About Black Hills Local Foods

Hi! I’m Robin EH. Bagley, the bhlocavore. Even though I live at over 5,300 feet, growing at least some of my food is possible. I believe that raising our own food is good for us, our kids, our communities, and our planet. I grow alot of vegetables and herbs, but would like to be more self-sufficient. Black Hills Local Foods is help locavores find and help each other. My vision is that the blog becomes a meeting place for us to exchange ideas, seeds, plants, recipes, and advice. I know there are many of us in the Black Hills, we just need to find each other.



  1. January 6, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Nice blog. Can’t remember where I found the link to your site. As a child, our neighbors invited me to travel to South Dakota when they made a trip back to their childhood home. Beautiful state and oh so different from the rainy and green Pacific Northwest.

  2. Deb Smith said,

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 am

    So glad to find this. I’ve been looking for a CSA for quite some time. I live in Newcastle and honestly thought a CSA might exist in Spearfish, but no luck. I’m happy to see both Custer and Hill City have farmer’s markets in the summer….I can hardly wait! Many thanks for your blog.

  3. Harry Rasmussen said,

    July 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    So what can one grow at 5300 feet? What type of deciduous trees will grow and vegetables?

    • July 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm

      According to the brochure published by the Custer Mile High Gardening Club, there are quite a few deciduous trees that grow well here: green ash, honeylocust, hackberry, mountain ash, Ohio buckeye/chestnut, Canada red cherry, gray dogwood, hawthorn, bur oak, Princess Kay plum, nannyberry tree and Russian olive. On my property, we have aspen, which grow wild all over this area. I planted a couple little apple saplings two years ago and they’re still alive, but they don’t grow very fast. Most evergreens grow well here.

      Vegetables are tricky here; anything that flowers and bears fruit, such as tomatoes, needs to be an early variety or there just isn’t enough time for ripening. I have good luck with hot peppers but not bell peppers — not hot enough I think, I could grow them like crazy in Newell — tomatoes (early varieties), zucchini, and eggplant. I gave up on cucumbers here; I know some folks in town who can grow them, but mine always died out here, maybe the extra 100 feet of elevation made the difference, I don’t know. So far I’m not having much luck with winter squash, it’s alive but super slow. Peas and beans have been good here, and anything that’s a green grows like crazy: lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, beets. I’ve tried garlic for the first time this year and it seems to be doing well also.

  4. Maria Birch said,

    July 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Robin,

    Nice blog. Found out about it from Mark and Teal Scholl of Happy Hydros while I was writing a story on them for Central Dakota Times.

    My first taste of HH tomatoes came last year when I found them in the grocery store in Kimball. It was thrilling to find local produce at a small grocery, and I’ve been happily eating them ever since.

    I love everything about local foods and hope to help local folks do more with their products. My background is freelance writing, local foods education and project development – a fancy way of saying I teach folks how to grow stuff and sell it at a local farmers market or other outlets. I’ll help them start a community garden and farmers market if that’s what it takes.

    Thanks for your work in promotion local foods and activities in the Black Hills.
    By any chance were you at the Marketing Local Products workshop this past April in Kimball?

    • July 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm

      So glad you found us! Those tomatoes are so good, aren’t they? I wasn’t at the expo last April, my job at the school prevents me from doing too much traveling during the school year, that and having a high school student! 🙂 Let me know if you ever get this way, I would love to sit down and visit with you!

  5. Jeremy Smith said,

    February 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Hello Robin,

    I am trying to organize screenings of FRESH the movie (http://www.freshthemovie.com/) around the state this spring. Ideally Spearfish, Rapid, Sioux Falls, Brookings and somewhere in the Southern Hills. Do you know anyone that would be interested. It can be at a home, school, outside anywhere.
    Having the screening in conjunction with the first day of the Farmers Market, Earth Day, etc. seems logical. Any ideas?


    • February 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      That’s a great idea. The Senior Citizens’ Center here in Custer sometimes shows movies, and they also host several travel/cultural talks per year, so I think they might be open to this. The Custer County Annex is another place where this might be possible, but I do believe they have a fee. I’ll email Herb Ryan with the Custer Farmers Market & see if he has any ideas.

  6. Melissa Martin said,

    April 15, 2011 at 6:50 am

    nice to see this, check out Wild Woods Center on Facebook.

  7. Scott Martin said,

    April 15, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Check out Wild Woods Center on Facebook,thanks

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