much at the beginning of my journey, but I am an old farm kid who knows the area.  If you send me a direct message, I'd be glad to give you my email and cell number, always good to know likeminded people.
 
Melonie Corder
Posts: 109
Location: Central South Dakota looking around
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Thank you for that info! It's looking like we may be settling near the center of the state. If this property works out for us, that is. There is well for irrigation that I plan to have tested. I feel better having that little bit of independence if it's ever needed. I'll definitely watch for events over there in MN as it seems we may be heading over there every once in awhile.
 
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