Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published Dec. 17, 2022

Events and classes scheduled in the outdoors, gardening and farming. Submit your event at by noon on Tuesday.

Round hay bales in a field
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Women in Dairy: Jan. 12, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Crow River Winery, Hutchinson, $20, advance registration required by Dec. 22, call 320-484-4305 . Laura Daniels will speak on “Using Baler Twine & Barn Lime to Live a Life with Purpose.”

Women in Ag Network Conference: Feb. 7, 8:30 to 3 p.m., Willmar Conference Center, $75, early bird through Jan. 16, $100 after, students $25, register at . Theme is "Building resilience on your farm and in your family" with keynote speaker Monica McConkey and three breakout tracks and closing panel discussion.

Farmland rental: Rates are the largest input cost the farmer has. Determining a fair farm rent agreement is always challenging. Both in-person and webinar sessions will be held this year. Attendees will receive several informative worksheets and fact sheets that will help to determine what a fair 2023 farmland rental rate is. The remaining meetings set for this area are:

  • Willmar webinar: Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., Zoom presentation
  • Hutchinson webinar: Jan. 26, 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., Zoom presentation

More information including location addresses and additional dates available at .

Strategic Farming: Let’s Talk Crops webinar series. This free, live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize your crop management strategies for 2023. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 11 through March 29. Sessions will begin with a brief presentation by the discussion leaders for the day, followed by discussion framed around farmer/participant questions on the topic. Register at for the entire program series. Sessions will be recorded and posted for viewing later. The next three session are:


  • Jan. 11: Forecast for the season — weather, economics and supply chains; Ed Usset, University of Minnesota Extension grain marketing economist, and Pete Boulay, assistant state climatologist, Department of Natural Resources.
  • Jan. 18: What’s bugging my corn? An outlook on corn rootworm and more; Anthony Hanson, Extension educator in integrated pest management, and other IPM specialists.
  • Jan. 25: Climate factors and nitrogen management; Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist, and Brad Carlson, Extension educator in water resource.

Keep reading for more of this week's calendar items below the related content.

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Events and classes scheduled in the outdoors, gardening and farming. Submit your event at by noon on Tuesday.
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Creating your own pollinator habitat: Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., free, advance registration required, contact Tarah Young, or 218-384-3511 . This three-part webinar series will cover how to create a pollinator-friendly garden on Jan. 31, a bee lawn on Feb. 1 and starting a pocket prairie on Feb. 2.

Gardening from the ground up: Feb. 20-24, 1 to 2:30 p.m., free, online; University of Minnesota Extension educators present the fourth annual webinar series. The free virtual workshops will focus on trees and shrubs in the home landscape. Webinars will cover topics ranging from tree establishment to proper pruning techniques, to tree pest management — all useful for any curious beginner gardener or yard owner. Recordings of the webinars will be sent out at the conclusion of the series.


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 U.S. Highway 71. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at . Cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions available at

  • Owl pellets: Dec. 17, 11 a.m. to noon, at the Interpretive Center. Do you know what an owl’s favorite food is? Find out by exploring the clues they leave behind in their pellets.
  • Scats and tracks: Dec. 17, 2 to 3 p.m., at the Interpretive Center. Learn about the scats and tracks of resident wildlife and how to identify them.
  • First-day hike: Jan. 1, 10 to 11 a.m., at the Interpretive Center. Hike the Pondview Interpretive Trail, a 0.7-mile loop with a maximum 7 percent grade for 190 feet; wear appropriate clothing for the weather.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. Check the website for trail conditions, . A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration required for all classes. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, cross-country skies, snowshoes and kicksleds) will be handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call by noon Friday. Two-hour equipment rental is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth. Call 320-354-5894.

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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