Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published May 6, 2023

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

Round hay bales in a field


Strategic farming: Field Notes: Back for 2023 starting May 10 and continuing through Aug. 23. University of Minnesota Extension webinar over Zoom for farmers and ag professionals on Wednesdays, 8 a.m., free, 30-minute. The program will feature a live webinar with interactive discussion with attendees, addressing in-season cropping issues as they arise. Weekly topics will be announced on the week of the program, maintaining the flexibility to react to issues that come up in 2022.

For those unable to attend live, the discussion-based series will be recorded and available at . You need to register only once and may attend any or all of the webinars. Register at .

Session topics set in May are as follows:

  • May 10: Weather
  • May 17: Corn and soybean planting
  • May 24: Alfalfa and early season insects
  • May 31: Cover crop termination

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

More agriculture-related news:
The garden space continues to change, just like the plants grown within it.
Producers are seeing higher prices at the sale barn, but with drought and high input costs, the number of cattle is down across the country.
Clear Springs Cattle Company at Starbuck, Minnesota, has a diverse farming operation with seedstock, direct-to-consumer sales and agritourism.
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration organized two days of panels and public comments in Iowa on carbon capture pipelines.


Ask a Master Gardener: Meeker County Extension Master Gardener Mary Thell and Emily Hansen, local Extension educator in horticulture, will lead a session Saturday, May 6, to answer your burning horticulture questions. They will be stationed at Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center in Litchfield from 9 a.m. to noon. Hansen also may be contacted with horticulture-related questions at 612-394-6302 or .



Volunteer water monitors: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Willmar area — and then report back to the agency. The agency this year is celebrating 50 years of nearly 10,000 volunteers who do a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer. Lake monitors boat or paddle to a designated spot in the lake to check the clarity, while stream monitors record data from the streambank or a bridge over it. All equipment and training is provided, no experience is needed. The program relies on the volunteers to help monitor Minnesota’s 12,000-plus lakes and 92,000-plus miles of streams. The MPCA uses the data to help determine whether 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 gathered by volunteers is the only monitoring done on a particular lake or stream.

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. The Interpretive Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday; call 320-354-2055 . For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at . Click on "events calendar" to see when naturalist-led programs are offered.

    Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. Find activities under the "programs and events" dropdown on the website at . 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 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 .

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    The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email: or phone 320-235-1150.
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