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Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published Jan. 15, 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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Small grain workshops: University of Minnesota Extension is offering small grain workshops across Minnesota to address successful small grain management, focusing on production agronomics, variety selection and economics. Workshops include an open forum for discussion of related topics and on-farm experiences. Lunch is included at all sites with registration. Registration is free but required to assist with meal planning. Please register by visiting or contact the number listed with each workshop. Workshops in the area include:

  • Jan. 17: Morris, 9 a.m. to noon, West Central Research and Outreach Center, contact Jared Goplen at 320-589-1711, ext. 2128.
  • Feb. 18: Cold Spring, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Great Blue Heron, contact Nathan Drewitz at 608-515-4414.
  • Feb. 18: Benson, 1 to 3:30 p.m., McKinney's on Southside, contact Scott Lee at 320-760-6129.
  • Feb. 23: online, 9 to 10 a.m., virtual workshop.

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 2022. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays through March 30. 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. 19: Compare and contrast: Management of corn for grain and silage; Joe Lauer, University of Wisconsin-Madison corn agronomist, and Luiz Ferrraretto, UW-Madison ruminant nutritionist.
  • Jan. 26: New findings with sulfur fertility; U of Minnesota Nutrient management specialists and researchers.
  • Feb. 2: Strategies for effective weed management in 2022, U of Minnesota Weed scientists and researchers.

Regenerative grazing workshop: Feb. 1, 9 a.m. to noon, Vinje Lutheran Church, $10 per person. Registration deadline is Jan. 28; call 507-523-3366 or e-mail Barb Sogn-Frank at . Cattle producer Alejandro Carrillo will tell the story of how he has used regenerative grazing to build soil health and bring his ranch back to life in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, about 250 miles south of El Paso, Texas. It consists of 30,000 acres, 25,000 of which are grazable and is operated as a dryland operation with no irrigated meadows, and the terrain consists of valleys with rugged canyons, mesas and mountains, all located within the Sierra Madre Range. No hay is produced on the ranch as cattle are expected to graze year-round. There will also be a panel discussion by Minnesota farmers Jim Van Der Pol of Pastures A Plenty livestock farm near Kerkhoven and crop farmer and grazer Terry Barchenger who farms near Brooten along with local County Soil and Water Conservation District specialists. A mask mandate will be in place and event attendees will be required to sign a waiver.

Farm Couple Retreats: Feb. 4-5, St. Cloud. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is holding a couples' retreat to forge stronger partnerships. Couples will explore creative communication skills, personality differences and learn about resources that can help them reach their goals and manage the stresses of farming and family relationships better. Lodging and meals are included in the free retreat, although a refundable registration deposit is required. Each retreat starts at noon and ends at 1 p.m. the following day. Registration is limited to the first 10 couples who sign up. Participants must follow COVID-19 protocols in place at each venue. Find more information and registration forms at . Additional retreats are set for Jan. 21-22 in Faribault and Feb. 11-12 in Thief River Falls.


"Prairie Yard and Garden": The 35th season of the television show premieres Thursday, Jan. 20, on Pioneer PBS. All the shows will be available for online viewing at after the original showing. Shows set for the next two weeks are:


  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, and repeats 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, and 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24. Host Mary Holm visits with Anna Anderson of “Glory Garden” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, about how she leverages technology and relationships with local growers to connect fresh, locally grown meat, fruits, veggies and more with consumers in her community.
  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, and repeats 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, and 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31. Host Mary Holm talks with Frank Forcella of Morris about why it is important to identify grassy and broadleaf weeds and gives tips to control them.

Gardening for the Health of It: The Olmsted County Extension Master Gardener volunteers spring gardening seminar will be a series of weekly Zoom sessions, with a cost of $15 per session. There will be 10 classes between Feb. 15 and March 24. Topics include alternative gardening ideas. gardening with nature, bees and pollination, shade gardening, photographing gardens, tree and shrub care, beneficial insects, healing power of gardening, heirloom varieties and urban water and soil conservation. Register and pay fee at

Gardening from the Ground Up: Feb. 22-25, 1 to 2:30 p.m., online. University of Minnesota Extension educators present the third annual webinar series. The free virtual workshops will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from soil nutrients, plant health and insects — useful for any curious beginner gardener or yard owner. More information and registration available on the West Central Research and Outreach Center website . Recordings of the webinars will be sent out at the conclusion of the series.


'Prairie Sportsman': The 13th season of Prairie Sportsman premiers Sunday, Jan. 23. on Pioneer PBS. All the shows will be available for online viewing at after the original showing.

  • 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, and repeats 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. Host Bret Amundson visits Milan area conservationists Roger Strand on his hunting property and Brad and Kristi Fernholz at a remnant prairie on their farm.
  • 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30, and repeats at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5. Join host Bret Amundson for “In Service and Healing.” Ian Ives, an army sergeant who lost an arm in Afghanistan, is presented with a custom-made rod and reel, and at The Raptor Center, an eagle is examined after being hit by a car.

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

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, kayaks, canoes) 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.

  • Intro to Cross Country Skiing: Feb. 10, 4 to 5 p.m., grades 2 and older, $10. Learn the basics of cross country skiing. Then hit the trails to practice your new skills. Instruction and equipment provided. Meet at the main building.
Donna Middleton 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.
What to read next
Dr. William F. "Billy" Holland Jr. is an ordained minister, community chaplain and author of the "Living on Purpose" faith column. He lives in central Kentucky with his wife, Cheryl.
Events and classes scheduled in the outdoors, gardening and farming. Submit your event at by noon on Tuesday.
Submissions to the weekly Church Calendar published Saturdays should be emailed to by noon Wednesday.
"Fielding Questions" columnist Don Kinzler also answers questions about spraying newly seeded grass and dealing with quackgrass in raspberries.