“Of course, nowadays everyone is seeking after employment, but formerly nobody, there was no industry, no big business. Everyone has to produce something, foodstuff, out of the ksetra, field. So if you become a family man you must have some source of income. That source of income is land, as Rayarama was explaining you. Actually the land is the source of income. If you can utilize the land, then there is everything stocked there.”

Lecture — Montreal, June 26, 1968

North Dakota, where I was born and raised and just recently visited, is a land based economy. It is good fertile soils easily adaptable to large scale cropping systems in the Eastern and Central parts of the state and a coal and oil producer out West. Hence, although not immune to the global recession, it is pretty buffered. It also has great potential for wind energy that is largely untapped so far due to lack of transmission lines.

In a recession someone might not eat at Panera’s for lunch and brown bag a sandwich instead, but the wheat farmer gets the same for his grain either way.

Check out what Time.com has to say about it:

Bismarck: The Town the Recession Missed

Another reason is that the cold winters tend to limit the population to more self reliant types.

Check out the AP Economic Stress Index map and note that North Dakota is one of the best places to be now from that perspective.

Park River, my hometown, seems typical.  A classmate of mine is an electrician and says he has more work than he can handle, he is booked 6 weeks in advance and is turning down work.

He pulled a trailer in the July 4th parade and all our classmates attending the All Class Reunion rode on it.  The parade consisted of over 300 units, which ain’t too shabby for a town of 1600 people.  An estimated 8-10,000 spectators show up for the parade.

If you wanted to experience an old fashioned small town American Fourth of July, Park River would be the place to do it.  Besides the parade there are fireworks, 3 nights of dancing, two of them on the closed off main street, a glass blower, an exhibition of photographs from the town photographer who started taking pictures in the 1890s, 7 hours of polka bands during one afternoon and evening, a baseball game, a road rally, a 5 K race, an antique car show, special events at the American legion, a piano recital at the church I attended as a kid with a pie and ice cream social in the basement,  a whole complex of blown up air features for kids, and lots of other stuff.

I wore my Jagannath  T shirt around town so He got to take it all in.

After the parade my siblings hung out on the closed off street and had a picnic. My youngest brother, a biology professor and researcher at UND, provided gourmet vegan foodstuffs, including grilled veggies and a proteiny salad to go along with chips and other fare. The leftovers of which I enjoyed through the next day.

We stopped at his house in Grand Forks on the way out and he treated us to grilled marinated tofu and edamame, which is green soybeans boiled in salted water. I had never had them before and was competing with my niece to get the last ones in the serving bowl.  You eat them by removing them from their pods as you go. Definitely going to grow them next year.

Not done talking about North Dakota yet, more later.