Farm, Garden and Outdoor Calendar Released July 23, 2022 – West Central Tribune


Partners in the agricultural innovation conference: July 26, 7:50 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar or virtual live stream, free to qualified agricultural professionals. MinnWest Technology Campus and the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission are co-hosting the conference. Dr. Matt Roberts, an expert in agriculture, commodity markets, energy issues and biofuels, will kick off the event. Personal stories of sustainability, working with the next generation and expanding opportunities will be woven throughout the day. The day ends with a session focusing on farm management, transitions and legacy planning. Detailed list of speakers and registration available on the site

. For more information, contact Sara Mikolich at or Sarah Swedburg at EDC at or 320-235-7370.

Central Minnesota Dairy Field Day: Aug. 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Janski Farm, 3731 200th St., St. Augusta. The University of Minnesota outreach event will focus on dairy management and forage production for central Minnesota farms. It will highlight the use of robots on the farm, forage management and the use of cover crops on the land and in the ration of dairy cows. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. Register for dinner at

or by calling Dana Adams at 320-204-2968.

Cover crop day: August 18, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., free, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton. “Getting Ready to Succeed” is for farmers and those who work with farmers, with or without cover crop experience, and anyone else who wants to learn more about cover crops. The field trip will begin at 9:00 a.m., rain or shine. Register before August 12 to guarantee a meal at the

. Later registrations and walk-ins are welcome, but timely registration is required to reserve a meal.

Keep reading for more of this week’s calendar items under related content.

Beginnings of the farm: September 1 is the deadline for applications for the Farm Beginnings course, which will run in an online setting from November to March 2023 with on-farm educational events to follow later in 2023. The training session helps beginning farmers clarify their goals and strengths, establish a solid business plan and begin building their operation. It is designed for new and potential farmers who want to plan a profitable farming business. The cost of the course is $1,000, which covers up to two people per farm – discount for applications received by August 1 and scholarships available. More information and registration on the Land Stewardship Project website at

or email Annelie Livingston-Anderson at

Strategic Agriculture: Field Notes: Wednesdays at 8 a.m. Free 30-minute webinar on Zoom University of Minnesota Extension for Farmers and Agriculture Professionals. Register for live sessions at

. The program will include a live webinar with an interactive discussion with attendees, addressing in-season cultivation issues as they arise. Weekly topics will be announced the week of the program, maintaining the flexibility to react to issues that arise in 2022. For those unable to attend live, the discussion-based series will be released immediately following the webinar on podcast-streaming. Subscribe to iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or Google podcasts.

Dykstra: Bill and Helene Dykstra will have their garden open from noon until dark every day from July 5 until frost. Voluntary donations for Guatemala will be accepted. Take Kandiyohi County Road 5 south of Roseland for one mile, go east on 210th Avenue and turn south on 37th Street.

Douglas County Master Gardeners Tour: July 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Five Douglas County Gardens, $5 for adults, pay at the first garden you visit. Master gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions and provide useful information. Visit the gardens in the order of your choice and progress at your own pace. The gardens are Lucretia and Bruce Campbell, 3744 Little Ida Beach Rd. NW, Alexandria; Connie Simon, 907 Curt Felt Dr., Alexandria; Ron and Ann Branch, Berry Ridge Farm, 1301 Firemen’s Lodge Rd. SW, Alexandria; Warren Schmidt, 1709 Firemen’s Lodge Road. SW, Alexandria; and Barb and Bob Friederichs, 3400 Latoka Bay Rd. SW, Alexandria. For more information or a brochure, call the University of Minnesota Extension, Douglas County, at 320-762-3890 or see the website at


Horticultural evening: July 28, 4-8 p.m. Show Garden, University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329 to Morris. Horticulture presentations, gardening demonstrations, keynote speaker, live music, food and vendor stalls, farm tours and more. The presentations will take place under a tent with bleachers. They include the following:

  • main presentation6 p.m., “Minnesota’s Climate Change: Implications for What We Grow” by Dr. Mark Seeley, Professor Emeritus, Climatologist and Meteorologist, University of Minnesota.
  • All annual flowers4 and 6 p.m., Carrie Larson, McHutchison Horticultural Distributors.
  • Fall gardening starts now, 4 and 6 p.m., “Succession Planting Your Fall Garden,” Meg McAndrews Cowden, author and creator of @seedtofork.
  • Living fences5 and 7 p.m., Adam Hjelm, Sauk River Watershed District.
  • Drought tolerant perennials5 and 7 p.m., Julie Schroer and Jodie Ramsay, Jean’s the Right Plant Place.

Several practical demonstrations will be distributed in the garden, allowing participants to move freely from one station to another. There will be no start and end time for these demonstrations. Participants are encouraged to ask questions at the stations that interest them, while cycling through the different stations at their own pace. The stations are as follows:

  • Soil health for vegetablesled by Natalie Hoidal, University of Minnesota Extension.
  • Bud graftdirected by David Vaske, Miltona Greenhouse.
  • Create your own bouquet of fresh cut flowers (purchase of equipment locally), run by Farm Road Flower Farm of Hancock.
  • bird insectsled by Prairie Lakes Audubon Chapter, Alexandria.

Visit the website

for updates, especially before coming to the event.

Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is west of New London, just off US Highway 71. For more information, visit the State Department of Natural Resources website at

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Spicer Rural Center trails can be used during daylight hours at no charge. A bathroom with composting toilet is open by the pavilion. Pets must be kept on a leash. All equipment rentals (thick tire bikes, kayaks, canoes) will be by reservation, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call before Friday noon. Equipment rental for two hours is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth. Call 320-354-5894.

  • Canoeing and archery: August 6, 9 a.m. to noon, $20 per session, 4th grade and up. After a lesson in canoe skills and safety, you’ll head out above the water to spot wildlife in the wetlands, then learn the basics of Olympic-style target archery.

Volunteer water monitors: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in many lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Willmar area — then report back to the agency. . Volunteers do a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer. The lake monitors the boat or paddle to a designated spot in the lake to check for clarity, while stream monitors record data from the creek bank or a bridge over it. All equipment and training provided, no experience necessary. The program relies on volunteers to help monitor Minnesota’s more than 12,000 lakes and 92,000 miles of waterways. This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those who want to help protect the state’s natural resources. The MPCA uses the data to help determine if lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities like fishing and swimming. In some cases, the information collected by volunteers is the only monitoring done on a particular lake or stream.


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