Bear Butte Gardens

The Bear Butte Gardens Organic Farm

USDA Organic Logo

Bear Butte Gardens is a small-scale garden and greenhouse business owned and operated by Michelle and Rick Grosek. We are located on 120 acres about five miles northeast of Sturgis, South Dakota. Bear Butte Gardens was established in the spring of 2010 and became USDA organic certified on August 6th, 2012.

Bear Butte Gardens is a family-based business with strong connections to our community. Our son, Mike, and our daughter, Veronica, are an integral part of this business. We employ a "Diversified Organic Farm Manager" apprenticeship, and a “Commercial Kitchen Manager” apprenticeship - both certified with the SD Department of Labor. We also utilize the talents of interns from both Sturgis High School and Black Hills State University, as well as paid employees and volunteers.

We are locals, growing up in this general area. Michelle was raised in the Newell and Belle Fourche communities, while Rick was raised in the Lead/Deadwood communities. Mike and Veronica grew up here in Sturgis. Michelle and Rick both graduated with bachelor degrees from National American University in Rapid City, SD. Our family interests and hobbies have included many outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking, and music. We founded Sturgis Center for the Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts-based organization in 2005, and managed it for about seven years. Rick has been the Senior Database Administrator at Regional Health since 1998.

After living on this land for approximately 15 years and being just somewhat involved in the stewardship of the land, we made the decision for Michelle to change her career from a very computer-driven position as Director of Sturgis Center for the Arts to a more soil-driven position on the farm. Rick is still living in the IT world, but looks forward to stepping away in a few years and spending more time on the farm.

Two of three Livestock Guardian Dogs, after a swim in the stock pond.
Athena on the left. Aphrodite on the right.
Bear Butte in the background.

Raising our High-Tunnel Greenhouse.
Bear Butte in the background

Michelle, tending to onion seedlings in our Starter Greenhouse.

Michelle, moving some new chicks into a "Chicken Tractor".

Bean Poles in our gardens.

Michelle, working in one of our gardens.

Michelle, cultivating one of our gardens.

Pumpkins, curing in our Starter Greenhouse.

Mike, with Zeus (a gentle giant) and a chick.

Zeus, mentoring two young livestock guardian pups.
There is a lot an old dog can teach a young dog on a farm.

A young lamb, transitioning from a bottle to grass.

The view to the south, from our front porch.
The Black Hills are snow covered in the background.

A mother hen and her chicks.

Veronica, harvesting pumpkins.

Rick, feeding cattle on a very cold and snowy day.
The livestock guardian dogs think it's a great day!
Bear Butte in the background.

Michelle, bottle feeding baby lambs.
Leo the kitty in the background.

The beginning of a "permaculture swale". Basically a ditch, on-contour, on a 2% grade.
The purpose is to capture run-off water, let it travel a long distance (in the swale), at a slow speed, and thus soaking in.

Rick, planting apple trees.

Our turkey flock. Tom on the left.

Michelle, loading bales of hay onto the ol' farm truck.

A honey bee on an apple blossom.

Michelle, working on the ol' Allis Chalmers "B" tractor.

The Starter Greenhouse, in spring, loaded up with new vegetable seedlings.

An arial photo of our farm from a drone.

Building a permaculture hugelkulture garden bed.

A beautiful winter sunset!

Baby goats (Iris and Artemus) love to climb and jump!

Mike and Michelle, installing tomato trellis.

Michelle, installing a new nuc of honey bees into a new hive.

Installing/moving a new, temporary electric fence to keep lambs in a new area with fresh grass.

Michelle, working in the High-Tunnel Greenhouse.

Lambs grazing in good grass.
Bear Butte in the background.

Steers grazing in good grass.
Bear Butte in the background.

A beautiful farm scene.

Michelle, tending to the honey bees.

Chaos, the goat, loves to climb on anything.
We stack old tires to provide endless entertainment for the goats.

Rick, with the livestock guardian dogs, on a perimeter walk.
Rick carries a hoe and cuts thistle and weeds as they go.